Are you planning an Italian vacation and looking for the best beaches in Italy? You’ve come to the right place!
With literally hundreds of beaches to choose from, it can be hard to narrow down a list of beaches in Italy, but we did it. With beautiful blue water set against limestone cliffs or sandy shores, there are some truly beautiful beaches in Italy.
The Italian word for beach is “spiaggia” and they are all over the country! While the most famous beaches in Italy lie on the Amalfi coast or in the southern islands like Sicily, you can find beaches anywhere along Italy’s coastline.
Italy has been awarded a huge number of “Blue Flag Beaches”, which requires beaches to meet certain criteria in different categories such as environmental, safety, and accessibility.
The regions of Puglia, Liguria, and Sardina were recently awarded the most Blue Flags, meaning they have the cleanest beaches in Italy. These will be some of the best beach spots in Italy, but again- there are beautiful beaches all around the country.
Visiting the best beaches in Italy should definitely be on your Italian bucket list! Check out this list of beautiful Italian beaches below to plan an amazing Italian beach vacation.
15 Best Beaches in Italy You Must Visit
A popular place to visit in Italy is Cinque Terre, a string of villages along the Italian Riviera. Located in the Liguria region, Cinque Terre is known for its beaches and bright colors. There are many fun things to do in Cinque Terre and going to the beach is definitely one of them.
One of the best beaches in Cinque Terre is Fegina Beach. In fact, it’s one of the best beaches in Liguria! With a colorful backdrop of buildings, blue water, and white sand it’s a popular spot for tourists and locals alike.
Called Spiaggia di Fegina in Italian, Fegina Beach is located in one of the largest villages in Cinque Terre called Monterosso. You can reach Monterosso by train and the beach is just across the street from the station!
You can bring your own towel or rent a couple of lounges and an umbrella at Fegina. There are plenty of shops and restaurants as well, plus places to buy gelato if you need a cool treat!
On the small island of Lampedusa sits one of the best beaches in Sicily. While technically part of Sicily, Lampedusa is in between the main island of Sicily and Tunisia. Here you will find Rabbit Beach, or Spiaggia dei Conigli.
Rabbit Beach is perfectly situated in a large cove of a nature reserve. If you visit between April and September, you will only be able to visit the beach during the day because sea turtles will be laying their eggs in the dark of night.
With shallow, crystal-clear water and soft sand, Rabbit Beach is worth the effort it takes to reach. You will need to fly to Lampedusa from Milan or Rome or take the ferry from the Sicilian city of Trapani. However, once you make the walk to the beach you will be rewarded with one of the best beaches in Italy.
Positano Beach, also called Positano Spiaggia or Spiaggia Grande, is the main beach in Positano and it’s one of the most popular beaches in Italy. When you think of the Amalfi Coast, Positano is probably the image that comes to mind. With colorful umbrellas, azure water, and twinkling lights of the surrounding buildings, it’s one of the best beaches on the Amalfi Coast.
Once in Positano, the beach is easy to find, as it is at the bottom of the vertically-built village. Most of the streets all zig-zag toward the water, with shops and restaurants along the way.
The free section of Positano Beach will be on the right, as you look out to sea. If you want to rent a sunbed, head to one of the beach clubs where you’ll pay between 25-30 Euros.
If you want to explore more than just the beach, there are many places where you can book a boat tour or rent a private boat to find hidden coves. Or if you want to stretch your legs, you can hike the ancient mule paths.
Don’t forget to bring a good pair of shoes, for even though it is one of the best beaches in Italy, the beach in Positano is not sandy.
If you’re looking for less popular beaches than Positano, you might want to head to the uninhabited island of Spargi. Located between Corsica and Sardinia, Spargi has some of the prettiest beaches in Italy.
One of the best beaches on Isola di Spargi is Cala Corsara. This beautiful, quiet beach has perfect, clear water for snorkeling. In fact, Cala Corsara is one of the beaches with the clearest water in Italy.
