Mediterranean Magic: Italy’s best spots for a beach break
Nothing beats a sunshine-filled beach break and Italy’s beaches are among some of the most beautiful in the world. Yet it’s important to remember that Italian beaches are a little different to Australian ones. While many Australians flock to the coastline to enjoy games of beach cricket, sandcastle building, surfing, picnics and more, Italian beaches are an entirely different affair altogether. Unlike in Australia, many Italian beaches are divided into private and public areas. While this may seem strange at first, it’s a part of the local culture.
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A young woman (Chloe Ting) is running on a beach toward the ocean. Camera zooms back to reveal a backdrop of historic houses perched dramatically on a cliff above the beach.
Title: Italy with Chloe Ting
Montage of footage showing rugged coastlines sandy beaches, people diving and playing in the sea, and historic coastal towns.
Chloe travelling as a passenger in a car and taking photos.
Chloe and a friend walking on a coastal track and admiring the ocean views.
Chloe standing in front of the Colosseum in Rome. We then see various scenes of her exploring other ancient buildings and sites in Rome.
Dramatic drone footage of a cliff-top coastal town.
Chloe exploring a small coastal town – including taking in the sights, snapping photos, shopping and eating.
Montage of footage of coastal villages and atmospheric village street life.
Chloe standing on a rock above the sea and admiring the view.
Montage of footage of a stunning coastline.
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Here are some of Italy’s best destinations for beach breaks, with some pointers on how to make the most of your Italian beach experience.
Easily one of Italy’s most popular places for a summer beach break, the romance and magic of the Amalfi Coast has captivated travellers for centuries. Home to a series of towns that swell with visitors during the warmer months, the Amalfi Coast delivers show-stopping ocean views, charming towns filled with rustic restaurants, mountain hideaways located in fragrant lemon groves and plenty of beaches to spend lazy days lounging on.
The tourist-friendly hubs of Amalfi, Positano and Sorrento are among the best bases to explore the region from. While tasting gelato, polishing off limoncello, hiking along coastal trails and shopping for artisanal wares made by local potters are popular things to do when in the Amalfi Coast, making the most of the stunning beaches is at the top of the agenda for most visitors.
As some beaches are exclusively for the use of resort guests, before stepping onto a beach be sure to check that it’s a public beach. Other beaches are open to the public but incur a fee if using any of the facilities (toilets, bars, umbrellas and lounges), so be sure to bring some money to the beach if you intend to make use of any of the paid services on offer.
On the lookout for a smaller beach town to stay in? Located between Positano and Sorrento, the fishing village of Praiano offers stunning coastal views, easy beach access and all the culinary wonders of the Italian coast minus the epic crowds of the larger towns.
The south-east coast of Italy is home to kilometres of incredible beaches as well as charming medieval towns, rich culinary traditions and locals with a laidback approach to life. Dramatic rock formations, picturesque mountains and a deep blue sea combine to create some of the most breathtaking scenery in Italy.
Rent a cosy villa in a beachside town to make the most of the balmy temperatures and opportunities to swim, relax and eat fresh seafood. Half an hour from the port town of Brindisi lies the popular Marina di Ostuni area. Home to everything from luxe resorts to small, family-owned guesthouses and even camping spots, this area affords excellent access to many beaches and bays including the white sand Lido Morelli.
As with other Italian beaches, private areas that feature umbrellas, sun lounges and bars are only accessible when paying a fee. So be sure to pay up before entering! Otherwise, choose the public access parts of the beach to walk, swim and relax without having to part with your precious euros.
Synonymous with outrageous displays of wealth, well-to-do Italians flock to the Cinque Terre area (also known as the Italian Riviera) every summer. As one of the most naturally beautiful places in the world, it comes as no surprise that this coastal paradise located in northern Italy is also an incredibly expensive place to visit. Regardless, the network of five villages (Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso) characterised by rustic, colourful buildings clinging to mountainside overlooking an azure coastline still draws in immense crowds, especially in summer.
Unlike in Australia, most beaches along this coastline are covered in rocks (except Monterosso which is covered in sand) so things like building sandcastles and going on soft sand runs aren’t possible here. Most beaches are free to access, however fitting with the resort theme of the area many also offer paid services like beach beds, umbrellas and access to things like a bar and toilet. Some wilder, more remote beaches along the coastline are only accessible by boat – yet once found are blissfully tourist-free.
The island of Ischia might not be as popular as the neighbouring island of Capri but for what it lacks in tourist-pulling power it certainly makes up for in other ways. Easily accessible by hydrofoil from Naples, Ischia’s white sand beaches, thermal pools and relaxed vibe make it a great choice for travellers who want to enjoy a beach holiday minus the crowds.The beaches and bays of Ischia all vary in style but most have soft, white sand (a nice change from the rocks and pebbles found on most Italian beaches).
One of Ischia’s largest beaches, San Pietro Beach is popular with young people who enjoy playing volleyball and football on the sand. Thanks to volcanic activity, Sorgeto is a beach that is home to outdoor thermal pools all year round. Free to visit, the pools are the perfect place to enjoy a relaxing dip in nature. Sunset is an optimal time to visit these thermal pools. While some of Ischia’s beaches have private areas featuring beach umbrellas and sun lounges, most are easily accessible for free without having to pay a fee.
Get travel insurance before heading off so you can soak up the Mediterranean sun without a care in the world.