1st July 2018
Hotel Villa Elena in Tortoreto, Abruzzo, italy
The Adriatic coastline of the province of Teramo in the Italian region of Abruzzo is one long sandy beach stretching for forty-five kilometres. These beautiful beaches that slope gently down into the sea are very popular for locals and visitors. A ribbon development of seven traditional Italian seaside resorts, known as the seven sisters, offer accommodation of all varieties and standards for sun and sand seekers. I spent several days here at the Hotel Villa Elena in Tortoreto Lido which is considered to be the most elegant of these resorts. Throughout my stay I felt very at home in this comfortable, family-run four-star hotel. I particularly enjoyed my leisurely breakfasts sitting outside in the pool area where I had a lovely view of the rolling green hills above the town.
Breakfast, a buffet, was served in the hotel dining room but for my other meals I was spoilt for choice. The hotel has four different restaurants at the front of the building. There is a small café Caffé Giardino, a good venue for an Expresso and a pastry. There is the country pub, Taverna la Villa, the Pizzeria Abruzzese and for those who enjoy fine dining, the Ristorante Maria. The latter features traditional dishes of the region and I was very impressed by the quality of the food. The sea food platter starter is excellent and goes well with their green spaghetti alla chittara (a traditional Abruzzo pasta) with prawns and clams. After this feast I had no room for a main course but I did manage some fresh strawberries for dessert. During my stay I worked my way through the tasty fish dishes and made sure I had enough room for the creamy home-made tiramisu.
The beach is a ten-minute walk straight down the road opposite the hotel and for those who prefer not to walk the hotel has a free shuttle available. I chose to walk and made my way to Conchiglia, a private beach, that guests from the hotel are invited to use. Here I found long, straight, rows of brightly coloured sun beds and umbrellas stretching down to the sea that was gently lapping the golden sand. I walked to the water’s edge before retreating to the shade of the bar and a cool drink before taking a walk down the long promenade. I could have hired a bike from the hotel as there is a cycle track all the way along the front – another day maybe.
I found my Italian seaside experience very relaxing and I felt very at home in the hotel which is run by the Vagnazzi family assisted by their efficient and friendly staff. Giuseppe Vagnazzi the owner and manager is a convivial host and always on hand to ensure his guests are happy while his wife Nunzia is a cheerful presence in their restaurants. A great place for an Italian beach holiday.
I flew from London, Heathrow, to Rome, Fiumicino with Alitalia. There are regular long-distance buses from Fiumicino to Abruzzo run by Gaspari which are easily booked online.