Hotel Minerva, Lignano Sabbiadoro ***
The Hotel Minerva in Lignano Sabbiadoro - this attractive three-star hotel in Udine province is located in the pretty seaside resort of Lignano Sabbiadoro. Lying at Lignano Pineta, and close to the beach, the hotel has a friendly, welcoming atmosphere, and was completely refurbished in 2002. View hotel
Double rooms from €76
Hotel Bella Venezia Mare, Lignano Pineta ***
This beautifully located hotel in Italy's Udine province (Friuli Venezia Giulia region) has an excellent position just 100 metres from the sea and a similar distance from the pedestrianised shopping promenade at Lignano Pineta. View hotel
Double rooms from €0
Hotel Italia Palace, Lignano Sabbiadoro ****
The Hotel Italia Palace in Lignano Sabbiadoro - this handsome, modern, four-star hotel in Udine province stands in a convenient central location within easy reach of Lignano Sabbiadoro's lively town centre, yet only 300 metres from the beach. View hotel
Double rooms from €140
The name translates as 'Lignano of the golden sands' and though the 'Sabbiadoro' was added as a canny marketing angle back in the 1930s, it is a well-deserved description of this lovely peninsula in Italy's northern Adriatic. Lignano is a peninsula poking out from the coastline of Friuli-Venezia Giulia - you can't get further north east in Italy without ending up in the Balkans, and Friuli region has Austria and Slovenia as its neighbours. The resort began life as a collection of bathing establishments in the early years of the 20th century, when healthy outdoor living and seaside rest cures were becoming hugely popular. So basic was Lignano then that you couldn't reach it by land, and people boated in. The road came in the late 1920s and Lignano Sabbiadoro became a town proper a few years later.
Aerial photographs of the peninsula show why it became so popular. A verdant sweep of land pushes out into the blue waters of the Adriatic and the Lagoon, fringed by miles of golden sands and with the dark green of the pinewoods at its back (this part of Lignano is known as 'Pineta' in a nod to the conifers). Ernest Hemingway came here in the 1950s and was so inspired by the views that he got a book out of it - Across the River and Into the Trees. And though resolutely a holiday destination, Lignano is unspoiled - the waters of the Marano Lagoon are an ecosystem of stunning beauty and great environmental importance, with rare species of wildfowl and other creatures. Here you will see the fishermen's huts, fashioned from the reeds of the marsh and still used today. The curve of the coast is pitted with islets and sandbanks, and a trip to the Venetian settlement of Marano, within its fortified walls, is a must. Most of all though, Lignano Sabbiadoro is about just that - golden sands and miles of them. A beautiful and leisurely paced vacation spot, and within striking distance both of Venice and Trieste.