Best Italian Coastal Towns 2024
Italy has more than 4000 miles of coastline and the Italian coastal town are so many, each one with its unique characteristics.
Italy really has it all, and from fantastic beaches and glorious weather to amazing food and great people, there’s nowhere better to head on your summer holiday this year. Not many people know that the greatest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites can be found in Italy, and it has influenced the world in many aspects of art, architecture, music and literature. With over 10,000 spectacular monuments, and a vast transport infrastructure to get to them all, Italy is Europe’s ideal weekend getaway.
When it comes to Italy’s coastline, there are so many beaches to cheese from it is hard to know where to start. Everybody loves to chill out on the sand, topping up their tan and taking a dip into the sea, but with Italian beach towns offering so much history and tradition, your destination decision has to encompass so much more than golden sands.
No matter where you turn on Italy’s coastlines, there’s always great little café, or exquisite restaurant looking out over the water, and it’s no wonder why the shorelines are packed with tourists throughout the year. With over 5,000 miles of glorious coastline and nearly 400 hundred islands to visit, let’s take a look at some of the best beautiful spots along Italy’s coast.
Beaches Near Rome
Rome is very accessible from any part of Italy, so it’s never been easier to spend a few hours at the beach, or even an entire day! There are even overnight trains that you can catch, meaning you could visit some of the beaches near Rome, go out for dinner and dancing, and sleep in your own private cabin.
Santa Marinella and Ostia are two amazing places located near Rome, and they offer some amazing beaches with even better views of the ocean. For less than two Euros you can take the metro from the centre of Rome to Ostia, and in less than an hour you’ll be surrounded by beautiful coastline and free beaches to put your towel down on to. Santa Marinella is also about an hour away, but you’ll have to get a faster, regional train to get there.
You’ll slowly feel yourself escaping the hustle and bustle of the big city, and slip into a traditional setting with small cafés and ice cream stands all around. The best thing about this journey is that trains leave every half an hour, so you won’t have long to wait if you miss one. With tickets only eight Euros too, you could visit Santa Marinella every weekend! If you’re thinking of renting a car whilst in Italy, make sure you visit autoeurope.com for some great deals.
Beaches Near Florence
Tuscany is a simply stunning city, and there are a number of treasures to find once you’re there. Although the city is surrounded by lush, green landscapes, there is much more to do than roam the countryside and visit the art galleries. The island of Elba is quite near Florence, and it offers a national park that is a beautiful as it is awe inspiring.
Without a doubt, Vernazza is one of the most beautiful little towns with its castle that overlooks a gulf. Little roads and steeply alleys, a pretty sight with its colorful houses that surround its small marina.
Vernazza has two beaches, one small, near the main square, while the larger is on the other side, and it’s reachable through a caved passage in the rock near the main square of the village.
I live about an hour from Sperlonga and I have visited this unique town several times. Here, the main color is white, the facades shine in the sun. The old town is a labyrinth of alleys and stairways. Its beaches are pure white and among the best in Lazio.
There are two main beaches, called Levante and Ponente, both wonderful.
One of the bigger Italian coastal cities, and its Lungomare Caracciolo (Caracciolo’s Waterfront), characterized by Castel dell’Ovo profile, is one of the best in the world.
Sadly, in recent times, the quality of the water around Naples is not so good as you could find somewhere else. An exception is the Posillipo coast and the flegreo coastline, were jumping into the water is still a pleasure.
South of Naples, rises Amalfi, with its Moor architecture. The houses seemed to be arranged randomly, one above the other on the side of a hill at the edge of a cliff. Marina Grande is the main Amalfi’s beach, it’s vibrant and recommended for those who wants to live a brisk summer.
To reach Duoglio beach (1 km from Amalfi) you’ll have to go down 400 steps, but once there you can rent water sports gear like canoeing, windsurfing, and scuba diving.
Cagliari, in Sardinia, is built upon seven hills. Rise and falls of roads with beautiful panoramic views over the sea.
Its main beach is il Poetto, the bigger and more used by locals and tourists. It’s a long and wide seashore, equipped with all the services, like bars, showers, public toilets, restaurants, and sports activities. Easy reachable from Cagliari old town.
If you prefer smaller and secluded beaches, than visit Calamosca (white and very fine beach) and Cala Fighera (a pebbles inlet), both on the opposite side of Poetto beach.
Not to mention Alghero, with its stronghold on the sea, and a vibrant old town.
Bombarde beach is the most known and used, you could also find some VIP here, often overcrowded.
Lazzaretto beach has white sand. Mugoni beach is perfect for windy days thanks to a pine forest that protects the beach, it is also organized with showers and parking.
Taormina is a scenic town, with little whitewash houses looming on the volcanic beach. The most important beach is Isola Bella, it consists of pebbles, part of the beach is organized with parasols, the other part is a free beach. The water is crystal blue, perfect for snorkeling and scuba diving.
Mazzarò beach is a beautiful inlet, not overcrowded, perfect for a relaxing day.
Melendugno is characterized by white low-buildings, picturesque and narrow streets.
