10 villages overlooking the sea, 10 rare pearls of our italian landscape, 10 locations that can not be missed during the year of the villages. Ok, we have a lot of pearls in Italy but today we want to show you just some we believe are really worth visiting during the summer on the central coasts of our country.
1. Our tour starts from Tuscany with the hamlet of Giglio Castello, a fraction of the Giglio Island which is located in the highest part of the island. The medieval village is characterized by the impressive Rocca Aldobrandesca, which, together with the walls and towers, is part of the castle complex. Due to its dominant position, from the fortress you can clearly see the Elbe and Corsica. The village is divided into four wards, each with its own symbol and color: Rocca, Centre, Cistern and Casamatta. The Church of St. Peter, the main church that hhosts the treasure of Pope Innocent XIII, is also characteristic. There you can find the magnificent Ebony crucifix by Giambologna and the relics of San Mamiliano, the patron saint of the Island and the Tuscan Archipelago, which is celebrated every September 15th. Usually the festivities continue for about four days and include the traditional procession, the Asses Palio and the Squirrel, the popular dandelion typical of the area, which will all involve, in addition to street play, music, religious events and the fireworks show.
1. Also in Tuscany, just opposite the Giglio Island, we find Porto Ercole, a hamlet of the municipality of Monte Argentario and renowned tourist resort, twinned with the Lombard town of Caravaggio. The village offers many points of interest: before reaching the village you can find Fort Filippo, the Tower of the Mulinaccio and the Fort of Santa Caterina, which together defended the promontory from the enemy attacks. Inside the wall, entering the Gothic-courteous door surmounted by the Clock Tower, is enclosed the historic nucleus. During your visit, you can stay overnight in the historic centre next to the marina at the Bi Hotel, to have the opportunity to rest in the unmistakable panorama of the fortresses, and to discover this wonderful hamlet the following morning.
The center includes the Palazzo dei Governanti, overlooking the charming square of Santa Barbara, named after the homonymous bastion that overlooks the sea, the Church of Sant’Erasmo, home to the tombs of Spanish rulers, the Garden of Corsini, Which are numerous tropical and subtropical rarities that have managed to acclimatize perfectly, thanks to the microclimate of the area. The whole country is dominated by the mighty Rocca, whose northeast corner erected the nineteenth-century Faro of Porto Ercole.
For this summer, the village has a number of unforgettable events:
Two fortresses, then, present their own summer event program.
3. Going down to Lazio, our journey continues towards Santa Severa, which is named after the martyrs, who was martyrized in the 2nd century. The village is the only hamlet of Santa Marinella and is an important seaside resort, located at the southern end of the Lazio Maremma, and at the foot of the Tolfa Mountains along the Aurelia Consular Way.
In addition to precious archaeological finds, one of the most important points of interest is the castle surrounded by ancient walls, where you can admire the Museum of Sea and Ancient Navigation, devoted to the illustration of maritime trades during the ancient age. Do not forget also the Church of Santa Maria Assunta, which hides within it a Romanesque style with an altarpiece depicting the recruitment of the saints Severa and Marinella.
4. Continuing along the Tyrrhenian coast of Latium, we encounter on the promenade Matteotti the village of Nettuno (Neptune), the oldest part of the homonymous city of Tyrrhenian. Even though it is defined as a medieval village, it actually has much older origins: its harbour, together with the present city of Anzio, was the oldest part of Antium's volcano.
It is a fortified village characterized by very narrow streets, whose access is still visible on the promenade Matteotti, Piazza Mazzini, Via della Resistenza Nettunese, and the marina. Now the village is inhabited and the houses are mainly concentrated along the city walls and towers. In the evening, and especially during the summer evenings, the streets of the village are filled with people for the massive presence of local bars, ice-cream shops, wine bars, clubs and restaurants.
Below we list some events:
5. Also in Latium, there is S. Felice del Circeo, a village in the province of Latina, which is particularly impressive for the famous Promontory of Circeo and the hills that surround the historic centre as a frame.
Among the points of interest there is are the Church of the Immaculate, located in Piazza Italo Gemini (Pineta), a few meters from the sea and at the foot of Mount Morrone, where the statue of the Immaculate Virgin made by A. Gemini is surmounted. The church is an important religious centre for the community of San Felice Circeo and for the holidaymakers, who attend the religious ceremonies during the summer, due to its proximity to the sea.
Do not forget the different towers that dominate the promontory: The Templar Tower and the ogive gate called "del Parco", which together with the "Convent" square are among the few ruins, dating back to the short period of occupation of the castle of "Santa Felicita "by the Templars. In the vicinity accessible from Piazza Lanzuisi, there is the seat of the Circeo National Park, the remains of the medieval foundations and numerous amphorae are visible. Finally, the Coast Towers: Torre Paola, Torre Moresca, Torre Cervia, Torre Fico, Torre Vittoria, Torre Olevola. The towers, erected in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, are part of a defensive system designed to defend against the continued raids of the pirates, especially the Saracens.
Among the events scheduled for this summer:
6. Our journey continues to Sperlonga, a village in the province of Latina, which rises on a rocky spur along the end of the Aurunci Mountains, extending into the Tyrrhenian Sea and the Gulf of Gaeta, joining the Mount of St. Magno too the south of the town, you can see wonderful white sandy beaches alternating with rock spurs that, plunging themselves into the sea, form beautiful coves, often reachable only by boat. From the promontories that plunge into the sea, there are the Torre Maggiore and the Truglia Tower, military monuments that in the past served as a watchtower from which you could watch the whole territory. You can also admire the villa of the Roman Emperor Tiberius, entirely made of a natural cave.
