Tempting Tuesday: La Spiaggia della Giannella in Argentario, Tuscany by Katie Greenaway

You might think that with so many tempting beaches on the Amalfi Coast that I wouldn’t dream of traveling anywhere else to hit the beach in Italy. But I have to admit that the white, sandy beaches of Tuscany have always been alluring to me. Especially this time of year when the massive Amalfi Coast August crowds are just around the corner! Katie Greenaway recently had a weekend escape from the summer heat in Florence to one of Tuscany’s pretty beaches, and today she’s stopped by to share about it with us.

Welcome, Katie!

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I recently encountered an area of Italy that I’ve always wanted to see with my very own eyes.  This is the area of Grosseto which is located in southern Tuscany along the western coast.  I was fortunate to spend a weekend in the area south of Grosseto near the sea at Monte Argentario

Monte Argentario is a mountainous pennisula that darts off the coast of Italy with two ports,  Porto Santo Stefano and Porto Ercole.  I stayed on a camping ground just 10 minutes from these ports called Giannella Camping.

 

Monte ArgentarioMonte Argentario from from La Giannella Beach

 

La Giannella is the name of the nearest beach.  It was never crowded and there was always a breeze.  The water was calm in the morning, with one wave after another ever so slowly crumbling to the shore.  As the day moved on the waves got a bit larger and wind picked up.  How blissful to have cool air instead of hot air like in Florence! 

 

La Giannella Quiet La Giannella Beach

 

The sand is the what I am used to.  It is the sand that sticks to you and burns your feet without shoes.  After a weekend at the beach, I still am finding sand in my shoes and clothes.  Life at the beach!

 

Katie at La GiannellaSandy beaches at La Giannella

 

I found this beach so relaxing and not at all too crowded, as some beaches are in Italy this time of year.  We had our own space and no loud people around us, which led to a very peaceful afternoon of napping under the hot Italian summer sun.  Book in hand and just the waves to calm you. 

 

La Giannella Beach 

It was a great weekend with friends with relaxation as our guide. 

 

Sunset La Giannella

Sunset Bliss at La Giannella Beach

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Katie Greenaway is a freelance travel writer and is the Local Expert of Florence for Nile Guide where she also provides the secrets of Florence on her blog.  She writes about her life in Florence on her personal blog Olio di Oliva e Sogni di Vino and contributes to MNUI Travel Insurance with travel articles.

Tempting Tuesday: Cooling Off in Calabria at Giovino Beach by Cherrye Moore

This month we’re heading to the beach with a great line up of Tempting Tuesday posts by writers from around the world. I asked them to share with us their favorite beach, which is a refreshing topic during this sticky and hot time of year in southern Italy. This week Cherrye Moore from My Bella Vita is taking us to one of her favorite beaches in Catanzaro, Calabria. Looks mighty tempting to me!

Welcome, Cherrye!

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If there is one thing I’ve fallen in love with as much as Calabria’s beaches-it is sharing those beaches with my family and friends and today I’d like to invite you come along to my favorite beach-Giovino.

Giovino is a small stretch of beach that extends past the noise and bustle of busy Catanzaro Lido in Calabria’s capital city, in a relatively new development beyond the harbor. The area has a wide beach with tan sand, features both a public beach and private lido areas and is accented by tall, blue mountains that overlook the sea.

 

Govino,_Catanzaro_Lido_Calabria

Most of the lidi in Giovino offer daily, weekly or seasonal umbrella rentals, which come with two lounging beach chairs, a colorful umbrella and a private beach area that is cleaned daily. Many Calabrians-especially those with teenagers or young children-rent an umbrella for the summer, usually next to their best friend or a close family member’s umbrella, and spend every morning at the beach.

My choice lido is Sunrise, located near the beginning of the Giovino stretch. If you are visiting Catanzaro for a day or two, you can rent your own umbrella and lounge chairs for €10-€15 a day, depending on their location on the beach.

The small, dark wood kiosk blares fun music and sells drinks, gelato and sandwiches and the owners have provided a free beach volleyball net for their beach-goers. A well-kept flower garden surrounds the entrance to the main restaurant, that serves fresh seafood by day and wood-stove pizzas at night.

The water, while still surprisingly cool for mid-July, is a refreshing retreat from the blazing Mezzogiorno sun that shines over this little part of Catanzaro. It is almost always clean and clear and the laughter of children splashing in the mini waves echoes throughout the quiet beach.

Oh, yes. Giovino beach in Catanzaro Lido is still a lesser-known, family-beach-going-kind-of-place, so if you do visit, don’t tell them I sent you. The locals, like me, want to keep it that way.

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Cherrye Moore is a Calabria travel consultant and freelance writer living in southern Italy. She writes about travel for MNUI.com and about living and traveling in Calabria on her own site, My Bella Vita. You can also visit her at her bed and breakfast in Catanzaro, Il Cedro.

Enjoying the beach to yourself at Positano

 

Ciao Amalfi Coast Blog Positano Beach

 

Last weekend on the way to Capri, the boat stopped first in Positano. It was a beautiful and bright morning, especially warm  in the sun for the last day of October. As the few late season tourists got off and on the boat, I couldn’t help but notice the empty beach that during the summer months is absolutely packed to the edges. Look at all that space!

 

Ciao Amalfi Coast Blog Positano Beach 2

 

If you don’t mind brisk water temperatures for swimming, the water is remarkably clear this time of year. There was only one person I could see enjoying the sun and the space on the beach. He had exactly the right idea for how to spend the morning!

