I’ve Lived in Rome for five Years, and These Are the Greatest Seashore Cities in Italy

Italians have mastered the artwork of the seashore trip. And it’s no marvel why — the nation has greater than 4,000 miles of shoreline and greater than 2,500 years of historical past. Italy’s Mediterranean local weather is good for the umbrella pines, bougainvillea, and jasmine that bloom all summer time lengthy within the nation’s loveliest seashore cities. And throughout the sweltering summers, the ocean offers a refreshing respite. Seashore golf equipment up and down the coast lease lounge chairs and umbrellas for the day or the season. Most have services like bogs, showers, and altering rooms, in addition to eating choices starting from no-frills beachfront shacks slinging sandwiches to elegant eating places serving seaside classics like spaghetti with clams and fritto misto.

As an American residing in Rome for almost 5 years (and having visited for greater than 10 years earlier than that), I’ve made it my private mission to scope out Italy’s finest seashore cities. On scorching summer time weekends, there’s nothing I take pleasure in greater than escaping to the seashore with a e-book and indulging in a lazy lunch by the ocean. I’ve traveled up and down the coast and to most of the islands trying to find the nation’s finest seashore cities. These are a few of my favorites.


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Positioned in Calabria, the toe of the boot, Tropea is nicknamed the Pearl of the Tyrrhenian. Legend has it this city on the Coast of the Gods was based by Hercules. Designated one of many Borghi Più Belli d’Italia (most stunning cities in Italy), it has an enthralling historic heart that’s perched on a cliff above the seashore. You may be a part of the beachgoers by day after which head as much as the city within the night, when it comes alive with individuals buying, sipping Aperol spritzes on the bars on the primary sq., eating alfresco, and having fun with a gelato.


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One among Sicily’s most stunning Baroque cities, Noto had a cameo within the second season of White Lotus. The city’s honey-colored historic heart is a couple of 15-minute drive from the seashore, which is lined with seashore golf equipment that includes umbrellas in neat rows, together with the swanky one run by Il San Corrado di Noto, a Relais & Châteaux resort within the countryside exterior the city heart. No go to to Noto can be full and not using a granita at Caffè Sicilia, the well-known cafe featured on Chef’s Desk.


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The one city on the small Isola di San Pietro off the southwestern coast of Sardinia, Carloforte isn’t precisely simple to succeed in — however that’s what retains it from getting overrun by crowds. Ligurian sailors settled right here within the 1700s and introduced a little bit of the Italian Riviera to this little island by portray the city’s buildings pastel colours and introducing their recipe for pesto, which frequently seems on menus within the eating places. The island’s seashores are largely small coves the place lounge chairs and umbrellas are haphazardly arrange upon request and little seashore shacks like La Tana on Spiaggia Punta Nera serve chilly beer, Aperol spritzes, sandwiches, and ice cream.

Polignano a Mare

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This whitewashed city on Puglia’s Adriatic coast has a picture-perfect bay surrounded by cliffs. You would spend hours wandering the city’s slim streets lined with outlets, eating places, bars, and gelaterias. There’s one thing for everybody right here, whether or not you need to splurge on a connoisseur meal on the Instagram-famous Grotta Palazzese (the restaurant constructed into the cliffs) or strive the artistic seafood sandwiches at Pescaria. The key is out, although, so when you go in the summertime, anticipate crowds, particularly on the tiny seashore. A great way to flee them is to do a ship tour of the caves and grottos with Pugliamare.


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A few 75-minute prepare experience south of Rome, Sperlonga is a seaside city on the Pontine Coast that has been a haven for Romans for the reason that days of the emperor Tiberius. (You may nonetheless see the ruins of his villa.) This space — between Rome and Naples — is especially beloved by Romans for its clear, sandy seashores, calm sea, and charming cities. With its whitewashed buildings, Sperlonga appears to be like nearly like a village in Puglia or the Greek islands. The historic a part of city rises above the seashore under, providing breathtaking views of the coast.


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The following city over from Sperlonga is Gaeta, which is a bit bigger. Gaeta’s historic heart feels a bit uncooked and gritty, with weathered buildings the place you may see laundry hanging and potted crops adorning the doorway of properties. The seashores unfurl under the city, with golden sand and aquamarine water. Seashore golf equipment just like the no-frills Bagno Arenauta have neat rows of lounge chairs and umbrellas and serve native dishes like tiella, a savory pie crammed with octopus and tomato, zucchini, or different greens.

