Are you looking for the best beaches in Italy? We were too!
Overwhelmed with ancient history and food many forget how incredible the many beaches of Italy are. From the northern mountainous Genoa all the way down to the vibrant waters of coastal Sicily, Italian beaches are some of the most breathtaking destinations in Europe.
Don’t know where to start when planning your Italian beach vacation? Don’t, worry, we’ve got you covered.
Whether you are on the hunt for your own private cove or looking for a tricked out beach club, we will point you in the right direction. Keep reading for an overview of the very best beaches in Italy – and don’t forget your sunscreen!
Make sure to check out our article on the very best beaches in Europe for more amazing swimming and sunning locations!
18 of the Best Beaches in Italy
Monterosso al Mare, Tuscany
Monterosso al Mare, located conveniently within the district of Cinque Terre, is a popular beach destination for Tuscan locals and tourists alike. Rent a chair for only twenty five euro a day, or sprawl out on the sunny, pebbled beach. Drink a fresh fruit smoothie from one of the many local vendors and swim out to the reef perched just off the coastline.
Make sure you watch out for sea urchins though, they love Monterosso almost as much as we do.
Baia dei Turchi, Puglia
Jumping south to the region of Puglia, the bay of Baia dei Turchi is an important beach both historically and geographically. Surrounded by a fragrant pine forest, this white sand bay is the ultimate summer hideaway.
Rent an umbrella for the day on the larger, private beach, or venture north where you will discover a series of private coves nestled into the cliffside. Pack a lunch from the local grocery store or stop by one of the mobile bodegas on the way down to the water for fresh pizza and ice cold granitas.
Spiaggia di Fetovaia, Elba
Fetovaia is one of the most stunning beaches on the island of Elba– and that’s saying something on an island known for its gorgeous vistas. Surrounded by granite cliffs, the gold sand of Fetovaia only makes the Ligurian Sea even more brilliantly blue.
Sheltered from heavy wind on all sides, the gentle waters of this beach are perfect for families and less experienced swimmers.
Isola Bella, Sicily
Often referred to as the Pearl of the Ionian Sea, Isola Bella is an absolute treasure of Italy.
Follow the narrow footpath from the mainland out to tiny island and set up an afternoon on one of its many rocky beaches. It won’t take long to explore the island in its entirety, so relax and enjoy the crystal clear water with an ice cold drink in hand.
La Pelosa, Stintino, Sardinia
If you’re on the hunt for long, shallow beaches, brilliant sand, and water clear as glass look no farther than La Pelosa. This beautiful Italian beach is located on the extreme northwest part of Sardina. The secluded cape is protected from the open waters of the ocean. This allows it to provide perfect swimming and sunbathing conditions.
La Pelosa is widely considered one of the most beautiful beaches in Italy, and in Europe. So don’t miss it when hitting all the best beaches in Italy!
Marasusa Beach, Tropea, Calabria
Tropea, the most famous region of Calabria, is home to some of Italy’s most stunning beaches. This includes the above pictured Marasusa Beach. Find some shade in the ancient structure of Santa Maria dell’Isola or make your way down the cliff side to the white sand beaches.
Venture off the coastline via boat to witness the eruptions of Mount Stromboli. As a bonus you can sometimes watch the dolphins swim in the wake of your boat.
The picturesque location, and its crystal clear waters, make this one of the most beautiful beaches in Italy.
Spiaggia dei Conigli, Lampedusa, Sicily
Beautiful beaches are not the only thing Lampedusa is known for. This stunning destination is also a popular Loggerhead turtle nesting location. And of course Lampedusa is home to a wide variety of beaches. Don’t miss Spiaggia dei Conigli– also known as Rabbit Beach. No, the name has nothing to do with rabbits. You won’t find any furry hopper here. However, this stunning cove is home to yet another picturesque Italian beach.
Snorkel or surf in the clear waves or lay out on the golden, granite sand. Stay till dusk and maybe you’ll even spot a Loggerhead turtle nest hatch. DOn’t interese with the turtles in anyway. Just watch the spectacle of nature take place before your eyes.
Fornillo Beach, Amalfi Coast
Saturated with celebrities and lined with high end boutiques, the Amalfi Coast is one of Italy’s most glamorous beach destinations. Take a romantic hike from the port of Positano to discover Fornillo Beach. This is a more peaceful, secluded stretch of sand just off one of the Amalfi Coast’s most popular towns.
