From north to south, including islands, let's explore together Italy's most beautiful beaches. Don't miss them on your next seaside holiday!

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As it happens in other countries bordering the Mediterranean, Italy has a love affair with its sea, which represents a spectacular tourist and environmental resource.

As we know it surrounds almost the entire peninsula and its islands for over 7000 km of coastline. These last ones have the most amazing shapes: from the small inlets to the widest and sandy coasts.

Italy certainly has all this and is in fact famous for its small and large resorts by the sea, known for their beautiful beaches with dreamlike environments.

As true ambassadors of Italy and its countless beauties, we have set ourselves an impossible task: select for you the most beautiful of them all, do not miss them!

In fact, after this little excursus, you will realize that it is really impossible to make a reasoned selection without excluding dozens and dozens of places that deserve to be on this selection of the most beautiful beaches in Italy.

Discovering the most beautiful beaches in Italy

the most beautiful beaches in Italy

The colours of the Italian sea truly represent all shades of blue: from the pale silvery shimmer of the waves washing the shore to the most intense turquoise to the deepest blue.

The sea makes one dream, frees the soul, clears thoughts and makes one feel 'light'. Those who dream of the relaxation of soft sandy beaches, but also those who prefer to discover the thousands of surprises that a dive can offer, will find what they are looking for here.

Strangely shaped reefs, ever-changing landscapes and, in the air, the scent of salt mingling with the fragrances of the surrounding nature await you. 

This is more or less what awaits you on a visit to the most beautiful beaches in Italy. As well as many other wonders that you will discover for yourself!

The most beautiful beaches in northern Italy

Best beaches in Northern Italy

Our voyage of discovery of the most beautiful beaches in Italy starts on the northern coasts, with the beaches in Liguria and Friuli Venezia Giulia, to the coasts of Veneto and Emilia Romagna.

Pebble and rocky beaches in Liguria and Friuli, and mostly wide, long, sandy beaches on the Veneto and Romagna coasts.

The beaches of the northern coast, often less considered than the better-known beaches of southern Italy, will surprise you with their clear sea, sandy seabed suitable even for small children, and countless picturesque villages by the sea or just a few kilometres from the coast!

Let's start with the northwest coast in Liguria, a region more than once awarded with 'blue flag' locations in Italy.

The bay of Saracens and San Fruttuoso beach

 Bay of Saracens Beach, Liguria

Liguria offers coves, bays, equipped beaches, protected marine areas, countless coastal towns and colourful seaside villages, primarily the Cinque Terre.

In Varigotti, a picturesque village in the province of Savona, you cannot miss the Baia dei Saraceni, one of the most beautiful and well-known beaches in Liguria and Northern Italy.

A splendid bay overlooking a wonderful crystal-clear sea, a unique place enclosed by a stretch of rock and unspoilt nature. It is an ideal destination for snorkelling, much practised in these parts.

Moving on to Camogli in the province of Genoa, you can admire the scenic San Fruttuoso Beach with the Abbey of San Fruttuoso di Capodimonte and the Doria Tower dominating the bay.

The beach is located in the protected marine area of Portofino. It can be reached by sea, boat, or via scenic paths.

Once you are there, you can enjoy the splendid panorama of this unique bay, swim in the clear blue sea and dive and see the Christ of the Abyss, a statue placed at a depth of about 17 metres in memory of a famous diver.

Discover Cinque Terre by boat

The Bay of Sistiana, Trieste

The Bay of Sistiana, Trieste - Friuli Venezia Giulia

We head north-east into Friuli Venezia Giulia, where we find beautiful mountains, splendid sandy beaches, cliffs and karst rocks.

In particular, in the province of Trieste, we have the Bay of Sistiana with its beautiful coves and sheer cliffs.

The beach consists of small pebbles and is suitable for all ages, as well as being framed and enriched by majestic white cliffs that, combined with the blue sea, create a spectacular panorama of the Adriatic Sea.

Furthermore, in the vicinity of Sistiana, other beautiful equipped beaches, quieter coves and alternative attractions such as the charming Rilke trail and the castles of Miramare and Duino!

Visit Miramare castle and park

Eraclea Mare and the island of Pellestrina

Jesolo beach - Veneto

Moving southwards in Veneto, we find many beaches and seaside resorts for all tastes. In Veneto, you will not find rocks or coves but sandy beaches of fine sand, washed by a calm sea with shallow waters.

