The Best Italian Seaside Resorts

The Best Italian Seaside Resorts

Italy has everything – fantastic architecture, delicious food, and, of course, the ocean – and not just one as the Italian coastline is surrounded by five different “oceans”. We’ve put together a list of the best seaside resorts in Italy, somewhere you are guaranteed to enjoy the best beach holiday.

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Contents

Holidays for two

The Italian Riviera — bohemian, gorgeous 

Taormina, Sicily — the quintessential dolce vita for romantics.

For young people

The Isle of Capri and Naples — bars, sightseeing, pizza for €1.50.

Rimini —the best party destination in the whole of Italy. The place to come for lively entertainment.

Family holidays

Lido di Jesolo — a quiet and relatively cheap place for family holidays.

Milano-Marittima — comfortable, high-end vacations.

Budget holiday destinations

Brindisi —tons of burrata cheese and striking sea colors.

Terracina — a quiet Roman holiday. 

Tropea — an unexplored area of Calabria.

Holidays for couples

Where else can you enjoy life better than in the country where the dolce vita was born?

The Italian Riviera and Ligurian Coast

  • Pros: quiet, pretty, good food.
  • Cons: apart from Genoa, there isn’t much going on. It might be too quiet for some.  
  • When to go: if it’s views you’re after, all year round, but if you need the beach, then the best time id from May to October. 

If you are looking for a chilled, quiet break, then you should head for the Italian Riviera. The surroundings here are magnificent with rocky cliffs, bright blue seas, and small towns dotted all along the coastline where Maupassant and Hemingway used to enjoy spending time back in the day. You can take a train (from €4.00/$4.40-€30.00/$33.00, depending on how far you travel) and create a mini-excursion for yourself so as to enjoy the picturesque towns and villages which can be found literally at every stop.

 

Cost of food and drink: The Italian Riviera is considered quite an upscale area, and this is reflected in the prices charged by bars and restaurants. The average price for an evening meal is around €50.00/$55.00 – but the local food is really worth it (Liguria is, after all, where pesto comes from).

Price of activities: Here, you can simply walk about – and that’s free of charge. A train ticket costs around €2.00-€4.00/$2.20-$4.40). You should definitely try to visit Genoa and Portofino. In Genoa, you will see the contrasts with city life, and in Portofino you can enjoy the pretty, quiet marina.

Getting there: You can fly to Genoa from London in a couple of hours for between $100-$200 or even take the train from most European cities. Driving from the UK would take a couple of days with an overnight en route. You can fly from Washington DC to Nice and then on to Liguria by train. The flight takes 14 hours and tickets cost between $300.00-$1400.00.

Where to stay

Hotel Medusa — From €65.60/$72.20 per night 

Hotel San Giuseppe — From €101.00/$111.00 per night 

San Pietro Palace Hotel — From €199.50/$219.50 per night 

Taormina, Sicily

  • Pros: lots of history, wonderful food, romantic setting
  • Cons: steep terrain – don’t forget your trainers! Flip-flops are not an option. 
  • When to go: April to October

Sicily is, of course, where you’ll find the highest concentrations of Dolce Vita – especially in a hillside town like Taormina, a true couple’s paradise, especially if you like to combine relaxing on the beach with some day trips out. The beach at Isola Bella comes especially highly recommended as one of the beats on the coast. There is a charge to use the beach starting from €10.00 ($11.00) per day, including a deckchair and umbrella increasing to €15.00 ($16.50), depending on the season.

     

Cost of food: from €50.00/$55.00 per person for lunch

Cost of activities: there is a lot to see here which costs nothing at all. The most attractive street is the centrally located Corso Umberto (but bear in mind that if you decide to buy anything in one of the boutiques, you will need a second mortgage) and then there is the Villa Comunale where you can go for a picnic with a bottle of Insolia wine. Entrance into the ancient Greek amphitheater dating back to the 3rd century BCE costs €10.00 ($11.00) per person.         

