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Italy’s top 5 coastal drives

Jul 29, 2015

Italy has infinite charm, amazing food and stunning landscapes anywhere you look, so when traveling to this breathtaking slice of paradise, it is hard to choose where your journey should take you. A journey for the bucket list however, is the Italian coast, and we are not only speaking of the picture-perfect Amalfi Coast, but all the astonishing coastal routes in which one can let the wanderlust in you roam free. From enchanting fishing villages to idyllic white beaches and wild lush mountains that cascade down to the sea...

This summer, get on board the Porsche Boxster Cabriolet, drop the roof and get that wind-in-your-hair feeling of freedom as you drive through one of Italy’s top 5 coastal roads:

Ligurian Coast

It is in this gulf of Italy's northwestern coast, that the towns of Rapallo, Santa Margherita Ligure and jet-set-favourite Portofino are strung one after the other like jewels on a necklace. These glamorous towns keep the regional monopoly on luxury and prestige. Sophisticated while at the same time rugged, this stretch of coast is dotted with colorful villages that sit amidst mountain rocks, tranquil beaches, olive tree-covered bays and terraced vineyards,  giving it a perfect mix of nature, history and glamour. Take your adventure on the Via Aurelia along the coast towards Riviera di Ponente, quite literally of the setting sun. While at first glance the Riviera di Ponente seems to be an old village that has seen its sun already set, the town still possesses a remarkable charm and a scent of basil that beckons from miles away. Visit Anfossi, the region’s largest producer of basil and basil products, including a fresh pesto that will ruin you for any other pesto from then on.

**The drive between Rapallo and Portofino is less than 10 km, while the drive to Riviera di Ponente is just over 100 km. Hire a car from Genoa to take this stunning coastal drive.

Portofino

Cinque Terre

Just south of the Ligurian Coast, on Italy’s north eastern seaboard, you will find the world’s most dramatic coastal scenery. Five centuries-old, captivating seaside villages are dotted with colorful houses that cling onto steep cliffs down to the deep-blue sea, where fishing boats sway to the rhythm of the ocean. With only sun, sea, sand, wine, seafood, swimming, hiking, and pure, unadulterated scenery in sight, the fishing villages of Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore are the place you would go to escape life’s stresses, bypassing therapy. Visit the hilltop botanical garden and the Nazi bunkers in Riomaggiore. Next town over is Manarola, where you can join the hike up to Punta Bonfiglio, or enjoy a delicious pesto on focaccia, a local specialty. While not located on the water, it is wine that runs through the veins of the mellow town of Corniglia. If you want to move one step away from rustic, Monterosso is Cinque Terre’s resort town, complete with hotels, beach lounges and a bustling late-night scene, while retaining its old world charm in its crooked lanes and small local shops. With its harbour overseen by a ruined castle and an old church, it is Vernazza that is the jewel of the Cinque Terre. A place in which man, earth and sea seem to live in perfect harmony, Cinque Terre awaits to give you a renewed take on life.

**While four of the five towns of Cinque Terre are “Fiat-free”, you can hire the Porsche Boxster Cabriolet in Pisa, Florence or Genoa airports and drive to the entrance of Cinque Terre.

Amalfi

Enchanted, fairytale-like sceneries await you in Italy’s Amalfi Coast. A stretch of coastline in Italy’s south east where lush cliffs are dotted with villages of sun-washed houses adorned with bougainvillea. The pastel-coloured houses cascade down into the azure sea below lining the narrow, steep cobblestone streets, where the scent of lemon infuse the sea-salted air. Travel on winding roads from Sorrento, a great base to explore the peninsula’s countryside, the entire Amalfi Coast, Pompeii and the island of Capri, to arrive in Positano, the Pearl of Amalfi. Positano is a town magnificently suspended between the clear blue sky and the crystalline Mediterranean that seems to have come out of a painting. Visit Praiano, a delightful ancient fishing village with a verdant mountain peppered with white-washed houses and a newfound flair for the arts. Walk along sun-filled piazzas and the small beach of Amalfi, or visit Grotta dello Smeraldo, a grotto where stalactites and stalagmites grow, backdropping the deep emerald-coloured waters that emanate from it. A romantic town sitting high atop Amalfi, Ravello boasts ravishing gardens, stunning views and a lively street market.

**Arrive in Naples Airport and aboard your convertible car hire, take the 20 km road from Sorrento to Positano. From Positano, drive through 22 kms of winding roads through Praiano, Amalfi and Ravello.

Le Marche

With a hinterland abound with beauty, history and art, and a white pebbled shoreline backed by cliffs along the Adriatic Sea, Le Marche is Italy’s little-known treasure. Start your tour at bustling Pesaro, a town perfectly set on golden-sand beaches fringed between the Adriatic and the undulating hills of the region, where tanned holidaymakers split their time between laying on the beach and walking through the charming old town and its Piazza del Popolo. Follow the road down to the fishing village of Fano, a real treasure trove centered around the Piazza Maggiore. Continue along the coast to Senigallia, a resort town known for its long strand of silky sand and its enchanting old centre. From there, travel further south to Ancona, a bustling harbour commanded by a Byzantine-Lombard-Gothic church. If it is the beach you are in search of, visit pristine Portonovo, Sirolo and Numana, or visit San Benedetto del Tronto, one of the principal beach resorts in Le Marche, offering a wide promenade and a touch of tropical charm thanks to its more than seven thousand palm trees. 

**La Marche coastal drive stretches along 157 Km of seaside-hugging road along the east coast of Italy. Our luxury car rental service in Italy can have your Porsche Boxster Cabriolet ready for you at Falconara Airport near Ancona, a good base to explore the region.

Ancona

Puglia

In the heel of Italy’s boot, on the idyllic Adriatic coast, you’ll find a region that ranges from beautiful beaches along 800 kilometers of coast along two seas, to vineyards and olive groves, medieval villages and ostentatious Baroque architecture that shows the influences of centuries of various conquerors. Begin your journey in Bari, Puglia’s capital city featuring a historic old town, an interesting warren of streets and an evening scene in which the piazzas bustle with trendy restaurants and bars. Travel south to Lecce, one of Italy’s true gems and most beautiful cities and finish in the very tip of Italy’s heel in Capo Santa Maria di Leuca, a small town whose sunbaked landscape looks much more Greek than in does Italian.

**Arrive in Bari Airport flying in from Rome and drive along the Adriatic coast southwards on SS379 and SS16 on a stretch of just over 400 km.

 

About Luxuria

Luxuria is an exclusive gateway to the world’s most desirable products and services. Bringing news and reviews of the affluent lifestyle, including luxury automobiles, watches, yachts, fine dining and travel, Luxuria magazine is the essential luxury resource for the discerning traveller and connoisseurs of taste and style.

 

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