situated in the Parco Regionale Naturale del Conero, Portonovo is just a 2 and a half hour drive from Cortona...
Portonovo is a tranquil beach resort on the Adriatic coast, just a few
kilometres south of Ancona and situated in the Parco Regionale Naturale del
Conero. It is a 2 ½ hour drive from Cortona with the opportunity to stop over
in some delightful spots to break up the journey. We took a very roundabout
route and took in Città di Castello, Assisi and Jesi. Although the area is aimed primarily at
Italian tourists and day trippers from the surrounding regions, it does attract
the occasional foreign tourist who has ventured off the beaten track.
This beautiful resort is situated where the undulating landscape of Le Marche
ends abruptly in a steep mountainside that seems to splash directly into the
sea. However, an ancient landslide created a small, flat area that contains a
few freshwater lakes surrounded by trees. It is between these trees that you
will find this small resort’s hotels, the resulting feeling being that you are
visiting a lush subtropical paradise. All hotels access the beach via a walkway
along the public parking area, though the other direction provides a view of
the small lake filled with turtles. The beach has several beach
bar-restaurants, complete with sun beds, umbrellas, and water sport equipment
that one can rent.
The beach itself consists of smooth white pebbles of various sizes and
the water is a lovely turquoise colour. If you do an about turn, the mountain
behind you is green with a few protruding white cliffs. Add a blue sky and this
is a truly delightful spot for a break, though I think that it is probably
advisable to visit during the shoulder season as it has the potential to be
busy during the high summer season when many Italians head for the coast.
Being a seaside resort, the restaurants are generally focussed on
seafood, though there are quite a few places that also serve pizza for those
who do not like or eat seafood. The staff are very friendly and eager to engage
and to make sure that if what you want is not on the menu that the next best
thing is indeed available. With the town of Jesi just a few kilometres away,
this is a great place to learn more about the fantastic wines of Castelli di
Jesi: affordable local dry white wines for hot summer days.
If worshipping the sun is not your thing, there are some alternative
activities. Many of the hotels offer spa treatments, there are a number of
hiking trails, and for those in need of some shopping, Ancona is just 15
minutes away by car. However it is definitely worth returning as evening sets
in. The sequinned bikinis and luminous speedos would have disappeared from the
beach by that time and a whole new cast of characters will fill the stage.
What is a bar/beach cafe by day becomes a proper restaurant by night.
The beach at sunset is spectacular and it is well worth spending a few hours to
enjoy the colours of the sunset, a few Italian flavours and a very amiable and
relaxed atmosphere. If you do not get to eat at one of the restaurants on the
beach, you can always enjoy a digestivo relaxing on one of the sunbeds
overlooking the bay as the sunset colours the sky. You will leave the beach
feeling very happy and relaxed.
Glenn Lewis, 09/07/2022 18:26:36