Italy truly is a blessed country, offering an unbelievable range of sights and experiences to those embarking on a European vacation. From the architectural wonders and art treasures of the eternal city of Rome to the magical canals of Venice, Tuscany’s rolling hills and meadows to Amalfi Coast’s breathtaking & dramatic seascapes, Italy has it all.
With more than 5000 miles of coastline, the myriad charming beaches in Italy are the perfect place to relax and rejuvenate amidst turquoise waters and powdered white sand. Here are the top beaches in Italy from the spectacular celebrity favorites to the hidden virgin coves, to enjoy the country’s bountiful seascapes.
Isola Bella, Sicily
Translating literally as ‘the beautiful island,’ Isola Bella sits just off the coast of Sicily and is part of the Taormina region. Isola was actually privately owned until the 1990s, and as it is home to several species of bird, is now a protected site boasting a beautiful beach that brims with nature. The beach is a pretty little spot itself, which can be reached by cable car from Sicily, and offers a great chance to take in views of the island from above.
Isola Bella’s beach, popular with sunbathers, isn’t a classically sandy one; small stones and pebbles make wearing flip-flops almost essential. Vendors and cafes sell refreshments, and sun loungers and umbrellas are available to rent. There are plenty of activities to get involved with, too; try snorkeling, diving, or taking a boat trip to nearby caves.
Santa Severa, Lazio
Rome boasts beach options only 30 minutes from the city center, and if you venture a little further, you’ll be rewarded with even clearer waters and castle views. Just north of the Eternal City, Santa Severa has been a popular destination for centuries that has played host to Popes (including Gregory XIII, Sixtus V, and Urban VIII) and was used by the Germans during World War II, given its strategic position. Today, its 14th-century castle doubles as a museum dedicated to the region’s heritage.
Fornillo Spiaggia, Positano, Amalfi Coast
Expensive Positano has several beautiful beaches, but Fornillo Spiaggia is the best of the best. Just west of Positano Beach, Fornillo is large and sandy, backed by cliffs and sheltering greenery. Hotel Pupetto is another reason to pick Fornillo Spiaggia. Its terrace overlooks the beach and as well as a famously good value restaurant, a Positano rarity as it specializes in rooms with wonderful sea views.
Tropea Beach, Calabria
The village of Tropea, a pleasing puzzle of lanes and piazzas on the west coast of Calabria, is famed for its dramatic cliff-edge location and spectacular sunsets. It sits on the Promontorio di Tropea, a line of dramatic cliffs and icing sugar-soft beaches between Nicotera in the south and Pizzo in the north, all edged by jewel-like waters.
Tropea’s picturesque namesake beach sits under a wall of buildings perched atop sheer cliffs, but more beaches spill along the shoreline to the east and west. Unsurprisingly, crowds of Italian holidaymakers descend here in summer. If you hear English being spoken, it is probably from Americans visiting relatives: enormous numbers of Italians from this part of Italy left to forge better lives in America in the early 20th century.