Getting there: You can fly direct from London to Catania airport for $100.00-$300.00, and from Berlin for about the same price. From Washington DC, the flight takes about 14 hours and costs from $400.00. You then travel by bus (€8.00/$9.00) for about 1.5 hours.

Where to stay

Cohen Hostel — from €79.20/$87.70 per night 

Hotel Bel Soggiorno — from €130.00/$143.00 per night 

La Malandrina Apartments & Suites — from €232.00/$256.00 per night 

For young people

Italy is generally quite a conservative place, but there are places where you can let your hat down – you just need to know where. 

Isle of Capri/Naples

  • Pros: incredibly beautiful and great food
  • Cons: There aren’t as many beaches as you’d like there to be on Capri and, unlike in reality, Naples has a bad reputation.      
  • When to go: Capri from May to October, Naples is good all year round. 

This is another place which is popular with those in the know. Capri was very well known to poets and writers from all over the world, even Russia – in fact, you will find a monument to him in Sorrento. It’s the coastline of steep cliffs doesn’t make for the best beaches, but there are still some lovely spots like Marina Piccola, close to the famous Farraglioni Rocks, which are considered to be the island’s calling card and are really impressive because of their size. It costs €20.00/$22.00 to hire a deckchair and umbrella for the day.

Not far from the island, you’ll find lively, noisy Naples with its cheap bars on every street corner. Why not try the tiny Bar Perditempo where a glass of beer costs only €3.00/$3.30, and there’s a new DJ every night.    

Cost of food: Capri is expensive as it’s known as a high-end resort. You can expect to pay no less then €5.00/$5.50 for a cappuccino which would cost €1.50/$1.75 elsewhere. Having said that, in nearby Naples you can pick up a small but delicious Neapolitan pizza for €1.50/$1.75, and a bottle of wine from the local Enoteca Dante wine merchant will set you back no more than €5.00/$5.50 – and this is in the center of town.    

Cost of activities: this isn’t as bad as you might think. For instance, on Capri you can visit the Villa Lysis – an art nouveau building built by the French writer Jacques d’Adelswärd-Fersen. The interiors are lovely, and it only costs €2.00/$2.20 to get in. As for Naples, I would recommend going to the MADRE museum of modern art which costs €8.00/$9.00.

   

Getting there: You can fly direct to Naples from Berlin for between $50.00 and $300.00, also from London for similar prices. A direct flight from Washington DC to Naples takes about 14 hours and costs from $700.00. You can take a ferry from Naples to Capri, which takes 80 minutes and costs from €16.00/$17.60.

Where to stay

Bed and Breakfast Casa Mariella — from €64.00/$70.70 per night

Santa Chiara Boutique Hotel — from €183.00/$201.00 per night 

Grand Hotel Vesuvio — from €290.00/$319.00 per night 

Rimini

  • Pros: as Rome is the capital of Italy, Rimini is the Italian capital of nightlife, and it’s not that expensive by European terms
  • Cons: in high season, it’s full of young party animals
  • When to go: June to September

Rimini is the best destination in Italy for young partygoers, and they flock there from all over Europe. By day, they spend time on the beaches, such as the highly-recommended Bagno 38 Egisto, which costs €21.00/$23.00 per day, including sun lounger and umbrella.

 

Cost of food: a modest lunch with drinks would cost around €20.00/$22.00

Cost of activities: the main activities here are the bars. The cocktails costing from €8.00/$9.00 at the Capogiro Rimini come highly recommended, and if you fancy a dance, then head for the Altromondo Studios (entrance from €15.00/$16.50 to €35.00/$38.50) depending on what’s on and what day of the week it is. The club can take up to 4000 people and is said to be one of the best in Italy.            

Getting there: You can get to Bologna from Washington DC for from $300.00 in 13-14 hours and from London from $100.00 by direct flight. From Berlin, you’ll pay from $200.00. From Bologna, you take the bus straight to Rimini (€6.00/$6.60).

