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  • Meredith Peters

Italy's Best Kept Secret...The Adriatic Coast

Rumor has it that the beaches and seaside villages along Italy’s Eastern Coast aren’t more popular with foreign travelers because the Italians want to keep them a secret. There may be some truth to this idea, as come summertime, they are populated predominately by Italians. They come to lounge on the beaches, enjoy the warm waters of the Adriatic and feast on the abundance of fresh local produce. The Amalfi Coast may have its charms, but here is where Italians chose to spend their holidays.

Seven regions make up the nearly 700 miles of Adriatic coastline, including little-known Friuli. Bordering Austria and Slovenia, tiny Friuli is sought out both for its long stretches of sandy beaches and the dramatic Julian Alps. Once part of the Hapsburg Empire, the influence can still be felt in the region’s elegant architecture and hearty food, more Central European than Italian. Trieste, the small cosmopolitan capital, is a distinctly handsome town, where fin de siècle cafes serve Sacher torte and the beach is never more than a few minutes’ walk. This is the ideal location for those who like a dose of refined culture to balance their time at the shore.

Traveling down the coast, La Mache and Abruzzo are traditional agricultural regions, rarely visited by tourists. Both feature a gorgeous, undulating countryside and charming seaside retreats. The enchanting villages of Numana and Vasto are tranquil spots. Vasto in particular has long stretches of unspoiled coastline, while beautiful Numana, sited on a dramatic cliff overlooking the sea, attracts holidaymakers for its small isolated coves.

Puglia, the heel of Italy’s boot, is one of those places where the languid pace seems to make time pass in slow motion. A land of olive groves and 15th-century convents, ancient fortresses and crumbling stone trulli, Puglia also possesses pristine beaches and world-class hotels. The idyllic spa town of Santa Cesarea Terme, where hot springs feed a centuries-old spa industry, is another great choice, as is Poligano a Mare, where the sheer limestone cliffs attract competitive cliff divers from all over the world.

Are you ready to explore the Adriatic Coast? Let me know, I'd love to help get you there!


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