The glories of Rome, Florence, Naples and Milan are quite rightly trumpeted around the world. The flip-side of this, though, is that Italy often gets seen as a “city-break” nation — cool, stylish, historic and cultured.
But this is to overlook the miles of infinitely varying coastline offering those less inclined to Renaissance gems a treasure no less desirable — Italy’s perfect beaches. We’ve picked our five favorites so you don’t have to.
Only an hour out of Rome, Terracina is a firm favorite with the Italians. White sands, warm sea and all different kinds of sea-front bars, restaurants and shops abound. What lifts Terracina is the beach’s proximity to a host of Roman ruins, including Jupiter’s Temple and the old Roman Forum. It is still a working port and has a constantly bustling and picturesque quayside.
Spiaggia Sabbie Nere, Sicily
Easily the loveliest beach on the archipelago, Spiaggia Sabbie Nere is scenic, quiet and usually quite empty. It is on the island of Vulcano which is why the sands are black. This is only a problem around noon when the sand gets so hot it is impossible to walk on. Take flip-flops and chill. Mud baths using the volcanic mud are also available.
Another classic Italian beach with gorgeous, wide strips of white sand stretching along Adriatic coast, Rimini is every inch the classy Italian tourist’s hot spot. In Italy, architectural marvels and Roman ruins are never far away, and so it is with Rimni. At night the beach area positively buzzes with upmarket restaurants, bars and clubs.
Capri has long been a magnet for Italy’s rich and famous, with good reason — it is a Mediterranean paradise, an island dominated by rugged cliffs and luxury apartments with infinity pools, all projected against the most brilliant blue seas and skies of anywhere in the world.
Sorrento is arguably the diamond among the many gems of the Amalfi Coast’s fabulous beaches. The backdrop — rolling hills overlooking the Vesuvius volcano — is simply stunning. It’s just a short drive from the buzzing city of Naples and close to the popular attractions of Pompeii, Capri and Ischia. In antiquity, Sorrento was famed for its Sirens; today its lure is no less strong!
For more information, check out www.italiantourism.com.