Italy boasts the best beach and coastal towns anyone would dream of calling home. This country has so many great areas to live in, it can take months to research all the coastal towns of Italy. So we compiled a list of the best beach towns to live in Italy that are recommended by expats. From Sardinia in the South to Friuli-Venezia Giulia in the North, there are so many beautiful coastal towns in Italy to choose from, it’s not easy to decide.
This is exactly why handpicked 22 of the best coastal towns in Italy to check out for your move abroad. From picture-perfect villages nestled on hilltops to lively beach cities with buzzing nightlife, there’s something for everyone. So whether you’re looking for a sun-drenched, relaxed town where you can be a beach bum all year long or a fun coastal town with breathtaking cliffs plunging out from the sea, dotted with trendy restaurants and nightlife spots, there is something for everyone looking for that perfect location to move to Italy.
Here are the best beach and coastal towns in Italy to live in:
- Bosa in Sardinia
- Cagliari in Sardinia
- Cefalu in Sicily
- Taormina in Sicily
- Scilla in Calabria
- San Nicola Arcella in Calabria
- Polignano a Mare in Puglia
- Gallipoli in Puglia
- Positano in Campania
- Sorrento in Campania
- Sperlonga in Lazio
- Gaeta in Lazio
- Viareggio in Tuscany
- Piombino in Tuscany
- Pesaro in Marche
- Ancona in Marche
- Santa Margherita Ligure in Liguria
- Monterosso al Mare in Liguria
- Caorle in Veneto
- Chioggia in Veneto
- Grado in Friuli-Venezia Giulia
- Lignano Sabbiadoro in Friuli-Venezia Giulia
If you’re looking for stunning scenery and sunny weather, then look no further than Italy’s gorgeous coastal towns. From Sicily to Liguria, not only will you be able to find a town that speaks to your heart, but you will get to enjoy understated beaches, azure waters and some of the most breathtaking views in all of Europe.
And let’s not forget about the food. Seafood lovers will feel at home here thanks to the incredibly fresh seafood available everywhere. The cuisine in the coastal towns of Italy is world-renowned for its health benefits too, so eating well is easy when you’re living here.
Finding the best place to live in a new country can be daunting. But don’t worry, we’re here to help. Italy is a beautiful country with so much to offer, and there are plenty of great places to live in Italy for expats.
Here are our top picks for the best beach and coastal towns in Italy:
Bosa, Sardinia is a beautiful coastal town in Italy bordering the Tyrrhenian Sea. The closest beach to Bosa is Cane Malu. It’s just a short walk away from Bosa and it offers stunning views of the clear blue waters. This town has a long history dating back to the XIII century when it was founded by the Malaspina family. Today, Bosa is a popular tourist destination for its charming setting, lovely beaches, and delicious seafood cuisine. If you’re looking for a breathtaking coastal town in Sardinia, Italy, look no further than Bosa. This enchanting little town will surely make your heart swoon.
Located on the island of Sardinia, Cagliari is frequently described by expats as one of the best coastal towns in Italy to live in. It is also the capital city of Sardinia and has a population of over 150,000 people. The town is located on the Tyrrhenian Sea and it has so much to offer, including many beaches nearby which makes it a popular destination for expats who love to spend their days lounging by the water. One of these beaches is Spiaggia di Giorgino, which stretches over a long distance, making it one of the largest in Cagliari. If you’re interested in Cagliari’s history, take note that Cagliari was the capital of the Kingdom of Sardinia from the years 1324 to 1848. There are plenty of other historic sites and landmarks as well to visit all within walking distance from the center of Cagliari.
Cefalù is one of the best beach towns in Italy and it’s bordered by the Tyrrhenian Sea. The closest beach to Cefalù is called “Lungomare di Cefalú” and it’s a really beautiful spot for swimming, sunbathing, and enjoying the incredible views. Interestingly, the town was founded back in the fourth century BC by Greek settlers who named it Kephaloídion. Today, this historic town still retains its old-world charm while also offering visitors and residents alike plenty of modern amenities. Whether you want to relax on a sandy beach or explore the town, there’s something here for everyone.
