Passions & Places

The Coast & the Beaches








Beside the Seaside

Here we travel southwards along the Marche region's 180 kilometres of Adriatic coastline. It's not so much a route for you to follow, more a guide to the area's inviting seaside resorts.

There are basically two types of beach resort in the Marche. First there are the bigger places with a lively atmosphere, busy night-life, plenty of visitors from abroad and a string of hotels along the prom. Good examples include (from north to south) Gabicce Mare, Pesaro, Senigallia, and San Benedetto del Tronto.

Then there are the many smaller resorts with less spectacular beaches and more rented villa and apartment accommodation rather than hotels. These places are often filled for the short summer season by Italian families who return each year. The adults will always sigh that they're only there for the sakes of the bambini but secretly love it. And there's always the mobile telefonino so they can pretend to be in the office. Although these beaches have less obvious charms than the bigger resorts, they are often friendly places with a certain old-fashioned feel to them.

A couple of places that don't fit into either category are the handful of resorts nestling under the lone peak of Monte Conero. Here you'll find rocky coves and white limestone cliffs totally unlike any other stretch of the Adriatic from Trieste in the north to Italy's "spur" at Gargano in the south - a much more Mediterranean experience.

All the resorts in the region have a short season; basically they only feel crowded from mid-July to the third week of August. Come in mid-June or right at the end of August/early September and you'll have plenty of room with reasonably reliable weather. Most places are pretty well closed up from October through to early May.

Although all resorts have a stretch or two of free public beach (spiaggia libera), it's often at the least attractive end of the strand and is rarely as clean as the pay beaches. Anyway, if you want the real Italian beach experience choose from one of the many pay sections with their ranks of umbrellas and sun beds. They're usually not expensive, have all the facilities you could want and are the best place to see Italians up close. If you're staying at a resort hotel, free access to one of these beach concessions is usually included in the price.

All the places described can be easily reached off the A14 Bologna-Pescara toll motorway. They also all lie on or near the well-served main Milan-Bari railway line.

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