While a new containment has been decreed in many Italian regions, Forbes invites you to explore the most beautiful beaches in the country still unknown to the public.
When you think of a seaside holiday in Italy, certain places immediately come to mind such as Positano or Portofino. However, the country is full of little corners of paradise. While some beaches have long attracted many tourists, others are known only to locals. These magnificent beaches are located along exceptional bays or gulfs which offer a wide choice of activities.
Perfect for living the sweet life in an authentic way, these beaches offer a wide variety of seaside landscapes. Travel professionals here offer their opinions on a selection of idyllic places in Puglia, Sicily and Calabria.
GULF OF MANFREDONIA, POUILLES
In recent years, the Puglia region has become a popular destination for tourists. They are attracted by the rich cultural history and traditions of the region. When it comes to local cuisine and spectacular landscapes, Puglia offers travelers an extraordinary experience. Certain corners along the Apulian coast attract many visitors. Other corners, such as the seaside resorts of the Gulf of Manfredonia, are known only to locals or connoisseurs.
The beaches : Travelers will find many incredible beaches along the Apulian coastline with striking landscapes. However, the beaches of the Gulf of Manfredonia are among the most beautiful Italian beaches. Gino Fusco from Pugliapromozione, regional tourism agency for the Puglia region, invites you to discover Bay of Zagare, “One of the most picturesque Italian beaches”. Renowned for its superb limestone cliffs and reefs, the landscape of Baia delle Zagare recalls that of the famous and sublime Capri. Gino Fusco also recommends the beach of Vignanotica, which also offers spectacular scenery, as well as Bay of the Seagulls, “A magnificent bay accessible only by boat and surrounded by cliffs and caves. »Further north, Gino Fusco invites you to relax at Bay of Campi, “A wild beach made up of pebbles with caves and an island just in front. »Easily accessible from Vieste, the family beach of Castello Scialara also worth a look. The long beach of Margherita of Savoy, south of the Gulf of Manfredonia, is also ideal for children.
Along the Gulf of Manfredonia you will find many lidos (private beaches) and public beaches. Enza Sgaramella from Turisti in Puglia recommends Lido Beach Cristalda and Pelikano Beach (both in Vieste), as well as Baia dei Mergoli in Mattinata. Travelers will also find many hotels including the Pizzomunno Vieste Palace Hotel in Vieste, the Baia dei Faraglioni hotel, the Baia delle Zagare hotel or the Locando del Carrubo, all located in Mattinata or its surroundings.
Cities to visit: For Gino Fusco, the town of Vieste, whose existence dates back to ancient Greece, is one of the most beautiful towns in the region. In addition to cultural attractions, such as the “wonderful Roman-Apulian-style cathedral”, tourists can enjoy 44 km of beaches. At the other end of the gulf, Gino Fusco recommends visiting Santa Magherita di Savoia, a destination “popular with bird watchers” and famous for its salt marshes where many flamingos congregate. Finally, Gino Fusco also advises to visit the municipality of Monte Sant’Angelo and its surroundings which have two sites classified as World Heritage by UNESCO: the Sanctuary of Monte Gargano (or Sanctuary of the Archangel Saint Michael) and the park. National Gargano.
GULF OF NOTO, SICILY
The Val di Noto will delight all lovers of Sicily. This famous valley located in the south-east of the island is inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Between cultural visits and excursions by the sea, the Val di Noto will meet all your expectations. “The seafront is just a ten-minute drive from the town of Noto,” says Giuseppe Lenzo, an independent tour operator. If the Val di Noto has become popular with international travelers, Giuseppe Lenzo specifies that the coastal sites of the Gulf remain “small destinations off the beaten track”, known above all by Italians.
The beaches : Giuseppe Lenzo recommends the beaches of ” Calamosche, San Lorenzo, White Fountains and the Vendicari nature reserve », Where you can watch the flamingos feeding in the ponds. “The beach ofIsland of the Currents worth a visit and a swim. This strip of land between the Ionian Sea and the Mediterranean Sea allows tourists to experience different currents and temperatures: a real discovery! », Adds Giuseppe Lenzo.
Cities to visit: The independent tour operator recommends visiting the towns of Marzamemi and Portopalo di Capo Passero. “Marzamemi has a picturesque historic center. In addition, Marzamemi and Portopalo offer beautiful seaside walks and are famous for the ancient practice of tuna fishing. Portopalo also has an islet with an old fort, ”explains Giuseppe Lenzo. The climate is one of the region’s other assets. Located near the south-eastern tip of the island, Val di Noto offers “a wonderful climate all year round” and the local specialties are also excellent, including the famous Pachino tomatoes.
GULF OF SQUILLACE, CALABRE
Francesca Montillo, founder of Lazy Italian Culinary Adventures, a travel agency specializing in gastronomic tours in Italy, says that during her childhood in a town near the Gulf of Squillace, the beaches were mainly frequented by locals and locals. . Due to the popularity of the beaches during high season, Francesca Montillo recommends coming early in the morning, late afternoon or off season (May, June, September or early October).
The beaches : For Francesca Montillo, the beaches of Caminia, Copanello and Pietragrande are among the most beautiful beaches in the Gulf. “In Caminia, the coastline is full of caves and archaeological sites. The sea is transparent and very calm. Snorkeling and night diving are very popular activities, but the caves attract the most people. They are accessible by swimming or paddle boarding, ”explains Francesca Montillo.
The latter appreciates Copanello for its crystal clear water, “ideal for swimming and snorkeling. The Gulf of Squillace is also famous for fishing. “If you go there early in the morning, you have a good chance of encountering many fishermen,” says Francesca Montillo. By the way, “it’s common to just sit in the water and watch the fish come to your feet. “
Pietragrande is probably the most famous seaside resort in the region. It attracts many visitors in July and August. “There are only a few chargeable lidos, the rest is a public beach, which makes it difficult to find a place. The water is turquoise and beautiful, ”adds Francesca Montillo. During the high season, she also recommends going to the beaches of Soverato and Squillace to avoid the crowd.
Cities to visit: For Francesca Montillo it is essential to visit Copanello and Caminia. “These two towns have wonderful residential areas, beautiful houses and the beaches are quickly accessible by walking. The landscapes are simply amazing. »In summer, rentals leave quickly due to the proximity to the seafront.
What specialties to taste: “Freshly caught swordfish, mixed fried, squid and anchovies are wonderful options. The appetizers seafood is excellent, but don’t forget the charcuterie, another specialty of the region, ”says Francesca Montillo. The latter recommends tasting the ‘nduja, a spicy pork sausage and a typical Calabrian product.
Article translated from Forbes US – Author: Catherine Sabino