THE MOST STUNNING ITALIAN COASTAL TOWNS YOU NEED TO VISIT
I believe anyone would agree that Italy is an amazing bucket list travel destination doesn’t matter what part of the country you visit. But nothing compares to the natural beauty of the Italian Coastal Towns. Get a cup of coffee (or an Italian latte) and sit back. You are about to see the top 20 Most Beautiful Coastal Towns in Italy that you would love to add to your bucket list!
Home to some of the most amazing landmarks in the country, the Coastal Towns in Italy offers a perfect combination: The Mediterranean breathtaking views, dramatic cliff faces, the terraced vineyards, pristine beaches, incredible seafood, and well-preserved architecture.
Italy is surrounded by water on the 3 sides and it holds sovereignty over one of the biggest islands in the Mediterranean sea that is Sicily.
With so much water around the country, the Italian coastline adds up to 4,700 miles (7600 km) which means apart from the historic towns and cities and the rich Roman history.
The 20 Italian Coastal towns listed here were handpicked by professional travelers and bloggers who have personally visited and explored these incredible places. Pick your favorites, and if you are dreaming or planning to visit Italy, the following Italian coastal towns are a must-visit on your next vacation.
Enjoy this guide, and safe travels!
- THE MOST STUNNING ITALIAN COASTAL TOWNS YOU NEED TO VISIT
- ITALIAN COASTAL TOWNS | ORIENTATION
- 20 BEST ITALIAN COASTAL TOWNS
- 1) POSITANO: The local’s most popular Italian Coastal town
- 2) CAPRI: A magical beauty Italian coastal town in the Bay of Naples
- 3) NAPLES: The third-largest city in Italy facing the Tyrrhenian Sea
- 4) GENOA: One of the most beautiful coastal towns at the Ligurian Sea
- 5) VIAREGGIO: A lovely towns located on the coast of Tuscany
- 6) PALERMO: Capital of the beautiful Italian island of Sicily
- 7) VENICE: One of the most beautiful Italian towns
- 8) ALGHERO: Located on the Northwest coastal of the Italian island of Sardinia
- 9) CAMOGLI: A vivid coastal town in italy between Genoa and Portofino
- 10) SYRACUSE: A fascinating Italian coastal town located in Eastern Sicily
- 11) POLIGNAMO A MARE: A stunning Italian coast town in Puglia
- 12) TAORMINA: The most beautiful Italian Coastal Town in Sicily
- 13) FURORE: A quiet Italian Coastal Town overlooking the Amalfi Coast
- 14) SORRENTO: One of the most romantic Coast Towns in Italy
- 15) RIMINI: A great destination for relaxing beach vacation on the Adriatic Coast
- 16) GAETA: A quiet Italian Coastal Town located in the Lazio region of Italy
- 17) PORTO VENERE: One of the most underrated coastal towns on the Ligurian Coast
- 18) MANAROLA: One of the smallest five towns in Cinque Terre
- 19) MONTEROSSO AL MARE: The largest of the coastal villages of Cinque Terre
- 20) CESENATICO: A laid back coastal town in Italy between Ravenna and Rimini
- ITALIAN COASTAL TOWNS FINAL THOUGHTS
- PRACTICAL INFORMATION BEFORE YOU VISIT THE ITALIAN COASTAL TOWNS
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ITALIAN COASTAL TOWNS | ORIENTATION
Italy is located in Southern Europe. Four different seas surround the Italian Peninsula in the Mediterranean Sea from three sides: the Adriatic Sea in the east, the Ionian Sea in the south, and the Ligurian Sea and the Tyrrhenian Sea in the west.
NORTH: Italy borders France, Switzerland, Austria, and Slovenia and is roughly delimited by the Alpine watershed, enclosing the Po Valley and the Venetian Plain.
SOUTH: It consists of the entirety of the Italian Peninsula and the two Mediterranean islands of Sicily and Sardinia (the two biggest islands of the Mediterranean), in addition to many smaller islands.
20 BEST ITALIAN COASTAL TOWNS
1) POSITANO: The local’s most popular Italian Coastal town
CONTRIBUTED BY: Lori from Travlinmad
When it comes to beautiful Italian coastal towns, it’s hard to beat Positano, a favorite among travelers and many Italians.
