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Travelling experiences: FAI properties between sea and culture

14 July 2023

Did you know that some FAI properties overlook the sea or are located just a few kilometres from the coast? From North to South, discover the unique places that we protect every day to make your Italian seaside holidays even more unforgettable.

LIGURIA

From Camogli, one of the most characteristic and famous villages of eastern Liguria, take the ferry to San Fruttuoso: you will arrive in a splendid bay dominated by an ancient abbey with its solar tower. This is the Abbazia di San Fruttuoso, a Benedictine monastery dating back to the year one thousand, set between the sea and the woods of the Portofino mountain and donated to the Foundation by Frank and Orietta Pogson Doria Pamphilj in 1983.

From 6 July, in addition to visiting the abbey with its archaeological finds, the cloister and the tombs of the Doria family, you will be able to immerse yourself in the black and white unpublished shots of the famous photographer Gianni Berengo Gardin who, during the pandemic, immortalised this fishing village frequented only by the few residents.

Attention: in summer, access to the beach is limited, so you will have to book your entrance a few days in advance directly in Camogli or online.


MARCHE


Half an hour from the most enchanting beaches of the Adriatic – the Conero Riviera – stands on a hill in the Marche hinterland Recanati, the birthplace of Giacomo Leopardi. From a few glimpses of its medieval streets you can see Mount Conero and the blue expanse of the sea. Strolling along the town’s main street, one arrives at Casa Leopardi and a little further on one reaches a place of peace and quiet: the Orto sul Colle dell’Infinito, inaugurated in 2019. It was here that the poet set his famous poem L’Infinito.

The experience in the FAI Property is a real “guided tour” inside the poem, which invites, through immersive projections and engaging experiences, to rediscover the history, meaning and universal value of a few verses, a masterpiece of Italian culture.
 The Garden, dotted with cypresses and fruit trees, with vegetables, flowers and a few rows of vines is the final destination of the tour. Calmly enjoy the silence of this place, and try to sink gently into its sea of beauty.

To discover all the events of the FAI Summer Evenings at the Orto sul Colle dell’Infinito, click here (article in Italian)!


CAMPANIA

The Sorrento Peninsula is one of the main tourist destinations in the region. At its tip, in front of the Faraglioni of Capri, there is a place of rare scenic beauty which, legend has it, was chosen as the home of the Sirens who met Ulysses on his return to Ithaca: the Baia di Ieranto.

Donated to the FAI so that it could be removed from the dangers of speculation, the bay is recognised as a Site of Community Interest, included in the Protected Marine Area of Punta Campanella. Here you can take a dip in the crystal-clear water and enjoy exciting and fun experiences such as kayaking, snorkelling, birdwatching and walking or trekking in the most unspoilt nature.

To discover all the events of the FAI Summer Evenings at Baia di Ieranto, click here (article in Italian)!


PUGLIA

In summer, those in Lecce who wish to spend a day at the seaside know that they can choose between two destinations depending on whether a north wind or a gale blows: go east towards the Adriatic Sea, or west towards the Ionian Sea, because Lecce is less than half an hour from either coast of Salento.A few kilometres from Lecce, towards the Adriatic coast, is the Abbazia di Santa Maria di Cerrate.
Built near the Roman road that joined Brindisi and Otranto, the Abbey was enlarged to become one of the most important monastic centres in southern Italy and today, after careful restoration by the FAI, you can appreciate the peace and beauty of this splendid example of Apulian Romanesque architecture embellished with important frescoes that make it unique in the Byzantine world.

To discover all the events of the FAI Summer Evenings at the Abbazia di Cerrate, click here (article in Italian)!

SICILY

From the great beaches of the south coast of Sicily, it is only a few minutes to Agrigento and its spectacular Valley of the Temples, a Unesco World Heritage site. Here, in a small valley situated between the Temple of Castor and Pollux and the Temple of Vulcan, lies the Giardino della Kolymbethra. Included in the normal circuit of visits to the archaeological site, this little paradise on earth offers refreshment and a break in the greenery: a shady corner where centuries-old olive trees and ancient citrus trees flood this garden with their scents.
Don’t miss a visit to the hypogea dating back to the 5th century B.C.: in the company of expert guides, you can have a truly unique underground experience, walking along the ancient Phaeacian Aqueducts that connected the valley with the ancient city of Akragas.

To discover all the events of the FAI Summer Evenings at the Kolymbethra Garden, click here (article in Italian)!

Still in Sicily, if you are on holiday in Pantelleria – the ‘black pearl’ of the Mediterranean – do not miss a visit to the Donnafugata estate in the Khamma district. Among the rows of zibibbo grapes you will find a curious circular stone construction, the so-called Giardino Pantesco, one of the few still standing on the island. Here, for millennia, the prodigy of agricultural engineering that allows a single orange plant to proliferate protected from wind and drought has been performed.

SARDINIA

On the outskirts of Cagliari, you can discover a unique place characterised by an immense natural area and an industrial archaeology site within a plant that is still productive: the Saline Conti Vecchi. When you visit this Conti Vecchi property, which has been enhanced by the FAI, you can immerse yourself in the life of an early 20th-century saltworks and cross the 2,700 hectares over which the salt pans extend on board a small train, amidst salt boxes, evaporating basins, salt hills, salt meadows and colonies of water birds. The natural oasis surrounding the Bene is populated by 35,000 birds belonging to 50 different species, including herons and pink flamingos.

To discover all the events of the FAI Summer Evenings at the Conti Vecchi Saltworks, click here (article in Italian)!

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