The bay of Portonovo is certainly one of the best beaches of the Riviera del Conero in Le Marche. It is a true oasis, between crystal clear water and breathtaking views. The beach of Portonovo is also called the Green Bay because of its particularity of being completely immersed in the nature of the Conero Park and far from busy roads.
To park close to the beach you will have to be there very early, around 8 o’clock in the morning. It is very popular and parking spaces fill up quickly. Another possibility is to park on top of the conero mountain in the parking lot and take the shuttle to Portonovo.
OUR TIP: On the website of La Capannina you can reserve sunbeds with a parasol and a parking space. Then you can drive there at your leisure. Very relaxed. Go to the website and click on preview. Enter the day you want to go and find your spot on the beach, with or without a parking space.
The southern part of the bay consists of:
Spiaggia Torre de Bosis
In the middle of the bay of Portonovo is the white pebble beach of the Torre, so named because of the presence of the old Torre De Bosis, which is offered for rent as a B&B by Le Marche Explorer. This beach is a free beach, so there are no sunbeds and umbrellas for rent, but everyone brings their own umbrella and looks for a spot. It is a pebble beach and the sea is fairly deep right away, so water shoes are needed. The water is super clear and you occasionally see a beach guest with a snorkel and a bag of fresh oysters or muscoli coming out of the water. On this beach is also Il Clandestino, a real wine bar with restaurant, a creation of the man who introduced sushi to Italy – star chef Moreno Cedroni.
NB: Torre de Bosis is one of the most emblematic buildings of the Conero Riviera. When you stay there (bookable via www.le-marche-explorer.com) you have a beautiful view of the entire bay of Portonovo from the roof terrace (the watchtower). Be quick because bookings come within a year in advance.
Spiaggia della Capannina
La Capannina beach is known for a number of water activities: surfing, windsurfing, sup and canoe trips at conero style you can rent all this and also take lessons at Conero Style. It is the most active and sporty part of Portonovo Bay.
Spiaggia Le Vele
The “wildest” part of Portonovo bay is represented by Spiaggia Le Vele. This entirely stony area begins just below the slopes of the Conero, after the beautiful Church of Santa Maria di Portonovo. A cliff starts at the end of Capannina beach and right behind it you will see this old church, definitely worth a visit. This is where the Spiaggia della Vela begins. The name of this beach is derived from a rock that protrudes from the sea in the shape of a sail.
No matter which beach yougo to, you can enjoy good food everywhere. In a restaurant, or outside at the takeaway with a nice cold beer or glass of wine, relax. Be sure to try the wild mussels because you are in the middle of the typical Moscioli area (the wild mussels of the Conero).
OUR TIP: Pay a visit to the church of Santa Maria di Portonovo around five o’clock.
Church of Santa Maria
The beautiful Church of Santa Maria is one of Portonovo’s particularities. It really is a wonderful example of Romanesque architecture in the Marche. The Church of Santa Maria di Portonovo was built at the beginning of the eleventh century by the Benedictine monks and was once an ancient abbey. The Benedictine monks did not care about the weather and undaunted visited their church for daily prayers.
Still, the Benedictines left their enclosure in 1320, with the constant threat of landslides and earthquakes. Only a few hermits still inhabited the site. In 1558 the Saracens burned the remaining abbey buildings to the ground, the church survived and endured the following turbulent years: during the French era and the period after the Unification of Italy, it served as a warehouse, sheepfold and wood depot until the architect Giuseppe Sacconi built it in 1894. first restoration of the church started.
The exterior walls of the church are made with the white stone from the Conero quarries and the original interior floor is made with ocher stones and terracotta elements.
Santa Maria di Portonovo is a jewel of Romanesque architecture that is unique not only in the Marche region and in the Conero Riviera, but also in Italy. Only in Corsica and Normandy can you admire other architectural examples of this kind.