10 Beautiful Seaside Towns along the Coast in Italy

The coast in Italy is home to some of the most gorgeous beaches, dramatic cliff views, incredible food, and colorful architecture. From the North to the South, the country is full of pristine beaches. On the Amalfi Coast, you’ll find the stunning postcard-perfect town of Positano and neighboring coastal towns like Capri or even the lesser known places like Procida and Vietri sul Mare. Within Cinque Terre, you’ll see 5 amazing villages that all have colorful pastel houses and seaside views that are simply jaw-dropping. In the deep south of Italy, you will find the beautiful area of Puglia, home to white-washed houses and cobblestone streets as well as the relaxing sea. Then there are the Mediterannean islands of Italy like Sardinia and Sicily. As you can see the country has endless gorgeous scapes that will leave you in awe.

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Here are my top picks for the most beautiful seaside towns along the coast in Italy.

1. Positano

Positano most beautiful seaside town along the coast in italy

Positano is the star of the Amalfi Coast with its beautiful cliffside views and colored buildings, fantastic shopping, and amazing Italian food.

🌊 For more, read my blog post on What to do in Positano & check out my Amalfi Coast Itinerary.

There are many stunning beaches to choose from. Spiaggia Grande is the main beach in the center where you will find the breathtaking landscape with pops of colorful buildings perched on a hill. Another favorite beach is Arienzo Beach Club. It is more secluded and less known. Here you must take a 5 minute boat ride from the Positano port to arrive and they have options for lunch and drinks.

In the evening at sunset, you will be greeted with a spectacular sunset. For the best view, go to Francos Bar as it won’t disappoint. After the sunset, enjoy dinner at Chez Black for heart pizza or Le Tre Sorelle for delicious seafood.

For a unique experience take a sunset boat tour to see the view of Positano from the sea and go to some amazing landmarks like the hard to get to Fiordo di Furore.

🍋 Must try: Lemon sorbet in a lemon! It was one of the best things ever and you can get it right at the port at Hotel Covo dei Saraceni.

🇮🇹 Region of Italy: Campania
✈️ How to get there: The closest airport is Naples or Rome. From Rome you will need to make your way to Naples anyway by train which takes 1.5 hours. From Naples you will take a ferry to Positano which is 2 hours.
🏨 Where to stay: Buca di Bacco is right in the center next to all the action and is one of the less expensive options. It does book up well in advance so be sure to book early! If you can splurge, stay at the dream hotel, Le Sirenuse.

2. Manarola, Italy

Manarola is located in Cinque Terre and is one of the 5 villages along the coast in Northern Italy. The pastel-colored buildings set behind the sea is definitely picture-worthy. You can easily visit 3 of the villages in one day. The other 2 I’d recommend are Riomaggiore and Vernazza. You can hike in between each village for more stunning views and if you’re up for the walk. However, if you’re tight on time, you can take the convenient train and get between each in minutes.

The most instagrammable restaurant in this area has got to be Nessun Dorma where you can have insanely good Italian with the best view in town. Be prepared to wait in line to be able to eat here during busy seasons!

🇮🇹 Region of Italy: Liguria
✈️ How to get there: Fly into Pisa or Milan Airport and take the train in.
🏨 Where to stay: Stay at La Torretta Lodge for the chic decor and incredible views.
Read my full blog post on Cinque Terre here!

3. Polignano a Mare 

polignano a mare coast in italy

Polignano a Mare is on the coast in Italy in the Puglia region. It has the famous beach Cala Monachile which you see pictured above. Here you will enjoy swimming, relaxation, and other fun water activities.

🌊 For more, read my blog post on Polignano A Mare & check out my Guide To The Best Places in Puglia

The town center has many wonderful places to eat and charming streets. A favorite lunch spot is Pescaria for their seafood sandwiches. After stopping here, head to the historic center and wander along the labyrinth of white-washed streets. As you walk, you will find poetry written all over including alongside the many stairways.

To capture Polignano a Mare’s beach from above you can go to the Terrazza Santo Stefano viewpoint. To find the exact location, click here.

Don’t miss going on an amazing boat tour which takes you into caves! You will find the most spectacular views all around! It is stunning to see and one of the highlights of a trip here.

🇮🇹 Region of Italy: Puglia
✈️ How to get there: The closest airport is Bari or Brindisi Airport. Polignano a Mare is only a 40 minute drive from Bari Airport so that is the closer option. You will likely need a car to explore the area unless you stick to the main towns like Alberobello or Polignano a Mare.
🏨 Where to stay: San Michele Suite is where you will find the most amazing views – outside of your room door, you can see the insanely beautiful beach! For more ideas on where to stay in Puglia, read my blog post here.

