The Beaches of Rome: Ultimate Guide

Beating the heat in Rome is no easy task, especially in the middle of a heatwave! In times like these, what you really need is a day-long trip to the beach.

But where exactly are the best beaches in Rome? Choosing the right beach is a snap.

If swimming, crystal clear waters, and amazing photo ops are what you love, then choose a beach in a city further from the capitol: Sperlonga, Anzio, Sabaudia, San Felice Circeo, Terracina, and Gaeta are all well worth the trip to get there.

If you are short for time and want to be around a lot of people, with the beach serving more as a backdrop, then beaches closer to Rome are perfect. Santa Marinella, Ostia, Fregene, Capocotta, Santa Severa and Maccarese each have unique reasons to go, just note that the water and coastline will not be as pristine as when you get further from the capitol.

Related article:15 Best Pools in Rome

For those of you truly committed to the beach life, spend at least a night or two in Ventotene or Trevignano on Lake Bracciano to experience amazing water sports, such as scuba diving and snorkeling, or to explore beautiful farmlands and ancient ruins in a beach setting.

Before we get into the best beaches of Rome, its important to note that while there are many stretches of free of charge beaches (spiaggia libera), most of them are divided into private beach areas called stabilimenti. 

In these areas, visitors will pay a fee which typically covers access to a lounge chair, umbrella, a changing room, and toilets.

It also ensures that the beach area is kept clean and gives you a nice area to swim.

More often then not, there will be a restaurant or bar situated nearby with waiters able to bring you food and drink.

  Prices vary depending on the season, but will be between €10-30 euros per person. Compared to a hotel pool in Rome, this price is a bargain. Beaches with a Blue Flag destination typically have the biggest amount of free of charge areas to choose from.

If in doubt, just look for people that aren’t using a chair or umbrella and plant your blanket next to them!

The Best Beaches in Rome

The first group of beaches on this list are the cream of the crop, and they have the certification to prove it.

Tested by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE), they grade the quality of water, monitor recycling and waste management practices of the beach, check for the presence of lifeguards, and note the extent of pedestrian paths and green areas.

Everything is tallied up, and a Bandiera Blu (Blue Flag) designation is awarded only to the best beaches in Rome that score the highest in all categories.

Please note that all of the beaches in this section will take between one and two hours to get to by public transportation, and are well worth it if you have time! Renting a car will take about as long, but will end up saving you the hassle of waiting for a train or bus.

Sperlonga Via Salette, 219, 04029 Sperlonga LT, Italy

Perched atop a seaside cliff, the ancient city of Sperlonga has it all. With crystal clear water and immaculately clean beaches, Sperlonga has earned the Blue Flag designation 17 years in a row!

When the sun starts to go down, you can retreat to one of many restaurants or bars for some incredible food and refreshing drinks.

The little town itself is super photogenic, all of the houses are painted white and chock full of twisting, narrow alleyways and wide open piazzas. You can even visit the ancient villa of emperor Tiberius for an extra dose of history.

The only real downside to Sperlonga is the dominance of private beaches, where you’re required to pay for each chair. However, there are small strips of free areas so go there early to claim your spot!

How to get to Sperlonga: Take a regional train from Rome’s Termini station to the Fondi-Sperlonga stop, which takes about an hour. At the Fondi-Sperlonga station, you have two options; take a taxi at the station in order to avoid a long wait (15 minute taxi ride), or wait to take the bus (about 30 minute ride).

Sabaudia

Strada Lungomare Pontino, 63, 04016 Lungomare di Sabaudia LT

Sabaudia is well known by Romans, as it is full of free beach areas, amazing food and perfect water. Here you will find 15 kilometers of beach that boast the coveted “Bandiera Blu” designation, without all the people! Sheltered by the protected Circeo Forest, easy access is provided by a boardwalk along the entire coast.

The main reason for there being a lack of people for many months of the year (besides August) is because they lack a direct train station that stops in Sabaudia, so it takes a bit of planning ahead of time.

The town is known for it being created by Benito Mussolini in the early 1930s. The main area of the city in Sabaudia is characterized by having many examples of fascist architecture.

It is also full of incredible open-air markets and has special festivals and events going on nearly every weekend of the summer: at the end of July, every year is host to the Sunset Jazz Festival.

Getting to Sabaudia by train will require a little bit of extra planning, but if you have a rental car this is a no brainer.

How to get to Sabaudia:  From Roma Termini, take the train to Priverno-Fossanova, about 50 minutes. Then, take a COTRAL bus to Sabaudia, about 40 minutes. COTRAL buses tend to only run a few times a day, so you must check the schedule before you go!

You could also take a taxi from Priverno-Fossanova, but this will probably run you around 30 euros.