The city sits perched on the cliffs overlooking the Mediterranean sea, a cluster of pastel-colored houses, hotels, and churches — it’s hard to imagine where people or cars could possibly squeeze in. Whether you approach the city by sea or after the long, and somewhat harrowing drive down the Amalfi Coastline, it’s hard to deny this is a special place. When it comes to exploring, there are so many things to do in Positano, from lounging on the beach, strolling the picturesque narrow streets, and shopping until you drop.
For the more adventurous, rent a Vespa and head for the hills where you’ll find amazing restaurants with sea views and hiking trails that meander through small towns and olive groves in equal measure. Plan on 4-5 days to relax and really enjoy.
HOW TO GET THERE: Positano is an easy day trip from Naples and Sorrento. Most visitors leave the driving to the experts and you can hire a private driver that can pick you up from your hotel — You can also take a bus, public transportation is safe and very reliable.
WHERE TO STAY: Check Hotel Deals in Positano
2) CAPRI: A magical beauty Italian coastal town in the Bay of Naples
CONTRIBUTED BY: Anjali from Cheerful Trails
Situated in the Bay of Naples, along a huge coastline is the charming town of Capri. Its stunning scenery is filled with turquoise blue waters, sea caves, gorgeous gardens, soft sandy beaches, picturesque buildings, and iconic rock formations, which make Capri an ideal destination for a memorable holiday in Italy.
The magical beauty of this Italian coastal town is such that it has served as a refuge to famous literary writers and poets Axel Munthe and Edwin Cerio.
A boat trip to the iconic Grotta Azzura takes you through a sea cave illuminated in blue light. This otherworldly illumination is a result of the reflection of the sunlight.
Go for a hike to Anacapri, take a chairlift to Mount Solaro, and admire the Augustus Gardens that overlook those iconic Faraglioni formations over the sea. Also, enjoy the world-famous drink Limoncello with torta Caprese – a flourless choco-almond cake at any of the cafes in the town.
HOW TO GET THERE: Capri can be visited from Naples or Sorrento through the regular ferries that depart from their respective water stations. The journey from Sorrento is for about 30 minutes while from Naples it may take up to an hour. You can also take an easy day trip to Capri from any of these ports.
WHERE TO STAY: Check Hotel Deals in Capri
3) NAPLES: The third-largest city in Italy facing the Tyrrhenian Sea
CONTRIBUTED BY: Timea from The Landoper
Naples is the capital of South Italy. The city and its surroundings have so much to offer one wonders how to fit them all in.
The diversity of the attractions in Naples and its region means that there is something for everyone.
One of the best things to do in Naples is to visit the Centro Storico is the place to start; this is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is Naples’s, spiritual heart. There are a lot of churches and palaces to visit here for history lovers.
Via Toledo is another must-see, this is the modern hub of Naples, a 1.2km long shopping street between Piazza Dante and Piazza Trieste e Trento, near Piazza Plebiscito.
A short walk away from Piazza Plebiscito there is a cluster of portside sights; the Palazzo Reale, Teatro di San Carlo and Castel Nuovo.
If there is only time for a weekend, Naples is a great place to spend a city break which allows enough time to discover the main attractions. When there is a longer period at disposal it’s also a fantastic holiday destination with island hopping and conquering the dramatic scenes of Sorrento and Amalfi coast.
WHERE TO STAY: Check Hotel Deals in Naples
4) GENOA: One of the most beautiful coastal towns at the Ligurian Sea
Genoa is one of the most beautiful coastal towns at the Ligurian Sea in northwest Italy.
Genoa has a long history of human settlement, which is also why you will find many beautiful buildings dating back to as far as the beginning of the Holy Roman Empire.
This is also why admiring Roman architecture is also one of the best things to do in Genoa. Some places you should definitely see include the harbor, Porta Soprana, Via Garibaldi, the San Lorenzo Cathedral, and the Forte Begato.
Besides the buildings, there are two squares that also deserve a visit, the Piazza Matteotti and the Piazza De Ferrari with its enormous and majestic fountain and stunning building surrounding the square. Genoa is also home to some great museums such as the Museo d’Arte Orientale, the Maritime Museum, and the aquarium.
A minimum of two days (preferably more) is advised to get a real feel of the city and admire the roman beauty that it still breaths.
