Ancona

Portonovo


Hotels Ancona
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From Ancona, the first port of call is Portonovo, the smallest retreat on the Conero Riviera. The beach, in some stretches still wild, has the whitest of pebbles and is set into a breathtaking rocky coastal landscape. Gasp at the picture postcard views out to sea as you wind down the dead-end road to this collection of hotels, restaurants, campsites and makeshift beach huts on a narrow strip of beach. Two ponds are also to be found in the Bay, with a number of different species of birds, and distinctive for their position in relation to the sea and for their small yet significant natural environment. The strand is split in two by the Fortino Napoleonico, a squat, blank-eyed fort built in 1808 by Napoleon's Italian Viceroy to fight off English ships. It is now a most singular hotel. At the end of the road, where the evergreen oaks that smother the mountain come down to the sea, stands the early Romanesque church of Santa Maria. Built between 1034 and 1048, its curious form is unique in Italy and looks as if it might be more at home in Normandy. Back on the main road, the Conero trail skirts the base of the mountain with sweeping views inland.

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