There’s a reason why mentioning the Italian coastline conjures up visions of a picturesque, sun-drenched paradise. The top beaches in Italy you have to see offer everything a beachgoer could want. Sandy beaches, glorious limestone cliffs, rugged natural landscapes, and enticing, turquoise waters can all be found along its shores.
Photo courtesy of Tommie Hansen
It’s no wonder many of these stunning beaches, found along Italy’s 4,723 miles of pristine shores, often attract the likes of the wealthy and famous. But you don’t have to be either to enjoy la dolce vita. You only have to have an appreciation of some of Italy’s most beautiful natural wonders. These are the top 10 beaches in Italy you have to see in your lifetime.
Cala Goloritzé – Sardinia
The spectacular, white sand beach of Cala Goloritzé on the island of Sardinia is a breathtaking sight to behold. Created by a landslide in 1962, this beach and UNESCO World Heritage Site sits at the base of a cliff that towers over the sands.
Photo courtesy of Vasile Cotovanu
It will take some effort to get there, as the only ways to reach it are by hiking 90 minutes from the nearest road or chartering a boat. The reward for making the journey is unparalleled views of glittering, blue waters that are perfect for snorkelers.
Isola Bella – Sicily
A small island off the coast of the Taormina municipality on Sicily’s eastern coast, Isola Bella has been a nature reserve since the 1990s. Known as the Pearl of the Ionian Sea, its name translates to “beautiful island,” and for good reason.
Photo courtesy of gnuckx
Isola Bella boasts awe-inspiring views of the sea and is accessible via a narrow, sandy path that connects it to mainland Sicily. Its waters are perfect for swimmers, snorkelers, and paddleboarders, making it one of the top beaches in Italy you have to see. The island is also home to several species of birds and lizards.
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Chiaia di Luna – Ponza
With a name that translates to “moonlight” in Italian, it’s no wonder Chiaia di Luna is often considered one of coastal Italy’s greatest wonders. A narrow strip of sand situated at the base of a 328-foot-tall, half-moon-shaped volcanic cliff, it’s without a doubt one of the top beaches in Italy you have to see.
Photo courtesy of Pasquale Popolizio
To find Chiaia di Luna, you’ll have to head to the island of Ponza in the Tyrrhenian Sea. It’s considered a secret island, and the place where real Romans vacation. It’s also a popular vacation spot for celebrities!
Camogli Beach – Liguria
Beach seekers traveling with their families would be remiss if they skipped Camogli Beach in the Liguria region of northwestern Italy. Located in the coastal village of Camogli, the large, pebbly beach is quintessentially Mediterranean.
Photo courtesy of Rodrigo Soldon
Between the swimming lessons offered to children, to the canoes that can be hired to explore the open waters, to the beachside drink service, Camogli is fun for the entire family. While it’s divided into public and private sections due to the resorts that line it, Camogli is rarely crowded and is one of the best beaches in Italy you have to see!
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Baia dei Turchi – Puglia
Baia dei Turchi, or Bay of the Turks, is a pristine, mile-long stretch of sandy and rocky shores that can be found in Puglia, the “heel” of the boot-shaped country. Located in a protected nature reserve, Baia dei Turchi is about as serene as they come.
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Photo courtesy of Pietro & Silvia
The beach’s white sands and waters are some of the cleanest in Italy. The beach is so clean, it was given the prestigious Blue Flag Award, which honors beaches that meet strict environmental criteria. If that doesn’t make Baia dei Turchi a beach in Italy you have to see, I don’t know what does!
San Vito Lo Capo – Sicily
On the northwestern coast of Sicily, you’ll find the small town of San Vito Lo Capo, which is known for its rock climbing and Arab-Norman architecture. But it’s also known for its gorgeous beach, which is a favorite among local vacationers.
Photo courtesy of superdealer100
San Vito Lo Capo Beach sits along the shores of a sheltered bay. Resting in the shadow of Monte Monaco, it boasts lovely white sands and crystal clear waters. Hike up to the top of the mountain to get unreal views of one of the top beaches in Italy you have to see in your lifetime!
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Spiaggia di Sansone – Elba Island
The Tuscany region of Italy usually brings to mind images of olive groves, vineyards, and mountainous landscapes. But this region along the Tyrrhenian Sea is also home to one of the top beaches in Italy you have to see in your lifetime: Spiaggia di Sansone on Elba Island!
Photo courtesy of Simone Regis
Spiaggia di Sansone’s shores are a mixture of smooth, white pebbles and sand, and its transparent, turquoise waters cannot be matched. The waters are also quite shallow, so it’s a great spot for children to play and is ideal for snorkeling!
La Pelosa Beach – Sardinia
There’s no shortage of incredible beaches on Sardinia, but La Pelosa Beach might take the cake as its best. If its white sands and glittering waters weren’t enough to entice you, the beach also offers terrific views of a castle across the way.
Photo courtesy of Tommie Hansen
There’s more than enough room to spread out, as its shallow waters extend out, seemingly forever, from its shores. You can wade out quite far from the shore, and the water will still only be knee-high!
San Fruttuoso – Liguria
Along the shores of the crescent-shaped Liguria region in northwest Italy is a secluded beach called San Fruttuoso. Located between the village of Portofino and the town of Camogli, this hidden cove is a treasure trove for beachgoers. It can only be reached by ferry or by hiking from Portofino.
Photo courtesy of Peter Stenzel
Its gorgeous sands and picture-perfect waters are only part of this beach’s appeal. Providing the beach’s backdrop is a stunning medieval abbey, which has vegetation-covered mountains rising behind it. This is one beach in Italy you have to see in your lifetime!
Atrani Beach – Atrani, Amalfi Coast
If you’d like to enjoy the Amalfi Coast without the crowds, head to Atrani in the Campania region. The beach in this charming coastal village is among the most stunning in the area and lies between two cliffs.
Photo courtesy of Derrick Brutel
Enjoy the golden sands and mesmerizing blue-green waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea. Afterward, don’t forget to take in the backdrop of colorful buildings, beautiful churches, and lovely piazzas as well. The beach at Atrani is among the beaches in Italy you have to see in your life for a reason!
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Italy is an embarrassment of riches for any beach seeker. Whether you’re a swimmer, snorkeler, or sunbather, there is a stretch of shoreline for you. From gorgeous, white sands to rugged, dramatic coastlines, Italy’s beaches are diverse and beautiful. They have a charm that’s all their own. Book a trip to Italy today to experience them for yourself!
Photo courtesy of Rodrigo Soldon
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