There’s plenty to recommend Italy already: The rolling hills of Tuscany, the canals of Venice, the charm of Cinque Terre, the wine and food of…well, everywhere. After all, there’s a reason it’s consistently ranked among the most-visited countries in the world, with tourism revenue well into the twelve figures. But add the incredible number and variety of beaches to the equation, and suddenly the country becomes a mandatory item on every traveler’s to-do list.
Here, we’ve collected fifteen of the best beaches to visit across the nation. Whether you’re hoping for a rustic retreat in the mountains, a tropical getaway for luxury and leisure, or an authentic look at life in an Italian coastal town, there’s a locale on this list to meet your needs. And if your vacation to Italy is already in the works, you’re in luck: no matter where in the boot you’ll be heading, there’s a place on this list that’s within range for a detour. Decompress after a busy Florentine adventure with a few days on the Ligurian coast, or spend a morning at the Lido to cleanse your palate after too many gondola rides in Venice. Even on the ever-popular Amalfi Coast and Italian Riviera, tourist-free beaches can be found within spitting distance of the most overrun resort towns.
Ready to traverse the boot? Read on to start plotting the perfect itinerary. And if beach-hopping across Italy isn’t in your future, this list is still worth a look: these places are beautiful enough to cure even the most severe cases of Monday blues, mean reds, or winter doldrums. And after a few glimpses, you may find yourself tallying up your vacation days, scoping out your savings, and planning your next Italian excursion.