A southern Italy hideaway

 

Chosen from Sawdays latest selection of places to stay, and just steps from the Ionian sea in Italy's deep south, this arty retreat charms adventurous couples with its laid-back vibe and delicious food.

At Praia Art Resort all you need are beach flip flops, your own loungers, a free mini-bar, fresh fruit while sunbathing... and five types of cake at breakfast, almost always served out by the pool thanks to year-round sunshine. The dress code is simple. Bathing suit by day, then later something arty and colourful for pool-side drinks and a meal in the bamboo-roofed restaurant. 

Natural foods are on the menu: fresh salads and seafood with herbs from the garden and a hint of Calabrian hot pepper. Wines are local, and so too are the wood carvings, abstract artworks and naïve tiles created by master craftsmen and artists. Bedrooms, each with a private terrace, cluster amid pine trees a quick flip-flop from the beach. With their warm peach or green walls and über-modern bathrooms – rain showers, glass sinks, fluffy robes – they make a cosy retreat for couples.

Take a good map because the resort is well hidden in a quiet complex by Capo Rizzuto marine reserve. Tucked in Italy's toe, the province of Crotone is blissfully free of tourism yet filled with attractions from Capo Colonna archaeological park to the wild beauty of Valli Cupe's waterfalls.

 

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