Beautiful beaches are Torre dell’Orso, San Foca, Roca, Torre Specchia, and Sant’Andrea.
Polignano a Mare
Its old-town, made of white low-building, is built on a cliff. The perfect setting for many movies. Lama Monachile, the free beach made up of small white pebbles and crystal clear blue-green water. It is located in the center of the country. Mare Grottone, access to the sea from the promenade Domenico Modugno, in the village of Polignano, where the statue of the great singer stares at the horizon. Cala Paura, on a stretch of coastline that has been miraculously preserved from the follies of tourism.
Ponte Lapilli, the beach consists of small and large pebbles. To reach the cove you must travel a section of the cliff downhill with suitable shoes. It’s possible to park on the street and jump in the crystal clear water while you gaze out at this beautiful stretch of coast.
Porto Cavallo, the sandy beach is ideal for children and families. It is located a few meters away from the new marina of Polignano a Mare in the resort area “San Vito – San Giovanni”. It is about two kilometers from the village. The beach is free and is reached by a narrow path along approximately 50 meters; you can park on the main road. Andis is advisable to bring along an umbrella, bottles, and water.
Probably the most beautiful Adriatic coastline, its old-town is an architectural jewel, where the Aragonese and Byzantine art coexists.
Calalunga beach, 7 Km from Peschici, is 300 meters of golden sand, set inside an inlet. Peschici beach is the main beach, directly under the town.
Camogli is a fishing village and tourist resort located on the west side of the peninsula of Portofino. The Bagni Lido is located along the Garibaldi waterfront, the beach is organized with a bar, restaurant, and a fitness studio.
San Fruttuoso beach is located just under the San Fruttuoso Abbay, with golden sand is protected from the wind.
Cefalù is known for its Norman cathedral, a 12th-century fortress-like structure with elaborate Byzantine mosaics and soaring twin towers. Lido di Cefalù, crystal water and golden sand, the center of the town nightlife. The sea bottom is clear and gradual, perfect for families with little children.
Caldura beach is completely different, is made of pebbles, and the water is littered with rocks. Optimal for diving lovers. Another popular beach is Salinelle, a truly outstanding expanse of sand. Really good for windsurfing. The seabed is deep, not safe for children.
The old town, perched on a limestone island. The walls, bastions, and towers protect the city from rough seas.
Baia Verde is the most famous beach, and also the most crowded one. Made of white sand, the water is blue with emerald reflexes. Almost 3Km of coastline!
Cinque Terre is a string of centuries-old seaside villages on the rugged Italian Riviera coastline. In each of the 5 towns, colorful houses and vineyards cling to steep terraces, harbors are filled with fishing boats.
The biggest beach is in Monterosso and the only sand-covered beach in the area. Stones cover all the other beaches. It is rarely windy, which makes bathing a very pleasant experience even when it is not so hot.
Positano is a cliffside village on Amalfi Coast. A well-known holiday destination with a pebble beachfront and steep, narrow streets lined with boutiques and cafes. Laurito beach is a tiny little beach divided into a free beach and a private beach, the latter belonging to a small hotel.
Positano’s main beach is one of the liveliest and most cosmopolitan of all those on the Amalfi Coast. With a string of restaurants and bars and a famous discotheque (Music On the Rocks). The beach has two bathing establishments and a free area.
A rocky spur topped with an ancient fortress separates two narrow strips of seashores.
Marina di Scilla is the main beach, an extended strip of white sand. The beach is well organized.
It’s known for its clifftop historic center, built on a former Byzantine cemetery. Cannone beach is a peaceful piece of paradise because is one of the less frequented, hidden between the touristic port and the San Lorenzo Rock.
While Spiaggia Della Rotonda offers a breathtaking panorama, close to a cliff on the sea. Palombaro Cave, reachable only swimming or with a paddleboat. Surely, is the most romantic beach in the area.
Acciaroli is a little fishing town in the National Park of Cilento. It boasts one of the cleaner seas of Italy, the sand is white with some pebbles. Spiaggia Grande (Big Beach) is the bigger.
Don’t miss the various secluded beaches, for the perfect relaxing vacation. These are Baia del Buondormire, beautiful but overcrowded due to be so famous. Cala Bianca, in 2013 won the title of the most beautiful beach of Italy. Reachable only via sea. Cala degli Infreschi, instead, won the 2014 title.
Portofino is a fishing village with pastel-colored houses, high-end boutiques, and seafood restaurants fringe its Piazzetta, a small cobbled square overlooking the harbor.
Baia di Cannone, the perfect beach for a romantic couple. Baia del Silenzio, famous to be quiet and the games of lights on the water surface. Paraggi beach, perfect for scuba diving. You can admire red corals and an old shipwreck
Praiano is situated on the Amalfi Coast, a prime tourist location for the region and Italy alike, between the towns of Amalfi and Positano.
Marina di Praia, this beach is between two heights, full of bathing establishments, nightclubs, and restaurants. Gavitella beach boasts a breathtaking view over Positano and Capri island.