Today, I’ve decided to show you the best coastal towns in Italy. There’s a reason why Italy attracts so many people every year. It’s not all about going to affordable beach towns in Italy. Rather, it is all about the people’s kindness and honesty. And about the local, affordable dishes in the best beach towns near Rome Italy, Naples, or Rimini.
Because yes, you can definitely find affordable beach towns in Italy not too far from Rome. The country is filled with beauty, landscapes, gentle souls, and strong personalities. And, of course, some of the best coastal towns.
15 Best coastal towns in Italy
When it comes to the different regions of Italy, and picking the best coastal towns in Italy, we had a hard time choosing from so many beauties. Whatever you’re looking for from Sardinia to the best beach towns in Puglia Italy, you’ll find tips below. Or rather stay at turquoise beach towns in Calabria Italy? The result will be the same. Sun, extra destressing, and just peace on the horizon. And food, of course.
1. La Maddalena
Without a doubt, La Maddalena is one of the best Italy seaside towns and also one of the most beautiful islands in Italy. If you want true, relaxing vacay moments in one of the top Italy beach towns, you should go South. At least, I should go South. Puglia, Sicily, and Sardegna really sit in top spots in my heart when it comes to beautiful seaside towns in Italy.
The National Park of the archipelago is one of the coolest parks you’ll see in the beautiful beach towns in Italy. If you’re a nature enthusiast, it’s definitely a place to go hiking. The Santa Maria Maddalena Church is also a very interesting monument. Indeed, it defines La Maddalena as an old, authentic town.
A few fish and seafood restaurants make it even more of a must-visit. At Il Gotto and Da Zione, you can get some great fish dishes that show that La Maddalena is one of the best beach towns in Italy in all the freshness and delicacy brought to each plate. Besides the emerald, clear waters, and beaches that will take your breath away, the island of la Maddalena is also a national park of Italy.
2. Porto Cervo
Porto Cervo in Sardinia is not one of the most affordable beach towns in Italy. I’ve found that when you go South if you’re not looking for the best beach towns near Rome Italy but are rather focusing on Southern Italy, you will pay the price. The price of the best coastal towns in Italy, where the food is purer, the people warmer, and the water more transparent. Perfect for a summer holiday! Check out our lists of hotels, luxury hotels in Sardinia, and beach clubs too!
Spending a relaxing vacation in Porto Cervo will have you head over heels with the area. I can guarantee that you’ll never forget the moments spent there, surrounded by luxurious nature. The Church of Stella Maris is one super Instagrammable spot that you couldn’t find in great beach towns in Northern Italy because of its specific architecture.
If Porto Cervo is renowned all around the world as the capital of Costa Smeralda, its intense beauty is the reason. Thank me later. If you need to try just one restaurant there, but the best of all, I strongly recommend I Frati Rossi, a luxurious local eatery. The uber-succulent food comprises fine lobster and delicious shrimp. Plus, you can even find on the menu Italian dishes like spaghetti to combine with amazing, fresh wine.
3. Portofino – Best Coastal Towns in Italy
Beach towns in Tuscany Italy can get any better than in Liguria and by that, we think about Portofino. If the town is considered one of the best Italian seaside towns, it is because of the low number of permanent residents in this Italian Riviera spot. I like colorful cities. Like some of the most beautiful seaside towns in Italy, Portofino really boasts dozens of colors on its buildings.
If you’ve never visited any of the best Italy seaside towns, you will understand once you step foot on the burning hot pavements of Portofino. It’s really a spot where you come to relax. The poshest activities can be done here: hiking, diving, or just taking a caffè while laying around is part of the game. Like in all the best Italy beach towns, there are dozens of fancy restaurants and hotels that you can enjoy without worrying about anything else.
If you are a history and architecture enthusiast, I would recommend visiting the Chiesa of Divo Martino (Church of Saint Martin) which is really a worthwhile sight. Among all the best beach towns in Italy, I feel like Portofino has a different vibe, something laidback, luxurious that really makes it one of the most beautiful beach towns in Italy.
There’s no doubt that Vernazza is one of the ultimate best coastal Italian towns. It is surprising that we don’t hear about it more often, to be fair. We all know the best coastal towns of Italy to be Riomaggiore and the other towns of Cinque Terre, for instance. Still, Vernazza is the only one of the beach towns in Tuscany Italy where there is absolutely no car traffic.
Is calm not the main reason why people go to the best coastal towns in Italy? Vernazza is a dreamy place, a true fishing village, a true port, and a true place of nature. When you book your stay, don’t forget to mark down the Gelateria Il Porticciolo and the Trattoria da Sandro – in the first, you’ll eat the best gelato of your life. The second, it’s all about the freshest seafood ever.
Monterosso is one of the oldest and best coastal towns in Italy and one of the most beautiful towns in Cinque Terre, Liguria. The town is split into the new and the old district; both of which offer some great experiences for a well-deserved vacation.