Among the most beautiful beaches in Veneto, we recommend Eraclea Mare, a beach with good quality services, a clean sea, and a large pine forest behind it that has given it the name 'green pearl' of the Adriatic.

Furthermore, we cannot forget the famous beaches of Jesolo and Bibione, also popular for their nightlife and entertainment. Those visiting the Venetian lagoon can also relax on the beach!

We particularly recommend the island of Pellestrina, where you can discover a picturesque seaside village and the Ca' Roman nature reserve with its beautiful wild beach, dunes and forest.

If you want to discover more about the countless famous beaches on the Veneto coast, read our article.

The Lidi Ferraresi and Lido di Classe

Emilia Romagna coastline

Emilia Romagna has always been synonymous with holidays and beach life! The coastline stretching from the province of Ferrara to that of Rimini is famous for its long, sandy beaches and calm sea with shallow waters, ideal for families with children.

The Emilia-Romagna coastline offers many beaches equipped for entertainment and fun. At the same time, you can take long, relaxing walks on the sand!

This coastline is loved by everyone. Especially from June to September, it fills up with young people, families and couples of all ages, ready to enjoy all the attractions of this sunny and hospitable region.

In the province of Ferrara, in the Po Delta Regional Park - Unesco World Heritage Site, you will find the Lidi Ferraresi or Lidi di Comacchio, large, well-equipped white beaches surrounded by green pine forests.

You will have a variety of activities to enjoy, relax and appreciate nature. These lidos all have different characteristics and can satisfy the needs of every visitor.

The Lido di Volano is ideal for birdwatching, fishing and cycling tours. Porto Garibaldi, the oldest of the lidos, Lido degli Scacchi and Lido di Pomposa, are quieter destinations, ideal for families.

Lido degli Estensi, considered the 'capital' of the Lidos, offers many clubs and restaurants for pleasant evenings in company. Lido di Spina is known as the 'greenest lido' thanks to its extensive green pine forest.

Also, in the province of Ravenna, we recommend Lido di Classe, with its beach framed by a pine forest within the Ravennate Coastal Dune Nature Reserve.

The beach, not far from Ravenna, a city of art with prestigious Unesco sites, is equipped with all the comforts for families and many services to entertain young people.

Photo Credit: Giorgio Salvatori 

Visit Ravenna with the Ravenna pass

The most beautiful beaches in central Italy

Best beaches in Central Italy

Bathed by the Tyrrhenian and Adriatic Seas, the regions of central Italy will surprise you with sandy beaches, rocky shores, coves protected by promontories and postcard views.

Beaches equipped with all comforts and beaches and coves immersed in nature, accessible by adventurous routes. Starting on the Adriatic side in the Marche, we discover the most beautiful beaches in central Italy.

Fiorenzuola di Focara and the Conero beaches

Conero Riviera

We leave the coast of Romagna and arrive in the province of Pesaro-Urbino, the first province of the Marche region. 

Here, between Cattolica and Pesaro, a stone's throw from the lively beaches of Romagna, we find the beach of Fiorenzuola di Focara, a quiet, wild beach at the foot of Monte San Bartolo.

The beach, reachable only on foot, is long and white sandy. The sandy seabed slopes slowly, and the sea is crystal clear. 

Behind you is the green vegetation of Monte San Bartolo. This beach is a corner of peace and tranquillity where you can relax and enjoy the sea.

After a day at the sea, you can also visit the charming village of Fiorenzuola di Focara, which stands on a promontory overlooking the sea, inside the beautiful Monte San Bartolo Natural Park

Inside the hamlet, you can see the castle, the church, the medieval streets and many views and sunsets over the Adriatic!

If you choose the Marche region for your seaside holidays, you cannot miss the beaches of the Conero Riviera.

This stretch of coastline, protected by Mount Conero, offers beaches and coves surrounded by wild green vegetation, which, together with the blue sea, creates a unique and unforgettable scenery.

The villages and beaches of the Conero Riviera are all beautiful. Ideally, you should visit them all, and that's why we recommend reading our article on the unmissable places on the Conero Riviera!

Turchino Beach and Acquabella beach

 Trabocchi Coast - Abruzzo

We remain on the Adriatic coast. After the Marche, it is the turn of Abruzzo, a region of sea, mountains, villages and historic cities. We go from Gran Sasso to over 100 km of the Adriatic coast.

Starting from the north, from the province of Teramo, the Abruzzo coast has shallow water and sandy and equipped beaches, similar to the Romagna Riviera.

