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The Ultimate Road Trip on the Italian Adriatic Coast: Tips, Places and Great Cuisine

Updated: 4 days ago

The Italian Adriatic Coast is a holiday destination that many people overlook, but it's an area of Italy that has so much to offer. There are beautiful beaches, cities rich in history and culture, and some of the best food you'll ever taste! It's also a great place for a road trip with plenty of interesting places to visit on route. In this article we will discuss what makes the Italian Adriatic coast such an amazing place to visit as well as tips on how to have the ultimate road trip from start to finish.

Road tripping in the Italian Adriatic Coast: what you need to know

There's no doubt that the Italian Adriatic Coast is an amazing place to visit, but what makes it so special? Well, firstly there are the stunning beaches. The coastline stretches for over a thousand kilometres and offers everything from secluded coves and crystal clear waters to long sandy beaches perfect for soaking up the sun. There are also a number of interesting towns and cities to explore, each with their own unique character and history. From the lively coastal town of Rimini to the charming fishing villages of Pesaro and Cesenatico, there's something for everyone.

Of course, no trip to Italy would be complete without sampling some of the country's amazing food. The Adriatic Coast is no exception and you can expect to find everything from fresh seafood to delicious pasta dishes. Be sure to try some of the local specialties such as fritti di paranza (fried fish) or spaghetti alle vongole (spaghetti with clams).

How to road trip like a pro in the Italian Adriatic Coast

Road tripping in the Italian Adriatic Coast can be a great way to see all that the area has to offer. However, there are a few things you need to know before you hit the road. In this article we will discuss some of the best tips for road tripping in Italy's Adriatic Coast.

The best places to visit on the Italian Adriatic Coast

Otranto is a beautiful town located on the eastern coast of the Italian Adriatic Coast near the very tip of the "heel" of Italy. With its charming medieval streets, stunning coastal views and delicious food, it's no wonder that this town is becoming such a popular tourist destination and the perfect place to start this ultimate road trip.

Otranto is well known for its vibrant nightlife, so be sure to enjoy a dinner in one of the town's many restaurants and bars. There are also plenty of things to see and do in Otranto, including a number of churches and historical buildings, as well as a nature reserve located just outside of town.

Baia del Mulino D'Acqua

This amazing coastline of crystal clear blue sea and architecturally eroded cliffs and grottos needs to be seen to be believed. It requires a bit of a hike to get there and a swim to make it out to the heavenly grottos. But once there, you’ll find yourself away from the crowds that have rushed to the other more well-known bays and have this slice of paradise all to yourself.

Lecce is a beautiful town located in the southern region of Puglia and is often referred to as "the Florence of the South". This vibrant city is home to some of the best architecture in Italy, with baroque buildings and churches lining the streets. Lecce is also known for its artisanal products, such as leather goods, and is the perfect place to pick up a souvenir.

Be sure to wander through the city's many narrow streets, stop for coffee in one of the quaint piazzas, and enjoy a meal in one of the excellent restaurants. Lecce is also home to some great nightlife, so make sure you save some time to enjoy a few drinks in one of the town's many bars.

When you Google top places to visit southern Italy, you will invariably see an image of the traditional stone roofed 'trulli' homes of Alberobello. A trullo (plural, trulli) is a traditional Apulian dry stone hut with a conical roof. Trulli were generally constructed as temporary field shelters and storehouses or as permanent dwellings by small proprietors or agricultural labourers. In the town of Alberobello, in the province of Bari, whole districts contain dense concentrations of trulli. READ > Enchanting Stone-Roofed 'Trulli' Homes of Alberobello

Monopoli, Italy

Monopoli is a beautiful town located on the Italian Adriatic coast. This charming town is home to a number of interesting historical buildings, including a castle and cathedral, as well as some lovely beaches. It’s impossible to visit Monopoli without admiring its castle in the town’s historical centre. Of great architectural interest it was constructed in the 1500s on a promontory reaching into the sea, the fortress was part of the coastal fortifications decided by Charles V of Spain (followed by Don Pedro of Toledo).

Be sure to take a walk through the narrow streets of the old town, enjoy a coffee in one of the many piazzas, and taste the local cuisine in one of the excellent restaurants.

Polignano a Mare, perched on a 20-meter-high limestone cliff above the crystal blue waters of the Adriatic, truly does live up to its name and is quite literally ‘beyond sea'! This charming town is home to a number of interesting historical buildings, including a castle and cathedral, as well as some lovely beaches. It’s impossible to visit Polignano without admiring its cliff-hanging old town and the crystal-clear waters of the Adriatic Sea.

Be sure to take a walk through the narrow streets of the old town, enjoy a coffee in one of the many piazzas, and taste the local cuisine in one of the excellent restaurants. A little cliff jumping will test your daring side. According to legend, the limestone cliffs surrounding Cala Porto Bay are a great place to take a leap of faith because they're not one for the risk-averse!

