Italy Motorhome is available at most locations through Italy and Sicily.From the savage beauty of the east coast where towering cliffs plunge into the turquoise depths of the Ionian Sea to the island of Capri, Italy has something to satisfy all tastes.
Steeped in fascinating and ancient history and famous for its splendid cuisine, Italy is a country of contrast where time often appears to have stood still just a stone’s throw from some of Europe’s most cosmopolitan cities. Modern, vibrant and yet gloriously picturesque, Italy can’t possible fail to satisfy even the most discerning tourist.
Dotted along her seven and a half thousand kilometre coastline are a plethora of beach resorts ranging from simple village resorts used mainly by the locals and largely undiscovered by the wider arms of tourism to swanky, up-market Riviera ports where the rich gather to relax amongst the fashionable waterfront cafes and wander the boutique lined lanes.
At the very top of the eastern coast we find Rimini, the tourist’s playground famous for its lively beach and popular, vivacious nightlife. With temperatures running high during summer, it’s little wonder that visitors from all over the world are beckoned by the cool, azure waters of the Adriatic sea. But the town has more to offer. Tiny narrow streets, picturesque squares and exquisite fountains offer the visitor a reminder of times past and a restful alternative to the busy seafront.
Further south lies one of the finest seaside resorts of central Italy. Also buzzing with vibrant nightlife and offering a combination of sailing, diving and swimming in the crystal clear waters of the Adriatic sea, Francavilla al Mara is a fast-growing resort that’s becoming hugely popular amongst the younger crowd. This is the place to be chic and be seen.
Moving right down to Italy’s “boot” we find the little visited resorts of Catanzaro Lido, Soverato and Montepaone. Mostly used by local tourists, the sweeping beaches lining the cool waters of the Ionian Sea offer refreshing bathing in the hot, dry climate of the south. Fine fish-based cuisine is served in the many small tavernas and is often washed down with Bivongi, the local wine named after the tiny town from whose vineyards the grapes are derived.
The west coat of central Italy is home to Sperlonga, a delightful seaside resort with clean, sandy beaches and situated just south of Rome. Its charming whitewashed houses cling to the steep hills of the headland where narrow stairways lead up to flat terraces where the visitor can rest and enjoy views of the town and out to sea.
Although several islands can be found off the west coast, only two are populated. Both Pontine islands have regular ferry connections with the mainland.
Ponza is the larger of the two and although often compared with Capri, is far less spoiled and much cheaper. Mostly frequented by the rich and famous wishing to enjoy a low profile, it has a genteel atmosphere that is also enjoyed by wealthy local Romans who own exclusive holiday homes on the island.
At the very top of the western coast and boasting one of the most attractive Mediterranean coastlines in Europe is the province of Genova. With its solid traditions and long sea-faring history, the province coastline is generously peppered with traditional Riviera resorts such as Santa Margherita Ligure where the balmy climate and relaxing, somewhat up-market atmosphere attracts visitors from near and far.
Moving slightly north we find the pretty fishing village of Portofino, a popular stopping off point for the wealthy yachting set and renown for its superb restaurants and fashionable boutiques. Although buzzing with life during the summer months, it still retains an air of charm and tranquillity that’s unmatched elsewhere.
Occupying the eastern end of the Riviera are the five “Cinque Terre” villages, a group of five villages lying on the La Spezia Gulf, each with a laid back atmosphere. Unusually, most of the hotels in the villages refuse to accept advance bookings but still the visitor can find accommodation difficult to find. Well maintained walking trails that wind through olive groves and vineyards connect each village with its neighbour and offer stunning views of the Tyrrhenian coast.
As we head for the border to France we enter San Remo, celebrated for its casino and Riviera coastline of eternal springtime and a magnet for the rich and famous.
Further along this strip of steep and narrow coastline are a number of village resorts that have retained their original charm. Together they offer a combination of ancient fisherman’s houses, elegant shops, a tangle of old, narrow streets, superb beaches and seafront promenades lined with restaurants offering the very best international cuisine. It’s to these shores that affluent Europeans retire, attracted by the warm climate and the relaxing lifestyle of the rural villages.
So whether you want to disappear amongst the throngs of tourists enjoying 24-hour entertainment in some of Europe’s most popular resorts or relax amongst the locals in a tranquil village where gentle waves lap at deserted sandy beaches, Italy has a resort that’s perfect for you.
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