According to our guests, it's quite a challenge to drag oneself away from the pool and terraces of Due Pini. The good news is, if the urge for exploring did become greater than the urge to relax, there is plenty to do and see in the surrounding areas. Here are some of our family's favourites:
There are numerous lovely beaches a 15-minute drive from Due Pini. Some of our favourites include Sperlonga, Valle Corsari and 300 Gradini, a private beach, that charges a couple of euros entry, reached by walking down 300 steps along the cliffs.
300 gradini beach
We love this beach as it's a bit of an adventure to get to. You must walk down 300 steep steps, beach towel in hand, in order to reach a lovely wide beach and a tiny beach bar that sells gelato, cold drinks and snacks.
One of the easiest beaches to reach from the house, Sperlonga beach is perfect for a day of sun, people-watching, spaghetti vongole and sea-swimming. Come back to the house with sand between your toes, sun-kissed cheeks and a head full of impressions.
la dolce vita
Whether it's walking up to the ramparts of the old castle in Itri, playing a sunset match of basketball in Sperlonga Mare, drinking an aperitivo on the terrace of Due Pini or hiking through the ancient olive groves in the Aurunci mountains, you will discover something magical...
Sperlonga old town by night
There is nothing more relaxing than enjoying the passeggiata (the evening stroll) in Sperlonga old town or along the harbour walls of Gaeta, gelato in hand before the hour of the aperitivo.
We love watching the world go by on our evening passeggiata in Sperlonga old town, where the young and old meet to saunter, discuss and put the world to rights. Without fail, there is usually chocolate gelato streaming down the kids' hands as they are too busy watching and playing with other kids, to keep up with the giant scoops.
Considered the Island of Love, Ponza is a picturesque island a ferry-crossing away.
There are several charter companies in Sperlonga and Gaeta that allow you to charter a boat for the day. This is a perfect way to explore some of the beaches and coves that are otherwise not accessible.
For those interested in history, there are a couple of must-sees, such as Tiberius' Grotto in Sperlonga and Pompeii in Naples. But the modern art lover also gets a hit as Cy Twombly spent his last years painting in Gaeta, a nearby town.
Tiberius Grotto in Sperlonga. This is a fun little expedition for the history lover, and so close to Itri.
Not many manage to tear themselves away from Itri for long enough, but Pompeii and Naples is certainly worth a day trip, especially out of season.
From the local fruit and vegetable shop to the fishmonger, you don't have to go far to reach finger-licking food in Itri. Some of our favourites include Zi'Anna Mare (Formia), the Mozzarella shack along the coast (between Sperlonga and Gaeta) and Ristorante Pizzaria Bellavista in Itri - a lovely family-friendly restaurant overlooking the old town.
Not one holiday goes past without us having the full Zi'Anna Mare dining experience in Formia. This is a true family establishment where the newly-in-love and local families meet to celebrate Easter, big family events or simply to have a memorable meal out. It's worth booking a table.
mozzarella by the sea
The first time we tried the mozzarella at Ristorante Arenauta, we thought, "We cant' possibly eat all that," when the owner gave us a three giant balls of mozzarella. Half an hour later and we were asking for extras. This low-key, road-side experience is as authentic as it gets.
If you're out for dinner don't expect any food before 7pm (at the earliest) at Ristorante Pizzeria Bellavista. Here, in true Mediterranean style, local families start trickling in, babies included, from 9pm.