Lignano Sabbiadoro beach Friuli Venezia Giulia Italy © sabrisy, ShutterstockSunrise at Punta Faro’s ‘red lighthouse’ on the shore of Lignano Sabbiadoro © sabrisy, Shutterstock

Lignano ‘Sabbiadoro’ (golden sands) is the Palm Beach of Friuli, a true fun-in-the-sun success story.

In 1945 one of the last and oddest battles of the war was fought on the sandy, mostly empty peninsula of Lignano, between retreating Germans and New Zealanders. Not long after that, businessmen were already making plans for its perfect, unspoiled beaches. In 1954 Ernest Hemingway visited, just before the bulldozers arrived, and dubbed it ‘the Florida of Italy’. Papa nailed it: today Lignano ‘Sabbiadoro’ (golden sands) is the Palm Beach of Friuli, a fun-in-the-sun success story with a peak summer population of 300,000 (more than Trieste), 8km of massive, wide sandy Blue Flag beaches, more than 200 accommodation options, 3,600 other spots to bunk in from apartments to camp pitches, a spa, golf course, five amusement parks and one of the largest marinas in Italy, with more than 7,000 berths. To some readers, all that might sound dire. But in a way that maybe only Italians can pull off, Lignano manages to be a happy, urbane and unfailingly pleasant place. Bring the kids. 

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