Five classic Italian beach escapes

sail-boats-positano-photo

Boats in the Portofino harbour.

Italy is one of the premier luxury beach destinations in Europe, with an outstanding reputation that spans centuries. During the Roman times, the Emperors built impressive villas along the coast or on the surrounding islands as a retreat – one Emperor even made Capri his home! In more recent times, Europe’s elite as well as Hollywood celebrities have made Italy their summer destination of choice, staying at one of many historic villas that have been converted into stunning hotels – not one summer passes without another photo of a celebrity or royal frolicking in the warm waters of the Italian coast. Visitors come to experience the laid-back Italian lifestyle at its best, combining time on the beach with strolls in gorgeous coastal towns, exquisite cuisine and visits to historic and cultural attractions. To get you acquainted with some of Italy’s best and most-loved luxurious beach getaways, I’ve chosen five destinations and paired each with an accommodation option that is sure to get you itching for some ‘La Dolce Vita’!

Amalfi Coast

The Amalfi coast is a stretch of coastline on the Sorrento Peninsula in southern Italy, near the city of Naples. In 1997, the coast was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. The Amalfi coast has been one of Italy’s beach hotspots for centuries. With its dramatic coastline, picturesque cliff-hugging villages and crystal-clear coves, the region is a magnet for the well-heeled who come here to enjoy long, lazy meals (and a shot or two of limoncello, a local lemon liquer) and the spectacular views from their luxurious accommodations. Towns such as Positano, Ravello and Amalfi, with their breathtaking scenery, also attract many tourists and day-trippers. In the surrounding region, historic sites and towns such as Pompeii, Mount Vesuvius, Naples and Sorrento provide visitors with a plethora of things to do and see.

Positano-photo

Positano

The Palazzo Murat is the former palace of the King of Naples, Joachim Murat. Located amidst lush, centuries-old gardens and offering magnificent views of Positano and the sea, the palazzo is one of the most luxurious accommodations on the Amalfi coast. Imagine breakfast every morning on your private terrace with this fabulous view!

Dreamy views from Palazzo Murat.

Dreamy views from Palazzo Murat.

Liguria

The Liguria peninsula is a short drive east of Genoa in northwestern Italy. Liguria, often referred to as the Italian Riviera, is a favourite holiday destination amongst many Milanese and the global jet-set (think royal families, Madonna, Rihanna… and you get the picture!) who come here to stay at one of the stunning villas that dot the coast or moor their flashy yachts in one of the secluded coves. The peninsula is dotted with many gorgeous fishing towns such as Santa Margherita, Camogli and Portofino (the perfect place for celebrity-spotting). A short drive away are the beautiful villages of Cinque Terre, another famous region of Liguria. Cinque Terre is perhaps most famous for the villages that cling precariously to the steep slopes of mountains that seemingly plunge into the sea. A drive along the coastal road is a spectacular experience.

portofino-harbor-photo

Portofino

The La Sosta Di Ottone III is a luxurious bed and breakfast housed in a 16th century building. Located in Levanto, in the heart of Cinque Terre, La Sosta is the perfect base for anyone wishing to explore Cinque Terre and the Ligurian peninsula.

La Sosta di Ottone in Levanto.

Levanto in Cinque Terre

Capri

This little rocky island just off the Sorrento Peninsula and on the fringe of the Gulf of Naples is a popular day-trip for visitors from Naples and the Amalfi Coast, who come to stroll around the lovely town with its quaint, white-washed streets and enjoy the dramatic coastal views from a boat tour (which also includes the magical Blue Grotto). Despite the day-trippers, there are many secluded spots where one can truly experience the island’s magic. During the Roman era, Emperor Augustus considered the island his private paradise and built villas, temples and aqueducts. In the 1st century AD, Emperor Tiberius lived on Capri in his stately villas (one of them, Villa Jovis is one of the best-preserved Roman villas in Italy) and ran the Empire from his home on the island. Capri has long been another of Italy’s hotspots for the jet-set – this is evident from the celebrity photos which adorn the doors and walls of many shops and restaurants in the town of Capri. On a clear day, the views from the town across the Gulf of Naples to Mount Vesuvius are simply breathtaking.

Evening view of Capri.

Evening view of Capri.

Hotel Excelsior Parco is a gorgeous hotel located on the higher elevations of Capri, boasting panoramic views of the, the mainland (including Sorrento, Naples and Mount Vesuvius) and the sea. The hotel offers classic rooms with a private patio and deluxe rooms with a jacuzzi and a terrace.

Views from Hotel Excelsior Parco in Capri.

