From north to south to the islands, Italy has a prime coastline with some of the Mediterranean's most beautiful beaches. You can find stretches of pebbles and sand in lakes surrounded by mountain peaks, lagoons with wetlands and colorful villages, hidden bays enveloped by cliffs, and scenic gulfs and coves. Combine a little adventure with relaxing on the beach, or spend your entire day zipping around the seaside searching for the dolce vita.

Getting Oriented

Beaches on the beautiful island of Ischia.

As a long, narrow peninsula jutting out into the Mediterranean Sea, Italy has endless stretches of scenic coastline dotted with beaches. You can enjoy a beach vacation from north to south, mixing in some islands or one of the romantic lakes for a freshwater excursion. Where you go will depend on when you're traveling. Consider planning your trip during the best time of year to visit Italy, or read about when to visit the popular beach regions like the Amalfi Coast or Southern Italy.

If you want to stay in the north of Italy, consider the Northern Lakes Region or Venice, which both have lovely beaches perfect for families or romantic trips. Head south for warmer waters and to enjoy the picture-perfect stretches along Cinque Terre and the Amalfi Coast. Or, get off the beaten path and explore Tuscany's beaches (that's right—it's not just rolling hills and vineyards!).

Lakes & Lagoons

In Italy, you don't need the sea to have a beach day! You'll find some of the most beautiful water in the country's lakes and lagoons, including Lake Garda and the Venetian Lagoon.

East Lake Garda & Sirmione Boat Tour

Sirmione and the famed castle on Lake Garda.

Enjoy Lake Garda and discover why it's one of the most romantic lakes in the world. Embrace Italy's dolce vita (sweet life) and relax on a boat cruise to the scenic Sirmione Peninsula, known for its walled castle, shallow beaches, and unique villas with exquisite gardens. Next, head to the Punta San Vigilio, a verdant peninsula perfect for an afternoon Apertivo at its 16th-century restaurant. End the tour by cruising past the Golfo di Garda, from where you can see the magnificent pink-hued Villa Canossa. Read More

Bike Tour on Lido Island

Tempio Votivo War Memorial on Lido.

One of the best ways to experience the long stretch of Venice Lido is by bike. A guide will lead you around the island, passing important sites like a 14th-century Jewish cemetery, San Nicolò Church (where a thousand-year-old maritime ceremony takes place), and the protected San Nicolò Natural Reserve. Enjoy views along the coastline, observing some of the island's distinctive architecture, such as Grand Hotel des Bains and Hotel Excelsior. Relax on Alberoni Beach, visit the colorful fishing village of Malamocco, and peruse the Lido Market for a perfect afternoon Aperitivo. Read More

Plan your trip to Italy
Customize your trip with help from a local travel specialist.

Northern Coast

On Italy's northern coast, you'll find both popular and off-the-beaten-path options for beaches. You can't miss Cinque Terre or the Italian Riviera. But if you want to escape the crowds, consider visiting the quieter beaches of Tuscany.

Boat Cruise to Portofino in the Italian Riviera 

Colorful summer villas line the coast of Portofino.

Enjoy an authentic Italian excursion with a scenic boat cruise to Portofino accompanied by a traditional Aperitvo, a pre-dinner drink with snacks. As you sip and nosh, enjoy passing picturesque landscapes, such as steep cliffside, secluded coves, and rocky shores. You’ll stop to admire the scenic cove of San Fruttuoso, with its medieval abbey built right on the beach. Spend some time swimming or snorkeling before heading back via Camogli, one of the most charming fishing villages in the Italian Riviera. Read More

Beach Day in Cinque Terre

The beaches of Cinque Terre are diverse and beautiful.

Enjoy a day of total relaxation along the scenic shores of Cinque Terre, visiting the best beaches near the five villages. Each town has its own "city beach," except for Corniglia, which isn't on the water. Most are pebbled, but if you'd like to stretch out on some sand, you'll find plenty of options in the surrounding areas. Wherever you choose to go, you'll surely enjoy the clear waters and stunning views. Read More

Beach Day in Maremma & Southern Tuscany

Marina di Grossetto beach in Southern Tuscany.

Believe it or not, Tuscany has some of the best beaches in Italy and is only second to Liguria for the number of Blue Flag beaches. Unlike the northern beaches, Maremma and Southern Tuscany feature sugary sands. You'll also find pine forests, sand dunes, and curved islands off the coast. Some of the best options include Follonica, Castiglione della Pescaia, and Alberese, plus those in the Nature Reserve of the Uccellina Park and the lovely Feniglia Beach. Read More

Southern Coast

The county's southern coast holds many of Italy's most popular and beloved beaches. In particular, the Amalfi Coast combines idyllic beaches with charming and posh cliffside towns.

Beach Day on the Amalfi Coast

Explore the incredible Amalfi Coast and its many beaches and charming towns.

The beaches along the Amalfi Coast are some of the most beautiful in Italy, which is why you'll find many of them crowded in the summertime. We recommend starting early to enjoy a more peaceful experience. Most of the beaches are set in sandy coves or hidden bays, and you'll find them in each of the towns by following the signs to "Marina Grande," the main beach. There are equally beautiful but lesser-known beaches if you want to avoid the crowds. Either way, the Amalfi Coast is an ideal location for a relaxing beach day! Read More

How to Craft the Perfect Beach-Infused Italy Itinerary

Swimming on the cliffs.

Beaches are in every corner of Italy, even inland with its numerous lakes. The best way to plan an Italian beach excursion is to decide which regions you want to visit and map out some hidden gems. You don't necessarily need to pair different regions—you can easily pack plenty of beach days just in just Cinque Terre or the Amalfi Coast alone. But to get a complete experience, try to spend at least two weeks in the country and mix some northern beaches in with southern stretches of sand. 

Learn more about how many days to spend in Italy and how to make the most out of your time.

Past kimkim travelers have enjoyed the following trips in Italy that include beach excursions: