A Family Holiday on Italy's Adriatic Coast
Italy’s eastern coast, which borders the Adriatic Sea, is ideal for sea-lovers. Whether your family enjoys resorts or wants to hike down cliffs to deserted beaches, the Adriatic Coast has locations that suit your preferences. It stretches from Trieste past Venice and down to the southern “spur of the boot.”
While meandering down the coast, your family can explore islands and immerse themselves in Italy’s rich heritage.
Travel from your holiday home at the Adriatic Coast is straight-forward, as a highway and a railway run down the coast. Up north, excellent places to start are the Lagoons of Marano and Grado where your family can go on a boat trip together and enjoy birdwatching.
Of course, the most famous city on Italy’s Adriatic Coast is Venice. Venice has activities to please everyone in your family. The kids will love taking a water taxi or travelling to the little islands off the coast. For those who relish a dive into Italian heritage, Venice is an UNESCO World Heritage Site with many historical buildings.
Palaces of Gothic, Renaissance, and Moorish architecture line the banks of the Grand Canal. The Basilica of San Marco is a must-see, and the Ca Rezzonico houses a variety of frescoes. If you venture into the back streets, you will also get a taste of genuine Venetian life.
For families wearied by the crowds, a couple of smaller cities in the surrounding Po Delta have earned the name “Little Venice.” Among these are Comacchio and Chioggia, which look similar to Venice, but have a small-town, sleepy charm. These are fantastic places to watch the fishermen haul in the morning’s catch and sell it at the market.
If you need a quick break from the coast, Ravenna is a quaint town only five miles inland. It is famous for the tomb of Dante Alighieri and small but worthwhile museums. The Cathedral of San Francesco has an attraction that will fascinate the kids: a pool of fish swimming beneath the altar.
As your family enters the Puglia region, many towns feature archeological and historical treasures, including Trani’s gorgeous Romanesque cathedral and the medieval center in Bari. For more adventuresome families, the Grotte di Castellana is a geological formation with enchanting caves that will mesmerize children.
A World Heritage Site no one should miss is the town of Alberobello. It is known for its white, cone-shaped houses that will make your family feel that they have walked into a fairy tale. The houses are called trulli, and many are shops you can enter.
A trip to the Adriatic Coast would not be complete without a day or two at the beach. Puglia is famous for its lovely beaches. You can find sea urchins at Porto Badisco and thermal springs at Santa Cesarea Terme. Many of the best beaches are at resorts, but Torre Guaceto is less expensive option that also accommodates snorkeling, biking, and hiking.