Italy is home to some wonderful stretches of coastline, which are perfect for idyllic and relaxing holidays. Cities such as Venice in the north and Naples in the south make the ideal base from which to explore some of the country’s varied seaside.
With so much choice, it can be hard to narrow down your options, so I’ve put together three that I think are worthy of consideration for your coastal holiday in Italy.
Situated in the south-west of Italy, Naples is a wonderful city to visit if you want to spend a bit of time soaking up the atmosphere in one of the country’s top seaside locations. There’s something to suit all budgets here, from friendly local restaurants to high-end eateries that are frequented by the rich and famous.
The city itself is worth exploring and its entire centre – which features monuments like the Chapel of St Gennaro’s Treasure and the San Lorenzo Maggiore Basilica – is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. If you’re keen to soak up some culture, Pompeii is within easy reach as well.
What makes Naples an excellent base for a beachside break, however, is its position on the Bay of Naples and its proximity to the Sorrento peninsula, which is arguably one of Italy’s most picturesque stretches of coastline. Within the bay are the islands of Capri, Ischia and Procida, each of which are home to some stunning beaches where you can relax and soak up the sun in style.
Top daytrip: Hire a car and drive south into the Sorrento peninsula to discover some of the delightful coastal villages and towns – like Amalfi, Positano and Minori.
You’ll be hard pushed to find anywhere that is quite as close to the sea as Venice. The city is spread across more than 100 islands that dot the Venetian Lagoon, with its network of canals famous the world over. Culture vultures will be in their element here, as Venice boasts some of the most comprehensive art collections on the planet, as well as architecture that will take your breath away.
For a bit of time by the seaside head to the Lido, which is located on the strip of land that shields the lagoon from the Adriatic Sea. In addition to having a lovely stretch of sand to relax on, you’ll have some amazing views of the city too. It’s also worth taking a daytrip to some of the city’s other neighbouring islands. Murano is renowned for its glassmaking industry, while Burano is famous for lace production.
Top daytrip: Head up the coast to the picturesque town of Caorle, where you’ll find a wonderful beach and can explore the narrow alleys that crisscross its centre.
As Italy’s largest island, it’s little wonder that Sicily is a top choice for a break by the sea. Many people choose to base themselves in the regional capital of Palermo, which is another of the country’s fantastic historic cities. There are some beautiful churches in the settlement – including the Church of San Giovanni degli Eremiti, which features five red domes.
If it’s beaches you’re interested in, meanwhile, you won’t be disappointed. Travel along the coast to the west of Palermo and you’ll find some real gems, such as Mondello Beach, a gorgeous curve of white sand where you can relax in the sun or take a dip in the Tyrrhenian Sea. On windy days, it’s possible to kite or windsurf and there are some excellent seafood restaurants located just a short distance from the beach.
Top daytrip: No visit to Sicily would be complete without marvelling at the most active volcano in Europe – Mount Etna. If you’re based in Palermo, travel to the east of the island for a day to see the volcano and walk past some of the interesting rock formations that have been created by lava flows.
If you’ve travelled to Italy, do you have any recommendations about where to visit along the country’s coast?