Blue Flag Beach of the Month: San Benedetto del TrontoJonathan Zeiger
Welcome to the Marche Blue Flag Beach of the Month
The glow of spring has morphed into the heat of summer, and the Adriatic has warmed to a nice 26° (82°F). Slow, mellow waves brush through rock breakers, leaving the shallows unmolested for the relaxed and the sportive alike. Up and down the coast, beach goers are seeking prime spots to bask under the Marche sun and to dive into the placid waters. For many, their destination is San Benedetto del Tronto.
I’m taking you on a tour through the 17 beaches of The Marvelous Marche that get to boast the title Blue Flag Beach, a prestigious worldwide recognition for those beaches & marinas that follow strict criteria for sustainability. This “eco-label” is awarded for meeting standards of “Water Quality, Environmental Education and Information, Environmental Management, …Safety and Other Services”. Our 2nd stop on the tour is the southernmost city on Le Marche’s coast, and the first city of the Riviera delle Palme. Get ready beach lovers, this is a spot you don’t want to miss.
Thousands of palm trees line 5 miles of beach, giving a tropical charm to an Italian setting. The calm waters next to the marina make for easy swims, sailing, scuba, kayaking, outrigging and stand-up paddle. Dotted along the Lungomare, restaurants serve food and drink, aperitivo and full courses, to passersby and to chair-renting patrons on the beach. These bagni often turn into nighttime bars and clubs, hosting DJs and local bands. Reasonable seaside accommodations are easily found along the shore. Most come with breakfast at no or little extra cost. If you do have to pay, it’s well worth it. From your hotel, walking down the Lungomare and throughout the city, you’ll find no shortage of spots for dining & nightlife, shopping and sightseeing.
So what is there to see and do in San Benedetto? Moreno Moretti of Le Marche Holiday has the inside scoop on the top spots for tourists:
First on our list, Bagni Andrea. Located just south of the harbor, it has everything you’ll need. With the nightclub, you could easily wind up staying there all day and night. On the beach, umbrella and lounge chairs are available to rent for the day, complete with full service from the bar. In the restaurant, you can feast on the local seafood, meat, produce and wine to your heart’s content. By the evening, Bagni Andrea turns into a bar and club, bringing you Italian beach nights at their best. Check Bagni Andrea out here.
When you’ve had your fill at Bagni Andrea, you can go right down the street to La Croisette, another seafood restaurant and bar that turns into a nightclub after dinner hours. Here you can enjoy a dinner with fresh, local ingredients, and seafood probably caught that morning. The elegant setting, the sea breeze, the Italian charm- it all makes for a perfect evening.
For hotel accommodations, Moreno recommends Hotel Progresso. This classic San Benedetto hotel first opened in 1923, and continues to offer 4 star service right on the beach. Whether you want a room with a terrace, a sea view, or just your standard room, they offer luxurious accommodations accompanied by a restaurant that accommodates special diets, beach services, bicycle rental, conference rooms, laundry service, and free wifi.
For you museum goers and history buffs, there’s plenty for you to see as well. From your stay at the beach, the nearest sight is Giorgini Square, a famous avenue that splits in 2 parts: Viale Bruno Buozzi and Viale Trieste. My style of traveling is to just walk and wander, taking in the sights as they come and really getting to know the city by getting as lost as I can. The fountain roundabout is a good starting point for your own walking tour. From here you can see the lighthouse which was erected as a reference point to seafarers sailing along the stretch of coast. On certain days, you’re certain to come across the large, open-air markets, merchants selling everything from clothing and accessories to kitchen ware and fresh foods.
One must-see is the Museo d’Arte sul Mare, a permanent outdoor museum on the southern pier of the city extending over a kilometer into the sea. It was opened in June 2012 and hosts 142 sculptures and 14 murals.
In the heart of the “Old City”, you will find Piacentini Palace, home to the city’s beloved poet Bice Piacentini. Built in the 19th century, it exuded the harmony of modern architecture. You can still see 19th century frescoes displayed on the first floor. Today, it houses the Historical City and the Gallery of the Sea, featuring sea-inspired artworks to give guests a feel for the livelihood of generations of local peoples. Other museums include the Sacred Art Museum, originating from a rich private collection of local religious artworks, and the Sea Museum of The Marche, highlighting the lifestyles of the seaside civilization.
The city is also home to churches of old- Virgin of the Sea Cathedral, Abbey of the Martyr San Benedetto, the Bishop’s Palace, the Little Church of St. Lucy’s- each erected in homage to God and those people who dedicated their lives to its service. Be sure to also see the Tower of Gualtieri, a 13th century battlement that’s part of a larger fortress, left over from the times of war.
These are just a handful of sights and activities that can be found in the beautiful San Benedetto. For further recommendations, check out http://www.destinazionemarche.it/weekend-san-benedetto-tronto-vedere-mangiare/
Note* you’ll need to have a page translator to get that in English. Ciao!