Weekend getaway from Rome: the best things to do in Sabaudia
Whether you live in Rome or plan on visiting it, the summer gets pretty hot, and everyone needs to get away from the city at one point! And to enjoy a relaxing weekend on the beach, you don’t need to go very far! Just hop on a car, and in less than 1.30hr you will find the beautiful seaside town of Sabaudia, in the Parco Nazionale del Circeo.
Apart from being founded by Mussolini and built in only 265 days, Sabaudia is also known for its beautiful scenery. It has a stunning lake (Lago di Paola) as well as beautiful beaches (some of the best beaches near Rome). It is famous for its sand dunes, sight of the Monte Circeo and it’s also a popular Roman seaside retreat.
Sabaudia’s best beaches: Saporetti Beach Club
One of my favourite beach clubs is Saporetti. It’s the last beach club on the coast to the left, right next to the beautiful Monte Circeo. Saporetti also has a wonderful watchtower, Torre Paola, overlooking the beach. This beach club has sun beds, beach umbrellas, showers, a newsstand, a restaurant, two bars a tabacchi and even a hairdresser!
Parking: unless you have a seasonal subscription to the beach club, you should arrive early to the beach if you are driving to search for a parking spot (10.30am). Saporetti doest have a parking lot, but on peak season (mid July – end of August) the parking is reserved to those that have a seasonal subscription.
Sunbed (8 – 12 EUR): relax, read a book or fall asleep to the sound of the waves lapping on the shore. If you like walking, you can’t not go on a walk along the coast. There are beautiful villas to admire, especially Villa Volpi, and the sight of the Monte Circeo just never gets old.
Lunch: you have 3 different options: two bars and a restaurant. You can either go to one of the two bars, order something out of the daily menu written on the chalk board, the pasta with seafood is outstanding, as are the salads and fried calamari.While if you prefer the real restaurant experience, head to Saporetti’s restaurant. Just remember that if you plan on dining here, it won’t come cheap! Two seafood spaghettis, a bottle of white wine and two coffees come at 90 EUR.
Sunset happy hour: If you’re a sunset lover, then you have to go to Saporetti’s St. Bar during sunset. Sit down on one of the wooden tables and chairs, order a refreshing Aperol Spritz or a chilled wine glass or beer, nibble on some chips, olives and pizza and admire the stunning sunset with music floating in the background!
Sabaudia’s best beaches: Lilandà Beach Club
My other favorite beach club in Sabaudia is Lilandà Beach Club, with a cool surfer-Californian vibe. This beach club is located halfway between Monte Circeo and the famous Le Dune Hotel.
Parking: The parking is much simpler here, and they have a parking space where you can park even without a seasonal subscription for 10€. Just remember to call the day before to reserve your parking spot.
Sunbed (€10): As you walk down the decked stairs, you’ll get to admire the beautiful view of the sand dunes mixing with the colors of the sea. And once you arrive, amazing music mixed by the resident DJ – Massimiliano Troiani – that ranges from cool American oldies to today’s innest lounge music will be there to set the tone.
Lunch: for lunch, a yummy menu awaits you! From delicious pizzas and fresh salads (the greek salad and the seafood salad are amazing) to delightful sandwiches. But I always prefer to go with the spaghetti with clams! A chilled bottle of wine or a refreshing beer cannot be missing either! After that, coffee is the ritual, accompanied by a wonderful view of the sea, a refreshing breeze and amazing music. And after this meal, I think it’s time to lie down on the sun bed (10€) and take a nap!
Sunset happy hour: at around 6.30pm, order some cocktails or wine and sit on the comfy couches and chairs set on the sand and admire Sabaudia’s beautiful sunset! This is definitely something not to miss!
The best restaurants in Sabaudia
Ponte Rosso – Lago di Paola
Just a 5-minute walk from Saporetti, you will find this charming restaurant and bar. It’s right on the lake (to the left), and it has a stunning scenery. During sunset, you won’t see the sun set, but you will see the colors of the lake and the sky turn into a pinkish color, it’s simply sensational.
At Ponte Rosso, you can either have a nice happy hour and order a cocktail or a nice bottle of wine accompanied by delicious homemade pizza, olives and other nibbles, or you can have dinner.
Dinner here is wonderful. You sit in one of the candlelit tables right on the waterfront, admire the view and listen to lovely lounge music in the background. It’s the perfect place for a romantic dinner, but also for a friendly outing. The food is delicious, and the wine selection is of high quality. I recommend you order the seafood crudite, the red shrimp tartare or the shrimp wrapped in kataifi as a starter.
A bottle of wine, two starters, two mains and two desserts come at 110+ EUR or 55+ EUR per person.
Address: Via Casali di Paola 6, 04016 Sabaudia
Phone: +39 0773 596316
Not really in Sabaudia, but on Monte Circeo (a 15-20 minute drive away) you will find the four-star hotel Punta Rossa, which just so happens to have one of the best restaurants in the region.
From amazing seafood pastas to fresh local produce and wow desserts and wines, everything here is amazing. Don’t miss out on the shrimp carpaccio with passion fruit!
The vibe is romantic, and you will get a great view of the sea here from the large windows in there restaurant. The service is first-class and an after-dinner sgroppino al limone by Lorenzo on the outdoor terrace is a must. A bottle of wine, two starters, two mains and two desserts come at 100 + EUR or 50+ EUR per person.
Address: Via delle Batterie, 37, 04017 San Felice Circeo
Phone: +39 0773 548085
La Caravella Restaurant
For a laid-back setting in a very simple trattoria-style restaurant, La Caravella is perfect. The atmosphere is relaxed, there is a nice terrace overlooking the sea, the staff is friendly and the pizzas are delicious! The clam and mussel saute is yummy, as is the octopus salad.
Always ask for the catch of the day, it’s delightful, and cooked in the oven with roasted potatoes. The wine selection is not extensive but good. Definitely don’t miss out on the tonnarelli with cherry tomatoes, clams and mussels! A bottle of wine, two starters, two mains and two sgroppini are 50 – 60 + EUR or 25 – 30 + EUR per person.
Address: Strada Lungomare Pontino, Sabaudia
Phone: +39 0773 515445
Shopping in Sabaudia:
The center of Sabaudia has some nice shops, from jewellery to clothes and furniture. Among the most popular shops are Paradisi and Pippa. La Cona also has some nice shops as well as the old town of Circeo.
Drinks in Sabaudia:
Saporetti’s St. Bar organises some parties, otherwise La Cruz, Ponte Rosso, Bar L’Incontro and Tiki (old town of Circeo) are the most famous meeting points.
Casa del Dolce at San Felice Circeo:
For the real summer experience, you can’t miss out on the outstanding, mouth-watering after-hour Italian-style donuts! They are heaven on Earth! My favourite ones are the ones filled with lemon cream, nutella and normal cream… they’re to-die for and A MUST! La Casa del Dolce is located in La Cona, just a 10-minute drive from Sabaudia!
If you want to go to Saporetti during the day, the best place to stay is Proprietà Scalfati, located on the edge of Lake Paola. It offers lovely accommodations in a fishing farm, and it’s only 300 meters from the sea.
For hotels farther away from the Monte Circeo, Hotel Le Dune and Hotel Oasi di Kufra are the most popular hotels in Sabaudia.