The stylish seaside resort Romans don’t want you to know about

Travel News from Stuff - 27-11-2023
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Think of and immediately scenes of baroque architecture, gladiators and ancient ruins spring to mind. The sea? Not so much. And yet, the coast is less than an hour’s drive away. Hence the reason the Eternal City can (unexpectedly for many) count seafood – – as part of its culinary heritage.

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As the warmer months approach, there’s nothing the Romans love more than a beach getaway. Because as soon as those Roman cobblestones start to sizzle under the unforgiving sun, it becomes evident that the moment has arrived to bid farewell to the bustling city and embrace the invigorating coastal breeze.

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But while many locals are in on the secret, let’s face it; when you think of the Italian seaside, the Lazio coastline doesn’t quite evoke the dreamy imagery of sun soaking, luxury seafront hotels or living la dolce vita.

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Enter La Posta Vecchia, with its rosy pink-tinged walls, nestled on the scenic Ladispoli waterfront, just a short hop from central Rome. This grand dame is more than just a hotel. It’s got history, glamour, style and a whole lot of soul.

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Located on the site of an ancient villa (the ancient Romans were way ahead of the game when it came to the beachside escape) it was built in the 17th century but was famously bought and renovated by billionaire American industrialist John Paul Getty in the 1960s.

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Getty filled the house with Italian art, antiques and artefacts which came part and parcel with the estate when it was purchased by hotelier Roberto Sciò in 1980. He first made it his family home before throwing open the doors to the public in 1990 as a 19-room hotel.

Now in the hands of his daughter, Marie Louise Sciò, La Posta Vecchia has been given a new lease on life under the Pellicano Group of luxury hotels. As Pellicano’s chief executive and creative director, Sciò has modernised the brand, with a collection of properties that cater to guests with an eye for luxurious yet simple details.

There’s an indoor pool, spa and upmarket restaurant. But just like its sister locations, the Hotel Il Pellicano in Tuscany and watchtower turned hotel Mezzatorre in Ischia, La Posta Vecchia blends the old-school Italian concept ofvilleggiatura (the idea of escaping city life to the country or coast to refresh the body and mind) with contemporary style.

The result is a coastal hideaway with Pellicano touches, such as the iconic striped lounge chairs and a boutique retail shop selling Italian artisan items and design pieces from Issimo, the hotel group’s e-commerce offshoot. So yes, if you fall in love with your stylish parasol or striped beach towel you can simply buy it online when you get home.

Farm-to-table and sustainability plays a large part of the hotel’s culinary ethos; chef Antonio Magliulo leads an ambitious and predominantly meat-free menu which uses ingredients from the hotel’s vegetable garden and local produce, and avoids slow cooking to save energy. It’s a refreshing approach, and still something of a rarity to see this level of commitment to sustainability in the luxury hotel space.

Perhaps what sets La Posta Vecchia apart is the love Sciò feels for her family home. There might be Roman ruins in the basement and priceless art on the walls but this is also where, as a child, Sciò says she spent many gleeful hours playing hide and seek in the Roman museum, beneath the property’s foundations.

And, of course, there’s the seaside. Beyond its history and renaissance splendour, La Posta Vecchia is still doing what it’s always done – offering a lavish, beachy respite from the frenetic buzz of one of the world’s most popular tourist cities.

So once you’ve ticked off Rome’s Colosseum and carbonara, why not do as the Romans do and escape to the sea? La Posta Vecchia might be close in distance to Rome, but on many levels it’s truly a world away.

Rooms at La Posta Vecchia Hotel from €508 (NZ$924) per night. See:

There are a variety of flight options from New Zealand into Rome-Fiumicino International Airport with stops. La Posta Vecchia is around 50 minutes from Rome by car or taxi.

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