HOW TO GET THERE: Genoa is easily reached by direct train from major cities such as Milan, Turin, Rome, Pisa, and Nice. It takes about an hour and forty minutes from Milan, so technically it is possible to visit Genoa as a day trip.
WHERE TO STAY: Check Hotel Deals in Genoa
5) VIAREGGIO: A lovely towns located on the coast of Tuscany
CONTRIBUTED BY: Martina & Jürgen from Places of Juma
A wonderful coastal town in Italy is Viareggio. This lovely place is located on the coast of Tuscany and amazes in many different ways. For one thing, you will find here one of the longest sandy beaches in Italy.
Beautiful is also the Bagnos, the so-called beach resorts, which line the coast, and which creates a very extraordinary ambiance with their many colorful umbrellas.
The long promenade in Viareggio is also uniquely picturesque, with countless colorful buildings and villas in art nouveau style.
These are still top preserved and give the resort a unique flair. Here you will also find a great selection of stores, boutiques, and restaurants, and also so many locals come here also on weekends for shopping, eating, or just for having a lovely walk.
Another top highlight in Viareggio is the Carnival, which is held every year in February and is the 2nd largest (after Venice) in Italy.
HOW TO GET THERE: Viareggio is on the line between Genova and Rome and can be reached by local trains from Pisa (15 minutes) and from La Spezia (1 hour). From Viareggio, there is also a very slow line to Lucca (15 minutes), Montecatini (45 minutes), Pistoia (1 hour), Prato (75 minutes), and Florence (90 minutes).
WHERE TO STAY: Check Hotel Deals in Viareggio
6) PALERMO: Capital of the beautiful Italian island of Sicily
CONTRIBUTED BY: Caroline Muller from Veggie Wayfarer
Palermo is the capital of the beautiful island of Sicily, off the coast of Italy.
The city is walkable and easily visited in one day, though if you have a few days make slow down and enjoy everything the city has to offer. Make sure to keep enough time to try out the amazing street food the city has to offer.
Italy is known for its food – it is rare to find someone who does not like a delectable plate of pasta. In Palermo, you can find all the traditional Italian dishes, but they have one thing the rest of Italy does not – A very vibrant street food scene.
Stop by the Antica Focacceria San Francesco and get your hands on a traditional Arancini (fried rice balls containing ragu or if you are a vegetarian a la norma). If you are a little more adventurous perhaps you can try the focaccia Marietta, a typical sandwich filled with veal spleen, fresh ricotta, and a dash of caciocavallo cheese.
To digest the street food, take yourself on a walk through the old town and visit some of the most beautiful churches you will ever see.
If architecture is your thing, be sure to visit the Norman Palace which is the most well-known Arab-Norman architecture located in Palermo. Even if architecture is entirely your favorite pastime, you might not want to leave Palermo without sneaking a peek at this ancient building.
HOW TO GET THERE: Fly into Palermo Airport (PMO) by connecting through Rome or another major European hub. If you are traveling in Italy by train, the Palermo Centrale is the city’s main railway station. It lies just south of the center. It has direct trains from Rome, Naples, Genoa, and Milan. Palermo offers an excellent choice of ferries with regular departures to Sardinia, North Africa, and the Italian mainland ports of Genoa, Civitavecchia, Naples, and Salerno.
WHERE TO STAY: Check Hotel Deals in Palermo
7) VENICE: One of the most beautiful Italian towns
CONTRIBUTED BY: Dymphe from Dym Abroad
Venice is one of the most beautiful Italian coastal towns. It is located in the Veneto region on many islands in the Adriatic sea.
Venice has a rich history. It used to be the capital of the Venetian Republic that existed from the 7th century until the 18th century. Nowadays, it is a unique place to visit and it is one of the most popular places in Italy.
Everywhere you go there are canals and bridges. This makes for a city that is very fun to walk through. Furthermore, there are gondolas that are amazing to ride. The gondolas provide you with a truly Venetian experience.
Also, the city looks incredible and there are many beautiful photo spots in Venice. Venice is a great city for a day trip or a weekend trip to enjoy!
HOW TO GET THERE: You can easily get to Venice from Verona, Florence, and even Milan. Going by train is the most convenient, the fastest, and cheaper way to get to Venice.
