Italy is surrounded on three sides by the sparkling blue waters of the Mediterranean, Adriatic and Tyrrhenian Seas, so of course the country has many diverse and beautiful beaches. Whether you are looking for a secluded island paradise or a charming city beach lined with seafood restaurants, there are many options. Here is a rundown of just a few of the most gorgeous beaches Italy has to offer.
Rabbit Beach, Sicily
Lampedusa Island, the southernmost point in Italy, looks more like the Caribbean then the Mediterranean. Its biggest attraction is Rabbit Beach, a pristine strip of sand stretched between two blinding white cliff faces. The water here is a glowing turquoise and the weather is always warm. The area is so perfect that TripAdvisor named Rabbit Beach the best beach in the world in 2013. The beach is accessible only by hiking over cliffs, but this doesn't keep the crowds away, particularly in July and August.
Tropea Beach, Calabria
Calabria is well known for its beaches, and Tropea is considered the crowning jewel. Sometimes called the "Pearl of the Tyrrhenian,” Tropea has been a favorite bathing spot for Italians since Roman times. Because the area is situated on a reef, the beach features white sand and exceptionally clear blue water. The imposing Monastery of Santa Maria dell'Isola is built into a hillside overlooking the beach, giving the area a dramatic flair.
San Vito lo Capo, Sicily
This area of Northwestern Sicily is known as the Maldives of Italy because of its white sand, palm trees and crystalline waters. The area is dominated by Monte Monaco, a limestone cliff, popular with rock climbers. Visitors on foot can check out the poetically named Cave of the Dead Goat at the base of the mountain. Parts of the movie “Ocean's Twelve” were filmed here and in the neighboring town of Scopello.
Just a short drive from the capital, Anzio is a favorite for Romans looking to escape the madness of city life. Anzio is more than just a beautiful beach, it has deep historical roots as well. Emperor Nero built his holiday villa here, and the ruins of that structure now mark the coastline. More recently, the beach was a major battlefield during World War II, when Allied forces landed here in a campaign called Operation Shingle.
San Domino, Tremeti Islands
Tremiti means “tremors” and it was a series of earthquakes that helped create these beautiful rocky islands. The white cliffs provide a stunning contrast with the very clear Adriatic water. San Domino is most popular as the only island in the area with a true sandy beach.
Sansone, Elba Island
Elba has many beautiful beaches, but Sansone might be the prettiest of all. A half moon of pebbly beach surrounded by high cliffs, with bright blue, startlingly clear water. While popular, the beach is not nearly as crowded as some of the other nearby areas, and is a perfect spot for snorkeling. Which Italian beach is calling YOUR name?