The ruins of the Fieschi Castle and the Capuchin Monastery are definitely places you want to visit when you travel to Monterosso. I think that all the best beach towns in Tuscany Italy are defined and dominated by historical ruins.
Christianity has always been such a protagonist in Italian culture that it’s really moving to arrive at those ruins. Ruins of a once very much frequented church, with only a few rocks that have remained. Beautiful. Also, if you don’t check out the Giant statue of Neptune in Monterosso al Mare, you’ll have missed something.
Ah, Manarola – one of the very top Italian seaside towns. I don’t know if that’s the colors or the weather that make it one of the most beautiful seaside towns in Italy. What I do know is that when you travel to Manarola, you really get the best out of Cinque Terre.
The second smallest out of all the Italy beach towns of Cinque Terre, Manarola is famous for Sciacchetrà. This is a sweet and delicious dessert wine that you will never forget once you taste it. Only 350 people live in this town, and most people who come to stay at Manarola do it to hike in one of the best Italy seaside towns.
Culinary specialties at Manarola include pesto and anchovies – both fresh and astonishingly tasty. With its amazing surroundings, Manarola is one of the best beach towns in Italy. You can take a hike at the Borgo Storico di Manarola, or tour the town by bike, boat, or on foot. It’s really the freedom and the slow pace of the town that make it one of the most beautiful beach towns in Italy.
7. Sorrento – Best Coastal Towns in Italy
Well, if Sorrento is not one of the best coastal Italian towns, I don’t know what could be. I’ve been there only once, but it was enough to catch my heart. The Piazza Tasso is the main square of the town, and it’s painstakingly cute. All around, there are little streets running away to the historical center, and towards the sea.
Sorrento is more affordable than other towns in the area, so make sure you check for the best Sorrento hotels too! When you go to the best coastal Italy towns, the only thing you can really expect is to have a great time. Lemonade, orange juices, and fish dishes are all amazing and tasty. It wouldn’t be one of the best coastal towns of Italy if the sea wasn’t as great as the food, though.
Go to the Marina Grande, and forget yourself amid the countless boats of the residents. In my opinion, you cannot leave without visiting the Bagni della Regina Giovanna. They are ruined baths that remind you of a long-bygone monarchy time. Positano is close by if you’d like to snap some Instagram shots and feel luxurious and powerfully free.
Not one person in the world can say that Amalfi is not one of the best beach towns in Tuscany Italy. Amalfi is not only the name of the coast, it is also a town packed with sharply white houses all interconnected.
The Duomo di Sant’Andrea, at the center of the town, is one of the main touristic attractions. How could it not be, with a beautiful and strong personality that has been hanging around since the 9th century? Between the flourishing nature and the deep turquoise sea, it’s no wonder why Amalfi is one of the best coastal towns in Italy.
If you’d like to chill and relax, there are plenty of osterie and small cafés there. You can just read a book or chat with friends, and enjoy life. Do not miss out on the Valle delle Ferriere if you are a wildlife enthusiast. In Amalfi, nature is unlike anything you’ve ever seen before.
Who doesn’t love Positano? First of all, it is one of the best coastal towns in Italy. Second of all, it is the very image of the Amalfi Coast. After all, Positano is one of the towns that we see on postcards and pictures most often. Since Positano is part of the Amalfi Coast, it is also listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
What should you visit in Positano? As with all the best coastal Italy towns, religious and artistic landmarks are a must-see. In Positano’s case, that would include the very colorful Church of Maria Assunta which hosts a medieval crypt and the Roman Archaeological Museum.
Although Positano is one of the best coastal Italian towns, it is also a tiny town. In a day at most, you will be done with your first visit. That is where I would suggest lazying around, and having nice, romantic walks and dinners in the best restaurants in Positano. All around an expensive, luxurious, and one of the best coastal towns of Italy. You may also check our list of hotels in Positano!
If Taormina is regarded as one of the most beautiful beach towns in Italy, there are quite a few reasons for that. Italy beach towns usually offer the beach, the food, and the landmarks that any country would dream of. But Taormina offers way more – a feeling that you belong to nature and to the past. One of the prettiest and best Italian seaside towns, it plays on the past and drags you to times that you would never have imagined otherwise.
Notably, the Ancient Theatre of Taormina is a must-see. If you are big on churches and cathedrals, I recommend the Chiesa Madonna della Rocca and the Duomo di Taormina which is a true landmark of the town. Both play a big part in making Taormina one of the best Italy seaside towns.
Of course, you cannot miss some of the greatest eats when you go to the best beach towns in Italy. In Taormina, one very affordable eatery is La Pignolata Guinness Cannoli, where you can relish Southern Italian specialties that you won’t be able to forget. If you’re looking for accommodation here, make sure you check our Taormina hotels list!