WHERE TO STAY: Check Hotel Deals in Venice
8) ALGHERO: Located on the Northwest coastal of the Italian island of Sardinia
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Alghero is a charming seaside town located on the Northwest coast of the Italian island of Sardinia.
Golden sea walls surround the medieval historic center and feature a walking path offering spectacular views of the deep blue Mediterranean Sea, including Capo Caccia’s dramatic cliff faces and sea caves.
Housed within the city center is a bevy of café-lined piazzas where you can spend hours sipping spectacular Sardinian wine and tasting exquisite Italian cuisine while you people watch.
After your meal, wander the winding cobblestoned streets where you can discover cute little boutiques slinging locally made goods and typical souvenir shops.
Alghero’s bustling city atmosphere makes it an ideal base for exploring some of the gorgeous nearby beaches and the Riviera del Corallo. For a splurge-worthy stay, consider Villas Las Tronas, which is a stunning castle-like hotel step from the city center.
You could easily spend a week exploring Alghero and its surrounding areas, but it also makes a fantastic weekend destination.
HOW TO GET THERE: Alghero is easily reached by car from other areas of the island, but there is also a small airport just outside the city center. You can also take a ferry to the island from mainland Italy.
WHERE TO STAY: Check Hotel Deals in Alghero
9) CAMOGLI: A vivid coastal town in italy between Genoa and Portofino
Ever heard of Camogli? It’s a vivid beach town between Genoa and Portofino on the famous Riviera di Levante. You know, one of these picturesque villages consisting of tall, colorful Genoese houses.
Really, they have a good reason to nickname it Golfo Paradiso. However, it’s rather frequented by Italians than international visitors which gives it a very authentic charm. Paradisic Camogli, surrounded by the enchanting natural setting of the Parco Naturale Regionale di Portofino, has welcomed visitors for decades.
There is this vibe of relaxation, the sea, and incredible food. In brief: La dolce vita!There is a scenic little harbor and, of course, a town beach where you can just stretch out on your towel. Or you choose to splurge and rent a beach chair and a sun umbrella for the day.
Just off the beach, you can then enjoy a classic Italian Aperitivo – hence, a long drink with some nibbles. But most importantly, you have to sample some focaccia at Revello on Via Giuseppe Garibaldi which is claimed to be the best in all of Italy.
HOW TO GET THERE: Camogli is around 4.5-5 hours by train from Rome and 2.5-3 hours from Milan; typically a quick change at a nearby station is necessary. The Camogli-San Fruttuoso train station is a short walk from most areas of the town.
WHERE TO STAY: Check Hotel Deals in Camogli
10) SYRACUSE: A fascinating Italian coastal town located in Eastern Sicily
CONTRIBUTED BY: Annabel from Smudged Postcard
Syracuse is located in eastern Sicily, under an hour from Catania. The old part of Syracuse – Ortigia – is almost completely surrounded by the sea, reached from the newer part of the city via two bridges.
Ortigia is a warren of medieval lanes filled with interesting shops, bars, and restaurants. At the heart of the city is the beautiful Piazza del Duomo with its cathedral reflecting the island’s fascinating history – its structure is a blend of Ancient Greek, Norman, and Baroque elements.
If you are visiting Sicily with kids, ensure you visit the puppet theatre where children get front row seats – expect knights, monsters, and lots of bloodshed – it’s brilliant fun for the whole family!
There are boat trips around the coastline of Ortigia taking in Castello Maniace at the furthest tip of the city and sea caves along the mainland coast.
Ensure you stay a couple of nights to get a full flavor of Syracuse – it’s a vibrant city with a lively student population. There’s a fun food market to explore and plenty of great bars to enjoy in the evenings.
HOW TO GET THERE: It is possible to reach Syracuse by train from Taormina and Catania but hiring a car will allow more flexibility to explore the wider region.
WHERE TO STAY: Check Hotel Deals in Syracuse
11) POLIGNAMO A MARE: A stunning Italian coast town in Puglia
CONTRIBUTED BY: Anda from Travel for a While
Polignano a mare is a stunning coastal town in Puglia and an easy day trip from Bari. Most of Polignano a mare is built on limestone cliffs by the Adriatic Sea. The town has a long history, and one piece of evidence is the remaining Roman bridge, part of the ancient Via Traiana. Close to the bridge is an incredible beach, hidden between the cliffs, Lama Monachile.