The southern coast, particularly the stretch from Ortona to Vasto, is marked by pebble and stone beaches, irregular cliffs, headlands and coves surrounded by Mediterranean scrub.

This is the famous "Trabocchi coast", so called due to the presence of ancient "fishing machines" connected to the mainland by wooden walkways.

Among the most beautiful beaches on the Trabocchi coast, we mention the Turchino beach, with its Turchino overflow and a turquoise sea, perfect for snorkelling.

And then again in Ortona, Acquabella beach, reachable only on foot via a small path between abandoned houses.

To discover more, read our article on the Trabocchi coast and its most beautiful beaches.

The Quercetano Bay and Cala del Gesso

Isola d'Elba - beach

We return to the Tyrrhenian coast in Tuscany. 

From the Maremma to Versilia, passing through the islands of the Tuscan archipelago, Tuscany offers comfortably equipped beaches and wilder, isolated and sometimes difficult-to-reach coves and beaches.

In any case, a beautiful sea and beautiful views are assured!

On the Livorno coast, we recommend the Baia del Quercetano in Castiglioncello.

This half-moon-shaped beach of fine sand with rocks and Mediterranean maquis is sheltered from the winds and alternates between equipped and free areas.

A peaceful and enchanting atmosphere made of colours and beautiful nature.

And after a relaxing day at the beach, relax and enjoy a beautiful sunset in one of the many small restaurants or bars facing the sea!

Let's go to the province of Grosseto, to the beaches of Costa and Monte Argentario, a headland surrounded by the sea and connected to the coast by two sand tombolos.

Among the many beaches and coves immersed in nature, we recommend Cala del Gesso, a wild pebbly cove washed by an emerald sea and reachable only by sea or land via a challenging nature trail. 

The effort of the walk will be repaid by a unique and exclusive place.

Finally, we cannot forget the many beaches of the beautiful Tuscan Archipelago, starting with the island of Elba.

The Angolo beach and the Maga Circe beach

Sperlonga - beach

Continuing along the Tyrrhenian coast, the Latium coastline is very varied, between the wilder cliffs and coves of the Circeo National Park and better-known resorts, also equipped for families with children.

Many Latium resorts have been awarded the Blue Flag for their beaches and clear waters. Many travellers choose the Latium coast and its islands for their seaside holidays.

Among the many beautiful beaches between Anzio and Gaeta is the Angolo beach in Sperlonga, a picturesque ancient village overlooking the sea.

It is a free beach with no bathing establishments or restaurants. The sand is golden with a few rocks, and the sea is blue and crystal clear, with sandy seabed ideal for snorkelling.

We cannot overlook the stunning beaches and coves of the Pontine Islands, such as the Spiaggia della Maga Circe on the island of Palmarola. 

This is a sand and pebble beach with a crystal-clear sea, characterised by tufa caves and protected by the Faraglione di San Silverio. A truly wild and fascinating natural setting!

Read our article about Ponza, 'the queen' of the Pontine islands!

Discover Ponza on a boat tour

The most beautiful beaches in southern Italy and in the islands

Best beaches in Southern Italy and Islands
We are in southern Italy, a land of sun, sea and heavenly beaches. The southern coasts, washed by three different seas, the Adriatic, Ionian and Tyrrhenian, boast extraordinary bays, inlets, white sandy beaches and coves comparable to Caribbean beaches. And between one beach and the next, you can visit villages, cities of art and cultural attractions of great value.

Turtle Beach and Trentova Bay

Trentova bay - Campania

We start with Campania, a region famous for its iconic locations, such as the Gulf of Naples with its islands, Capri, Ischia and Procida, and the much-loved Amalfi Coast, with its picturesque villages and countless beaches and coves. 

On this subject, check out our article on the hidden beaches of the Amalfi Coast!

We also recommend 2 other beautiful beaches in Campania, one in Vico Equense and the other in Cilento.

Vico Equense is the largest municipality on the Sorrento Coast and  where there are several beaches known because the sea has been awarded the Blue Flag title.

The Spiaggia della Tartaruga (Turtle Beach) is one of the most beautiful beaches: it is a very 'wild' beach, with intense colours and deep, crystal-clear waters, so called because of the presence of a rock sticking out of the water and resembling a marine animal.

It can only be reached by sea with the help of small local boats, and a reservation is often necessary.

Being exposed to currents and being quite deep from the start, it is not a place suitable for families with children but rather for lovers of unspoilt nature.