The secluded cove is flanked by rocky hills, protecting it. Cala Corsara is considered the jewel of the national park in the Maddalena archipelago, so it’s no wonder that it’s one of the best beaches in Italy.
The beach at Cala Corsara can be reached by boat, whether you rent your own or book tickets for a tour out of one of the ports on Sardinia.
When one thinks of Tuscany, beaches aren’t the first thing to come to mind. You probably envision driving through rolling hills of vineyards, visiting villas and castles, and other things to do in Tuscany.
However, the region of Tuscany extends to the Tuscan archipelagos off the west coast of Italy. Here you will find Elba Island, which has some of the best beaches in Tuscany.
Sansone Beach, or Spiaggia di Sansone, is one of the most popular beaches on the island. In fact, it can get a bit crowded during the high season, so if you are visiting in the summer try to get there early.
Like most of the best beaches in Italy, it has stunningly clear water and is a great place to snorkel. The area has a wild beauty to it, with steep cliffs rising up from the beach.
Sansone is known for its small white pebbles instead of sand. The path from the parking area to the beach can also be a bit rocky, so make sure to wear appropriate footwear!
There are bathing facilities at Sansone Beach, plus a small bar and a place to rent umbrellas.
If you are staying in Rome but are looking to get away to a beach for the day, you are in luck! There are several beaches near Rome, but one of the best is Sperlonga Beach.
Going for a swim at Sperlonga Beach provides some relief from the heat and crowds in Rome. Like many of the nicest beaches in Italy, the beach is clean and the water is warm. When you’ve had your fill of the beach, the town is an excellent place to grab a seafood meal.
To reach Sperlonga from Rome, you can take a train from Termini to Fondi, where you can then catch a bus to Sperlonga. Depending on bus times, the trip will take about two to three hours. You can also drive in the same amount of time. Have fun taking a day trip from Rome and enjoy one of the best beach towns in Italy!
One of the best beaches in Pugilia sits in the center of Polignano a Mare. This small coastal town in Italy is known for its white pebble beach, Lama Monachile, which is tucked into a cove.
Also called Cala Monachile, Lama Monachile looks like it was carved into a crack in the coast. It’s flanked by vertical cliffs, opening out onto beautiful blue water. Behind Lama Monachile is a Roman bridge that offers fun views of the beach.
If you can’t grab a spot on the beach, many people will hang out on the surrounding flat surfaces at the base of the cliffs. You can find your own rock on which to stretch out and live all your mermaid dreams at one of the best beaches in Italy!
For some of the best sandy beaches in Italy, you will want to head south to the Calabria region. (Calabria is located in the “toe” of the Italy boot.) Here you will find the aptly-named, “Coast of the Gods”.
The small town of Tropea is home to one of the best beaches in Italy, Rotonda Beach. This beach is popular amongst Italians and other Europeans, so to North Americans, it feels less touristy.
This sandy beach is south enough that the waters stay warm even after the high season, so it’s a great place to visit in Italy in September! The water is a brilliant blue and the views from the beach are gorgeous.
Just be aware you will descend quite a few stairs to reach the beach if you don’t find parking nearby!
San Fruttuoso Bay
For a true hidden gem amongst the best beaches in Italy, you will need to find your way to Abbazia di San Fruttuoso. Hidden away in the Italian Riveria is the bay of San Fruttuoso. Forbes even called San Fruttuoso one of Italy’s most beautiful beaches.
San Fruttuoso can only be reached by boat from coastal Ligurian cities, or by walking the coastal trail through Portofino Regional Park. (The ferry ride from Camogli takes about half an hour.) Here you will find one of the best beaches in northern Italy.
The beach at San Fruttuoso is small but worth the visit, with clear sapphire water. Behind it is a restored Medieval abbey, which is open to the public. It offers a quiet day away from the hustle and bustle of the more popular cities.
Another of the best Amalfi Coast beaches is Maiori Beach. At almost a kilometer long, it’s the longest of the beaches on the Amalfi Coast.
