2-3 days beach to swim near Venice

Hello, We are (husband and wife 49/48) first time in Italy. Planning to visit Milan, lakes, Verona, Venice, Florence, Siena, Rome. And would like to relax 2-3 days on the beach and we love to swim. Can somebody help me to decide where to stay, maybe near Venice (I am not sure where, I think Adriatic sea is warmer ). Also I am not planning to stay on the beach all day long. Half day swim, afternoon go see some city (or place nearby) or maybe swim afternoon.
We are arriving to Milan on September 7, flying back from Rome on September 21. Thanks a lot for your help.

Posted by donna
roswell, ga, usa
1012 posts

This is an area about which I know something. I have family in Riccioni on the Adriatic, and I've been many times. We usually stay in that town, but there's also Rimini and Catolica and other places. They are very proud of their "sabbia" sand because it is very fine, and in most of Italy the beaches are more gravel and rock. There are many hotels right on the beach in Riccioni. You will however, pay for a chair and umbrella per day because the beaches are owned separately but it's a fixed rate for the entire day. There is a gradual egress into the water and the Adriatic is much warmer than on the other side. I would advise making this stop on the front end of your trip while the water is still warm. Riccioni is a thriving happy little town with lots of restaurants and shops but don't expect a lot of English speakers, as it's mostly full of Italian families vacationing. I've been to the other towns, but Riccioni is by far my favorite place.

Posted by JustTravel
San Francisco/Venezia
251 posts

There is always the Lido, just ~20 minutes boat (vaporetto) ride from Venice proper. I know a couple who stay in Lido in July mainly to be on the beach.

Posted by Lilia
San Diego, CA, USA
11 posts

Thanks a lot, Maybe we will try both areas - staying in Venice - going one time to Lido and after Venice will go for 2 days to Riccioni. Does Rimini to crowd? What beach is better? Or probably they very close to each other and the same?

Posted by donna
roswell, ga, usa
1012 posts

Just like in the states, the beaches in the summer in Italy, and Sicily for that matter, are crowded in summer. This would be the same as asking are the beaches in Cape Cod crowded in the summer! Of course they are -- they're not useful for swimming in the Winter! Your trip starting in September, is when the children go back to school, so you won't find Summer crowds in either place. I have only been to the Adriatic beaches and not the Lido as the other poster has, but I can vouch for the sand and water temp in Riccioni and Rimini. The water will start getting colder the later in September that you go. Yes, they are pretty similar, sharing the same sand and sea. You decide which town looks better. I prefer Riccioni, but that's my opinion. Have fun in the sun and sand in the Adriatic!

Posted by donna
roswell, ga, usa
1012 posts

I like this schedule much better! It's not up to other people to tell you what you MUST do, but I thought the itinerary was a little rushed as well. I think you will need to take the car from Riccioni or Rimini to Florence and return it at the airport or train station there. I do not believe there's an easy rail direct train service from Riccioni to Florence without changing trains or busses frequently. I LOVE the idea of going to San Marino I've been there as well while visiting family and loved it. And yes, while you're in Florence, Siena is very easy, and you can do it without a guide. The bus station is close to the train station in Florence, and it's an easy trip, and a day is enough! It's a good itinerary in my opinion. No matter how many trips to Italy you take, there is always more to see and save for next time. I'm doing more of Sicily now, and someday, someday, will go South from Rome to the toe! I just found my Rimini/Riccione guide book, and will send more info in a PM

Posted by Charlene
Centennial, CO, US
916 posts

You didn't ask for comments on your itinerary, but with only 14 nights in Italy and 7 cities to see, you may not have time for 2-3 days on a beach. If your beach is other than the Lido at Venice, that's 8 cities. You will be spending much of your vacation in transit from one place to another and will have little time to actually enjoy being in Italy. Some of these may be just quick stops (i.e. a few hours in Verona on the way to Venice, and a day trip to Siena from Florence). But still, it's a lot for 14 nights. Will you be driving or taking trains? If driving, do a search of this helpline for information on the dreaded ZTLs (especially in Florence). And be aware that you won't really need/want a car in Florence, Venice or Rome. Be sure to bring an International Drivers Permit (you can pick one up at AAA). I would also suggest that you read the Rick Steves "Italy" and "Europe Through the Back Door" guides, if you haven't already. Uou might be able to check them out of the library. They are filled with lots of helpful information for first time visitors.

Posted by Shari
Highlands Ranch, Colorado, United States
14 posts

My husband and I, same ages, just returned from 13 days in Italy. It was amazing! We were not planning any beach days, but stumbled upon the beach in Lido and had a great 2-3 hours there. The island is very pretty with large villas and homes. We were in Venice for 2 nights, and after our morning of touring the city, we decided to check Lido out. We didn't bring bathing suits, but we did walk the beach. Then, we found a great table at the bar, in the sand, with umbrellas, and spent happy hour sitting by the water. It was unexpected and really nice. We were at the public beach and because it was Sunday, it was very crowded (like an east coast beach) but nothing we hadn't seen before. If you are staying in Venice, I recommend trying this out for half a day. There are other islands close by but I'm not familiar with them. Maybe you can do 1/2 day on Lido and then 1/2 day on a different island.