4. Castelsardo, Sardinia

Castelsardo, sardinia beautiful coastal towns in italy

Castelsardo is a small medieval jewel in Sardinia. It is one of the lesser known places to visit and was also named one of the 100 Most Beautiful Italian Villages. Located in the Asinara Gulf and founded in 1102 by the Genoese Doria family, Castelsardo will steal your heart away with its picturesque landscapes and stunning beaches.

The top thing to do here is to visit the iconic Doria Castle in which the town truly is centered around. It has since been converted into a museum you can visit. You can witness some great views from here too and also see the Asinara Gulf.

For nature lovers, a great activity is to hike along the coast where you can see even more views all around. There is a trail right below the historic center of Castelsardo. After wandering the charming streets of the old town, you can do this amazing hike.

The best beaches to relax at include, Spiaggia La Marina, Spiaggia Lu Bagnu, and Spiaggia San Pietro but there are many more to choose from!

🇮🇹 Region of Italy: Sardinia
✈️ How to get there: To get to Castelsardo you just need to fly to Alghero (AHO) Airport which is 47.3 km away. However, Cagliari (CAG) is another option to fly to. From either, you’d need to rent a car or arrive by bus.
🏨 Where to stay: Stay at Baga Baga, a hotel located on a hilltop with views of Castelsardo. It’s tastefully decorated in Sardinian style and will offer the most comfortable stay.

5. Cefalu, Sicily

cefalu sicily coastal islands italy

Cefalu is a coastal town in Northern Sicily only an hour away from Palermo. It is famous for its pristine beaches and Norman Cathedral. There are great Arab and Norman influences within the town as recognized by the many architectural masterpieces.

Piazza Duomo is where you will find the Cefalu Cathedral in Norman style as well as many cafes and gelato shops lined all around. It’s the perfect spot to have a coffee or gelato and people-watch. Be sure to wander the pretty streets surrounding. Indulge in the amazing food Cefalu has to offer. If you really want to immerse yourself in the culture and cuisine, take a cooking class led by locals like this one.

For the most stunning views, be sure to hike up La Rocca. The mountaintop was once a site for the Norman Castle. Visit the ruins of Tempio di Diana and you’ll see the Old Town beneath you.

Cefalu has one of the best beaches in Italy so be sure to visit Cefalu Beach located on the North shoreline. It is the perfect spot to lounge all day and offers sandy beaches and clear waters.

🇮🇹 Region of Italy: Sicily
✈️ How to get there: Fly into Palermo Airport and from there take a 1.5 hour train to Cefalu
🏨 Where to stay: Agrodolce B&B is a unique find right in the historic center with a balcony and charming atmosphere.

6. Procida

procida hidden coastal towns italy

Procida is an under-the-radar island along the Amalfi Coast in Italy. What draws you in is the colorful pastel houses dotted along the seaside and the magical sunset.

Ristorante La Lampara is one of the most popular restaurants to visit. This seafood restaurant has the most incredible views and you should visit around sunset. Another incredible sunset location is Terra Murata where the above photo was taken. It is where you can see the entire landscape of the colorful island and is a memory to cherish.

The beaches are also plenty on this beautiful little island. Those include Spiaggia del Pozzo Vecchio, Chiaiolella, and Spiaggia Chiaia. The great thing is that Procida is definitely going to be quieter than visiting the busier towns in the Amalfi Coast like Capri and Amalfi.

Read the full blog post on Procida here

🇮🇹 Region of Italy: Campania
✈️ How to get there: Arrive at Naples Airport and then take the short 30 minute ferry here.
🏨 Where to stay: San Michele is a minimally decorated boutique hotel with views from the balcony.

7. Vieste

vieste puglia coastal towns italy

Vieste is located in the Puglia region of Italy and is a fantastic part of Italy within the Gargano Peninsula. This beautiful seaside town is recognized by its white cliffed promontory sitting on top of the sea with sandy beaches lining each side.

Start your exploration by visiting the old town and wandering the labyrinth of roads full of white-washed buildings. You’ll find many shops, cafes, and also the notable Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunt.

For the most scenic walk, go to the Norman Castle and continue until you see the viewpoint overlooking Castello Beach. Here, you’ll see the iconic Pizzomunno rock formation. You can also spend some time at Castello Beach, afterall Vieste is known for some of the most breathtaking beaches. If you crave more viewpoints, then walk to Belvedere Ripa and Belvedere Piazza Seggio too.

An unforgettable experience would be to take a boat tour to the Grottoes. It will take you along the coast of Baia delle Zagare and you’ll see all the surrounding cliffs and be taken into some very cool sea caves.