Bari is the capital of Puglia and the largest city in southern Italy. This vibrant city is home to some of the best architecture in Italy, with baroque buildings and churches lining the streets. Bari is also known for its artisanal products, such as leather goods, and is the perfect place to pick up a souvenir.

Bari is divided into four urban centers, each of which includes a distinct piece of the city's history. The northern region consists of the ancient city with Basilica di San Nicola (1035–1171), Cathedral di San Sabino (1035–1171) and Swabian Castle built for Frederick II. To the south is the Murat shopping district, which comprises a seaside walkway with views of Bari's harbor.

Bari's main tourist attractions includes; Basilica of Saint Nicholas, Bari Cathedral, Petruzzelli Theatre, Swabian Castle, Pinacoteca Provinciale di Bari, Barivecchia, The Russian Church and many more.

Trani, Italy

Trani, interestingly, is well-known for its Jewish heritage, having historically been inhabited by many Jews. The city was particularly known for its large Jewish communities in Southern Italy during the 12th century and forward.

Trani was home to a number of renowned rabbis, and many people are familiar with their names. Trani has several well-known synagogues. The Scolanova Synagogue is one of them, and it is still in use today.

Known more for its history than anything else, Trani still has gained a reputation for having great figs, almonds, olive oil, and Moscato di Trani.


The ancient city, or Borgo Antico di Termoli, is surrounded by ancient fortifications. Pink-hued homes line narrow streets within these walls. The cathedral of Termoli, with stunning mosaic flooring, is also worth seeing. The 13th-century Castello Svevo stands nearby. The Belvedere Tower in Termoli has views of the harbour. Rio Vivo is one of Termoli's renowned sandy beaches.


It was sacked by the Lombards, the Kingdom of Sicily, the Venetians, Turks and French. What they didn't damage was destroyed by heavy bombing in WWII. What it lacks in charm it makes up for in action - there's no denying that modern Pescara is a lively place.

Pescara, a pretty seaside town located on the Adriatic coast of Abruzzo, is best known for the beach. The city's official website offers more than enough information about what to do in Pescaria. There are plenty of clubs and restaurants along the route to keep things lively during the summer months, especially with 20 kilometers of beaches to the north and south. July's Jazz Festival is held in Pescara, Italy, which is also home to Italy's first annual jazz festival. Throughout the summer, there are frequent performances and events both locally and by visitors.

Urbino - Home of one of Europe's oldest universities

While technically not on the Adriatic Coast, when you're this close, you just shouldn't miss Urbino. Urbino is a walled hill town in the Marche region of Italy. It is famous for its Renaissance architecture and art, as well as for being the birthplace of painter Raphael. The Ducal Palace, one of the most important buildings in Urbino, was home to many ruling dukes over the centuries. Today it houses a museum with works by Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Raffaello Sanzio (Raphael), and Titian.

The city's churches are also worth seeing. The Collegiate Church of Santa Maria della Misericordia has an impressive façade and contains paintings by Lorenzo Lotto and Raffaello Sanzio. The Cathedral of Urbino, designed by Francesco di Giorgio Martini, has a Gothic façade and contains the tombs of many dukes.

Urbino is also home to the University of Urbino. Founded in 1506, the university is one of Europe's oldest universities and still ranks among its most prestigious institutions.

Pesaro, Italy

Located on the central coast of the Italian Adriatic Sea, Pesaro is a great place to stop for a few days during your road trip. This charming town is home to some beautiful Renaissance-era buildings as well as lovely beaches and a number of excellent seafood restaurants.

Pesaro is also the birthplace of Italian composer Gioacchino Rossini, so be sure to visit the Rossini Museum which is dedicated to his life and work. In addition, Pesaro hosts a number of music festivals throughout the year, including the Rossini Opera Festival in September.

San Marino - the smallest republic in the world?

Why not tick off another country on your road trip? It is the smallest independent state in Europe after Vatican City and Monaco and, until the independence of Nauru (1968), the smallest republic in the world.

It keeps much of its historical architecture, and it is one of the world's oldest republics. The capital, also known as San Marino, is located on the slopes of Monte Titano and noted for its medieval walled old town and narrow cobblestone lanes. The Three Towers, castlelike citadels dating from the 11th century, tower over the mountains around Titano.

Rimini, Italy

Rimini is a lively coastal town located in northern Italy on the Adriatic coast. This town is well known for its beaches, nightlife and excellent food. Rimini is the perfect place to spend a few days relaxing on the beach, enjoying a dinner in one of the town's many restaurants, and taking part in some of the town's lively nightlife.

There are also a number of interesting things to see and do in Rimini, including a number of churches and historical buildings. Be sure to take a walk along the beach, enjoy a ride on the town's Ferris wheel, and visit the Aquarium of Rimini.

Cesenatico - A Beautifully Kept Secret

If you're looking for a charming, historical town to spend your holiday in, Cesenatico is the place for you. This picturesque town is home to a number of beautiful churches as well as a delightful fishing port that has been preserved since the 1500s.

