In mid to late August, my family (me, my husband and our three kids - ages almost 10,7 and 6) will be driving from Sicily to northern Italy. We have about a week, , so I wanted to stop at a beach area for a few days on the way up. We don't mind driving ten hours if we had to, or spending the last two days in the car. (We are ex pats in Europe so no time change or flights to contend with - just need to back with a day or two to recover before the kids have to return to school). We will be visiting family and sightseeing in Sicily so while I am keen to see a few historical sites, our plan is wander around small towns, discover new Italian playgrounds, enjoy good food and sit on a beach. Many years ago I visited Sorrento (without my husband) and loved it! I didn't make it onto Capril or to the Grotto, but did get to take a beautiful boat ride around the islands and the coast- and always said that I would return. It was touristy then, but I have heard it is even more crowded these days and especially in August, so I am thinking that may not be the best place to make our base. Our children would love to visit Pompeii and Herculeanus (and Mt Vesuvius, assuming it is open), which made me lean towards making our base on the Amalfi coast. I am open to stopping in Pompeii area for two or so days and then driving up the east or west coast and stopping somewhere else that is pretty, has good food, kid friendly, swimming (we prefer sandy beaches over rocky beaches) and is moderately priced. We are amenable to campgrounds that provide cabins or where you can rent tents as we will not have them with us. Our kids have been to Italy a few times and covered much of the northern part so we are leaning towards staying somewhere in the south. I took them to Cinque Terre in October and they enjoyed it, although it was too cold to swim so we did boat trips and hiking, not really "beach" stuff. We were in South of France this May and while they liked it - the beaches were very rocky, which made it difficult. I also would be interested to learn if there were other islands, less well known and off the beaten path compared to Capri, where we could stay without it being totally over crowded and over priced.
On that note, if my idea of enjoying a beach holiday in Italy in August is completely unreasonable - please tell me. We can switch gears and take the ferry from Sicily to the north and do something else.
Oh -I should mention we will have our car - a station wagon, so somewhere I can park or that is accessible after I park the car outside of the city center - is key.
Thank you in advance for your ideas, advice and inspiration!
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Searching for beach town in Amalfi area for summer holiday