As the French writer Jean-Claude Izzot once said: “By the sea, happiness comes by itself.” This dictum is all the more true when the sea is washed by a beautiful beach with soft white sand and crystal clear waters.
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to fly to the Caribbean or to the ends of the world to enjoy the wonderful beaches and clear waters. There are also many such places in Italy, and each year they are awarded by the environmental organization Legambiente with the Bandiera Blu (It., ‘Blue Flag’) badge.
In 2024 year, the list of places worthy of mention at the international level has a record number of beaches with crystal waters – 269 names, 21 more than last year. I selected the top 10 beaches in Italy based on their beauty and landscape.
Marche Beach “Two Sisters” in Ancona (Due Sorelle – Ancona)
The symbol of the Riviera del Conero and the main beach on the south side of Mount Conero. The beach got its name from two twin cliffs protruding from the sea. You can get to the beach by boat every day from the port of Numana or by following a long, steep path along the coast.
This part of the coastline is still wild and untouched by civilization: only pebbles, rocks, and cliffs.
Cala Violina – Grosseto
One of the most beautiful beaches in the province of Maremma: clean sand, clear sea, and unspoiled nature in a protected area between the towns of Follonica and Punta Ala, which is part of the Scarlino Nature Reserve (Riserva Naturale delle Bandite di Scarlino). The name of the bay comes from the sounds made by the sand when a person walks along it: the beach is covered with the smallest grains of quartz. You can get here in two ways: by bike from the village of Puntone, which is very tiring, or by car from Pian d’Alma, take the local highway 158, and then for about a kilometer along a country road.
Fetovaia beach on the island of Elba (Fetovaia – Isola D’Elba)
A wild and spectacular beach filled with the scent of gorse bushes, located on the southwestern slope of Elba Island. The name Fetovaya (feto – It., “stench”), assigned to him in the 16th century, is ambiguous in its origin.
According to the most common version, a fetid aroma on the beach exuded an accumulation of Posidonia oceanica algae.
Chiaia di Luna beach at Ponza island (Chiaia di Luna – Isola di Ponza)
Not far from Rome, on the island of Ponza, there is a natural amphitheater, unattainable in its beauty.
A rocky natural bay with clear water offers a breathtaking view for tourists, resembling a lunar landscape.
White Bay in Camerota (Cala Bianca – Camerota)
In the Cilento and Vallo di Diano National Park (Parco nazionale del Cilento e Vallo di Diano), this cove is considered “the only and inimitable”.
It’s a real paradise on earth with the indescribable beauty of the landscape, crystal water, white sand, and stones. In 2013, the bay won the Legambiente competition “The most beautiful is you” (“La più bella sei tu”).
I also recommend checking out our guide to the Amalfi Coast.
Orange Bay in Gargano (Baia delle Zagare – Gargano)
There is a beautiful bay between the popular resorts of Mattinata and Vieste on the territory of the Gargano National Park (Parco Nazionale del Gargano), which takes its name from the fragrant flowers of the evergreen orange tree.
This place is created for calm rest, relaxation, and enjoying the crystal clear sea. The high cliffs of Pomerantsevo Bay are so beautiful and recognizable that they have become one of the symbols of the natural beauty of the whole of Puglia.
Island coast in Tropea (Marina dell’Isola – Tropea)
The pristine white sand and turquoise sea characterize this beach, located between the other local beaches, Isola Bella and Le Roccette. Due to the special rockiness of the beach, the water here is very clean and transparent: it creates a beautiful view that can be admired for a long time from the height of the ancient city.
Sicily has over 50 beautiful and comfortable beaches.
San Vito lo Capo
San Vito Lo Capo Beach is considered to be the most beautiful beach on the island. Fine sand, emerald water, and incredible views of the hills of the Zingaro Nature Reserve.
Red Bay on Favignana (Cala Rossa – Favignana)
On the northwestern side of Favignana island, one will find the most beautiful and famous beach – Cala Rossa.
A natural amphitheater of rocks, gently sinking into an unusually transparent bright blue pestilence sky waters.
A large number of large flat underwater rocks distinguishes the coastline. You can reach the beach by boat and land after overcoming a long descent.
Read about the best beaches in Sicily.
Spiked cove in Santa Teresa Gallura (Cala Spinosa – Santa Teresa di Gallura)
A small but picturesque beach nestled in a deep bay in the north of Capo Testa, surrounded by high cliffs protruding far into the sea.
The granite massif, transformed by the sea and the wind into a cluster of rounded natural sculptures over millennia of existence, protects the miniature sandy beach. To get there, you need to follow the direction to the Capo Testa lighthouse and, from it, walk along a steep path on foot.
Goloritze Bay in Ogliastra (Cala Goloritze – Ogliastra)
In 1993, the bay was awarded the title “Natural Monument” of the Sardinia region, and in 1995 – “National Monument of Italy.” It is located in the Baunei commune in the southern part of the Golfo di Orosei. It is one of the most beautiful and famous bays in the Mediterranean, attracting tourists with its bright blue water and marble rocks, polished by time.
The famous arch makes it even more special. It stretches over the sea and the gigantic peak of the Punta Goloritzè rock, a cherished goal of many climbers. You can get to the beach by boat from Cala Gonone or Santa Maria Navarrese beach or along the road starting from the Vaunei plateau in the vicinity of Golgo.
Map of the best beaches in Italy with hotel options
View the best beaches in Italy on a larger map.