Anzio

00042 Anzio, Metropolitan City of Rome,

In addition to the breathtaking beaches and turquoise water, Anzio is best enjoyed due to its old-school fishing town vibe. The port is full of amazing seafood restaurants and ancient villas.

This used to be the playground of Emperor Nero, he built several theaters opera houses. You can also visit the ruins of his ancient villa. 

More recently, it was where British and US forces landed in 1944 to liberate Rome from German occupation. You can visit the expansive American Cemetery where nearly 8,000 Americans are buried.

How to get to Anzio: Take a regional train from Termini to Anzio-Colonna station, a ticket will only cost you €3. From here, you’ll need to either grab a taxi or take a 15 minute walk to the beach.

San Felice Circeo Via Domenico Maiolati, 8 04017 San Felice Circeo

San Felice Circeo is on the other side of the mountain opposite of Sabaudia. From the old town, on top of the mountain you’ll enjoy beautiful views of the coast and many family owned restaurants. On the actual coast Stabilimenti are the norm at this beach, so look for the free area next to the port for the best spot!

How to get to San Felice Circeo: Cotral buses leave for Circeo from the Laurentina metro station in Rome. Get off at the last stop, via Domenichelli, and take a 10 minute walk to the beach.

Terracina

Piazzale Lido, 20 04019 Terracina LT

Located just 10 km north of San Felice Circeo, Terracina has an equal amount of free beaches and paid ones, which are both kept very clean. The city itself is great, full of nice shops, well kept museums (Tempio di Giove is definitely worth a visit!) and quirky restaurants. There is a huge fish market by the port, where you can find fresh fish for great prices! At night, it turns into a huge restaurant frequented by locals and visitors alike.

It strikes a nice balance of size, as it is a bit larger of a beach town but still keeps a small-town vibe. This is a great destination for families as well. How to get to Terracina: From Termini station take the hourly regional train for Naples and get off at Monte S. Biagio. From there, take the bus for about 20 minutes until you reach the beach.

Gaeta

Via Marina di Serapo, 39 04024 Gaeta LT

Gaeta is a quaint medieval town that has a lot to offer, with clean beaches and turquoise water. Home of some of the best mozzarella, olives and tiella (typical savory Italian pie stuffed with various ingredients) in the world!

How to get to Gaeta: From Termini station, take any one of the frequent trains headed towards Naples and get off at Formia. Then, take the bus from Formia station for another 25 minutes until you reach Gaeta-Piazza Libertà.

Nearest Beaches to Rome

Sometimes you just want to get to the beach, and fast! These locations are the nearest beaches to Rome, each one providing a unique and fun activity besides just frolicking in the sea. The waters aren’t quite as beautiful, but it will only take 40 minutes to an hour to reach these locations easily by public transport.

Do as the locals do and take a scooter to the beach! You may have some reservations about renting a scooter in Rome, but it is well worth it. Each of these locations are the perfect distance for a nice ride on a breezy vespa. Click here to check availability!

Santa Marinella – Well Rounded Beach

SS1 Via Aurelia, 318 00058 Santa Marinella RM

We start with the best overall of the group, Santa Marinella. Public transportation is probably easier than taking a car here, as the stop is about an hour away from any major train station in Rome.

While the beach didn’t quite earn the Blue Flag status, the water here is still pretty good! Due to how easy it is to get here from Rome, it’s a great place for people watching and grabbing a lounge chair at one of the stabilimenti.

If you want a quick and easy beach without sacrificing too much on water quality, and don’t mind paying a bit more for a chair, this is your best bet.

How to get to Santa Marinella: Take the train from Roma Termini (or any major station, for that matter) to S. Marinella. The beach is a five minute walk from the station.

Ostia – Ancient Ruins and Restaurants

Lido di Ostia RM

Ostia may not be the most beautiful of the bunch, but she is the closest! The beaches are full of trendy (and expensive) stabilimenti that often require a membership to enter.

Ostia really shines when it comes to nightlife and restaurants that are situated right on the beach. You’ll see people come here just to order perfect Roman seafood dishes, such as spaghetti con le vongole (pasta with clams).

On your way back it is definitely worth stopping at at Ostia Antica, which are the ancient ruins just two stops before you get off at Lido Centro.

How to get to Ostia Lido: Take the Metro Line B to the Piramide stop in Rome, then take the Ostia-Lido train toward Cristoforo Colombo. You use the same ticket for both. Make sure you get off at the Ostia-Lido Centro stop, and not Ostia Antica, unless you want to visit the ruins first.

Fregene – Nightlife

Via Silvi Marina, 223/a 00054 Fregene RM

Fregene is a trendy area just north of Ostia, and offers water that is pretty good, but not great. Most young Romans like to go in the late afternoon for a few hours of sun and aperitivo, then stay until the wee hours partying at the trendy clubs that line the beach.

