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Feel like going to the seaside? Pack your bags, because it seems like next weekend the weather is going to be fair to say the least, take Meteo.it’s word for it! Flawless Milano just prepared for you the top 5 most popular seaside resorts according to Milanese.
Lake Como, precisely that branch of Lake Como celebrated by Manzoni in “The Betrothed”, is definitely the most easily accessible tourist resort, it can be reached by car in barely fifty kilometres. Once you’ve parked your car, you can enjoy the lakefront by foot, taking a few breaks at the bars with patios, savouring a tasty home-made ice cream in the Bellagio’s square and maybe embarking on a motorboat ride with docking at the small port of Villa d’Este for lunch (careful what you order though, since a grilled cheese sandwich with mineral water is around 25€). But if you are amongst those who spare no expense, we also recommend spending a romantic night at the prestigious Villa d’Este Hotel, then having breakfast with lake view the next morning, truly priceless. For dinner, you’d better enjoy the panorama and rent a motorcycle or a convertible and make a reservation at the very well-known restaurant Il Gatto Nero, beloved by the actor and director George Clooney, honorary resident of Laglio (not far from Como), in the beautiful Villa Oleandra, that for some years now has turned into a tourist destination for VIP Watching.
SANTA MARGHERITA LIGURE AND PORTOFINO
At about 2 hours away from the City, is located the pleasant district of Santa Margherita Ligure, very well appreciated by families with children, beloved by the old school Dandies and by students on holiday, since it’s definitely a relaxed spot, but very fun as well! You can do anything you want, in Santa Margherita Ligure. Do you feel like relaxing and spending a day sunbathing? You can pick a public beach (like Minaglia) or private (like Regina Elena, Miramare, Bagni Margherita) by the seafront. Or you can rent a gozzo (fishing boat) and take the classic boat trip, dropping the anchor between Camogli, Punta Chiappa, Portofino, San Fruttuoso. In the late afternoon the nightlife livens up, especially in Miami’s square, historic location for aperitifs, surrounded by a multitude of great value for money restaurants and pizzerias (Da Gennaro, Alfredo, Santa Lucia). Of course, for a classy dinner you need to go to L’Altro Eden, at the port’s descent, where the chef Roberto Pezzoni will delight you with an imperial barbecue and with the house special appetizers, raw and cooked. There are several options to spend the night at, if you make a reservation in advance you can find a room on AirBnB, or in simple and nice hotel, like the Tiugullio et de Milan, but the best hotels, the most sought-after and refined, are definitely the Grand Hotel Miramare, that over the years has accommodated great political figures and celebrities from TV, cinema and music, the Imperiale Palace Hotel, at the entrance of the town, or the wonderful Splendido of Portofino, located at only 5 km from Santa. Portofino is a small district, actually a port, really fascinating for its location and for its glamorous atmosphere, filled with designer stores and famous for harbouring Yachts worthy of a one thousand and one night tale: the square boasts the passage of famous designers and international jet setters, between Rolex regattas, Bocelli’s concerts and many more events, like the runway shows of the good old times. The best dinner is at Puny or U Batti, where you can eat Ligurian style scampi prepared following a secret recipe, passed down from one chef to another.
FORTE DEI MARMI
Photo Credit: www.nikkibeach.com
And then there’s Forte dei Marmi, known as il Forte. We could say that it’s almost an extension of Santa Margherita, meaning that the Milanese that stay in Santa head there in the evenings to go dancing at the Capannina. Remember the cult scenes from the movie “Time for Loving”? That was the Capannina dei Franceschi, where still to this day Jerry Calà stops by to sing, giving the night club its old ‘70s feel. Forte dei Marmi is harder to reach from Milan, especially due to the traffic, and looks more like a city than a tourist resort, partially because of the presence of cars, even though many use their bike, partially because its boutiques are every bit as good as those of Monte Napoleone. Anyway, we suggest you visit at least once the historic market on Wednesday and Sunday (affordable prices, and negotiable, on average between 20€ and 70€). Life at il Forte is quiet and relaxing, especially during the day, on the beach (the most famous is “Bagno Annetta”), the only drawback is the sea, which is not exactly the best…
Definitely more lively are the locations on the coast, like Milano Marittima, that, although being so far away and often hated by the Milanese precisely for the kilometres long queues that you need to endure to reach it, is enjoyed by the young from 20 up to 40 years old. We are talking about friends who love the nightlife even more than tanning… that’s right, in Milano Marittima and its surroundings the real fun is by night, when the youngsters hop from a nightclub to the other, ending the night on the beach, at dawn, with a savoury piadina with squacquerone cheese in their hands. The most popular (I’m talking about nightclubs)? If I mention the Pacifico, I’m definitely not mistaken: a restaurant with live music or DJ set appreciated by football players and celebrities.
FRENCH RIVIERA & ST. TROPEZ
Last but not least, we are placing the cherry of our top 5 “bank holiday cake” on the French Riviera. It’s hard to decide for a definite tour, since the Côte is vast, beautiful and breathtaking. As a rule of thumb, you would need more than three days to fully enjoy it, that’s why a mini vacation might be the right occasion. Imagine something like this: a night in an AirBnB in Nice, next to the Promenades des Anglais, with oysters and mussels for dinner in the old town, in one of those informal open-air places, or at the famous Aston et Brun in Cannes, where you can’t go wrong; the next day enjoy a walk on the Croisette and a bit of shopping, but not before having a croissant and a café noisette (macchiato) for breakfast and staying at the Hotel Martinez. Here you could take a dive in the swimming pool in the late afternoon, or even better at sunset, overlooking the sea. The same evening, you could go to the Gran Casino of Montecarlo, or Monaco, or whatever you want to call it. On the third day, provided that the sun is out, visit Antibes and Cape d’Antibes, for a non-stop session of topless beaches, or not, to each his own. In the evening an “artistic” dinner in the old town of Mougins, that reminds you of a miniature Montmartre, sophisticated and picturesque, with its dozens of galleries and street painters. In the case you manage a fourth day of vacation, it would be worth it taking the car and visiting St. Tropez. Spend the morning around the typical passageways of the port, and then rent a beach lounger at the Nikki Beach, and dine at Le Bistrot à la Truffe, an intimate and romantic spot, recommended by the Michelin Guide. Regain your energy and be prepared to a six hours drive with traffic, at least, to get back home at late night!