Due to its rocky conformation, it is shady in the morning and then 'overwhelmed' by the sun after midday.

In the Gulf of Salerno, near the coastal town of Agropoli, we find Trentova Bay.

In this unique area, part of the the Cilento National Park and the Cilento coastline, emerging from the green of unspoilt nature is this place that merges with an extraordinary sea with its shades of blue; a sea that is always clean, fresh and where you can spend beautiful days strictly with your head underwater.

Discover the Amalfi coast

The beaches of Maratea and Policoro

Maratea - beach - Basilicata

Basilicata, still little known except for Matera, its top destination, is a small region washed by the Tyrrhenian and Ionian Seas.

The Lucanian hinterland offers picturesque villages and its coastline diverse landscapes and beaches. Sandy beaches and hidden, secluded coves, all characterised by a beautiful crystal-clear sea.

On the Tyrrhenian coast, in the province of Potenza, you cannot miss Maratea, a pretty village nicknamed 'the pearl of the Tyrrhenian Sea'.

Maratea is also a famous seaside destination where you will find more than one beautiful beach!Discover Maratea and its beaches at this link!

Moving on to the Ionian coast in the province of Matera, we find inlets and sandy beaches.

We particularly recommend the Bosco Pantano beach in Policoro, a beach immersed in beautiful wood, where turtles breed.

Lush nature, sandy seabed and a spectacular blue sea!

Photo Credit: Studio35 per Maratea Welcome 

Discover Matera with the Matera pass

The beaches of Tropea and Isola di Capo Rizzuto

Tropea - Calabria

Calabria is a land of beautiful sea and mountains!

Among the most beautiful beaches in Italy, you cannot miss the Spiaggia della Rotonda in Tropea: a unique setting where the city merges with the sea through a very steep rock face.

The sea in Calabria always has bright colours tending towards blue with immediately deep seabeds.

Once on this enormous expanse of sand, you only have to raise your head upwards to realise how much wonder there is in this land. Tropea and the Costa degli Dei will fascinate you! 

We move to the Ionian side south of Crotone, to Isola di Capo Rizzuto, a municipality part of the Capo Rizzuto promontory.

In this area of Calabria, you will discover wonders such as the Area Marina Protetta Capo Rizzuto and several well-preserved castles.

The coastline alternates between white sandy beaches and beaches of small stones or rocks, and the sea is clean and transparent, almost unreal!

Bathed by a turquoise sea, the Gigli beach, so called for the lilies that grow spontaneously on its dunes, is sandy and golden.

It is a little corner of paradise, immersed in a natural setting of Mediterranean maquis and white cliffs.

The beaches of Termoli and Campomarino

Termoli - Molise

Molise is another small region in southern Italy, still little affected by mass tourism.

It is a charming region with a coastline of 35 km that offers not-too-crowded beaches, with clear sea and lush vegetation.

The Molise coast, also called Costa Verde, faces the Adriatic Sea and is interrupted by a headland.

From the top of this promontory stands the ancient and picturesque town of Termoli, which, in addition to its valuable historical and cultural attractions, offers several beaches to enjoy the splendid sea.

Discover Termoli and its most beautiful beaches at this link!

Heading south to Puglia, you will find the beautiful beach of Campomarino Lido, repeatedly awarded for its clean waters.

It is a beach of fine golden sand, crystal-clear sea and cool pine forests.

In addition, the old centre of Campomarino is characteristic of its small squares and alleys and is perfect for relaxing evening walks.

Photo credit: Viaggiesapori - facebook page

Discover Termoli underground

Pescoluse beach

best beaches in Italy: Pescoluse Beach, Apulia

Puglia, the heel of Italy, is one of the most popular regions for all that offers: natural beauty, food and history!

Bathed by the Adriatic Sea and the Ionian Sea, it offers countless breathtaking beaches for all tastes.

The Gargano with its villages and beaches, Polignano a mare and its white cliffs, the beautiful Baia dei Turchi and the Torre dell'Orso, Gallipoli and the sandy beaches of Salento, the cities of art, the Puglia of Taranto: this region really has everything you need for a holiday full of beauty.

Among the many beautiful beaches in Apulia, we mention Pescoluse beach. 

Fine sand, blue sea and tropical colours are enough for the Pescoluse beach and other nearby places to be known as the 'Maldives of Salento' or 'The Seychelles of Salento'.

The environment here is predominantly sandy, but several rocky spots along the coast create a natural combination to be known and discovered.

