Uncovering Italy’s Superlatives in people, places and things

Escaping to the Laziale Coast

Beach combing from Palo Laziale to Ostia

Lounging al mare is a favourite Italian pastime and Lazio’s coastline is filled with secret escapes just waiting to be experienced. But first, we must of course seduce you with a stay at our lovely La Posta Vecchia, immersed within the hamlet of Palo Laziale. Our seaside villa-turned-hotel lies a little south of Ladispoli and 14 miles up the coast from Rome’s Fiumicino airport, serenely nestled amongst oak woodlands and the sparkling coastline. Adjacent to La Posta Vecchia is Oasi di Palo, a wooded park with walking trails maintained by the World Wildlife Fund. From here, you can explore the area’s many jewels, whether along the coast or within the interior wilderness.

Now let’s soak up those rays! With 25 beach clubs, choosing where to wile the day away in Ladispoli isn’t always easy. Marina di San Nicola, one of the town’s nicest beaches is an ideal spot for surfing and windsurfing. If you’re in need of captivating beauty, Torre di Flavia (Flavia Tower) offers a beautiful stretch of sand and crystal clear blue water further accentuated by the mystical 16th-century tower. The protected natural wetlands located just behind the beach are an important natural habitat for migratory birds, perfect for lovers of birdwatching. Reachable by train and 40km outside of Rome, Ladispoli is also home to the delicious annual artichoke festival held in April.

Castello Odescalchi, La Posta Vecchia’s neighbour castle
View of La Posta Vecchia’s terrace from the sea. Photo courtesy of Stephen Ringer

Travel further south along the coast towards Santa Marinella, about an hour outside of Rome and easily accessed by train, where a lovely little bay offers calm sea and soft sandy shores. The sea bed here is rocky and teeming with fish, ideal of anyone looking to do a little scuba diving. Santa Marinella is graced with thermal waters from the nearby hill town of Tolfa, known for its exceptional fauna and flora. Wild orchids, falcons and rare and endangered bird species live harmoniously in this exquisite ecosystem.

The Castle of Saint Severa marks one of the most important archaeological monuments along the Tyrrhenian sea and it has a fantastic beach to boot! Built on the ancient site of Pyrgi, previously an Etruscan port city, it’s the perfect destination for those who just can’t choose between medieval ruins and a relaxing day in the summer sun!

Other popular Roman beach spots include Montalto di Castro, where we recommend checking out Le Murelle, or Il Mastino and Controvento in Fregene. Instead of trying the beaches of Ostia, head to La Vecchia Pineta for lunch, a sweet little spot in a 1930s palace by the sea.

Ostia beach

Inland adventures

For cultural explorations, venture to Bracciano, 30 km outside of Rome, letting nature embrace you within the oasis of the Castello Orsini-Odescalchi, one of Europe’s most beautiful Renaissance mansions. The town is also famous for its volcanic lake, Lake Bracciano, or “Sabatino”, the eighth largest lake in Italy.

Near by and tucked away in an extinct volcano crater, Lake Martignano is a secret gem which remains in pristine condition. The sparkling waters, luscious surrounding forests and beautiful beaches make it a genuine retreat for anyone looking to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life in Rome.

Discover one of the many Etruscan archaeological sites, including the domed tombs in the Etruscan Necropolis of Banditaccia in Cerveteri and the incredible painted underground tombs of the Monterozzi Necropolis in Tarquinia, compellingly written about by D. H. Lawrence. The town of Tarquinia also boasts a fine Etruscan museum.

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