Views from Hotel Excelsior Parco in Capri.

Sardinia

Sardinia is the second-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, after Sicily. Whilst its interior is largely mountainous and forested, its coastline is dotted with stunning sandy beaches and bright, turquoise coves. Most visitors come to Sardinia to swim in its crystal-clear water, hike in the mountains, explore the nuraghi (mysterious ancient rock structures) and visit its many historic towns such as Cagliari, Alghero and Bosa. The most luxurious resorts are located on the northeastern coast along the Costa Smeralda and the southwestern coast.

Villasimius in Sardinia (image courtesy of Emmequadro)

Villasimius in Sardinia (image courtesy of Emmequadro)

The Forte Village is situated in Pula, in the southwestern part of Sardinia. The resort offers luxurious bungalows scattered throughout a lush garden, with blue pools and a stunning beach at your doorstep. This resort, also perfect for families, is consistently voted as one of the best in the world.

The beach at Forte Village in Pula.

The beach at Forte Village in Pula.

Ischia

Ischia is a rocky volcanic island located in the Thyrrhenian Sea near the mouth of the Gulf of Naples. The island is most famous as a spa retreat. With its abundance of hot springs, the island attracts people from around the world who visit the island to bathe in the springs and slap on a thick layer of volcanic mud. Ischia also has many beautiful beaches and historic sites such as the imposing Castello Aragonese and the beautiful gardens of La Mortella and Villa Ravino.

Castello Aragonese (image courtesy of Phlegrean)

Castello Aragonese in Ischia (image courtesy of Phlegrean)

Villa Margherita ‘Maison de Charme’ is located in the charming village of Sant Angelo d’Ischia atop a ridge and has unforgettable sea views. Breakfast is served on the private terrace at your preferred time.

Breakfast is served on the private terrace at Villa Margherita.

Breakfast is served on the private terrace at Villa Margherita.

Note: this post was brought to you in partnership with The Luxer.

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16 Responses to “Five classic Italian beach escapes”

  1. locations in sardinia 14/01/2014 4:06 pm
    #

    The south of Italy has among the best beaches in the world.
    Among the most beautiful I would put even CALA DI budoni (Olbia-Tempio) and STINTINO (SASSARI)

  2. Liv 24/10/2013 3:39 pm
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    Some great spots here. Love the colours of Italy!

  3. Trusted Luxury Cruises 27/09/2013 5:34 am
    #

    Great list! Ischia looks really neat.

  4. Keith Jenkins 27/08/2013 8:22 am
    #

    looks like you have to go soon! :-)

  5. rob hermans 22/08/2013 9:25 pm
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    can you imagine that I have NEVER EVER been to Italy….????

  6. Tajamal 18/08/2013 5:35 pm
    #

    Thanks for highlighting one of my favorite country to travel.

  7. Barbara 14/08/2013 7:46 pm
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    Get choice of locations for an Italian beach escape! So romantic and beautiful, the evening scene of Capri is outstanding! Positano is one of our favorite locations along the Amalfi coast, it hard to beat that setting. As you mentioned it’s also a great location for day trip to some of the historic sites nearby.

  8. Keith Jenkins 05/08/2013 10:03 am
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    Thanks Jennifer! :-)

  9. Jennifer Young 03/08/2013 3:31 pm
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    Great selection! I have been to most of these destinations and this is a great “go to” list!

  10. Keith Jenkins 02/08/2013 11:48 am
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    Thank you Sarah! :-)

  11. sarah jacob 02/08/2013 10:56 am
    #

    Italy is really beautiful country nice beaches , fashion hub , monuments and food …..and you describe Italy beaches perfectly Nice post Keith …

  12. Keith Jenkins 01/08/2013 1:52 pm
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    Glad you liked the post Anne! :-)

    Cheers,
    Keith

  13. Anne de Buck 01/08/2013 1:02 pm
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    Blogs like this remind me how beautiful Europe is! Should go to Italy next year :-). Love the food and the beaches in your blog just look so gooed! Thank you for sharing.
    Anne

  14. Keith Jenkins 01/08/2013 11:58 am
    #

    Rimini too! :-)

  15. Melvin 31/07/2013 8:19 pm
    #

    What about Rimini??? ;-)

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  1. The 6 Best Travel Blogs - The Classic Blog - 13/08/2014

    […] favourite post in particular is ‘Five classic Italian beach escapes’ http://velvetescape.com/2013/07/luxury-beach-getaways-italy/ which highlights the best places to visit on luxury beach holidays in Italy. From the stunning […]

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