Exploring Italy coastlines with Daria Stankiewicz

Established in 2017, Lido is an independent swimwear label based in Venice, Italy. Named after the famous Venetian island and Europe’s first beach town resort – Lido. The swimwear label was born out of a desire to create practical swimwear for the contemporary woman. By offering timeless silhouettes that effortlessly combine form with function, Lido seeks to re-contextualize the modern-day bathing experience. Lido has a slow-fashion approach, creating high quality pieces out of eco-friendly Italian Lycra, placing the brand’s focus on colour. We caught up with Creative Director, Daria Stankiewicz from Lido Swim. Here she shares her favourite coastlines and summer haunts in Italy.

Favourite Beaches:

Lido, Venice, Italy – Des Bains

Lido is one of the islands that form the lagoon of Venice. On one of the sides of the island meets the sea (and not the lagoon) and it has an 11km long strip of sand. The story of the Lido is that in 1872 a group of entrepreneurs set up the Società Civile dei Bagni di Lido (the Lido Bathing Resort Society) with the aim to boost the island’s tourism potential, promoting sea bathing as a leisure and therapeutic activity. This is something that didn’t really exist before, it’s more or less at exact same time as the French Riviera was born. It is said that the Lido is the first ever sea bathing facility in Europe and from here the word ‘Lido’ has become a byword for organised beach in Italy. It the 1920 the Lido was at its most glorious: cinema stars, Coco Chanel and Picasso would spend their summers there, which is why the island has an incredible liberty style architecture (the Italian version of Art Nouveau) that is still there and has remained stuck in time.

I spend most weekends there from May to September. My favourite beach on the Lido is called Des Bains. It used to be part of a 1900 hotel called Grand Hotel Des Bains, that is now closed but will be reopened in 2022. The Lido is the most remote and peaceful place I have ever been to. For anyone visiting Venice, I highly suggest renting a white cabin on the beach for a day and to laying back with a spritz!

Pollara, Salina, Sicily

A gorgeous, wild and rocky beach on Sicily’s most beautiful island. It’s my second favourite just because I have such an affection to Venice and the Lido, but Salina is heaven and possibly my favourite island in Italy for the sea, the nature and the food! It’s a steep way down (then up) to reach the beach but if you feel hungry, there is nothing to worry about. There is a food and water delivery service via baskets that are pulled down via a rope from the café above the beach.

Cala Rossa, Favignana, Sicily

A dream! For the bluest of seas, the freshest raw fish and for the best almond granita go to Favignana! It’s a rocky beach so the best time to go is June and July since in August it gets quite crowded.

Capri, Naples – Da Luigi ai Faraglioni <br/>Capri is great, although there is not that much to do anymore since it has become a touristic hotspot but there is no other place with such breathtaking views, nature and sea in Italy. Da Luigi ai Faraglioni is where I used to go to the beach as a child and have the sweetest memories of this place.

Ortigia, Siracusa <br/>Ortigia is the heart of Siracusa. There are several very small beaches around the coast of Ortigia where you see people swim even in the winter (for the brave, the real Sicilians). During hot months there are solariums built for the bathers. Ortigia isn’t as dreamy as the Sicilian islands, but it is a magical place where you can breathe the real Sicily in all its forms. Its best moment is at sunset, after a day dipping in and out of the sea, relaxing with a glass of iced white Sicilian wine. My favourite restaurant of all Sicily - La Foglia - is in Ortigia.

Lido Swim is available from Playa & The Salon.