Spend your day in Polignano a mare exploring the old town with its white, quaint houses and beautiful details. Taste the fresh seafood and the amazing gelato, and get your share of gorgeous photos, as Polignano a mare is one of the most ‘instagrammable’ places in Italy.
Also, bring your swimming suit and snorkeling equipment on a summer day to explore the caves under the town.
HOW TO GET THERE: You can rent a car and drive the 32km south of Bari, but the easiest and most convenient way to travel is by train. The ride takes about 30 minutes, and a regional train costs 2.50 Euro to Polignano a mare. From the train station, it’s an easy walk to the center of Polignano a mare.
WHERE TO STAY: Check Hotel Deals in Polignano A Mare
12) TAORMINA: The most beautiful Italian Coastal Town in Sicily
CONTRIBUTED BY: Veronika Primm from Travel Geekery
Taormina belongs to the most beautiful Italian coastal towns in Sicily. Apart from the stunning seaside location, it offers an array of noteworthy archeology finds and historical structures. Plus, you can enjoy views of the nearby Mount Etna.
The main sight in Taormina is the Ancient Greek Theater, built in the 3rd century BC by the Greeks and later modified by the Romans. It’s well preserved and the views of the Ionian Sea from there are absolutely fascinating.
A cable car takes beachgoers down to sea level, where a few beaches can be enjoyed.
The closer but smaller Mazzaro Beach is easily trumped by the larger and more picturesque Isola Bella Beach with an island just off the beach that one can walk to.
Spend at least a day in Taormina, but if you are keen, there are plenty of wonderful Taormina villas and apartments to rent on Airbnb.
HOW TO GET THERE: It’s easy to visit Taormina on a day trip from Catania. The trip takes an hour and you can use all the available means of transport: car, train or bus.
WHERE TO STAY: Check Hotel Deals in Taormina
13) FURORE: A quiet Italian Coastal Town overlooking the Amalfi Coast
CONTRIBUTED BY: Cecily from Groovy Mashed Potatoes
An hour away from the touristic city of Positano lies Furore, a quiet coastal town perched on the mountain overlooking the Amalfi Coast.
It’s the perfect place to add to your Italy itinerary to escape the crowds and take in peaceful views of the rugged shoreline. The small town has a population of 800 and is known by locals as the “hidden beauty of Neverland”, with its houses scattered along the steep ridge.
Furore is also a budget-friendly spot compared to other popular towns along the Amalfi Coast. Unwind at Hotel Fico d’India, a family-owned hotel nestled on the mountainside that features rooms with stunning sea views. It’s an incredible value, with sea view rooms starting at around $115 USD. The restaurant at the hotel is delicious and offers traditional local cuisine.
One of the best things to do on the Amalfi Coast is to explore it by water. Rent a boat with Amalfi Boats and cruise down the sea to Positano for incredible sights during golden hour.
The boat launch is located a 15-minute drive away from Furore. Amalfi Boats has reasonable prices and includes a captain who will take you to the best spots.
HOW TO GET THERE: The Fiordo di Furore is located about 4 miles southwest of Amalfi. The best way to get there is by car and the only place to park is along the highway. Travelers can also take the Positano – Amalfi line on the Sita bus to get here.
WHERE TO STAY: Check Hotel Deals in Furore
14) SORRENTO: One of the most romantic Coast Towns in Italy
CONTRIBUTED BY: Joanna from The World In My Pocket
Sorrento is without a doubt one of the most romantic Italian coastal towns. One of the greatest Italian love songs, “Caruso”, sets the location of its heart-breaking story in Sorrento, where “the sea reflects the moonshine and the wind blows strong, in an old terrace above the gulf of Sorrento”. Sorrento makes a great day trip from Napoli, but it is recommended to spend the night here, to experience the romance by night.
Sorrento is a town built on top of the cliffs, with many fantastic viewpoints which offer panoramic vistas over the golf, Capri island, and Vesuvius volcano. Sunsets here are particularly spectacular. Whilst there are a few beaches in Sorrento, the city is known for its charm rather than sunbathing.
If you get away from the main Corso and start exploring the side streets of Sorrento, you will find hidden gems such as small limoncello producers and artisanal lemon tree growers who sell the most delicious Sorrento lemon gelato. Near the Sorrento, elevator lays one of the hidden treasures of the town: Chiostro di San Francesco, a 14th-century monastery with a gorgeous inner garden.