Rent a kayak and explore the coastal caves or set up on the sand and sunbathe the afternoon away. The location and amenities make it one of the best Italian beach destinations.
Spiaggia di Sansone, Elba, Livorno
Also located on the island of Elba, Spiaggia di Sansone has a little something for everyone. You can partake in a wide range of activities at this Italian beach destination. Snorkel with brightly colored fish, or go cliff jumping in the numerous grottos and gorges surrounding the main beach. You can also take advantage of the excellent kayaking conditions created by the high cliffs of the island.
If water sports are not for you, never fear. Grab an umbrella and spend the day admiring the views and wading in the shallow water.
Spiaggia di Cavoli, Elba, Livorno
Another Elba Island destination, Spiaggia di Cavoli is similar to Spiaggia di Sansone. The main difference here is its unique microclimate and intense popularity.
The position of the surrounding cliffs makes for intense sun exposure on the entire beach. Even in the off season months, actually. This makes Spiaggia di Cavoli perfect for sun worshipers and thrill seekers alike. It also makes it uber popular, and therefor somewhat over-crowded.
Its beauty earn it a spot on this list, but you can find more secluded Italian beaches if you desire to do so.
Just south of the Amalfi Coast, Atrani is a tiny municipality of Campania filled with bright, towering homes built into the cliffside and tiny piazzas perfect for a quick gelato.
Void of the crowds of Positano, but filled with similar cafe’s and boutiques, Atrani is not only a beautiful beach, but also a charming little Italian town. Go here to explore the town, stay for the beach. A win-win for history buffs and beach lovers alike.
Spiaggia dell’Arco Naturale Palinuro, Cilento
Spiaggia dell’Arco Naturale Palinuro, while quite a mouthful, is considered the most beautiful beach in the Cilento region. Just north of Sicily, this beach gets its name from the extremely rare rock formations surrounding the bay. The natural arch is a beauty to behold. Its presence helps propel this to the list of one of the best beaches in Italy.
Totally public, you will find locals climbing the cliff-side for a better view of the turquoise water and picnicking under the natural shade of the rocks.
Lama Monachile, Bari
Named for the Roman-era bridge overhanging the beach, Lama Monachile is located on the Eastern Coast of Italy.
This stunning pebble beach is wedged between the charming town of Cala Porto and the cliffs on which the city is perched. This naturally makes it a popular post work hang for the local crowd. Grab a panino and wander down to the water for sunset. You’re unlikely to find a more unique setting in as far as Italian beaches go.
Dei Due Mari Beach, Caprera
Dei Due Mari delivers not one, but two, awesome Italian beaches. The main stretch of sand is separated by a rock outcropping, turning one beach into two.
The smaller beach is much more calm, perfect for relaxing and swimming in the shallow blue water. The larger, louder beach, features a few different bars and many pay-to-lay umbrellas. Both, however, are undeniable in their beauty.
Scala dei Turchi, Sicily
Nestled into the rocky cliffs of Realmonte, Scala dei Turchi has become quite the tourist destination. This famous white, limestone cliff has become an icon of Sicilian tourism, stretching far out into the deep blue waters of the Sicilian coast.
Join local teenagers diving off staircases carved into the cliffside or walk along the bronzed sand at the base. Either way, don’t forget your camera (and hiking shoes) at Scala dei Turchi.
Cala dell’Acqua, Ponza
This gorgeous Italian beach is surrounded by nearly transparent water. Hence it’s name – Cala dell-Acqua. It also happens to be the only cove with vehicular access to Ponza, making it one of the most popular beaches for boat tours.
Admire the nearly clear waters of Ponza from boat deck or sandy beach. Both prove perfect for both swimming and sunbathing.
Castiglioncello is a miniature beach town in the province of Livorno that has a little bit for everyone. The rugged coastline is full of high cliffs, secret inlets, coves and sandy beaches.
Choose to sip an aperol spritz and snack on fresh olives by one of the many waterside bars. Or venture out to one of the shallow reefs for a bit of phenomenal snorkeling. You might even spot some surfers!
It goes without saying that Italy is home to some magical places– these incredible beaches are just the beginning! Whether it’s cliff jumping with the locals, snorkeling off a hidden harbor or just relaxing on the beach with a book, the Italian Coast has everything you need out of a seaside destination. Just don’t forget your sunglasses– you’ll want to remember these views!
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