Where to stay

Residence Hotel Le Viole — €68.30/$75.20 per night 

Hotel Aurea — from €72.30/$80.00 per night 

Villa Lidia — from € 205.00/$225.50 per night 

Family holidays

Italians really love children. The bambini can get away with more or less anything, from shopping with grown-ups to strolling around the streets with them. They can make as much noise as they like and play up to their hearts’ content, and no-one would think to complain. Italy is a kids’ paradise and ideal for a family holiday.                

Lido di Jesolo

  • Pros: a great place for family holidays, lots of entertainment, close to Venice, not too expensive
  • Cons: might be a bit boring for the grown-ups. 
  • When to go: May to September

Lido di Jesolo is a great place in Italy on holiday with the kids. It’s quiet, the beaches are good for swimming, the kids can spend all day enjoying themselves and eating ice-cream. Adults can go to Venice for the day (take the vaporetto from Piazetta Faro for €8.50/$9.30)

        

Cost of food: a meal for one costs around €15.00/$16.50. 

Cost of activities: there is a lot to do here for the kids. Old and young alike will love the SEA LIFE aquarium. The entrance for a child costs €13.00/$14.30 and for an adult costs €17.00/$18.70. You could also go to the New Jesolandia amusement park where all the attractions cost €1.00/$1.10 each. As you can see, keeping the kids entertained really is not that expensive.                

Getting there: you can fly from Berlin to Treviso for $100.00-$300.00 and from London $200.00-$500.00 and from Washington DC for between $300.00 and $1000.00, and then it’s a 44km bus ride for €10.50/$11.55 to Lido di Jesolo. 

Where to stay

Hotel Bellaria — from €125.50/$136.80 per night 

Hotel Gardenia — from €101.00/$112.20 per night 

Hotel Vienna — from € 101.00/$111.20 

Milano-Marittima

  • Pros: an attractive, high end resort
  • Cons: it’s expensive
  • When to go: May to September

If your family is not good with beach holidays, then you should head for Milano-Marittima. This is supposed to be the resort in Italy which offers most activities. You can learn to go kite, walking and horse-riding.

Cost of food: a meal for one will cost around €30.00/$33.00, and there is plenty to eat here as this is Emiglia-Romagna, Italy’s foremost gastronomic region. It’s where Bolgnese sauce comes from, as well as parmesan and prosciutto.    

Cost of activities: a week-long kite-walking course will set you back €170.00/$187.00 per person. A peaceful hour on horseback starts at €35.00/$38.50

Getting there: the best way is to find your way to Bologna and then take the train to Milano-Marittima which is a two-hour journey and cots around €20.00/$22.00

Where to stay

Hotel City Beach Resort — from €94.20/$103.70 per 

Residence Ola — from €121.60/$133.80 per night 

Hotel Palace — from €252.00/$276.70 per night 

Budget holidays

If you don’t want to break the bank on a beach holiday in Italy, we suggest you try out one of these lesser-known places – just don’t tell everyone otherwise before you know it, they will be overrun by other people looking for a bargain. 

Brindisi, Apuglia

  • Pros: excellent food, relatively cheap
  • Cons: poor public transport links need to hire a car
  • When to go: May to October

Let’s start by letting you know that the Apulia Region is the birthplace of burrata cheese. Not only that, there are a lot of great beaches and architectural masterpieces and not so many tourists. Brindisi is located in the heel of the boot of Italy, and this guarantees a peaceful, restful stay as it’s so far from anywhere else.

We recommend spending time on the Lido Onda Blu beach, where the water is delightfully blue. The price of the beach is quite high (€21.00/$23.00), but for that, you get an entrance, a parking place, an umbrella and two deckchairs for the whole day. There’s also a beach bar where you can create your won salad from any ingredients for €6.00/$6.60.      

Cost of food: lunch costs around €11.00/$12.10 on average per person, and a cappuccino costs around €1.20/$1.30. 

Cost of activities: a stroll around the local marina is free, and a visit to the archaeological museum cost €5.00/$5.50.        