If you travel to Sorrento with your loved one, grab a seat at La Villa just before sunset, for a glass of wine. This cheap bar has the best location in town, overlooking the gulf. Quite often, nearby, there will be street performers playing Caruso.
HOW TO GET THERE: Travelers can get to this popular seaside destination in a variety of ways: by ferry, plane, or land. The closest airport to Sorrento is the Naples International Airport, located roughly 30 miles from the city center. If you’re traveling to Sorrento by land, there is a daily bus service that runs directly from the Naples airport to Sorrento; the rate is just 10 euros. Or you can take a ferry to Sorrento from the port in Naples.
WHERE TO STAY: Check Hotel Deals in Sorrento
15) RIMINI: A great destination for relaxing beach vacation on the Adriatic Coast
CONTRIBUTED BY: Matt from Its All Italy
Rimini is a beautiful beach town on the east coast of Italy, on the beautiful Adriatic Coast.
It’s a popular destination for families looking for either a relaxing Italy beach vacation, with lots of things to do with kids, or for just about anyone looking for an escape. Overlooking the beach from one of the many beachfront hotels reveals a sea of different colored umbrellas, numbering in the thousands.
While this may sound a little overcrowded at first, the beach is both wide and long, so there’s enough space for everyone. Rimini’s rich history dates back to the Etruscans until the arrival of the Celts in the 6th Century BC.
With ancient ruins, an intriguing historical city center, and modern conveniences, it’s the perfect beach vacation destination, which is best experienced between June to mid-September. To truly relax, allow a week or two, but even if you only have a day or two, it’s well worth the trip.
Be sure to include the Arch of Augustus, constructed in 27BC and named in honor of Caesar Augustus to your must-see list, as well as the Tiberio Bridge, constructed in 20 BC and still in perfect working condition to this day.
HOW TO GET THERE: The best way to get to Rimini is via train or hire a car. At just an hour south-east of Bologna by train, it’s an easy trip.
WHERE TO STAY: Check Hotel Deals in Rimini
16) GAETA: A quiet Italian Coastal Town located in the Lazio region of Italy
CONTRIBUTED BY: Lisa from Planning Away
Gaeta is one of the most beautiful Italian coastal towns, located in the southern city in the Lazio region of Italy.
Gaeta is a non – international tourist area mainly because it does not have a train station nearby. Renting a car is one of the best ways to get to this area. It is located about two hours from Rome and about two hours from Naples. So a weekend trip is the perfect amount of time to enjoy the Gaeta Italy Beach Vacation.
There are seven public beaches in Gaeta. These are the beaches the locals hit (especially in August). If you are up for an adventure, grab a rowboat and head to 40 Remi Beach. The name indicates how many oar strokes it takes to get to this beach. There are also magnificent grottoes to explore at most of the beaches along the coast. Many of the beaches have cliffs, which provide spectacular views.
It is also a great place to scuba dive and snorkel. There are boat rentals, hiking trails, and bike rentals also available in this area. Beautiful resorts are located all along the coast. These resorts have incredible service and many offer private beaches. Gaeta is a coastal city worth visiting!
HOW TO GET THERE: the main stations of Rome and Naples are connected with Gaeta with trains every hour seven days a week. Trains stop in Formia, from which you can get a bus to reach Gaeta. You could also ask the hotel to provide a shuttle bus service to take you to/from the train station.
WHERE TO STAY: Check Hotel Deals in Gaeta
17) PORTO VENERE: One of the most underrated coastal towns on the Ligurian Coast
CONTRIBUTED BY: Linn from Brainy Backpackers
Porto Venere might be one of the most underrated coastal towns on the Ligurian coast.
Living in the shadow of Cinque Terre, it’s slowly gaining more popularity as boat trips have started to include this colorful corner of Cinque Terre National Park. Despite this, there are plenty of things to do in Porto Venere and you could gladly spend more than a couple of days there.
The popular attractions are the Palazzata; colorful narrow houses on the port, the iconic Church of Saint Peter sitting on a tiny rocky peninsula, and the Doria Castle which was of military importance for centuries.