11. Tropea – Best Coastal Towns in Italy
Tropea is one of the best beach towns in Calabria Italy, and one of the best coastal Italian towns all around. Why? Because of the blend of old and new. Of course, the beach is one of the elements that has played a great part in making Tropea famous to the world.
But some landmarks are really worthwhile, and I would highly suggest not missing out on them. As with all the best coastal towns of Italy, there is a church that you should definitely visit. The Sanctuary of Santa Maria dell’Isola, built high up on the rock (pictured above), is stunning.
It is a monastery that dates back to the 6th Century. It just looks like it was built yesterday, well preserved that it is. Do pay a visit to the historical center, in which you’re sure to spot the famous red onions of Tropea – they are everywhere! If you’re in the town and you need accommodation, make sure you check our Tropea hotels list!
12. Polignano a Mare
If you ask me “What are the best beach towns in Puglia Italy?”, I would have to include Polignano a Mare. Located on the Adriatic sea, it still bears the traces of prehistoric cavemen. We often see pictures of people bathing in the Adriatic, and Polignano a Mare does have this ethereal vibe to it.
Churches are very beautiful in Italy, and the Chiesa Matrice (Mother Church in English) is a sober one that draws in the attention straight away. But to be frank, the best coastal towns in Italy are more famous for their proximity to the best beaches than for the churches – even if.
After a good bath in the sea, why not head over to L’Antiche Mura, where you can grab a delicious bite of the best Italian seafood, or some regional food from Puglia. Ostuni and Alberobello, two other astonishing towns of Puglia, are easily reachable and I highly suggest you travel there if you want to complete a dreamy tour of Italy.
When you look online for the best beach towns in Puglia Italy, Bari is one of the first suggestions you’ll find. Italy beach towns all have something in common, which is how old yet well-preserved they are. It’s like architecture and art stopped in time, and the people kept on moving forward.
If Bari is one of the best Italian seaside towns, it is also due to the people’s kindness. There, in Italy beach towns, people are chill, relax, and just want to enjoy life. The Chapel of the relics in the Basilica of Saint Nicholas is a must-see – I’ve never seen anything like that before.
If you’d like to try some culinary specialties, the best beach towns in Italy around Puglia all have a common one; orecchiette. That type of pasta looks like small ears – hence the name – that is one of the tastiest comfort foods I’ve ever tried. The people of Puglia prepare them in many different kinds of ways, but they’re all always delicious.
The Teatro Margherita, a colorful theater that seems to be floating on water contributes to making Bari one of the most beautiful seaside towns in Italy. Overall, the city is lively yet relaxed and provides the perfect background for vacation all year round.
Ravenna – that’s there one of the most affordable beach towns in Italy, and probably one of the most colorful too. To be fair, beach towns in Northern Italy do attract people, but less than, say, Cinque Terre. And that is precisely why you should visit it. There, you will be able to mix food, culture, and a laidback moment without throwing your wallet into the fire.
The Basilica di Sant’Apollinare is a sight – don’t miss it. If you’d like to embark on a cultural visit without splurging, Ravenna is your spot. The town offers a combination ticket that allows you to visit the various chapels, basilicas, and mausoleum of Ravenna. The upside? The ticket costs less than €10! So, although Ravenna is not one of the best beach towns near Rome Italy, it is definitely worth a visit if you’re planning to visit nearby Rimini.
If that’s not enough, think of all the delicious piadina, the beautiful mosaics, and the possibility of visiting Dante’s tomb! Definitely one of the best coastal towns in Italy.
15. Riomaggiore – Best Coastal Towns in Italy
Riomaggiore is definitely one of the best coastal Italian towns. With its colorful houses and fresh fish, it will just make you fall in love with the laidback vibe of the best coastal towns of Italy. I don’t know what I like better in Riomaggiore. The town is pretty small, so tourism there happens all around town.
For instance, the National Park of Cinque Terre is a must-see if you’re a nature enthusiast. The castle of Riomaggiore is also a very pretty sight before you head towards a small osteria for lunch. It will allow you to breathe in the view of the fresh sea and the beautiful surroundings.
If you’re on a budget because you’re trying to visit all of Cinque Terre, the restaurant Il Pescato Cucinato is definitely a spot to check out. Riomaggiore really is one of the best coastal towns of Italy if you’re looking for a chill, laidback spot for your vacation.
Wrapping Up 15 most charming seaside towns in Italy
There you have them, the very best coastal towns in Italy. I have listed only 15, but I could have gone on and on. The only thing is, affordable beach towns in Italy do exist, but they’re quite the rarity. Everyone loves coming to the best beach towns in Puglia Italy to laze around during the hot season.
How could they not? We also love that. Fortunately, there are some great beach towns in Northern Italy too, and that’s where you’ll be able to save the most money. In any case, be sure to pack sunscreen and sunglasses, because the country really gets hot during vacay time, especially in the best beach towns near Rome Italy! If on the other hand, you’re more of a national park kind of person, you will love to discover the best national parks in Italy!