Getting there: we suggest you fly to Bari. You can get there from London or Berlin with a change in Milan for $100-$300 or in 14 hours from Washington DC with tickets costing upwards of $650.00. Then you need to hire a car (from €60.00/$66.00 for three days) – driving around Apulia is a really pleasant experience.     

Where to stay

Malvasia Bed and Breakfast — from €60.20/$66.20 per night 

Santo Stefano Luxury Rooms — from €120.20/$132.30 per night 

Villa Luminosa — from €205.00/$255.50 per night 

Terracina, Lazio

  • Pros: not far from Rome and if you start getting bored, you can swap your beach holiday for a bit of city action. 
  • Cons: there isn’t that much to do in Terracina itself except enjoying time on the beach.
  • When to go: May to September

Terracina is a resort which is located in the Tyrrhenian coast, famed for its beaches with clean sand, healing mud and fresh air. This is where the inhabitants of Rome come to recover from the everyday grind – something which you can do too if you come here.

What’s even better is, that by European standards, this is quite a reasonably priced destination. Why not visit the beach at Stabilimento Balneare Amerigo prices start from €10.00/$11.00 for an umbrella and two deckchairs, but can go higher in the busiest periods.    

Cost of food: from €16.00/$17.60 per person for lunch. 

Cost of activities: in Terracina itself, visiting the city centre won’t cost you anything, and you can ask for cost on request to visit the vineyard at Cantina Sant’Andrea where you can try the local wines and get hold of gifts for friends and family back home. If you’re mined to do something a bit more energetic, why not take the train to Rome (€7.00/$7.70)?

Getting there: by air to Rome. It costs around $400 from Washington DC taking around 12 hours. Flights from London cost anywhere between $100 and $500. Tickets from Berlin start at $65.00. Take the express train from Fiumicino airport to Roma Termini railway station (€14.00/$15.40) and then take the train to your final destination (€7.00/$7.70).              

Where to stay

Angelina Antica Dimora — from €72.70/$79.60 per night о

Green House — from €112.00/$123.20 per night 

Villa «Ai Galli» — from €205.00/$225.50 per night

Tropea

  • Pros: you’ve never seen an ocean like this! You’ll be joined by Italians from all over the country on their holidays. 
  • Cons: Calabria has a bad reputation for crime, and the public transport is poor, so you’ll need to hire a car. 
  • When to go: May to October

We’ve already written about Calabria as one long coastline (750km!) an ideal place for a beach holiday if you want to get away from visitors from all over the place as non-Italians tend not to make it this far south. We would particularly recommend the sandy beaches at Spiaggia Di Caminia (€8.00/ $8.80 entrance fee) and Spiaggia di Riaci from €14.00/$15.40 entrance fee including umbrella and deckchair – prices can vary according to season). In fact, you can try any beach you like – they are all excellent down there.

                 

Cost of food: from €10.00/$11.00 per person for lunch

Cost of activities: You can go snorkeling on the beach for free. A visit to the ancient (renovated) church of Santa Maria dell’Isola will cost €2.00/$2.20, and it’s interesting not just for its interiors but for the fantastic views. The activities here are not so expensive.     

Getting there: by air to Rome, take the express train from Fiumicino airport to Roma Termini railway station (€14.00/$15.40) and then take the train to Tropea (from €33.00/$36.30). The journey can take up to nine hours (Italian trains don’t always take the most obvious routes). If you don’t mind driving the distance, why not hire a car from the airport in Rome (from €13.00/14.30 for a budget vehicle for three days).                   

Where to stay

Portercole — from €100.00/$110.00 per night 

B&B Vanity — from €53.30/$58.70 per night 

Residenza Donna Giovanna — from €76.50/$84.10 per night 


Beach holidays in Italy aren’t the easiest to organize, but there is such a choice! One thing is for sure, wherever you are you will get fantastic Italian food, clear waters will wash away the stress, and the lively Italians will not make for a boring time.

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