But you can also go on boat trips, go scuba diving in mesmerizing underwater caves or go hiking along the Ligurian coast to Riomaggiore, the first of the Cinque Terre.
HOW TO GET THERE: The closest airport is Pisa, otherwise, it’s well commuted with La Spezia by local bus. Please note that there is no train to Porto Venere. The closest train connections are La Spezia Centrale and four of the Cinque Terre towns (not Corniglia). At La Spezia, the transfer is by bus, taxi, or ferry boat. From the Cinque Terre, the transfer is by a ferry boat so weather, budget, & baggage are considerations.
WHERE TO STAY: Check Hotel Deals in Porto Venere
18) MANAROLA: One of the smallest five towns in Cinque Terre
Manarola is one of the smallest of the five towns that make up Cinque Terre in the northwest of Italy. The colorful houses on the rocks at the water’s edge make it one of the most beautiful of Italy’s coastal towns.
However, there is more to the town than just its good looks. Manarola is famous for its sweet Sciacchetrà wine.
It’s also home to many medieval relics backing up its claim to be the oldest of the 5 towns of Cinque Terre.
Some of the sights of Manarola you’ll want to check out include the harbor and the Church of San Lorenzo.
Whatever you do in Manarola, though, make sure you leave time to visit The Bastion. Built on the coast in the 13th century to protect from Saracen raids, parts are still well preserved and are partially incorporated into the modern building that clings to the coast.
HOW TO GET THERE: Based in Northern Italy, Manarola can be reached from many of Italy’s most famous cities. You can make it to the town in less than 3 hours from Florence, Milan, Genoa, and Bologna. The only public transport is by train. You take a fast train from Rome to La Spezia and change there to a local train. Time is 4 to 4.5 hours.
WHERE TO STAY: Check Hotel Deals in Porto Venere
19) MONTEROSSO AL MARE: The largest of the coastal villages of Cinque Terre
Monterosso al Mare is the last and the largest of the five villages along the Cinque Terre strip. It is the most visited of the five villages, part of it is because it has the only sizable sand beach and the biggest hotels. The village is located on hills cultivated with lemons, vines, and olives, with amazing beaches, beautiful reefs, and the ocean crystal clear water makes this small village one of the most beautiful coastal towns in Italy.
It can be very busy to visit during the high season, especially during the summer months, but Monterosso is still delightful.
Make sure you visit the old town area with the ruins of a medieval castle and characterized by typical narrow medieval streets with multi-colored terraced houses. Visit the San Francesco church, which houses an important Van Dyck painting for the crucifixion, and the Church of San Giovanni Battista, constructed in the 1200s, in the Gothic-Genovese style.
Monterosso offers a wide range of excellent family-run 3 or 4 stars hotels near the sea and some charming guest houses situated in the old part of the town.
HOW TO GET THERE: The easiest way to get to the Cinque Terre is by train. From Genoa (Genova), take the local train towards La Spezia and get off at your destination. From La Spezia, take the local train, Cinque Terre Express, in the direction of Levanto. This train stops in all of the five villages.
WHERE TO STAY: Check Hotel Deals in Monterosso al Mare
20) CESENATICO: A laid back coastal town in Italy between Ravenna and Rimini
CONTRIBUTED BY: Larch from The Silver Nomad
The coastal town of Cesenatico is an hour and twenty minutes by train from Bologna. It is perfect for a day by the beach or for a long weekend getaway. Situated on the Adriatic coast between Ravenna and Rimini, it is laid back and chilled.
Cesenatico was founded in 1302 and the port and canal, designed by Leonardo da Vinci, were built in the 1500s. The canal is lined by pastel-painted houses, restaurants, and bars.
The Museo Della Marineria charts the history of the town’s long association with the sea. The museum has an indoor exhibition with two full-sized ships and outdoors, eleven historic fishing boats float in the canal.
The long, deep, golden sandy beach fringes the town and there is a choice of restaurants along the promenade. For those who want to keep fit, there are volleyball, basketball and tennis courts.
Just outside the town, there are two water parks and amusement parks to enjoy.
HOW TO GET THERE: Trains depart from Bologna Centrale train station and it takes approximately one hour and 20 minutes one way. Trains and buses also run from Rimini and you can catch a train from Ravenna. These are the two closest major towns to Cesenatico.
