Italy, a European country with a long Mediterranean coastline, has left a powerful mark on Western culture and cuisine. Its capital, Rome, is home to the Vatican as well as landmark art and ancient ruins.
The Italian coast which includes both the Mediterranean and Adriatic seas, is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. It doesn’t matter if you like secluded bays with calm waters quietly lapping onto the shore or fashionable holiday destinations full of celebrities and high class restaurants, the beaches in Italy are impressive in every way and there is something for everyone.
Explore Italian coastline highlights such as the amazing Amalfi coast and spend hours watching sunsets from the top of rugged cliffs, or go to Sardinia where you will find some of the most picturesque beaches in Europe.
In case you are not sure where to go on your next beach vacation, take a look at our list of best beaches in Italy.
1. Cala Goloritzé
Nestled just south of Cala Biriola in Sardinia, Cala Goloritzé is a tiny beach with soft sand and limestone cliffs.
This beautiful beach is one of the most photogenic destinations in the region and is accessible by both car and boat. However, those who are planning to visit Cala Goloritzé should know that the hike to the beach from the nearest road takes approximately 90 minutes!
Make sure to bring your snorkeling equipment as the waters here are crystal clear. This is probably one of the best beaches for snorkeling in all of Sardinia. It’s no wonder that this place was included in the list of UNESCO sites back in 1995.
2. Tropea Beach
Featuring stunning cliffs and also known as the “Jewel of Calabria”, Tropea Beach is one of the best beaches in the area. The good news is that Tropea is not as commercialized as other regions in Italy, such as Amalfi, so there is a good chance that you will find some peace and quiet here.
Head out to Tropea town which is famous for its clifftop historic center and cathedral from the 12th century. For spectacular sea views, go to the Santa Maria dell’Isola Church.
Visitors will find a few restaurants in this lovely seaside resort where they can try all kinds of Italian specialties.
3. Acquafredda di Maratea Beach
Situated just a short drive from the hamlet of Maratea, Acquafredda di Maratea Beach features crystal clear blue waters and dark gray sand. Vacationers who appreciate rustic beauty should definitely spend a day or two in the area.
The rocky shoreline and rugged cliffs make Acquafredda di Maratea Beach such a picturesque destination, so much so that many people come here from all over Europe to take their wedding photographs.
There are sun loungers and umbrellas available for rent and some of the main water activities include swimming and snorkeling. Make sure to explore the area’s remarkable caves, but keep in mind that some are only accessible by boat.
4. Marina Grande Beach
Thanks to its amazing cliffs with pretty pastel houses on top, Marina Grande Beach in Positano is one of the most picturesque beaches in Italy.
This cosmopolitan beach on the Amalfi coast is three hundred meters long and attracts large crowds of tourists each and every summer. The orange and blue lounge chairs and beach umbrellas are tidily arranged, but make sure to come early in the morning to ensure you do not miss out on a pitch.
There are dozens of restaurants and bars in the area that offer amazing sea views, many of which are popular with local and international celebrities. Marina Grande Beach also offers boat tours for tourists where excursions take in the surrounding coastline and nearby unexplored bays.
5. Scalo Maestro
Situated on the small island of Marettimo that has a population of only 700 residents, Scalo Maestro is a tiny beach that is known for its calm waters and ideal conditions for snorkeling and swimming.
It is one of the few beaches in the area which can be accessed from the shore and once you’re there, you’ll be amazed by its stunning scenery that is more often seen in dreamy travel magazines.
If you get bored of enjoying the views and swimming in the sea, feel free to charter a boat and go on a tour of the island. This is the only way to access the many hidden sea caves that are definitely worth checking out.
6. Camogli Beach
Camogli in Liguria is a lovely little coastal village that is home to a large pebbly beach that has that oh so familiar special Mediterranean beauty. The great thing about Camogli Beach is that it’s rarely crowded and you can always find a secluded spot for some privacy.
It is divided into several private areas that belong to luxurious beach clubs and resorts, but other sections of the beach are open to all visitors.
Swimming lessons for children are available on the beach and for more advanced swimmers, consider taking a full on diving course. Canoes can be hired to explore the waters and once out at sea, is a great way to get see Camogli Beach from an alternative point of view.
A unique selling point to Camogli Beach is if you want to unwind with a drink without leaving the sand, a beachside drink service is also available!
7. Campo all’Aia Beach
The longest beach on the famous Elba Island, Campo all’Aia is a sheltered beach that features a wide stretch of fine sand. Families with children love to come here because the beach is perfect for swimming and there are even regular swimming lessons available.
Views of La Guardiola are amazing from here and you can also use the small bridge if you want to check out nearby Procchio Beach. Vacationers can rent umbrellas and sunbeds at the beach bar which also serves local fish for lunch and an array of refreshing drinks.
