The romantic country of Italy is almost entirely surrounded by the sea, making it one of the most sought-after vacation destinations for beach lovers around the world. There are over 700 miles of picture-perfect coastline for tourists to explore and enjoy due to Italy’s iconic boot-shaped peninsula. How does one even choose where to begin?!

To help you narrow down the countless options, we compiled this list of the top 5 beaches that we think you’ll love. Whether you want to enjoy the bustling excitement of a modern Italian city or enjoy the peace and simplicity of a small town, you’re sure to find the perfect spot for your next getaway.

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Salento, Puglia

Puglia is located in the “heel” portion of Italy’s boot. If you travel to the southernmost part of Puglia, you’ll reach the breathtaking area of Salento. This region offers visitors plenty of white sandy beaches, perfect weather from May until late September, and the chance to see where the Ionian Sea and Adriatic Sea meet.

The area is geographically stunning, with rocky cliffs and little inlets dotted around the coastline. Many of the small pristine beaches on Baia dei Turchi, along the eastern shore, are protected by the Parco Naturale Regionale Costa Otranto, so you can expect a quiet and refreshing escape. On the other hand, if you want to enjoy the highly entertaining nightlife, there’s no better place to go than Baja Verde. This beach is commonly considered the “perfect beach” for an unforgettable nightlife scene.

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Vasto, Abruzzo

You’ll feel like royalty as soon as you enter this spectacular region along the Adriatic coast. On a hill overlooking the white sandy beaches, you’ll notice the medieval architecture of the Caldoresco Castle, which dates back to the 14th century. As you travel closer towards the coast, be sure to take a closer look at the unique wooden fishing platforms (known as trabocchi) that look like strange tentacles jutting out from the water.

For a lovely family-friendly vacation, the coast of Vasto Marina is an excellent place to stay. Numerous hotels and campsites line the edge of the beach, and you’ll have plenty of dining options to choose from during your stay. For a less crowded beach, you just have to travel a bit further down the coast until you reach the Punta Aderci. Outlined by a rocky coastline, this beach is protected by a nature reserve and provides a wonderful spot for adventurous divers to explore!

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Cefalù, Sicily

Cefalù is a charming small town that’s rich in history and natural beauty. A well-preserved 12th-century cathedral is visible from the main Cefalù beach, and guests to the cathedral will be amazed at the ancient mosaic artworks. The medieval architecture, combined with the colorful fishing harbor, winding cobblestone streets, and warm golden sand, will make you feel like you traveled back to a simpler time in history.

The main beach closest to the town of Cefalù is free to the public, and it’s very convenient for families with children. Restaurants and toddler play areas are all within walking distance from the comfortable small town amenities, so you can simply sit back and enjoy the sunshine. In the evening, you can join locals on the promenade, Lungomare Giuseppe Giardina, for a relaxing stroll to reflect on the day and watch the waves roll in.

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Viareggio, Tuscany

Viareggio is known as the “Pearl of the Tyrrhenian Sea” and is considered to be a classic Italian beach destination. As the second-largest city within the Lucca province, it attracts countless tourists during the summer months and Carnival season. Here, you’ll find orderly rows of umbrellas placed along the expansive beaches, luxurious hotels and villas throughout the city, and several upscale restaurants to choose from.

Viareggio’s beaches cover over 10 kilometers, and the majority of public beaches are protected by the Parco Naturale Regionale San Rossore. After a day of sunbathing and swimming at one of these carefully-maintained beaches, you can stroll along the La Passeggiata to do some shopping, visit a cafe, or get some sweet gelato.

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Ischia, Bay of Naples

Although it’s often overshadowed by the popular island of Capri, Ischia is a hidden gem in the Bay of Naples. This volcanic island is home to the picturesque beach, Spiaggia dei Maronti, located near the village of Sant’Angelo. Here, you can float in the sea or relax in one of Ischia’s dozens of open-air thermal springs.

Beyond the gorgeous beaches and rejuvenating hot springs, Ischia has plenty of other activities for visitors to enjoy. Tourists can climb to the peak of Monte Eponeo, the highest point on the island, or they can visit La Mortella to see its colorful botanical gardens. La Mortella also features live classical music every Thursday, which creates a romantic atmosphere unlike anywhere else.

Last Thoughts

Once you find the beach of your dreams, you might not want to leave the lovely country of Italy! Just in case you’re tempted to turn your brief weekend getaway into a 2-week adventure, BNESIM can ensure that you can still stay connected to your loved ones back home. BNESIM created the unlimited data SIM card Europe card to provide unlimited data, high-speed internet, international calling and texting for up to 95% less than your mobile provider. With reliable coverage in a total of 31 European countries, you can enjoy a worry-free vacation when you choose BNESIM for your communication needs.

Cover photo credits: picloutravel