🇮🇹 Region of Italy: Puglia
✈️ How to get there: You have the option of flying to Vieste (VIF) Airport or Bari Airport. From there, it’s recommended to drive and if you want to explore neighboring areas a car will be necessary.
🏨 Where to stay: If you want to stay in Vieste’s center then Relais La Pretura is a great option. There are also spectacular views from the room of the Adriatic Sea.

8. Vernazza

vernazza cinque terre best seaside towns italy

Vernazza is another picturesque coastal village in Cinque Terre, the 5 lands. The harbor area is the place to be – here you can relax and people watch as it’s the buzzing part of the town.

An impressive place for photography is the viewpoint in Vernazza which you can reach by taking the hiking trail between Vernazza and Monterosso al Mare. You will need to pass through a fence and walk down a bit to reach the perfect spot.

One of the best dinner spots would be Ristorante Il Gambero Rosso which is located on the waterfront and has a good selection of seafood dishes.

A unique thing to do is to take a sunset boat tour like this one which will take you through the villages and allow you to swim along the way!

🇮🇹 Region of Italy: Liguria
✈️ How to get there: Fly into Pisa or Milan Airport and take the train in.
🏨 Where to stay: Santa Marta Rooms features a cozy atmosphere and is set in Vernazza’s historic centre.

9. Portofino

portofino off the beaten track italy

Portofino is a fishing village on the Italian Riviera coastline and is one of the most picturesque seaside towns in Italy charachterized by its pastel buildings and waterfront lined with boats. A true postcard-perfect moment can be captured when visiting this beautiful coastal town. No wonder why it attracts many celebrities, artists, and politicians.

The Piazza Martiri dell’Olivetta is a small square you’ll most likely come across and it has many shops, and cafes all surrounded. by the marina. Grab a panini from any Italian deli (known as salumeria) and go sit near the harbor – you truly won’t regret it. Then, lounge at Portofino Beach for the perfect relaxed afternoon.

For one of the prettiest views, climb the stairs from the harbor to the Fort of St. George. You will be able to enjoy these views with few tourists around so the trek will be worth it.

You can easily pair visiting here with Genoa and Cinque Terre. It is a bit harder to reach since you need to take a train and a bus there but definitely worth seeing this off-the-beaten-track gem. To make things easier, you could take this tour which takes you to Portofino from Genoa by boat.

🇮🇹 Region of Italy: Liguria
✈️ How to get there: The nearest airport is Genoa Airport. From there you can take a train to S.Margherita L.-Port and then a bus into Portofino arriving around 1.5 hours later. Or take a tour from Genoa!
🏨 Where to stay: If you’re feeling extra luxurious, stay in Splendido Mare, A Belmond Hotel. It is a true dream hotel with stunning interiors and views from the balcony.

10. Tropea

tropea seaside towns in south italy

Tropea is left undiscovered to tourists outside of Europe but is a popular destination for Italians who especially love to visit during the peak months of July and August. Located in the Southern Calabria region of Italy, it is known as the Pearl of the Tyrrhenian Sea.

Tropea is recognized by the Sanctuary of Santa Maria dell’Isola which sits atop a tall cliff above sandy beaches and crystal clear waters. There are a mere 300 steps leading up to this stunning Sanctuary.

The coastline is referred to as the Coast of the Gods along the province of Vibo Valentia in Calabria. The many beautiful beaches are the perfect reason to visit Tropea with the main one being Mare Piccolo. Other popular beaches include Grotticelle Beach at Capo Vaticano and Santa Maria Beach, This tour is amazing as it takes you to some of the grottoes and you can even go snorkeling in the gorgeous clear waters.

Tropea is famous for the Tropea red onion. Here, you will find it in many dishes, and is a key ingredient in the food that is prepared. Another specialty ingredient is nduja which is spicy chili pepper. Calabrian cuisine is also all about seafood, with swordfish being a common cuisine.

🇮🇹 Region of Italy: Calabria
✈️ How to get there: The nearest airport is a one hour drive away, Lamezia Terme.
🏨 Where to stay: La Dolce Vita is a beautiful boutique hotel located minutes from beaches like Spiaggia a Linguata.

Hopefully, this post inspires you to see the most beautiful seaside towns along the coast in Italy! If you have any favorites, feel free to share them in the comments.

For more reading, you might also like these posts!
🌊 Amalfi Coast Itinerary
🍋 What to see in Positano, Italy in One Day
♥ Things to do in Vietri sul Mare, the hidden gem of the Amalfi Coast
🌈 Procida – the most colorful island on the Amalfi Coast
👩 Solo Female Travel Guide to Italy
For more Italy travel, visit my Italy Section!

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