Naming the most beautiful beaches in Puglia is really impossible.

For this reason, we recommend you to read our article '7 days in Apulia: an itinerary through sun, nature and villages'.

Choose the corner of the sea that inspires you most!

The beach of San Vito lo Capo and the Scala dei Turchi

most beautiful beaches in Italy: San Vito Lo Capo, Sicily

Sicily, the largest island in the Mediterranean, offers us an exceptional variety of beaches.

Sandy, volcanic pebbles and rocky shores. Many places will leave you speechless with their natural beauty.

Cefalù, with its crystal-clear sea and picturesque old town, the white beaches of San Vito lo Capo and the Zingaro reserve  with its isolated bays and coves surrounded by greenery.

And then again to the south, on the east coast, the beaches between Syracuse and Noto and those in the province of Ragusa.

Moreover, we cannot forget the splendid beaches of the Aeolian Islands and those of Lampedusa.

Sicily offers a myriad of unforgettable places and beaches. We have selected 2 out of the many!

Transparent sea, golden sand and colours that make the eyes sparkle at sunset for all those who witness such a spectacle.

We are talking about the beach of San Vito Lo Capo, a kiss, a moment of passion, between the white houses of the village and the fascinating promontory of Monte Monaco.

A true paradise where nature and the Sicilian way of life offer unforgettable holidays. The beauty of nature is combined with art, architecture and history.

The Scala dei Turchi is a unique place of immense beauty, known for its massive white marble cliffs.

This spectacular geological site owes this beauty to a very long natural process.

The 'staircase' was formed by a succession of rains and winds that have carved out this natural white 'staircase' over the years.

Today, it is called 'dei Turchi' (of the Turks) because the ancient local people improperly used the appellation of Turks to identify the Saracens who used to go ashore here, using the particular rock formation as a staircase to rob the coastal villages such as the present Realmonte.

Discover Lampedusa with a boat tour

La Pelosa and Rena Majore

 Rena Majore, Sardinia - Italy

Sardinia is synonymous with heavenly beaches. From north to south, you will be spoilt for choice!

Many beaches for all tastes, but not only. Here, you can have a sea and culture holiday, discovering the Sardinian territory with its coastal towns, villages and rich gastronomy.

We start with a pair of the most beautiful beaches in North Sardinia, that certainly cannot miss this guide: La Pelosa and Rena Majore.

The La Pelosa beach in Stintino is undoubtedly one of Sardinia's most famous attractions, practically a masterpiece of natural art.

The fine, white sand creates unique shades. The seabed is shallow, the water ankle-deep for many metres.

The shades between the sky and the sea are of all types of blue and azure, practically like an island in the Caribbean Sea.

Bathing here improves the mood and steals the heart because La Pelosa is one of the most beautiful beaches in Italy and one of the most incredible places in the world.

In the province of Sassari, a beach holiday can be combined with the discovery of the hinterland, gastronomy, and culture by participating in the events of the Salude & Trigu programme.

The Rena Majore beach is located in the north-western part of Sardinia, a stone's throw from Santa Teresa di Gallura.

It is distinguished from La Pelosa by the thickness and consistency of the sand, which here is coarser and grainier, almost like mini pebbles, providing a unique environment.

In addition, the sea, decidedly deeper than in other bays, is a snorkel's paradise: there is so much marine flora and fauna in this little corner of paradise.

In the north, you cannot miss the beaches of the La Maddalena archipelago. To discover more, read our article on the La Maddalena archipelago and its islands.

Proceeding southwards, on the east coast of the island, we stop at the Gulf of Orosei, an area in its own right, made up of unspoilt beaches and hidden coves, often only accessible by sea or via paths through the Mediterranean maquis.

Among these beautiful beaches, you cannot miss Cala Mariolu, the most beautiful beach in Europe according to several international rankings, in particular according to the ranking by the US portal 'The world's 50 best beaches'. This beach is ranked second worldwide, preceded only by Trunk Bay in the US Virgin Islands.

The south of the island will also enchant you. Among the many beaches we name the white, 'Caribbean' beaches of Tueredda and Chia and the coast around Pula, a town rich in cultural and historical attractions.

If you would like to get to know Italy's nudist beaches, read our article on the most beautiful nudist beaches in Italy

If you prefer to leave your car behind and are looking for quiet, uncrowded beaches, read our article on the best Italian beaches that can only be reached by boat!

Are you already dreaming of your holiday on one of Italy's most beautiful beaches?

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