Reportage: the best 15 Italian regional beaches and wines

Reportage: the best 15 Italian regional beaches and wines

spiaggia gallipoli
Punta della suina, Gallipoli (Salento)

Italian holidays mean art, good food, great wine and lots of fun. The numbers speak for themselves: every year the beautiful country is visited by 50 million tourists from all over the world, ranking among the fifth most popular destinations, according to the National Tourism Agency. This is not surprising: our Peninsula’s unique food and beautiful landscapes are internationally appealing. Here we visited a beach for every Italian region, linking it to a wine produced in the area. A guide that could come in handy on your holidays, best if you go in September, when the weather is still mild and the coasts are less crowded.

The beauty of the south

Calabria – Cirò Marina and Le Castella – Cirò Doc: Here we are in the heart of Magna Grecia, in the province of Crotone, on the shores of the Ionian Sea.
fortezza le castellaThis is where you will find the open landscapes of Ciro Marina and the beautiful village of Le Castella, a few steps from Caporizzuto Island. If the first is known for its wine, the village of Le Castella is famous for being the setting of Mario Monicelli’s film “Brancaleone’s Army” and of  Pasolini’s film “The Gospel According to Saint Matthew”. The Aragonese fortress overlooks the village, which is one of the most characteristic of the region, set between the pristine waters and stony beaches. It is the ideal place for a nice glass of white or red Cirò, produced in the town a few kilometers to the north, with the native Greek grapes (white) and Gaglioppo (red). These are pleasant wines, delicate and harmonious, for relaxing afternoons.

Puglia – Salento – Salice Salentino Doc: The Salento area hardly needs to be introduced. For nearly a decade it has become the favorite destination for a large part of Italian and international tourists. Indeed, no other place in the world can offer such a combination of artistic beauty, emerald sea and stunning views. A generous land, full of traditions and quality food and wine, among them Salice Salentino wine, from the homonymous municipality between Lecce and Brindisi. It is a Doc label produced mostly with the local variety of Negroamaro (at least 80 percent), combined with smaller percentages of Malvasia Nera and Primitivo for red wines and Chardonnay, Pinot and Fiano for whites. Take a walk and discover Lecce’s Baroque architecture, the white alleyways of Otranto, the historical center of Galatina or Santa Maria di Leuca’s coastline.

Basilicata – Marina di Pisticci – Aglianico del Vulture Doc: a small pearl of the South, caught between Puglia, Campania and Calabria, overlooking the Ionian Sea. This is Marina di Pisticci, known for its beautiful seawaters and for its Amaro Lucano. In its sandy coves, you will be able to really relax, away from the most crowded areas. In the nearby province of Potenza, we tasted the Aglianico del Vulture, made from the homonymous vine, also widespread in Campania. It is a full-bodied, well-structured tannic wine, perfect for your evening barbecues.

Campania – Amalfi Coast – Amalfi Coast Doc: It is one of the costiera amalfitanamost famous regions; moreover, for some years now, the coast between Vietri and Positano, in the province of Salerno, has made a quantum leap in the wine field. It is the home of true traditional Italian viticulture: grapes drenched by sun and exposed to sea salt, discontinuous terraced cultivations, brittle, steep rocky coastlines and wonderful views to the eye but inaccessible to those who want to grow good grapes. However, despite the inhospitable land, great varieties of wine are grown here, the whites and reds of the Amalfi Coast, and the Sunsets and Furore varieties. Falanghina and Biancolella for white wines, Piedirosso, Aglianico and a minimum percentage of Schioppettino for reds, the Amalfi Coast is a wine that best sums up the characteristics of the area, with sun and native grapes grown in the shade of the Campania Felix. If you plan a tour in the area, always very busy with tourists, even in autumn, do not forget to taste its wine: the number of grapes planted in the zone is so low that not much is exported, neither domestically nor abroad.