Posted by Lilia
San Diego, CA, USA
11 posts

Thanks a lot to all people who are helping us - travelers. Thank you very much, Charlene, for all your suggestions. "Italy" by Rick Stevs book arrived 3 days ago, "Europe Through the Back Door" – I have from last year. About driver licence - we'll do it on Saturday. What do you think if we delete "lakes" from our trip, will do this plan (please suggest what do you think I can change?): 1. Milan – 7-8 (one night), 2. on the evening go to Verona (train or bus) 2 nights 9-10 or you think 1 night and add add 1 night to Rome?, 3. Venice – 11, 12 (train or bus?) 4. train or car to Riccione 13-14( we can rent a car and we can drive afternoon around to small city-villages, like San Marino...) 5. return car in Florence (or go by bus or train from Riccione?)
6. 3 days (15-18) in Florence (one day bus trip to Siena – do we need a tour or we can use Rick Stevs' book?) 7. Rome -19, 20, 21 (train or bus from Florence?) Big thanks to all you guys. You are THE BEST. Lilia.

Posted by Charlene
Centennial, CO, US
916 posts

I think that looks much better! I just wish you could fit 3 nights in Venice. Remember that a 2 night stay is actually just one full day in each of these places. If your plane lands in Milan in the morning, you might be able to stow your bags at the train station, walk around for a couple of hours and see the duomo and other sights, and then take the train to Verona late afternoon, giving you the extra night in Venice rather than the night in Milan. But Donna is right. This is your vacation, and you should try to fit in as much of your "must-sees" as you can. Are you traveling this September or in 2014? If this year, you might want to get started on hotel reservations. September can be a busy month. I really like booking.com; they show you just hotels that have vacancies on the nights you want, plus they have traveler reviews from people who have actually stayed in the hotel. No deposits are needed for most hotels, and you can usually cancel/change up to a couple of days in advance. Have fun planning!

Posted by Lilia
San Diego, CA, USA
11 posts

We going this year. Yes, we need to start booking, especially I always do my "homework" with travel. But I need to make itinerary first and I am still debating with my husband - he really wants to feet Cinque Terre to this trip ( he trying to choose between Cinque Terre and Riccione). But I think Riccione close to Venice side and will take less travel time, plus you never know what happen with Cinque Terre roads - could be close. We are coming in Milan from Amsterdam at 12 pm. Do you think I can go to Verona around 7-8pm? I checked on google - a fast train takes 1 hr 23 min. I totally agree with you about Venice - 3 nights will be nice and also Rome needs extra day :) Thanks again,
Lilia

Posted by donna
roswell, ga, usa
1012 posts

I think two nights in Venice will be adequate, since you won't be exhausted from coming from the U.S. and having to deal with jet lag. I just sent my niece and her husband on their first trip to Italy, direct from the U.s., and she felt that three nights in Venice was too much! She did it all in two days, despite the jet lag, but she's the kind of woman who wakes up and puts those shoes on and goes!
She only had 7 days on the ground and I tried to make it easy and luxurious, doing 3 nights in Venice and 4 nights in Rome. She said she'd liked to worked in Florence by adding a day, and removing a day from Venice. Everyone's different! Just relax and enjoy your trip! Don't rush from place to place, and try to do so many locations that you're inside a train more hours than you spend actually drinking in the beauty that is Italy!!! Remember -- every time you change locations you lose at least a half day!!! If you love swimming -- then do it, if you love museums, do it! I, personally, love sitting in cafes and drinking in the locals, and the act of just "being." If the Cinque Terre is so important to your husband, then eliminate Rome (I'm crying as I write this) but it's YOUR trip! Do Rome on the next trip (crying).

Posted by Charlene
Centennial, CO, US
916 posts

Since you're flying home from Rome, you can't skip it entirely. But if your husband really wants to see Cinque Terra, something has to give ... maybe Verona? Now your trip could look like this: Arrive MilanTrain to Venice (3 nights)Pick up car, drive to beach town (3 nights); include day trip to San MarinoDrive to Florence, drop off car (3 nights); include day trip to SienaTrain to Cinque Terra (2 nights)Train to Rome (3 nights) Whether or not you spend a few hours in Milan depends on how much you want to see it, and if the train schedules work. You want to arrive in Venice during daylight. Our first trip, we flew into Milan and took the train immediately to Venice ... it was very cool to see the buildings emerging from the lagoon. And fun to have Venice be our first Italian city.

Posted by Lilia
San Diego, CA, USA
11 posts

Big-big thanks. I'll do booking now. I hope I can see Duomo Milano and go strait to train station. My husband and I agreed on Cinque Terre - we'll visit next time. We checked on website - trails are closed. We'll do first two nights in Verona instead and earlier in the morning on 3-d day go to Venice. And continue to your suggested itinerary. Thanks again,
Lilia.