The Coronavirus pandemic continues to dominate everyday life. But the progress of the vaccination campaigns gives hope that travelling might be possible again in summer, so that we can slowly dream of a holiday in Italy again. With more than 4,500 miles or 7,600km of coastline to take advantage of, there is more than enough room for social distancing while enjoying the crystalline waters of the Italian seas lap against dreamy paradises worthy of a postcard.
From Liguria to Sicily, we have selected for you some of the most beautiful coastal towns in Italy for a holiday this year 2021. Take this opportunity to enjoy a quiet stroll along the water's edge, enjoying the sunshine and admiring the architectural beauty and history of these charming places, all while staying in the perfect holiday home.
Sciacca: a natural spa in ancient surroundings
In the Italian province of Agrigento you will find Sciacca, a maritime town with thousands of years of history. Entering through one of the four gates of the city, you will immediately be sent to another world with beautiful city walls, winding alleys, monuments and buildings all hinting to the city's incredible past.
Throughout the centuries, Sciacca has experienced moments of great prestige, thanks to its thermal baths, which have made it famous since ancient times. From the slopes of Mount Kronio with its hot springs that are still a strong tourist attraction in this area today.
While in Sciacca, you can’t miss the Castello Incantato and the Castello delle Luna, the stuccoes and frescoes of the Church of Santa Margherita, the Basilica Maria Santissima del Soccorso and the Palazzo Arone Valentino, all framed by the stunning blue of the sea shining on the horizon.
Tropea: the jewel of the Coast of the Gods
Further down the Costa degli Dei (Coast of the Gods), in the province of Vibo Valentia, we find Tropea, a town famous for its gorgeous beaches and tasty local cuisine. The hillside geography of the place naturally divides it into two parts, the upper old town and the lower Marina, near the sea and the port.
The beaches in Tropea, with their fine white sand, are the most attractive in the area. Among the most beautiful are the beaches of Cannone, Rotonda, Occhiale and Convento. The clear blue waters and the wealth of marine life on the seabed make it the perfect destination for lovers of snorkelling and diving.
You can enjoy an impressive view in Tropea from the historical centre higher up on the hill, especially at sunset. Immerse yourself in the joyful liveliness of its narrow streets full of shops, taverns, typical products and local artisan handicrafts. Absolutely unmissable is a visit to the Sanctuary of Santa Maria dell'Isola, a medieval church that has become the symbol of the city.
Polignano a Mare: a charming fishing village
The town of Polignano a Mare rises from a rocky spur overlooking the Adriatic Sea. There are so many reasons to visit this beautiful city in the province of Bari this summer 2020, from the intense blue of the sea and the white houses that shine in the sun to the old town with its walls full of poetry and the alleys you can get lost in, plus the balconies in bloom and the smells from Italian kitchens mixing with the salty air.
Among the things to see in Polignano are the Palazzo dell'Orologio palace, the bronze statue of Domenico Modugno, and the ancient Via Traiana bridge which crosses Lama Monachile, the symbol of the city.
Every year since 2008, Polignano a Mare has always received the Blue Flag status for certifying its spectacular beaches. It is also famous for marine caves and you can enjoy daily boat trips which will take you to discover these natural wonders.
Cefalù: a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2015, Cefalù is a small town in the province of Palermo, home to water which so clear that it looks like a swimming pool.
Among the narrow streets of the old town you will find the cathedral and a small port, while in one of the many small restaurants you can taste some typical Sicilian delicacies.
Make sure to visit the Norman Cathedral as it is the most famous monument of Cefalù, as well as Corso Ruggero which is the main street of the city that divides Cefalù into two exact halves. One side is characterised by narrow streets, alleys, tight passages and arches, while in the other there are wider and more spacious streets.
Sestri Levante: the city of two seas
Sestri Levante, renamed as città dei due mari (city of the two seas) by the writer Hans Christian Andersen, is located in the province of Genoa and is one of the last cities in the Gulf of Tigullio. This name derives from the fact that its historic centre is dominated by two bays, the Favole and the Silenzio, separated by a narrow land bridge linking the oldest part of the city with the mainland, which makes for a breathtakingly beautiful landscape.
The religious buildings and palaces that stand in this charming town are evidence of the city's glorious past. A stroll through the narrow streets of the city centre will take you to discover great artistic and architectural treasures.
From May to September, Sestri Levante is the venue for numerous musical events such as the Bach Festival, the Mojotic Festival and the Sestri Live Festival. You also can’t discover this city without trying its excellent wine and cuisine: the famous focaccia, the chickpea farinata, the testaroli with pesto, the traditional ciuppin fish soup) and the anchovies.
Positano: the vertical city
Undoubtedly one of the most famous cities on the Amalfi Coast, Positano is called the vertical city, as it really seems to defy the laws of gravity with its colourful houses, tightly packed onto the beautiful hillside, almost on the point of falling into the sea. Known as the Italian Montecarlo, it will conquer you with its thousands of steps, alleys, terraces, hanging gardens and an unparalleled panoramic view of the Gulf of Naples.
Make sure to visit the beautiful Church of Santa María Assunta, enjoy a boat trip for the best photos of this hillside paradise, as well as enjoying the best of the views of the gulf from Sentiero degli dei, a panoramic path that goes from Positano to Agerola.