The Benedictine sanctuary of Santa Maria dell’Isola dominates the skyline – you glimpse it from your terrace – pull on your walking shoes and puff up a winding flight of stone steps cut into the cliff. At the top is a simple church, pretty gardens and dramatic views over the bustling town with its 12th-century Duomo and out to sea. On a clear day you can see Stromboli.
You stay in a spacious apartment (one sleeps six, one eight) within an old palazzo teetering above the sea. Eat meals in the kitchen/diner or out on the terrace as the sounds of tourists and townsfolk drift up from the sandy beach below.
Live like a local and take a passeggiata down Corso Vittorio Emanuele, hang out in the main square, Piazza Ercole, people watching and drinking cappuccino; take a ferry over to Stromboli Island and hike up the active volcano. Head home for deep sleeps – bedrooms at the back lack views so plump for one at the front with a sea-facing balcony.