 

Ciao Amalfi Coast Blog Positano Beach 3

Tempting Tuesday: Summer Reds on the Amalfi Coast

 

As the weather starts to get cooler in the evenings and I feel the change of seasons upon us here on the Amalfi Coast, I’ve been reminiscing a bit about this summer. While I love the change of seasons, the cooler weather, the calm of winter and the quiet days, I’m always a bit sad when the summer comes to an end. While looking over all the fun photos and events of this summer,  I was struck by all the colors. Bright yellows and oranges popped out, reds came through here and there, and, of course, everywhere blue! It was a fun way to look through photos and remember the summer. Here is the first of several color themed posts coming up on Tuesdays this month. Let’s kick off the series with rosso

 

 

Ciao Amalfi Coast Summer Rosso4

Back at the beginning of the summer, I stopped one evening to watch these boys arranging rocks on the beach in Amalfi for some sort of game. It was all blue and the grey of the stones save for one boy’s bright red shirt.

 

 

Ciao Amalfi Coast Summer Rosso1

I saw my first bike race this summer when the Giro d’Italia went speeding through the Amalfi Coast.

 

 

Ciao Amalfi Coast Summer Rosso8

Not long after I happened across a wonderful display of Classic Cars in Amalfi. You can’t get more red in Italy than Ferrari red!

 

 

Ciao Amalfi Coast Summer Rosso2

The men who carry the statue for the Festival of Sant’Antonio in Amalfi wear these bright red jackets. Here they are waiting for the statue to be carried down the steep steps so it can be attached to the base before the procession begins.

 

 

Ciao Amalfi Coast Summer Rosso3

This boy waiting for the Boat Procession for Sant’Antonio to arrive in Amalfi was wearing the right color! I wonder if he’ll carry the statue in the procession when he grows up?

 

 

Ciao Amalfi Coast Summer Rosso6

This summer I visited all of the churches and historic sites in Scala during Scala Porte Aperte. This is one of the beautiful frescoes dating from the 12th century in the crypt of the Chiesa di Santa Maria Annunziata in Minuta.

 

 

Ciao Amalfi Coast Summer Rosso5

During the hot summer days the poppies were literally popping out everywhere! Here is one that I found all on its own while I was on a walk to Amalfi.

 

 

Ciao Amalfi Coast Summer Rosso7

Remember the first mystery flowers of the summer? These are Bottle Brush that I saw in Scala.

 

 

Ciao Amalfi Coast Blog Strange Flower

And our second mystery flowers also happened to be red. Reader Kim identified them as Haemanthus Coccineus for us. Grazie, Kim!

 

 

Ciao Amalfi Coast Summer Rosso12

This summer I discovered the beautiful beach in Atrani, which is much less crowded than the beaches in Amalfi.

 

 

Ciao Amalfi Coast Summer Rosso9

The beaches in Atrani also offer a special treat… black sand! Much more comfortable than the usual rocky beaches on the Amalfi Coast.

 

 

Ciao Amalfi Coast Summer Rosso10

I always smile when I remember how reader Lisa from Travel Dreams and Moonbeams called the colorful umbrellas in Amalfi dishes of gelato. These must be peppermint flavored!

 

 

Ciao Amalfi Coast Summer Rosso11

Finally, as summer comes to a close, here is a picture I snapped a couple of weeks ago in the gardens of the Villa Rufolo in Ravello. There were beautiful red flowers lining the walkways, making such a striking contrast to the blue sky and lush greens. It was a reminder that even though it will be cool soon, the beautiful colors of the Amalfi Coast are here throughout the year!

 

 

Related Posts

 

 Tempting Tuesday: Morning Boat Trip from Salerno to Amalfi

Tempting Tuesday: Sunset on the Way to Salerno

Tempting Tuesday: The Cloister of Paradise in Amalfi

Tempting Tuesday: The Certosa di San Giacomo in Capri

A Day Swimming in Capri at the Faro

 

 Ciao Amalfi Coast Blog Capri Faro1

 

Last month when I went on a boat tour around Capri, one real treat was seeing the Faro (lighthouse) on Punta Carena for the first time. The second most important and powerful lighthouse in Italy, it is a striking pink and white striped structure placed on a promontory shaped like the keep of a ship (carena means keel). Tucked in a small cove next to the lighthouse, I saw what looked like a spectacular swimming spot. I said to my boyfriend, “I want to go swimming there someday!”

 

 Ciao Amalfi Coast Blog Capri Faro2

 

It turns out that “someday” wasn’t far to come, because earlier this month we went back to Capri for the day. There was talk of swimming at the Faro, and the locals we talked to in order to get directions unanimously declared it the most beautiful swimming spot on Capri. So off we went! On the way I didn’t quite focus on the fact that Faro meant lighthouse and that we were going swimming right where I had wanted to go! It wasn’t until we climbed off the little orange city bus that took us from Anacapri down to the secluded lighthouse area that I knew where we were.

 

Ciao Amalfi Coast Blog Capri Faro4

 

Ciao Amalfi Coast Blog Capri Faro3

 

And, yes, it was indeed spectacular! Here is a slideshow of some of the photos photos I took during our afternoon at Lido Il Faro:

 

 

 

It was very crowded, but that’s normal for Capri in August. Next time we’ll go in June or July. But the water was incredibly beautiful and the landscape one of the most amazing I have seen for swimming. One thing to be aware of is that there is no beach here, which would make it a challenging spot for families with young children. The are some ladders you can used to climb in, but most people just made some sort of big splash jumping in.

 

 

Details

From the center of Anacapri, hop on one of the local orange buses marked “Il Faro.” The buses run about every 20 minutes in the summer and every 40 minutes in the winter, and you buy your ticket on the bus. It takes a 10-15 minutes to go from Anacapri down a narrow, winding road to the final stop. Get off at the parking lot and follow the locals down the steps to the swimming area. You can pay for sun beds and to use the beautiful facilities (including a pool) at Lido del Faro, or just throw your towel down on the rocks like many people do. Either way you will have a grand day!