WHERE TO STAY: Check Hotel Deals in Cesenatico
ITALIAN COASTAL TOWNS FINAL THOUGHTS
Italy is a dream destination for anyone. Italy has something for anyone: arts, history, good food, friendly people, nature, adventure, and gelato! I will keep getting back to Italy to uncover this country that fascinates me in so many ways.
The coastal town in Italy is something everyone needs to visit in a lifetime. The beauty is unparalleled to anything, and the lifestyle helps you to just slow down, appreciate the views of the Mediterranean ocean, and feel the breeze, while you enjoy a refreshing “spritz” to help to cool you down.
I hope this list with the most epic Italian Coastal Towns gave you some inspiration to start planning your next trip to Italy, and if you have any questions, just leave me a comment below.
TRAVEL INSURANCE: SIMPLE & FLEXIBLE
I never leave my home without travel insurance which is designed to help cover your expenses if something goes wrong on your trip. Things can go wrong, and you don’t want to get stuck paying tons of money if you get sick or have an accident without travel insurance.
World Nomads Travel Insurance has been designed by travelers for travelers, to cover their trip essentials. Especially if you are like me, travel insurance is ideal for adventurous travelers.
Travel smarter and safer – You can do your quick quote below and find out how little you can pay for the essential benefit of Travel Insurance for your next trip!
PRACTICAL INFORMATION BEFORE YOU VISIT THE ITALIAN COASTAL TOWNS
If you are planning to travel to Italy, pre-planning, research, and understanding what you are looking for will help make your travels far more successful and safe.
In this section, you will find all the essentials to plan a fun trip and to have the best time on the best hikes in Italy:
WHEN TO VISIT THE COASTAL TOWNS IN TIALY
The best time to visit Italy is during spring and fall when the temperatures are comfortable and there are fewer crowds:
SPRING: Temperatures start to warm up in spring, going from the late teens to mid-twenties, although it’s still advisable to wear layers in case of colder spells.
SUMMER: The summer months of July and August see higher temperatures and visitor numbers reach their peak. Temperatures are normally around 81 °F and often reach over 88 °F at the height of the day.
FALL: Temperatures cool down gradually, so September is still very pleasant, with an average of around 77℉. Expect crisp fall leaves and some sunnier days, but plan for wet weather too.
WINTER: Temperatures in the south remain mild in winter. However, northern Italy is normally wet and cold, and it’s not unusual for snow to fall, especially in the mountains.
ITALY GUIDE BOOK
Some of the excellent guidebooks that helped me to prepare in advance for my trips to Italy.
HOW TO GET TO ITALY
Italy has two main intercontinental airports which will transport you directly from certain US cities.
- Rome Fiumicino, Leonardo DaVinci Airport – Rome Fiumicini served nearly 43 million air passengers in 2018.
- Milan Malpensa Airport serves more than 24 million air passengers annually.
WHERE TO STAY IN ITALY
Italy has so many incredible options for accommodations. In order to choose the right accommodation for you, you will need to consider your personality, budget, and the kind of experience you want to have while visiting Italy.
The traditional choice when visiting any new place is a hotel. Italy has tens of thousands of choices all over the country, which come in all shapes and sizes from a small pensione to a seven-star hotel.
You’re most likely to choose a hotel if you are staying in a city. Most of Italy’s hotels are small, family-owned enterprises and as a big supporter of the locals, this is always my first choice when I travel to Italy.
Booking.com is my go-to hotel, guest-houses, and BB searches around the world. They have over 2 million properties in 220 countries – from hostel to luxury properties, and they have a 24-hour cancellation policy that I have used several times.
RENTAL CAR IN ITALY
If you are planning to rent a car for your trip to Italy, I recommend requesting a quote and comparing prices from different care providers to get the best deal.
WHAT IS NEXT
Here is some further information I think you might need to check
- Visit my Italy Travel Guide for all the practical information you need
- For more inspiration on amazing places to visit in Italy, check the 30 Epic Landmarks in Italy
- You will love this guide for the Best Towns in Tuscany
- Planning an adventure trip to Italy? You will love the Complete Guide to the Best Hikes in Italy
- I recommend visiting Como during your trip to Italy – Check how easy it is to travel from Milan to Lake Como by Train
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Plan your Trip
You can plan your trip with this easy guide and have access to the best services I recommend and get discounts here.