Whether you are looking for fresh seafood, blue flag beaches, open air museums or some traditional Italian life, San Benedetto del Tronto on the coast of Italy’s Le Marche has it all. Known as the Riviera delle Palme, thanks to its palm tree lined promenade, this charming beach town offers a perfect short break.
Here are our top tips on what to see and do in San Benedetto del Tronto, a must-see on any visit to the Adriatic coast.
1. A waterfront promenade by bike
Thanks to more than 7,000 palm trees that line its beachside boulevard, the Riviera delle Palme is the stretch of coast that includes the resorts of San Benedetto del Tronto, Grottammare and Cupra Marittima. Embark on a cycle ride along the path that connects these areas, passing ten themed gardens that face the sea as you go, and let yourself be carried away by the aromatic smells of plants, fragrant roses and citrus. Stop to access the beach or admire the view. Stroll through gardens with ponds, a palm garden, a rose garden, a Mediterranean garden, a children’s garden, and admire an oasis with streams. A bicycle ride through San Benedetto is a treat for the senses.
2. Explore Blue Flag beaches
One of 17 beaches in Le Marche awarded the Blue Flag, San Benedetto’s is a long stretch of fine golden sand and thanks to a sea barrier made from rocks, its shallow warm waters are perfect for family-friendly bathing. Plenty of seafood restaurants line the beachfront, each with its own section of sun beds and umbrellas, interspersed with areas reserved for the public should you wish to bring your own.
3. Visit the MAM, the Museum of Art on the Sea at the South Pier
Admire the art in the open-air museum that reaches out to the Adriatic. Walk among rocks and admire 135 sculptures and ten murals that give tribute to the sea, created by artists from all over the world. Enjoy the awe-inspiring “The seagull Jonathan Livingstone” by Mario Lupo, set against the backdrop of the Adriatic, as you wander through this permanently open one-kilometre wide museum. The entrance is free and the works are updated each year with new additions created through the Sculpture Viva Exhibition.
4. Buy the catch of the day at the fish market
Discover San Benedetto’s rich sea-faring traditions at the fish market at its port. Witness the arrival of fishing boats as they bring fresh catches and treat yourself to some delicious seafood from its numerous stalls.
READ MORE: FIVE QUIET BEACHES ON ITALY’S ADRIATIC COAST
5. Sample a fresh seafood dish: Brodetto alla Sambenedettese
Once prepared directly on board the fishing boats and consisting of the day’s catch with a tasty sauce, this delicious first course is served in numerous restaurants in San Benedetto. Cooked in aluminium pots with squid being its main ingredient, we recommend that you book in advance due to its lengthy preparation time. But we can guarantee that it’s worth the wait!
So much to see & do in San Benedetto del Tronto
6. Dive into San Benedetto’s seafaring past at the Museum of the Sea at the North Pier
Discover the hidden wonders of the sea at the museum at the north pier, with its display of aquariums, amphorae and crustaceans. Actually three museums in one, enjoy displays from maritime history, and admire submarine finds from different eras and civilisations such as Canaanite, Phoenician, Punic, Greek, Roman and Byzantine.
7. Shop for local produce and explore antiques in San Benedetto’s shopping quarter
Plenty of shops line the streets in the centre of San Benedetto. From independent boutiques to chain stores, there are a variety of goods on offer, from books and cd’s, to clothes and local produce. Visit on a Friday, which is market day, for extra goodies, or explore the L’Antico e le Palme (antiques market) which runs at selected periods throughout the summer in the city centre.
8. Immerse yourself in the history of the High Country
After a day of visiting the numerous other towns in Le Marche, return to San Benedetto and visit the tower at the ancient Alto Paese which dates back to the 12th and 13th centuries. Explore the churches that lead up to the tower ‘Dei Gualtieri’ and climb to the top, taking in a panoramic vista of the city. At over 16 metres high, the tower’s unique hexagonal plan recalls the hull of a ship and sitting atop are two bells: the largest is from 1853 and weighs a good 6,400 pounds. They certainly knew how to build strong buildings in those days!
READ MORE: ABOUT LE MARCHE