Forte dei Marmi

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Tuscany’s most upscale seashore city, Forte dei Marmi doesn’t strike you with its overwhelming magnificence like Capri, nevertheless it has lengthy been a haven for quiet luxurious. That is the type of place the place the sidewalks are paved in marble. Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, and Armani all have outlets on the streets off the primary sq., and on the huge out of doors market, which takes place on Wednesday and Sunday mornings, you should buy cashmere sweaters and bejeweled canine collars. The lengthy stretch of sand is lined with seashore golf equipment the place cabanas present shade and beachgoers polish off plates of spaghetti con le arselle (tiny clams native to this a part of Italy) and fritto misto with native vermentino wine.


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Positano would be the most emblematic city on the famed Amalfi Coast, however there’s a bigger seashore in Amalfi. As soon as a robust maritime republic, Amalfi continues to be a hub for guests, who typically arrive on the marina on ferries from Naples, Sorrento, or elsewhere on the coast. All the pieces facilities round Piazza Duomo, the place the city’s imposing Gothic cathedral looms over the outlets and cafes. To flee the crowds, select a lodge above the city, like Resort Santa Caterina (a family-run member of Main Resorts of the World and a World’s Greatest Awards winner) or Anantara Convento di Amalfi, featured on T+L’s 2024 It Checklist.

San Vito Lo Capo

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All the best way up within the northwestern nook of Sicily, this in style seashore city bears a hanging resemblance to Rio de Janeiro, due to the tall, inexperienced mountain that looms over the huge, sandy seashore. Don’t anticipate finding luxurious resorts right here, however somewhat easy beachfront motels that generally have their very own seashore membership. What you’ll discover as an alternative is improbable meals, together with regional recipes like pesto alla trapanese (a Sicilian pesto made with tomatoes, almonds, garlic, and basil) and couscous with seafood. San Vito Lo Capo is the gateway to the Zingaro Nature Reserve, the place you’ll be able to be a part of boating excursions that allow you to swim and snorkel within the glowing turquoise sea.

La Maddalena

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La Maddalena is the most important island within the eponymous archipelago simply off Sardinia’s swanky Costa Smeralda. The island is a part of Sardinia’s first nationwide park, so the entire archipelago is a pure paradise shielded from additional growth. Giuseppe Garibaldi (a key determine in Italy’s unification motion within the 1860s) lived on the close by island of Caprera and there’s a statue of him in La Maddalena. Within the island’s eponymous city, you’ll discover loads of eating places, outlets, cafes, and bars. It’s typically a cease on boat excursions that depart from Costa Smeralda or Palau.


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Essentially the most well-known city on the Italian Riviera could also be Portofino, however Portofino has a harbor, not a seashore. Positioned a couple of 30-minute drive away, picturesque Camogli has a big, crescent-shaped pebble seashore with a church on the tip. Alongside the waterfront are outlets, bars, and eating places just like the historic La Camogliese, which has been serving contemporary seafood since 1912. From right here, you’ll be able to catch a ship to San Fruttuoso, the place an abbey stands proper on a small however stunning bay.


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The biggest city on the island of Ischia, Forio was featured in Elena Ferrante’s
“Neapolitan Novels” and components of it nonetheless seem like it might have again within the Sixties, when the books happen. Ischia has been drawing vacationers for the reason that historical Greeks first arrived on its shores and bathed within the pure thermal scorching springs. There are some seashores on the island the place individuals truly boil eggs within the scorching springs.

San Vito Chietino

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Within the rugged area of Abruzzo, on Italy’s Adriatic facet, the Trabocchi Coast is understood for rustic wood fishing huts referred to as trabocchi, which hover above the ocean on stilts. Lots of them have been transformed into eating places serving contemporary seafood. One of many cities on the Trabocchi Coast, San Vito Chietino has an extended bike path overlooking the ocean and pebble seashores the place individuals chill out in the summertime. Locals like to go to Al Murè for sundown cocktails and worldwide avenue food-inspired bites earlier than having a gelato at Pasticceria Rossana Iezzi.

Santa Severa

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About an hour and 20 minutes north of Rome lies the little city of Santa Severa, the place Romans go to sunbathe on the seashore within the shadow of a 14th-century citadel. There’s a big part of free seashore proper subsequent to the citadel, the place anybody can plop a towel down on the sand. In any other case, you’ll be able to lease a lounge chair and umbrella from one of many seashore golf equipment, like L’isola del Pescatore, which additionally has an enthralling restaurant with blue-and-white painted wood tables and chairs. Simply you should definitely make a reservation if you wish to dine there, particularly on summer time weekends.

Vietri sul Mare

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The final city on the Amalfi Coast, Vietri sul Mare doesn’t draw the vacationer crowds of Positano and Amalfi, nevertheless it truly has bigger seashores. Vietri can also be recognized for its manufacturing of hand-painted ceramics, which adorn the general public benches and fountains round city. The biggest ceramic-producing workshop is Solimene, however there are dozens of smaller workshops and shops promoting stunning plates, bowls, and all types of ornamental gadgets.

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