Maiori Beach, or Spiaggia di Maiori, is nice and sandy and doesn’t require many stairs. Unfortunately, this is due to a landslide that occurred in 1954 which wiped out much of Maiori’s old town. Thankfully though, Maoiri has been able to redevelop itself into one of the best beaches in Italy.
Maiori is one of the best places to stay on the Amalfi Coast for families. It’s one of the best vacation beaches in Italy since it is easily accessible and there are lots of things to do nearby. The area is dominated by the Castle of San Nicola de Thoro-Plano, which is open to the public. Plus there are lots of waterfront hotels and restaurants.
Another one of the best beaches in Sicily is Cefalù, which is on the north end of the main island. Visitors sometimes overlook the charming coastal village of Cefalù, but locals know that it’s one of the best beaches in Italy.
The village is also known for its Norman cathedral which is covered in elaborate mosaics and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
At the beach in Cefalù, you get a true taste of local culture. Fishing boats can be seen going in and out of the bay while children play in the shallow water. Like many of the top beaches in Italy, it does get busy in the summer, but not as crowded as some of the other Sicily beaches.
To reach Cefalù, you can take a train from Palermo, which takes about an hour.
For another of the best beaches in Tuscany, you will want to head towards the Monte Argentario peninsula. Before you reach it though, you’ll find a strip of land that connects Monte Argentario to the mainland, and this is La Feniglia.
Unlike some of the other best beaches in Italy, La Feniglia is located within a nature reserve. It is a 7-kilometer stretch of sand, flanked by Italian pine trees, so you can walk as much or as little as you like. While there are a few vendors that rent chairs, you will find that La Feniglia is a bit more rustic in terms of amenities.
If you are a nature lover looking to get away from the crowds at other popular Italian beaches, try La Feniglia where you can stretch out.
La Pelosa Beach
There are many beautiful Italian islands, but Sardinia is definitely one with the prettiest beaches. Sardinia beaches are some of the beaches with the clearest water in Italy, and La Pelosa Beach is no exception.
Found on the western side of Sardinia, La Pelosa is popular amongst tourists and locals alike. With its crystal-clear water and a view of Isola Piana, it’s not hard to see why! It also gets a bit of wind, so it is a popular place to sail and windsurf.
In the past few years, there have been a few rules put in place at La Pelosa to protect it. If you are visiting between June and September, you will need to reserve tickets ahead of time. You will also need to put a mat under your towel to prevent excess sand from leaving the beach.
If you want to visit one of the best beaches in Italy, make sure to reserve your tickets early!
Porto Selvaggio Beach
The Puglia region has some of the best beaches in Italy. It’s located in the “heel” of the Italy “boot” and offers some of the best beach vacations in Italy thanks to miles of Mediterranean coastline.
The Baroque town of Nardò makes a great vacation destination, due to its proximity to the Porto Selvaggio nature reserve. Porto Selvaggio is a wildlife refuge and home to a pine forest.
The beach at Porto Selvaggio is accessible by foot. If you park at one of the car parks along the road then you can walk down to the beach.
You’ll find a true hidden gem at this wild beach! Porto Selvaggio Beach is located within a protected bay, with aquamarine water. You can find a spot on the sand, or take refuge in the shade of the pines.
Marina Grande Beach
The island of Capri also has some great beaches in Italy. When one thinks of Capri, one might envision beautiful sapphire-colored water, and you’d be right!
Marina Grande Beach is the main beach on Capri, as it is near the port where everyone arrives. Go for a dip and then people watch, as locals and tourists come and go. (It’s a pebble beach, so make sure to wear the right shoes.)
Whether you stay on Capri, or take a ferry back to Naples, enjoy a day at one of the best beaches in Italy!
We hope you enjoy this list of the best Italian beaches! With so much coastline, it’s hard to find a bad beach in Italy, but things like clear water and historic sites nearby really make the best beaches in Italy stand out. May you have a relaxing holiday on one of these beautiful Italian beaches!