Picturesque village

Live like a local on these under-the-radar Italian beaches

An Italian getaway by the sea is the perfect summer getaway; after all, the European hotspot (and its surrounding islands) are known for having some of the most beautiful beaches in the entire world, and for good reason. Breathtaking azure waters and velvety sandy beaches are just a few of the breathtaking sights that can be found at the best beaches in Italy. cool off in the turquoise sea.

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But now for the good news: not all of Italy’s beaches are as well-known or as visited as its most popular summer destinations; there are some that fly under the radar, many of which are locals’ best-kept secrets. And for a vacationer looking for a bit of relaxation this summer, the best way is to think like a local – and the following beaches will help you do just that. A parade of scenic spots, each with its own unique bits of free beach access, these under-the-radar favorites will ensure any beach-goer lives like an Italian local all summer long.

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Sizzling Sicilian sand in San Vito Lo Capo

This beautiful Sicilian beach of San Vito lo Capo is essentially the epitome of bustling, bustling sand and surf experiences – crowds in swimsuits, street vendors and beach bars galore. And don’t forget the all-surf blue landscape, soft, velvety sand, and stunning panoramic views that give off the perfect summer beach vibe.

  • Where is it going Trapani, on the northwest coast of Sicily
  • Costs and fees: Paid umbrellas are available, though the beach is dotted with plenty of free beach areas
  • Stay nearby: Hotel Artimede, Hotel Soffio D’Estate, Hotel Riviera
  • What to like: Nearby beach bars serve everything from frozen drinks to spectacular Sicilian street food; breathtaking view of Mount Monaco.


A sprawling local Sardinian beach at Cala Liberotto

Sardinia is known for its stunning beaches surrounded by some of the most breathtaking blue waters in the region and the beauty of the Gulf of Orosei Cala Liberotto is just one of many fantastic places to choose from on the east coast of the island. However, Cala Liberotto’s appeal lies in its wide open spaces of soft sand that have plenty of free access, allowing sunbathers to spread out and relax without the jostling crowds.

  • Where is it: Orosei, Sardinia
  • Costs and fees: FREE ENTRANCE
  • Stay nearby: Santa Maria Resort, Hotel Baia Marina, Hotel Anticos Palathos
  • What to like: the rocky reefs and clear water make it an ideal spot for snorkeling; there is plenty of parking, snack bars and restaurants nearby


Off the beaten track Torre Guaceto

The coast of Puglia has a number of beautiful beaches, many of which belong to the beautiful and wild Guaceto Nature Reserve. An off-the-beaten-track location means travelers will likely need to rent a car to get there, then walk a bit to the more secluded beaches. However, the area’s beaches, lagoons and vast sand dunes make it an attractive venture for those seeking an idyllic beach retreat.

  • Where is it: Torre Guaceto Nature Reserve in Puglia
  • Costs and fees: Paid parking, no entrance fees
  • Stay nearby: Oasi Degli Ulivi, L’Eremo degli Ulivi B&B, Trullo Alessandro and Villa Raffaela
  • What to like: The perfect retreat for sunbathing and swimming; the shallow waters and rock formations are ideal for snorkeling; a great escape from the tourist crowds


Locals love the white sands of Capo Vaticano

Despite its white sand beaches and spectacular landscapes, Capo Vaticano in beautiful Calabria remains a local’s delight that has managed to avoid becoming a tourist trap. Perhaps it’s the secluded location of the beach nestled amongst rocky, towering cliffs or the lack of concessions and sunshades coveted by sunbathers – whatever the reason, Capo Vaticano remains one of the secrets of Cambria’s best kept beach.

  • Where is it: Calabria, near the town of Tropia
  • Costs and fees: N / A
  • Stay nearby: Graceland B&B, Midenza Suites & Residence, Villaggio Tramonto
  • What to like: An air of mystery permeates this relatively hidden spot accessible only by a set of steep stone steps, making this quiet beach the perfect retreat; breathtaking view of the Aeolian Islands archipelago and the Tyrrhenian Sea

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A charming cove, an isolated village in San Fruttoso

Not all beaches are built for sunbathing – some are simply a series of rocks lining a small sandy shore; a secluded cove surrounded by deep blue waters, like the beach of San Fruttoso, not far from Portofino. However, what makes this decidedly beachless beach so special is its unique surroundings and secluded island atmosphere. Accessible only by boat or on foot via a scenic path suspended above the sea, San Fruttoso’s appeal comes from its picturesque setting, which includes one of Italy’s most beautiful abbeys.


  • Where is it: Coastal Liguria near Portofino Regional Park, Villa Rosmarino
  • Costs and fees: N/A, excluding transport
  • Stay nearby: Splendido (A Belmond Hotel), Villa Albachiara,
  • What to like: This beautiful cove and village is an oasis away from the busiest tourist spots in Italy, but still a wonderful place to experience the region’s distinctive history and culture; divers will love an underwater glimpse of the famous Christ of the Abyss statue created by the artist Guido Galletti, which rests at the bottom of the Mediterranean since 1954

A (little) Tuscan treat at Sant’Andrea beach

The largest island in the Tuscan archipelago, Isola d’Elba, has its fair share of named and unnamed beaches, all of which are stunning. However, many of the island’s beaches are often crowded with tourists and their wall-to-wall umbrellas, so it takes a local to really find a beautiful, seaside and relatively uncrowded spot. Walk in Sant’Andrea Beacha cozy hamlet surrounded by rocks with a beach the size of a postage stamp just big enough for an idyllic day on the water.


  • Where is it: Located in the village of Sant’Andrea, almost six kilometers from Marciana Alta
  • Costs and fees: No entrance fees; and sections of free beach are available near the tidal pools.
  • Stay nearby: Boutique Hotel Ilio, Alba Chiara Sant’Andrea, Agriturismo La Turrita
  • What to like: A scenic coastal path leads to the equally pretty Cotoncello Beacha great place to swim, snorkel and explore nearby sea caves.

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During summer, it’s virtually impossible to find an Italian beach where sunbathers and umbrellas aren’t packed like sardines in the sweltering sun – after all, vacations by the sea are among the most popular getaways for Europeans. and tourists. However, there is a way to make the most of Italy’s best beaches; and that’s thinking like a local. This does not mean entirely avoiding the crowds, but that means knowing the coolest spots to make the most of and relax; water sports, panoramic views or a combination of the three – the best (and smartest) way to Viva Italia this summer.