Beach resorts sout of Rome

Old Jun 22nd, 2003, 03:58 PM
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Beach resorts sout of Rome

We would love to hear of any experiences at beach resorts south of Rome. We are looking for great beaches with a town that offers action, but not over run with tourists.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2003, 04:29 PM
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The 2 main seaside resorts near Rome are Ostia and Fregene which in Summer become very lively and sometimes overcrowded places, both day and night (some roman discos move to these beaches during the summer). Ostia has some archaeological interest too if you are interested in that.
Going southwards I won't recommend Torvajanica because HORDS of people from the neighbouring villages go there when it gets really too hot in town, so it is better to avoid it (the beach and the sea are not great). I would recommend Anzio (lively little town, good for a day). I particularly like the area that goes from San Felice Circeo (it has a WWF natural park and it is lively in summer), Sabaudia, Terracina and in particular Sperlonga (which I recommend), which is a lovely little town with characteristic white houses, little lanes and beautiful views. These places are from 30 to 50 kilometers south of Rome. I advise to drive along the coastal road (strada litoranea) and stop whenever you find a charming place. Terracina has beautiful beaches and quite clear sea, but it tends to be pretty crowded in summer. Last but not least I can also suggest you to take a ferry from Formia or Anzio and go to PONZA, which is one of the islands of the region Lazio. Really pretty and worth a visit if you can.
As I have stated all these places tend to be crowded in Summer (mainly july and august but also now in June due to the exceptional heat wave that has struck central Italy), but in September they are calmer. It depends on when you are supposed to go.
Lots of restaurants along the road, some facing the beaches. Great sea food, ask for "insalata di mare", very fresh and tasty or "spaghetti alla marinara" (not as intended in the american way, that is with tomatoes and garlic which I have eaten in California (Olive Garden)and which has nothing to do with anything really "marinaro", but with clams).
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Old Jun 22nd, 2003, 05:20 PM
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We stayed for a week in Livinio, about 30 miles south of Rome, a few years ago. While I wouldn't necesarily promote Livinio itself as a fabulous place, it was a "real" Italian beach resort town - not only not overrun with tourists, we never saw one who wasn't Italian - and it had great beaches, a decent mix of restaurants and shops, and a train station that could take us right to Rome if we wanted.
That said, we thought the beach towns of Sperlonga and Gaeta were also lovely and not overrun by anyone. And there are some fascinating hilltowns and other things to be seen just off the main highway south. Our impression was that this was an area of Italy - and we've been to many parts of Italy over many years - that was rather neglected by tourists.
The towns north of Livinio but south of Rome struck us as on the tacky side - way too many shops selling blow-up beach toys and cheap sandals and grody-looking campsites and cheap and ugly beach architecture. My impression was that things started to get attractive around Livinio and improved southwards.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2003, 06:20 PM
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St. Cirq:
the correct name is LAVINIO not LIVINIO (which can be mistakenly taken as LIVIGNO, a fashionable mountainn resort in northern Italy.
I agree with St Cirq, I spent many summers in Lavinio (my grandfather had a house there for some time), and while the beaches are ok (I prefer those of Sperlonga and Terracina though), the shops were really cheap and tacky. On the same line is Torvajanica (avoid it if you can urghhhh. There is a part of the Torvajanica beach called "LA FOSSA" which in summer turns into a exodus-like place: noisy, dirty (people leave what they have used during the day all over the beach), with hardly a place where to lay down...).
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Old Jun 22nd, 2003, 06:27 PM
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I second the recommendation of San Felice di Circeo. I stayed there for a few days last summer and it is a lovely area. The hydrofoil to Ponza also leaves from this town once a day and only takes 55 minutes, the shortest crossing to Ponza available. Ponza is a great island; lots to see and do, especially if you rent a boat at the main harbor.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2003, 07:06 PM
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Actually another island (less touristy but not less attractive than Ponza) near Ponza is Ventotene. Lovely quiet beaches, little villages. The island is only a mile long!
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Old Jun 23rd, 2003, 02:27 AM
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Despite the fact that it is tiny, Ventoitene is quite important in italian history because it was one of the main areas where the Italian "dissidents" dufing the fascist period were concentrated. It was not a lager-like place, the prisoners were forced to stay in houses of the island, they had not to congregate (cold not be seen with more than 2-3 other people) and were not allowed to write or read, apart from this they lived in a relative ease (actually better than in a prison). A few books and movies, base on the stories of communist, socialist, or catholic opposers are set in Ventotene. "L'Isola" by Giorgio Amendola. Also you may like to see the movie "Ferie d'agosto" (http://us.imdb.com/Title?0116296), about two completely different families who rent two confining houses in Ventotene and end up spending the summer fighting a kind of war.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2003, 07:36 AM
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The answer is Sperlonga--hard to beat.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2003, 08:00 AM
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Mi dispiace, Battufolina - you are of course correct that it is Lavinio, not Livinio.
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Old Jun 25th, 2003, 02:24 PM
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THANKS to all. Great insight, we will have fun this weekend investigating all the leads. Batuffolina, thanks for all your imputs, they are greatly appreciated.
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