What’s great about Campo all’Aia Beach is that it doesn’t get as crowded as the neighboring beach of Procchio, so it’s easy to find your own private patch in the sand.
8. Otranto Beach
Known for its turquoise waters and soft white sand, Otranto Beach is nestled in the easternmost town in the country, Otranto. Head out to this small historic seaside town for some fine wine and delicious Italian cheeses.
Otranto Beach is perfect for numerous water activities such as snorkeling, sunbathing, and swimming. While doing so, make sure to admire the amazing cliffs that make Otranto Beach one of the most beautiful beaches in Puglia.
When it comes to accommodations options in Otranto, expect to find everything from apartment rentals to high-end resorts and hotels. There are also dozens of restaurants and bars where you can try some of the freshest seafood and Italian pasta.
9. Spiaggia di Tuerredda
One of the most amazing beaches on the southern coast of Sardinia, Spiaggia di Tuerredda is located near to the beach of Su Giudeu and just west of Sa Pinnetta. Its natural beauty and warm waters are just two of the many reasons why vacationers love to spend their summer holidays here.
You will find a number of beachfront bars and restaurants at Spiaggia di Tuerredda, as well as magnificent views of Isola di Tuerredda.
Some of the most popular water activities at Spiaggia di Tuerredda include kayaking and paddle boarding. This amazing beach is also a perfect destination for snorkeling.
The only downside to this popular beach is that it gets quite overcrowded during the peak season of July and August.
10. Capreria Beach
Nestled at the far end of the western coast of Sicily, Riserva Naturale dello Zingaro is the only nature reserve in the region that features six kilometers of amazing coastline. What makes this area so special is that there are no modern developments built here, so you will find nothing but native plants and wildlife.
Make sure to visit the amazing Capreria Beach that features small pebbles and crystal clear waters. You won’t find any facilities on the beach, but that’s a small price to pay for a perfect snorkelling destination.
Get out and explore dozens of small caves and coves close to Capreria Beach and discover the colorful fish through a network of water trails.
11. Dei Due Mari Beach
Dei Due Mari Beach, also known as the “Beach of the Two Seas”, divides the pond of Notteri and the sea. Expect to find clear blue waters which are ideal conditions for swimming and snorkeling, and if you’re lucky, pink flamingos that are a common sight here at Dei Due Mari Beach.
Travelers can explore the two small creeks at the end of the beach and admire the extraordinary pink sand found on the shore.
If you’re feeling adventurous, head out to nearby Simius Beach which features a long strip of white sand and two picturesque coves.
12. Mezzavalle Beach
Located in the heart of Conero, Mezzavalle is an amazing beach decorated with strawberry trees and old oaks. Go to the top of the cliffs, which back the sands, for amazing sea views, then take the steep trails that lead straight to the beach for a day of swimming in the crystal clear waters.
Mezzavalle Beach is usually not busy with tourists, which makes it an ideal location for vacationers looking to find some privacy. If you love unspoiled nature and don’t care much about beach facilities, Mezzavalle Beach is definitely a place worth going to.
The beach is accessible by boat or by two roads that start from the center of Conero. You will find a small restaurant on the beach that offers a variety of tasty dishes from the region, Italian wines, and beers.
13. Isola Bella
A small island close to Taormina in Sicily, Isola Bella is located in the middle of a small bay and is well-known for its beautiful plants and warm calm waters. This beach is very popular among travelers because of the amazing views of the Ionian Sea and its crystal-clear blue waters.
The great thing about Isola Bella is that it is protected by the bay, which means that conditions for water activities such as swimming, snorkeling and paddle boarding are ideal.
You can access the island by walking across a path that connects the mainland or by a small cable car that runs from Taormina to Mazzaro.
14. Gavitella Beach
Situated high up on the cliffs, Praiano is a small picturesque town that features a few tiny beaches located in tiny coves. One of these beaches is called Gavitella Beach with two concrete piers and plenty of sandy space for those who wish to sunbathe.
This 30-meter long beach is also famous for its spectacular views of Capri Island. Expect to find a small bar and a restaurant where travelers can grab a drink or order delicious seafood.
Keep in mind that in order to reach the beach you will need to head down 400 steep steps from the Praiano main square, but once you’re there, you can also enjoy the small natural pool close to Gavitella beach called Fontana dell’Altare.
15. Rabbit Island
Head out to the small but perfectly formed Rabbit Island that can be best described as rugged and scenic.
This island used to be home to many thousands of rabbits, which is where its name came from, but today, Rabbit Island homes a number of loggerhead turtles. There are so many turtles here that the island was made a marine reserve to protect all of the turtles and their nesting sites.
But we’re here to talk about the beach, and the beach on Rabbit Island is spectacular in every way. In fact, it was rated the best beach in the world on TripAdvisor in 2013.
The mainland is located over 100 miles away, making the island feel quite remote, but that’s another reason to add Rabbit Island to our list of 15 best beaches in Italy.