Exploring the historic centre of the village, you will find the Church of Santa Maria Sperlonga and Palazzo Sabella, the building which in 1379 hosted anti-Pope Clement VII, escaping from Anagni and the National Archaeological Museum of Sperlonga.
On July 29 Sicily - island and travel voyages: Pino de Vittorio's vocal talent to the folk tradition, particularly the Puglia and Parthenopean.
6. We stop the trip along the Tirrenica coast to cross the Stivale and reach the Adriatic coast until we arrive at the Abruzzo village of San Vito Chietino, a very popular seaside resort on the Trabocchi Coast, which has repeatedly obtained to the European Blue Flag of the Sea. The coastline is named after the trails, visible on the stretch of coast between Ortona and Vasto, which characterize the open landscape on the Adriatic, where the rocky spur is located from where the village rises. The oldest overflow is Punta Turchino, also described by D'Annunzio in one of his most famous novels, The Triumph of Death and rebuilt in 2016 following the destruction that occurred two years ago due to a violent storm.
The village contains many points of interest. First of all the Dannunziano hermitage (or the hermitage of the Portelle), a rural house on the edge of a promontory in Portelle, where Gabriele D'Annunzio stayed in the summer of 1889 with his friend and inspiring woman Barbara Leoni, who here found burial in 2009, sixty years after the death in Rome in 1949.
Also to be seen is the city walls, the archaeological site of Murata Bassa, numerous churches and finally the following monumental palaces: Palazzo Tosti, Palazzo Renzetti, D'Onofrio Palace, Palazzo Altobelli and some Liberty houses.
Among the natural curiosities of the territory of the Coast of Trabocchi there is the Butterfly cave, located exactly on the border between the territories of the municipalities of San Vito Chietino and Rocca San Giovanni. The territory of the Cave of the Butterflies is currently included among the SIC sites (Sites of Community Interest) and has recently entered the list of regional natural reserves.
On each Saturdays until August 5th, Zone 22 organizes a "folk bracery" with concerts and theatrical performances
8. We go up along the Adriatic coast to reach Grottammare, an important tourist resort in the Marche, well-known for its renowned climate. The town boasts a medieval village that rises around Peretti square, overlooking the Palazzo Priorale, the Altana dell'Orologio, the Orange Theater, the elegant loggia and the beautiful belvedere. Not far away, there is the seventeenth-century church of Santa Lucia, attributed to the architect Fontana and wanted by Sisto V. In the walk along the walls, you can visit the restored Battle Tower.
Once you reach the highest point of the Old Fortress, you can refresh yourself in the Restaurant and Pizzeria Papa Sisto, where you can enjoy pizza with organic flour, fresh fish, homemade cured meats and locally soured meats on the terrace overlooking the sea.
In addition, the Grottammare promenade is a long stretch of the long Adriatic Cyclovia, which, once completed, will connect the entire Adriatic coast from the Po to Apulia.
Here is the list of summer events presented by the municipality of the village:
8. In the Marche we find also Sirolo, a village south of the slopes of Monte Conero, also called "the pearl of the sea" for the peculiarity of being a medieval village nestled between the mountains and the blue sea, enjoying the title of Flag Blue of Europe. Large part of the territory is part of the Conero Regional Park, an area rich in the typical flora of Mediterranean scrub, and considered by the LIPU as one of the most important birdwatching sites.
The hamlet is named after Sirio's leader, to whom the Byzantine Emperor Justinian gave this territory, after defeating the Goths who had invaded Piceno.
Exploring the town you can see the fortified fort with a row of trees, alleyways and towers and the beauty of eight beaches: Urbani, San Michele, the "Black Sassi" coast, Velara Beach ("Two Sisters" beach) , Beach of Work, Oven Beach, Gulls Beach and the Beach of the Friars or Bo's.
We present the most important summer events of the village:
10. As last stop on this trip to the discovery of the villages in the Centre of Italy we present Camerano, a hamlet in the Marche characterized by a subsoil excavated by a sandstone that runs through the entire historic centre with a labyrinthine course.
"The Underground City" (or "The Caves of Camerano") is one of the major attractions in the town: a dense network of artificial tunnels excavated in the subsoil of the historic centre. This track, about 2 km long, is the result of many centuries of human intervention. The origin seems to coincide with the Neolithic, though continuous reuse and modification have largely eliminated the traces of these oldest uses.
Over the centuries, it has been used for various purposes. During the Second World War, it was a very important refuge to shelter from the bomb attacks: the entire population moved under the ground, where it remained for about 18 days.
During the summer, the village is animated by events typical of the local tradition. During the last week of August the patron saint of Saint John the Baptist takes place, during which the traditional "controversy of the sacred tray" takes place: the country is divided into eight ranks and each of them challenges in various games to get the tray. In the first week of September since 1995, the "Fiesta del Rosso Conero" has been held, attracting around 15,000 visitors every year.
In addition to the traditional festivals, we point out the Emozioni dall'Oscurità, a path of the Underground City of Camerano, where it mixes drama, fear, legends, emotions ...
This is a recurring initiative during the summer, here are your dates:
Enjoy your Italian holidays in the villages!