Cesenatico was built around a man-made canal, designed by Leonardo da Vinci. The main feature of the town, it serves as an open-air display of life in this fishing town. Brightly coloured boats sit in the canal, some open for viewing. The ancient town of Cesenatico is its most attractive feature, with the Piazza Pisacane as its backbone. Beautiful buildings and boats encircle it, overlooking the canal. It's a pedestrian zone, so taking walks along the canals is a great way to pass the time.

Mirabilandia Amusement Park

Discover the attractions of their 6 thematic areas in the amusement park Emilia Romagna Italy . Soft, moderate, intense... enjoyment for everyone! Breathtaking performances, to amaze even the most demanding of you: from kids to grown-ups!

Ravenna, Italy

Ravenna, the capital of the Western Roman Empire from 402 to 450 AD and one of Italy's most beautiful towns, has a fascinating history – not least because it served as the seat of power for the Western Roman Empire for more than two hundred years. Many remnants of its long past survive today, including some of Europe's most stunning mosaic floors.

The Basilica di San Vitale, the Basilica di Sant'Apollinare Nuovo, and the Mausoleo di Galla Placidia are among the must-sees. After you've finished checking off your site list, there are still plenty of options in Ravenna: tiny boutiques, traditional pizzerias, trattorias, and charming cafés abound.


The town of Comacchio, "the little Venice", is a beautiful lagoon hamlet with the charm of a small village: it's clean and genuine, with a vitality that comes from a deep regard for its own history and the environment around it. The bright clarity of the light reminds us that we are near to the sea, and this light illuminates the town ahead of being amplified by the canal's still surfaces. A little city known as Comacchio, now referred to as the capital of Po Delta Park, is a treasure chest full of particular natural beauty and reminders of its history. It was born and still lives between land and water in Comacchio, better known as the capital of Po Delta Park.

The seven sandy beach areas are ideal for spending a holiday with the family or with friends, as well as for a peaceful weekend unwinding in the sun or dancing until dawn through the vibrant "lido" nights.

Venice, Italy

Venice is a city like no other. Situated on a series of 118 small islands separated by canals and linked by bridges, Venice is one of the most beautiful and romantic cities in the world. The city is renowned for its art and architecture, including the magnificent Basilica di San Marco, as well as its many canals and gondolas.

A visit to Venice is a must for any traveller interested in art, history or romance. Be sure to allow plenty of time to wander the streets and canals of this fascinating city. You may never want to leave.

My biggest advice is to make sure you stay at least a few days here. Walking around in the evening when all the day trippers and cruise ships are gone is such a special experience. Spend a few days seeing the other Islands such as Murano and Burano.

Lignano Sabbiadoro

Make the most of your stay at this modern beach resort on the Adriatic Sea by utilizing its watersports, amusement parks, and shopping areas.

Lignano Sabbiadoro is a busy family-friendly seaside resort in northern Italy. It occupies an entire peninsula that runs parallel to the Adriatic Sea and Marano Lagoon. In Lignano Sabbiadorum, spend your leisure time on beautiful beaches, attempting water sports, touring theme parks, and playing golf.

Lignano Sabbiadoro is made up of three districts: Lignano Sabbiadoro, the historic center; Lignano Pineta, a forest-backed paradise; and Lignano Riviera, which is laid-back. A 5-mile (8-kilometer) beach runs along the resort's coast, which is bordered by beautiful crystal clear water. For hire are gazebos, loungers, and sun umbrellas as well as changing facilities in both public and private clubs. The public access areas or private clubs offer bars, restaurants, and children's entertainment.

Grado, Italy

Grado is a small town on the Adriatic Sea in northeastern Italy. It's well known for its beaches, which are considered some of the most beautiful in all of Italy. Grado also has a long history, dating back to the Roman Empire. Today, it's a popular tourist destination thanks to its lovely beaches and historic old town.

If you're looking for a relaxing beach vacation in northern Italy, Grado is a great choice. The town is small and charming, with plenty of restaurants and bars along the waterfront. Be sure to visit the Basilica di Sant'Eufemia, one of Grado's most famous landmarks.

Trieste, Italy

The eastern city of Trieste likely isn’t on most people's list of Italian cities to visit. It definitely lacks the kind of recognition you’d find with Florence, Milan or even somewhere like Orvieto. And yet, you surely won’t be disappointed with the various sights to see in Trieste.

It's not in a good location for many Italian trips, wedged between the Slovenian border and the end of the Adriatic Sea from Venice. It's not that it's difficult to get to by any means; simply that it performs best as a pit stop in certain situations. That said, its the perfect place to end your Italian Adriatic road trip. Trieste is a big city with a lot of things to see and do. Whether you delve into the city's history, its passion for coffee, or its Austrian architecture, it's an easy city to like. You'll be delighted that you had the opportunity to discover this notably different Italian metropolis in just one day.

Final thoughts on the ultimate guide to road tripping in the Italian Adriatic Coast

If you're looking for a great Italian road trip destination, be sure to add the Adriatic Coast to your list. This beautiful area offers everything from stunning coastal views to delicious food and lively nightlife. So, what are you waiting for? Start planning your trip today!


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