Portopiccolo: Italy, with a twist

A trip to Portopiccolo proved to Shara there’s more to Italy than just the bits you know. This luxury resort is off the beaten track, but spectacular…


Less than two hours from London, and just a 20-minute drive from Trieste airport on the other side is Portopiccolo, the ideal three-day break. It’s like nowhere else in the world: a luxury tourist resort in the north east of Italy. It is home to a marina, luxury hotel, spa centre, restaurants, boutiques and more.

The town was originally built from a quarry, and within the resort are around 400 homes and apartments, as well as a luxurious hotel, Falisia, A Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, where I stay.

The hotel

Located in the village steps away from the sea, the 58 rooms are modern and sophisticated. The bathroom had a wonderful power shower, made all the better for the gorgeous Aqua di Parma products.

Hotel views over the marina are utterly stunning, offering an unbroken vista, and food and wellness lead the way in Portopiccolo. The resort has multiple restaurants on site, all which are less than five minutes walking distance from our bedroom.

Do stop by the gorgeous Italian bakery with fresh treats. All the restaurants showcase the best of Italian fare. We try everything from indulging at the from delicious pizzeria to enjoying the fish restaurant – the wine bar is well worth a stop in, too.

The spa

To offset all of this – if you wish to – is the medical spa, The Med in Blue Medical Spa. Focusing on preventative medicine as pioneered by Professor Mario Cordaro in the 1930s, it has a holistic approach. Integrating physical and mental rejuvenation is key, making use of  diagnostics, genetic and metabolic tests, movement analysis, physio and comprehensive nutrition plans.

I decide to dip in and out: spa and vegan wellness menu one day and pizza and Aperol Spritz the next. Now I’m not a vegan, but this nearly turned me – the coconut milk risotto with lime was so unbelievably creamy, I couldn’t get over its lack of dairy. Make sure to book a facial with Valentina at the Spa by Bakel. An hour of complete bliss and my skin never looked or felt better.

Other things to do

If you’re into boats and seaside views, Portopiccolo is the place for you: there are boats galore. From tiny sailing vessels to pimping yachts, the boat watching is a sport unto itself, St Tropez-style.

It’s worth noting it can be fairly tricky to get around. Italians have a slightly different take on what 24/7 means, so ask the hotel for advice. For example – there are lots of places closed on Mondays and most places don’t serve food after 2.30pm until 7pm.

The beach is comprised of white pebbles and is a great sunbathing spot. Try Maxi’s beach club – a must for a lazy day in the sun overlooking an infinity pool into the sea.

All in all, Portopiccolo is a place like no other – be sure to see it for yourself.

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Charlotte is a London girl through and through. She sweats through spin and puffs through Pilates to justify trying the latest restaurants and devouring copious amounts of sweet potato fries, burrata and bread – preferably on holiday. Her favourite destinations include Italy, the Maldives and anywhere where the sun’s shining and there’s a strong breakfast buffet. She’s obsessed with walking, visiting farmers’ markets and reading. She’s also learning to cook. Wish her (and her husband) luck.

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