20 best beaches in Italy

updated 10/19/2021
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Find 20 best beaches in Italy. Discover coves in Sardinia. Explore Tuscan bays. Bask in Sicilian sun traps. See historic sands near Rome. Indulge in northern Italian lidos. The information in this article is taken from The Rough Guide to Italy your essential guide for visiting Italy.

1 - Forno Beach, Island of Elba, Tuscany

Elba has five main beaches. They're busy in summer. Forno's the exception.

  • Peaceful cove on Biodola Bay.
  • Close to Biodola town.
  • Surrounded by villas.
  • Sheltered with greenery.
  • Home to L'Ostrica restaurant.

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2 - Levanto, western Cinque Terre, Liguria

Visit Levanto in Liguria.

  • West of the Cinque Terre.
  • Small, simple resort.
  • Feels pleasantly isolated.
  • Glorious sandy beach.
  • Great surfy vibe.

Book Aparthotel Miramare. It's minutes from Levanto beach.

3 - Cefalù, long and curving sands in Sicily

Cefalù's a lively resort. But it's pleasant.

  • Choose Cefalù Old Beach.
  • Long and curving.
  • Authentic local atmosphere.
  • Pretty views.

Cefalù's quieter than Taormina. Stay at Hotel Kalura on the beach.

Old Beach Cefalu, Sicily, one of the best beaches in Italy © Aleksandar Todorovic/Shutterstock

4 - Acquaviva, another of Elba's best beaches in Italy

Best beaches in Italy for swimming? See Elba.

  • Head to Acquaviva.
  • Close to Sansone.
  • Shingle beach.
  • Sheltered by high rocks.
  • Gently sloping shore.
  • Great for kids.

Stay on the beach. Book Acquaviva Village Camping near Portoferraio.

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5 - Fornillo Spiaggia, Positano, Amalfi Coast

Positano is expensive. The beaches are beautiful.

  • Pick Fornillo Spiaggia.
  • West of Positano Beach.
  • Large and sandy.
  • Backed by cliffs and greenery.
  • Overlooked by Hotel Pupetto. Good value restaurant. Great terrace.

Hang out on Fornillo. Stay at Hotel Pupetto right on the beach.

6 - Tonnara di Scopello, western Sicily

Too pretty to be true. That's Tonnara di Scopello.

Indulge yourself. Book Hotel La Tavernetta in Scopello.

Faraglioni and Tonnara at Scopello, Sicily, Italy © Gandolfo Cannatella/Shutterstock

7 - La Guardia, Elba, Tuscany

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La Guardia's west coast on Elba.

  • Shingle beach. Also known as La Poveraia.
  • Quiet and sheltered.
  • Transparent waters.
  • Dramatic rock formations.

Visiting Elba? Take a walking tour of Portoferraio with local guides.

8 - Sant'Andrea, Elba, Tuscany

Alternative to main Elba beaches.

  • Sant'Andrea's fine and sandy.
  • Plenty bars and sunbeds.
  • Shallow waters.
  • Windsurfing and diving spot.
  • Boat rental on beach.

Stay beachfront. Think about Hotel Barsalini in Sant'Andrea.

Sant'Andrea beach on the island of Elba in Tuscany © Luciano Mortula - LGM / Shutterstock

9 - Calla dello Spido, San Domino, Tremiti Islands

Explore San Domino. The greenest Tremiti Island.

  • In Gargano National Park.
  • One of three Tremiti Islands.
  • West is good for quiet coves.
  • Head for Calla dello Spido in summer.

Take an island break. Stay at Hotel Kyrie Isole Tremiti on San Domino.

10 - Torre Guaceto Marine Reserve, Puglia

Find Torre Guaceto near Brindisi.

  • Protected marine reserve.
  • Natural beaches.
  • Good for coral reef diving.
  • Try snorkelling here too.

Want to explore. Stay at Maria Vittoria on Brindisi waterfront.

Torre Guaceto Marine Reserve near Brindisi in Puglia © vololibero/Shutterstock

11 - Rinella, Salina, Aeolian Islands

Sail to Salina from Sicily.

  • Rinella's on Salina's west coast.
  • Black sand beach.
  • Beach bars.
  • Sunsets over Filicudi Island.

Explore the Aeolian Islands. Take a boat tour round Salina and Lipari.

12 - Maratea on Basilicata's Tyrrhenian Coast

Maratea offers first rate beaches.

  • On Basilicata's Tyrrhenian Coast.
  • Ravishing part of region.
  • Impressive cliffs, rocky coves.
  • Popular, but undeveloped, area.
  • Several outstanding beaches.
  • Known for sea grottoes.

Discover more of Maratea. Visit Mount Biago on a private tour.

Maratea in Basilicata has several of the best beaches in Italy © Landscape Nature Photo / Shutterstock

13 - Mazarro on the north east coast of Sicily

Find Mazarro close to Taormina.

  • Connected to Taormina by cable car.
  • Lovely beach.
  • Isola Bella just offshore.
  • Good for fish restaurants.

Stay by the beach. Book Hotel Villino Galodoro in Taormina.

14 - Riserva Naturale de Vendicari, Sicily

Explore Riserva Naturale de Vindicare.

  • Coastal reserve south of Noto.
  • White sand beaches.
  • Salt Lakes.
  • Visit October to March for Flamingos.

Explore historic Noto. Book Ostello della Gioventù in the old town.

15 - Cala Gonone on the island of Sardinia

Head south east in Sardinia.

  • Pretty Cala Gonone bay.
  • Small, popular resort.
  • Authentic atmosphere.
  • Reached by dramatic road tunnel.

Hang out by the beach. Stay at Hotel Nettuno in Cala Gonone.

Secluded sand beach in Cala Gonone, south east Sardinia © LPudrori/Shutterstock

16 - Alghero in north west Sardinia

Pick of Alghero town beaches in Sardinia.

  • Charming walled town.
  • Bustling quayside.
  • Best beaches 8km north.
  • Le Bombarde beach.
  • Lazzaretto beach.

Intrigued by Alghero? Stay at Alghero Roof Garden in town.

17 - Anzio, Lazio

Historic beaches close to Rome.

  • Anzio's 40km from city.
  • Clifftop ruins of Nero's villa.
  • WWII history.
  • Sandy beaches north of town.

Get to know Anzio. Stay at Daniela House 4 close to the beach.

Anzio, near Rome, as good for history as beaches © Freebulclicstar / Shutterstock

18 - The Lido towns of Emilia-Romagna

Explore best beaches in northern Italy.

Feel the lido vibe. Book Residence Rivaverde in Marina di Ravenna.

19 - La Pelosa the prettiest beach in Sardinia

La Pelosa is Sardinia's best beach.

  • Stunning setting.
  • Fine sands.
  • Turquoise waters.
  • Views to Isles of Piana and Asinara.
  • Busy in high season.

Enjoy the views. Stay at Hotel La Pelosetta by the beach.

20 - Marina di Vasto city beach in Abruzzo

Vasto is all about its beach.

  • Blue Flag Vasto city beach.
  • Palm trees, beach huts.
  • Wilder to north.
  • Occasional trabocchi fishing

Walk to the beach. Book Il Giardino Nascosto in Vasto.

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updated 10/19/2021
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