The most popular clubs are Gilda on the Beach (Lungomare di Ponente, 11), Blu Fregene (Lungomare di Ponente) and Singita (Villaggio dei Pescatori), which is famous for its chic sunset aperitivo.

How to get to Fregene: Not the easiest place in the world to get to by public transport, but you still have some options: Take the Metro A to the Cornelia stop (towards Battistini). Then hop in one of the small buses that go to Fregene, which pass every 10-15 minutes.

Or, you could take one of the Cotral buses that depart from Rome’s Valle Aurelia metro stop (line A). Plan ahead as this bus only leaves a few times a day.

Capocotta – Nude Beach

Via Litoranea Km 9, 400, 00122 Lido di Ostia RM

While every beach in Italy allows for topless sunbathing, there aren’t as many “naturalist” beaches to choose from. This is where Capocotta comes into play!

Not far from Ostia, the whole beach is part of an official nature reserve, and nudists have been baring it all for more than 30 years. In 2000, officials set aside a special section just for them, with over 250 meters being nude friendly.

Admission is free, umbrellas and chairs are available for a fee, and you’ll have access to restaurants/bars and public toilets. 

It’s also the most famous LGBTQ friendly beach in Rome.

How to get to Capacotta: From the Metro Line B from the Piramide stop in Rome, then take the Ostia-Lido train toward Cristoforo Colombo. Once at the Cristoforo Colombo Station, take one of the buses that leave every 20 minutes to Litoranea/Varco 4. The beach is just a few minutes walk from there.

Santa Severa – Family Friendly and Relaxing

00058 Santa Severa, Metropolitan City of Rome, Italy

While hipsters and trendy people head off to Ostia and Fregene to party, families and couples looking for a quiet spot to relax head over to the seaside town Santa Severa.

Here, the beach is a deep brown and the water tends to be a lot cleaner. You’ll find windsurfers and plenty of families riding their bikes along the lungomare. 

Santa Severa also has an enormous castle parked directly on the beach, with hidden alcoves peppered throughout, giving you dozens perfect and unique photo opportunities!  How to get to Santa Severa: Take a train from any major station in Rome (Roma Termini, Ostiense, Trastevere, or San Pietro) to Santa Severa. The beach is a 10 minute walk from the station.

Maccarese – The Dog Beach

Via di Praia a Mare, 4 00057 Maccarese RM

Did you bring your dog with you on vacation? Reward him with a trip to the beach! Bau Beach has been allowing dogs to come here for years, and offer many amenities to help keep your furry friend happy and clean.

Very close to Fregene, it is an extremely popular place for people and dogs to hang out, so get there early! 

How to get to Maccarese: If you have your dog, taking him on public transport is frowned upon, although not totally uncommon. If you just want to see some puppers, follow the Fregene directions and take a taxi.

Weekend Getaways From Rome

For those that really want a weekend getaway from Rome and have an extra day or two, these spots are perfect! You’d be hard pressed to accomplish these trips in just one day, so do yourself a favor and spend the night in the area.

You’ll be rewarded with Blue Flag waters, scuba, snorkeling, and boating excursions, centuries old farmlands and more amazing experiences.

Ventotene

Ventotene is part of the Pontine Islands, a chain forming off the western coast of Italy between Rome and Naples. If you are a lover of the sea, this small island will be heaven for you.

Scuba diving, snorkeling, free diving, and boat excursions are a staple of this area. Rent a boat on your own, go on a fishing tour, or explore underground caves in sapphire blue water.

You will not even need a car, as the island itself is only about two miles long and you’ll walk everywhere.

Originally a prison for high-profile Roman prisoners, the prison still stands today off the coast of the main island.

Having only about 700 residents, the community is tight-knit and everybody is quite friendly and knowledgeable about whats going on in town.

How to get to Ventotene: From Termini Station, take one of the trains to Formia-Gaeta which departs every 30 minutes. Once in Formia, walk about 10 minutes to the Port Ferry area and hop on the boat to Ventotene. Make sure to book the ferry in advance.

Trevignano on Lake Bracciano

The only lake in Lazio to be awarded the Blue Flag, Trevignano on Lake Bracciano is made for nature lovers.

The whole area is a national conservation, with lush farmland, beautiful lakes and forests to hike till your hearts content. The region is also known for its incredible agriturismo, which are basically heirloom farms that offer seasonal fresh food and a place to stay.

The town itself was home to Etruscan royalty for centuries before Romans. You can also lounge on the grass overlooking the sunset with stunning views. Worth the trip!

With this comprehensive list of beaches in Rome, you’ll be able to choose the perfect one that fits into your vacation plan. Do you want to stay in the city center? Read our article 15 Best Pools in Rome to find out where to go!

Also Read: Roman Heatwave: Ways to Beat it (that actually work)

Tell us about the best beach in Italy you’ve ever been to in the comments below!


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