August 27, 2014

A rule to find the best beaches in Italy

Elba Island, Tuscany
When it's time to look for the most gorgeous beach for your next travel plans, the rule is one: the best one is the most hard to reach!
You are already imagining it: a place where no trains arrive, where buses are to big to pass through the narrow road, where the closest bar is one mile far. Where lazy tourists don't go and you are the boss. Where can you find such a place in Italy? Are you thinking at the Amalfi coast? Yes, an idyllic place, with incredible coves down the cliffs, like this... But you're wrong! You wouldn't find more than one meter of empty space among all the tiny beaches of the small villages along this coast. That's not a place 'hard to reach'.
What about the islands? Yes, the islands are the answer. Sicily, Sardinia are known to be the best summer destinations of the mediterranean sea. But you're wrong again! Unless you don't go there in winter, half of the italian population would be crowding every corner of the hottest regions of the country.

The right answer are the tiny islands that surround the Italian coast, from Tuscany to the south of Italy, to the Adriatic side. Maybe they are not as many and as renowned as in the Greek sea, but, remembering the rule, this is the reason why Italian islands are more attractive than Greek ones: there are no airports and even few ferries to reach them. And if you want to look for information about ferries, good luck!
But I am here to help you, at least to introduce you 'the best beaches of Italy'.
So, let's start by Elba and Giglio (maybe you have heard of this one lately in newspaper reports). Did you know that in Tuscany, aside open-air museums like Florence and Siena, leaning towers, walled medieval villages on top of rolling hills, there are also these two wonderful islands?

Elba Island 

Crystal clear waters, almost 150 km of coastline with beaches hidden in coves, white sand or shaded from gray to red, and lush green. Just the right size (not too big to hide the sea if you go inside, but not too small to be stepping on feet with the other tourists), the Island of Elba is a little gem in the Tyrrhenian Sea.
Elba Island, Tuscany

The Mountain Capanne, 1019 meters high, gives the island an impressive profile, but its real value is the unspoilt creeks to reach by boat or on foot, climbing on the rocks. It is the ideal destination for those who love water sports (swimming, surfing, scuba diving), but also for those who prefer hiking or mountain biking, walking in the nature of the various paths that lead to the characteristic medieval villages or clinging to the mines of iron.
With the opportunity, perhaps, to run into a catalan sanctuary at the end of a path of brooms, into a Roman altar hidden behind a row of vines or in a medieval tower. Portoferraio is the capital and one of the oldest villages of the island, of Etruscan origins. The appearance it has today, however, is the one given by Cosimo de Medici, who in the sixteenth century rebuilt the village after it was destroyed by the Saracens. It is very impressive, thanks to the quaint old town, the narrow streets and the old houses with balconies full of flowers. Napoleon staid here on exile ten months in 1814.
There is trace of him everywhere: in his residences (Villa dei Mulini and Villa San Martino), in the Church of Mercy, in the Pauline Rock, but also in the beer brewed here today, called Napoleon, and in the Napoleon source from which the water more sold on the island is drawn. Do not miss the Forte Falcone, Forte Stella (with the lighthouse) and the Linguella Tower too.

Giglio island

Aigilion, "place of goats" in greek, was the name of the Tuscan island now known as Isola del Giglio. Inaccessible land, embraced by the sea in front of the Argentario, Giglio seems just the place for wild animals and climbers.
Giglio Island, Tuscany

Rocks overlooking the sea and granite mountains vie for space with the stain of mastic, myrtle and heather where man has not asked to place the vineyards.
Giglio Porto, Giglio Castello and Giglio Campese constitute the urban, ancient and modern soul, with the remains of a Roman villa immersed in the marine waters the first, with the Pisan walls, the castle and the parish church of the fourteenth century the second, with the the tower of the ’600 the third. And all three with tourist infrastructure, beaches and fragrant paths.

Stay tuned for the next posts about italian small islands!

PS. If you are planning  a trip to these Tuscan islands you can check out available hotels clicking here!

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