Beyond the history and culture that is so richly abundant, Italy is also home to gorgeous lengths of coastline that will have you in disbelief. Whether you prefer to recline on crescent-shaped beaches of fine sand or explore rocky coves and dramatic coastal cliffs, there is bound to be something for you in Italy.
Italy is bordered on three sides by sea: the Adriatic, Tyrrhenian, and Ionian seas ebb and flow and shimmy against the shores of this ancient and historic land. Sardinia and Sicily, two of the Mediterranean's largest islands, are also Italian regions. It's unsurprising, then, that Italy beach holidays are vaunted as idyllic coastal breaks. Here are our top 5 beaches to while away your sunny summer holidays:
Marina Grande is a picture-perfect beach that lies beneath a colourful cascade of houses that spills down the vertiginous cliffs; a recognisable Italian beach that is the face of the Amalfi Coast. A battle-ready formation of bright umbrellas lines the beach, awaiting the daily descent of holidaymakers. It is a theatre of summer throngs throwing themselves at the beauty of this wonderful destination. There are few more attractive places for a beach holiday anywhere, let alone Italy. Marina Grande is Positano's main beach and can get very busy in the high season, and with good reason. Be sure to book a lounger so you can enjoy this scenic and lively and radiant beach.
Where to stay: Villa Neptune
Wrapped in vines, nestled on the hillside of Positano, is Villa Neptune, an effortlessly classy villa that pulls together a variety of stylistic influences. From the terrace, which is shaded by the lush climbers, the view is simply breathtaking. The infinity pool appears to trickle straight into the Tyrrhenian sea below.
Inside, the cavernous vaulted ceilings offer refuge from the heat of the day. An eclectic mix of rococo decor, elaborate artworks, and patterned tiles come together in harmonious sophistication. Lie back on your lounger beneath the straw parasols that rustle in the breeze and soak up the wonders of the Amalfi Coast.
This cove of brilliantly turquoise waters will strike awe into all those who visit it. The small beach is flanked on each side by rough cliffs; walls worn and scarred into shape by the told tales of time. The town of Polignano a Mare is poised proudly atop these sheer faces, almost extensions of them, and surrounds the beach, as if the buildings are meeting to verify its beauty.
While the swimming is wonderful, the true attraction of this beach is the historical town centre and the surreally attractive cliffs that hold the town aloft. The rocky seafloor will entice the most curious of explorers to scour its nooks and crannies with a mask and snorkel. The beach is located at the northern end of Italy's heel, a half-an-hour drive south east of Bari.
Where to stay: Villa Lungomare
This modern, angular villa is situated just outside of Polignano a Mare amongst the fields and natural splendour of the region. With no neighbours, serenity prevails in Villa Lungomare. The town is a short drive from a number of amazing beaches, including Lama Monachile. But when you are not discovering the delightful shoreline, spend your days flitting between swimming in the villa pool and indulging on the output of the pizza oven. The ground floor of this sleek villa is a seamless extension of the outdoors: enwrapped with glass and filled with flourishing foliage, it is hard not to feel in touch with your stunning surroundings. Explore more of our luxury Puglia villa rentals.
Sicily, the largest island in the Mediterranean, is home to some magical seaside idylls. To the south of Syracuse, Fontane Bianche is our favourite of the island's long stretches of coastal paradise. This white sand beach slopes gently beneath the shimmering water of the azure Mediterranean, making it a great place for swimming and for families. The shores are lined with a buzzing summery scene: restaurants and bars spill into their outside spaces and tourists waddle with wilting ice creams. There is a variety of water sports available along the beach; rent a paddleboard and skim your way over the marbling aquamarine bay.
Where to stay: Villa Sirena
Villa Sirena seems to be carved, sculpted, into the landscape. The villa is perched on the rocky fringes of the island, with steps, hewed into the whitened rocks, leading down to a small natural pool that debouches into the wide-open sea. When the sun reaches the top rung of its ascent, pad up from the seaside rock pool with your towel draped over one shoulder, book in the opposite hand, to the cool of the terrace, where you can sink into one of the cloud-like sofas and admire the sea view. This four-suite villa also boasts a heated swimming pool and a ping pong table.
From the littoral rocks of Mitigliano Beach on Italy's Tyrrhenian coastline, you can enjoy the vistas that stretch over the glistening cobalt blue all the way to the island of Capri. This pebble beach is a peaceful cove, where relaxing summer days slip by with utmost ease. Over the small peninsula, you will find another picturesque beach: Baia delle Sirene, where the crystalline waters are a looking glass into the rocky underwater world of the Mediterranean. The submerged rocks make these quaint beaches a dreamy destination for snorkelling enthusiasts.
Where to stay: Villa Vesuvius
Villa Vesuvius is a sprawling villa with ample outside space where sunworshippers can idle in the warming rays of the long days of summer. The interior is modern and stylish, with touches of elegant grandeur. The gleaming marble floors and varnished floorboards ooze an ambience of glamour, while the artworks adorning the divinely white walls and the piano give the villa a classy finish.
Costa Smeralda is an inimitably beautiful stretch of coastline in northern Sardinia that is famous for its luxuriating beaches, plush beach restaurants, and glitzy resorts. While the resorts have been built up over the years, strict planning has meant they still slot seamlessly into the landscape. The most wondrous of these beaches is Pevero Beach, which consists of two different parts - Piccolo Pevero Beach and Grande Pevero Beach. Both have gradually sloping shores, making them ideal for the whole family to frolic in the shallows.
Where to stay: Villa Gaea
Villa Gaea is buried amongst the pines whose scents pirouette in piquant swirls on the sea breeze. Through the trunks of the trees, glimpses of the sea shine a bright blue, beckoning you to immerse in the calm and clear water. It is easy to explore the Costa Smeralda from the quietude of this villa. Its beachfront location also engenders a feet-in-the-sand way of life for your laid-back luxury Italy holidays on the beach.
Italy is one of our favourite luxury holiday destinations, which is why we have an array of luxury villa rentals in Italy for you to choose from. Explore Le Collectionist to begin your next Italy beach holidays.
Using this itinerary as a guide, you can stretch out your Amalfi Coast visit in Italy for as long as possible, unearthing the region's multifarious joys.