Italian beach town (after Tuscany)

Jun 15th, 2013, 03:15 PM
  #1  
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Italian beach town (after Tuscany)

Hi,

We are currently planning a trip to Europe next Spring or early Summer with our kids (twins who will be 7 at the time). We want to go to Italy and want to combine it with one other country while we are there (have thought about Greece and Spain, but currently are leaning towards French Riviera). My husband and I have been to Italy a few times and would like to go places we haven't been. I'm hoping to have 3 weeks total for the entire trip.

Given my kids' interests I am currently envisioning a week in the French Riviera mostly at the beach, but also exploring and hopefully with a little museum time. They are good hikers and love the beach and pools. Then I think it would be good to spend about a week in Tuscany at a place with a pool and then another week in a small town with good beaches, also in Italy and preferrably not too terribly far from Tuscany. Hiking options would be good. My husband and I have been to the Amalfi Coast and to the Cinque Terre. I'd love to find someplace in Italy with a similar small, quaint feeling with good food but also with a nice sandy beach.

I've searched the forums and came up with a bunch of suggestions in Puglia, but that is further than I'd like to travel especially with the kids.

So, anyone know of a good sandy beach town not too far from Tuscany?

Thank you!

Daria
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Jun 15th, 2013, 05:22 PM
  #2  
 
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Look into Levanto, nice town, couple of minutes on train to CT
leuk2 is offline  
Jun 15th, 2013, 05:36 PM
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I second leuk2's suggestion of Levanto. It's a nice town but a more conventional beach town than the five villages. And you can easily return to the CT for quick visits - it's part of the same national park.
Andrew is online now  
Jun 15th, 2013, 07:06 PM
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Santa Margherita Liguria's beach was rocky, but it had lots of families and kid friendly shows the nights we were there. Even if you don't stay there, I think that your children would like taking the ferry to San Fruttuoso (a small beach and abbey). You can also walk there from Portfino or Camogli (what I've read).
babylon is offline  
Jun 15th, 2013, 08:42 PM
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Just north of Pisa, Viareggio and Forte dei Marmi have wide sandy beaches.

http://www.theflorentine.net/article...ssuetocId=3411
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Jun 15th, 2013, 09:45 PM
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Thank you luek2 and Andrew for the Levanto tip! What else can you tell me about it? Is it small? How is the food? And what do you mean by "a more conventional beach town" Andrew? Not sure I know what that means in Italy. Thanks!

I've been to Santa Marghertia Liguria, and we want to go someplace we haven't been, so I don't think we will do that one. Also, the kids love sand so we do want a sandy beach.

Thanks for your tips kybourbon. I'll check out that article.
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Jun 15th, 2013, 10:16 PM
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By "conventional beach town" I meant by comparison with the Cinque Terre villages, which as you remember are kind of built in the sides of the hills. Levanto isn't quite flat but is closer than the other towns, without the steep rises and stairs everywhere. It feels a little less exotic. It's also more car-friendly as I recall. (I have stayed in Levanto on two occasions, not because I loved it but because I found it economical and practical for visiting the Cinque Terre villages.)

I wasn't in Levanto in the summer but it looked like a place where families would head to in the summer for a beach vacation. The town seems kind of geared for that kind of tourism.

I don't recall any amazing meals in Levanto, but I didn't make an effort to seek out great restaurants. Usually I was tired from being in the Cinque Terre villages or hiking all day and just wanted to grab some food when I got back.
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Jun 15th, 2013, 10:35 PM
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Thanks Andrew! I just read about Levanto a bit more too and it does seem like a good option. Has anyone gone to the beach there and can you comment on how clean it is? Is the water clean? And is it warm enough to swim? Thank you!
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Jun 15th, 2013, 10:45 PM
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Levanto sounds nice (never been); it is only one stop from Monterosso in CQT. Camogli is a really pretty place - - it has a pebbly beach but sand at the water, and is a picture-perfect town with great evening strolls. Past Genoa resorts like Finale Ligure and Alassio are traditional holiday resorts but the towns aren't as classic. San Remo has a great old city, and so much decaying charm, though beaches are limited (but you could have a nice vacation staying at a grand classic like Lolli Palace with a small beach across the street). Of course there's Rimini, which is all beach, beach shops, and beach restaurants. Consider also Lido di Venezia, which has a small-town resort feel, and allows daytrips to Venice!
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Jun 15th, 2013, 11:54 PM
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P.S. Google Images is a great way to get a look at the beaches and the towns - - just type the name of the town into http://www.google.com/imghp?hl=en&tab=ni to get some general impressions, then type in e.g. "Levanto beach" to get beach shots.
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Jun 16th, 2013, 07:04 AM
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darla, I went swimming in the ocean off Levanto the first time I was there, in October a couple of years ago. I honestly don't remember if the beach was deserted or had many people on it, but I do remember the water being pretty warm; it had been warm outside (about 80F) the previous days when I was hiking. My guess would be the water would not be as warm in the spring.
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Jun 16th, 2013, 09:06 AM
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Camogli that is a bit closer to France is a lovely old towm. Has a beach, but not sandy. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/camogli You could also look at the cover of this months Travel and Leisure, plus an article.
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Jun 16th, 2013, 01:41 PM
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Almost all the towns of the Italian Riviera are identical. They only differ in whether they are large or small.

If you are going in Spring, the Italian Riviera can be VERY rainy. It isn't really free of significant rain until June 10 or later.

Have you considered a Sicilian island or Sicily itself!
stevewith is offline  
Jun 16th, 2013, 01:43 PM
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(sorry, that should have been a question mark and not an exclamation point.(

If you want sand beaches, consider the Adriatic, but only in true summer (mid-June to mid-September).
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Jun 16th, 2013, 04:06 PM
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Thanks all. I am thinking we will probably want to go in June and be gone before July when all of Italy goes on vacation and goes to the beach. I hope that will be warm enough for the beach.

I haven't considered Sicily although I'm sure my husband would like to go. I can think about it but I was thinking the less time it takes to get in between destinations, the better (because of the kids).

I'll look into these new suggestions. Thanks!!
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Jun 17th, 2013, 04:43 AM
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Since you're heading to Tuscany, I would suggest the "Argentario" area. It has two very long sandy beaches ("Feniglia" and "Giannella", a lagoon, and rocky coves to be explored by boat. You can also take a ferry to "isola del Giglio, an enchanting small island with a small little fishermen harbor and a middle age fortified village on the top of the hill). Argentario is 2-3 hours driving south of Florence.

Talamone could be a good base(https://www.google.it/search?q=Talam...1280&bih=711): small hence very nice anl lively hamlet, excellent base to visit the Maremma area, the wonderfull "Monti dell'Uccellina" natural park and, of course, the beaches of Feniglia or Giannella.
You can sleep in a Farm House ("agriturismo" - they are usually nice, with garden and swimming pool) or, if budget is not an issue, at lovely hotel Torre dell'Osa (http://torredellosa.it)

Get back to me if you would like more info.
Enjoy

JP
Follow my travel blog: ww.delightfullyitaly.com
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Jun 17th, 2013, 07:01 PM
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Wow, thank you JP. Those are great suggestions. I will look into them!
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