An Awesome Recommendation
We were so grateful and fortunate to be staying at my supervisors apartment for our holiday – it was rustic yet modern, homely and well equipped. It was a great place to explore different towns and places from with a sense of being among the locals at the same time. My supervisor has obviously stayed at her apartment with her family and friends many times and when telling me about the best places to visit Vasto came up. My supervisor told me this was a great town with a brilliant beach and she suggested we visited whilst on our holiday if we fancied it. She told me about times she had visited there and places she had stayed – I looked them up and was instantly sold. I suggested to Nathan that we take a trip there and plan a night of luxury for one night and after he saw the pictures he agreed within seconds.
Vasto, or Citta Del Vasto as it’s also known, is a town based on the Southern Adriatic Coast in Abruzzo. The drive to Vasto took us about an hour and a half from the apartment and we encountered fun trying to get through the barriers and tolls on the motorway! When you arrive in the town you have to park up in a car park as you are not permitted to drive into the centre of the town. This gives the town a nice, safe, pedestrian only feel which helps to add to its Italian authenticity I think. A lot of the town centre is Medieval and it’s brimming with historical churches and other architecturally beautiful buildings. When we arrived we couldn’t wait to explore, we felt as if the holiday had really begun!
We had chosen to stay the night at Residenza Amblingh which my supervisor had highly recommended. We had checked it out on TripAdvisor before booking (which I do for all accommodation) and were pleased to see it had 5 stars and brilliant reviews. We booked it through booking.com and I’m so glad we did – it was ace and we got such a good deal!
Despite our best scanning for signs and google map skills we still managed to get a bit lost finding the eighteenth century mansion – no surprise there really! We didn’t really mind getting a bit lost though as the sun was shining and we got to see our first peeks of the beach!
On arrival at Residenza Amblingh we were met by the host who was friendly and charming. He warmly welcomed us in and showed us around the residence including the lounge area, breakfast balcony and finally our stunning room. The host also showed us how to get in and out of the building using the access card. We were left to settle in and admire the room – which we did, for quite a long time, taking some lots of photos and exploring the mini bar!
We chilled out for a bit looking at the map and dinner recommendations the host had told us about. We decided to go out and have an early evening walk before getting some food. It was so lovely wandering around the town, again as it was pedestrian only meant you could wander around without fear of those crazy Italian drivers mowing you down! We went and had a look around the church and various gift type shops before deciding to go for aperitif – our first of the trip. We sat outside in the square and ordered some cocktails. We were quite surprised with the amount of free food they brought us – nuts, crisps and little sandwich type things. We demolished it all of course!
Time for Pizza!
After our drinks we went for another walk and stopped at another outside bar that overlooked the beach. We had a couple more cocktails here and chatted as the sun set. A little tipsy by now we wandered looking for somewhere to eat dinner. The Italians don’t seem to eat till 8pm onwards and many of the restaurants don’t open until this time. I think this is quite different from England where you could happily walk into a restaurant at 6pm and get a table and dinner. We walked for quite a while looking at menus outdoors and trying to find the right place (not somewhere that only served shell fish!) and ended up at a restaurant back really near to where we were staying for the night. Here we had pizza and wine and ate al fresco. I love doing this – it really makes you feel you are on holiday! We enjoyed laughing at the pizza Nathan ordered in hast when accosted by the Italian waitress who spoke no English!
We retired to the room a little worse for wear for baths, processco and bed – bliss!
Breakfast with a View
We awoke after a really good and comfy nights sleep in the huge bed. We hadn’t set an alarm and needed to quickly get ready so we wouldn’t miss breakfast. This meant I didn’t have time to try out the shower which was a shame as it huge shower head looked amazing. We were the only ones having breakfast and there was quite the selection to help yourselves too. There was a waitress there to serve you drinks and she told us what all the cakes, pastries and meat offerings were. The selection was vast – the usual yoghurt, fruit and cereal along with meats, cheese, rolls and a variety of pastries and cakes. We enjoyed the cakes the most, although it did feel rather odd and very naughty to be having cake for breakfast! The breakfast room itself is lovely – on the balcony of the building – it is covered over head but there are no windows so you can look out over the beach and feel the fresh air from the sea. Lovely!
After filling our stomachs and packing up our stuff we reluctantly said goodbye to Residenza Amblingh. It was so nice and I would love to stay there again sometime. Our two-floored suite was very grand and luxurious and I would have happily stayed there for longer (should we have been able to afford to!).
Panoramic Views of The Adriatic
We got the car and made our way to the beach. It was only about a 10 minute drive and it was easy to find – just follow the signs for Vasto Beach! We were easily able to park up beachside (we didn’t have to pay as they don’t charge after the end of August). It was super hot and we made our way onto the sand. We found some lounge deckchairs to sit on and we both ended up falling asleep listening to the waves. Needless to say, despite the suncream we had plastered on, there was a little bit of sunburn! The beach was pretty quiet, it felt like it was only a locals around and I enjoyed watching three older ladies sunbath and play cards in the sun.
After our nap we went for a walk along the beach and a paddle in the sea – it was glorious and we kicked ourselves for having forgotten our swimsuits. It was lunchtime by now and hunger was kicking in, yet we couldn’t seem to find anywhere open that was selling food (this old story again!). After trying a few places we decided just to head back to the apartment where we knew we had lots of food waiting for us. I think Nathan was quite keen to get out of the sun by this time!
I really loved Vasto! It had such a relaxed and historic feel to it and I loved how we were able to have a few cocktails and eat pizza al fresco. It felt quite different from cooking ourselves in the apartment and nice to be around others eating out and enjoying themselves. We couldn’t fault our stay at Residenza Amblingh either and would definitely recommend and visit again should the option arise.
Have you ever visited Vasto? What did you think? Any other beach locations you would recommend in Italy?