Chia beach, Sardinia

Italy: bucolic undulating landscapes, iconic gastronomy and sophisticated cities of culture like Venice and Florence. But how often do you think of the Italian coast and the seaside in Italy?

The truth is that the Italian coast has some of the best beaches in Europe. These range from secluded, off-the-beaten-track coves, to Caribbean-like stretches of white sands, to bright and bustling harbour shores with gelato stands and pizzerias aplenty. The following 9 are some of the best beach towns in Italy to be found.

1. Cala Mariolu, Sardinia

This exquisite beach can only be accessed by boat – you can’t get much more secluded and romantic. The sea is punctuated with little rock islands, so it’s an interesting setting to explore whether you're swimming, snorkelling or scuba diving. However if you want to sunbathe, go in the morning as the beach will be in the shade by the afternoon. Stay nearby in a holiday rental in Nuoro Province.

Cala Mariolu, Sardinia

 

2. Tropea Town Beach, Calabria

The sleepy seaside town of Tropea looks down from its clifftop location over the beaches surrounding it. In fact, you can access beaches all along this stretch of Italian coastline which is known as Costa degli Dei – the “coast of the gods”; you can be sure you are in for a divine holiday here. Find a villa in Calbria for the perfect Italian holiday.

Tropea Town Beach, Calabria

 

3. Cefalù, Sicily

An ideal destination for holiday-makers wanting to combine a town and beach break. The pretty Italian seaside town of Cefalù boasts a Norman cathedral amongst other substantial ancient buildings in its old town, and tourists are well-catered for here. The sunsets viewed from the sandy beach will leave a lasting memory.

Cefalu, Sicily

 

4. Porto Cesareo, Apulia

The Caribbean? You’d be forgiven for thinking so, but in fact these incredible, shallow clear waters belong to the coast of Apulia (Puglia) in south-east Italy. Long, white, sandy beaches complete the picture.

Porto Cesareo, Apulia

 

5. Anzio, Lazio

This beach is just 40km from Rome, and offers a welcome break from the busy capital city. History enthusiasts will also be happy; relics of the Allied invasion here during World War II remain, and much earlier the beach was a favourite escape of the Roman emperor Nero - the ruins of his villa can be seen along the cliffs. So how about a city break in an apartment in Rome, with a visit to the beach while you are there?

Anzio, Lazio

 

6. Fetovaia, Elba Island, Tuscany

Napoleon was exiled on Elba island, which doesn’t seem too harsh a punishment when you look at the clear waters, sheltered sandy beach and mountainous backdrop of Fetovaia beach. The sea is shallow here, and boats are not allowed in the bay, so it is a perfect safe environment for families with young children who want an idyllic seaside holiday in Italy. Find holiday rentals on Elba.

Fetovaia, Elba Island, Tuscany

 

7. Vernazza, Cinque Terre

Vibrant Vernazza is one of the five ancient villages of the Cinque Terre in Liguria, on the rocky northwest coast of Italy. From the small sandy beach of this Italian coastal town you can swim amongst colourful boats with the pretty houses as a multi-coloured backdrop, or try the other, pebbly beach which is reached through a passage in the rocks.

Vernazza, Cinque Terre

 

8. La Pelosa, Sardinia

Shallow, turquoise waters which are always calm and clear, and very fine white sand; this beach is close to perfection. Ideal for sunbathers, swimmers, scuba divers and kayakers alike, it’s no wonder that this Italian beach is incredibly popular and considered one of the best Italian holiday resorts. If you are curious about this beautiful island, be sure to read these 11 things you need to know about Sardinia.

La Pelosa, Sardinia

 

9. Pineto, Abruzzo

A clean, wide, safe beach on the Adriatic coast of Italy, surrounded by scented pine trees which give the village its name. The Cerrano Tower, one of the ancient coastal towers of the Kingdom of Naples, adds extra beauty to this tranquil spot. We've got villas and apartments in Pineto if this sounds like your kind of holiday.

Pineto, Abruzzo

Feeling inspired? Find your beach holiday rental in Italy today!