Taormina is one of the best coastal towns in Italy, often compared to the Amalfi coast for its stunning cliffside sites. This attractive town is located on the East coast of Sicily and overlooks the beautiful Ionian Sea. The closest beach to Taormina is the Spiaggia di Isola Bella, which makes for a perfect day trip. The history of Taormina dates back to 734 BCE when Ancient Greece established its first colony on Sicily. That means there are plenty of historical sites and ruins to explore in this charming town. And when you’re done exploring, you can relax with a refreshing glass of Sicilian wine while enjoying stunning views of Mount Etna. If you’re looking for an affordable coastal town with history, culture, and incredible beauty, Taormina is the perfect place to live in.
The town of Scilla in Calabria is one of the many seaside towns dotting the Italian coastline, that many expats recommend as one of the best beach towns in Italy. It sits on the Tyrrhenian Sea, and its closest beach is called Lido Francesco. This beach is a popular spot for both locals and tourists alike, as it offers stunning views of both the sea and the nearby town. Historically, the first people to settle in this coastal area were Tyrrhenian pirates in the year of 493 BC. However, these days Scilla is a peaceful place to relax and enjoy the Mediterranean sun and la dolce vita.
San Nicola Arcella, Calabria
If you’re looking for a beach town in Italy that’s off the beaten path, look no further than San Nicola Arcella in Calabria. This charming and very affordable Southern town is located on the Tyrrhenian Sea and is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Italy. The closest beach to town is called Lido La Fonte and it’s perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and relaxing. A famous American writer named Francis Marion Crawford had lived in San Nicola Arcella in the late 19th century and he is known to have written in one of his books these beautiful words that might just be the best description of San Nicola Arcella: “A cool breeze stirred my hair at that moment, as the night wind began to come down from the hills, but it felt like a breath from another world.”
Polignano a Mare, Puglia
If you’re looking for a scenic coastal city in Italy, look no further than Polignano a Mare, a top favorite among expats. This Puglian town is located right on the Adriatic Sea and boasts some of the most stunning views in all of Italy. The closest beach to Polignano a Mare is called Lido Cala Paura and it’s just as beautiful as the town itself. It’s believed that Polignano a Mare is built on the site of an ancient Greek city called Neapolis – making it even more fascinating to explore. Whether you’re soaking up the sun on one of its picture-perfect beaches or exploring its rich history, there’s something for everyone in this wonderful Italian seaside town.
Gallipoli is another great location in the south of Italy that could not miss from the list of the best coastal towns in Italy, bordering the Ionian and Adriatic seas. First and foremost, it is known for its beautiful beaches, which make it one of the best beach cities in Italy. The closest beach to Gallipoli is called Spiaggia Della Purità and it is just a short walk from the town center. According to legend, Gallipoli was founded in ancient times by a Cretan king name Idomeneus of Crete. Today, it remains an important fishing port as well as a popular destination for moving to Italy.
Positano is one of the most beautiful seaside towns in Italy that is frequently named the best beach town to live in Italy. Positano is located in one of the most coveted areas of Italy, the Amalfi Coast, overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea. Positano has a very mild climate, with warm winters and long, sunny summers. The closest beach to Positano is called Fornillo Spiaggia. This sandy beach features clear blue waters and stunning views of nearby cliffs. The climate in Positano is almost always warm, as it’s usually above 43 Fahrenheit. It’s perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and enjoying the outdoors.
Sorrento is a town in Campania, southern Italy, and it borders the Tyrrhenian Sea. The town overlooks the Bay of Naples and is situated on Sorrentine Peninsula. It’s one of the most popular tourist destinations in this part of Italy because of its mild climate, Mediterranean atmosphere, and beautiful setting. If you decide to move to Sorrento, you will find plenty to see and do. The main attractions are centered around the historic center, which is compact and easily explored on foot. The closest beach to Sorrento Town center is called Spiaggia La Marinella. There are a few temples worth mentioning in Sorrento called the Sirens and the Athena.
Sperlonga is a beautiful beach town located in the Lazio region of Italy, about two hours away from Rome. The town borders the Tyrrhenian Sea and is home to some of the most stunning beaches in all of Italy. One of these beaches, called Lido Blumarine Sperlonga, is just a short walk from downtown Sperlonga and offers breathtaking views of both the sea and the nearby cliffs. Museum enthusiasts will also enjoy a visit to Sperlonga, as the town is home to the Museum of Sculptures Found in the Grotto of Tiberius. This museum showcases some of the most impressive sculptures from Ancient Greece, all of which were discovered in a nearby grotto.
If you want to enjoy some of the best beach towns that Italy has to offer, then make sure Gaeta is on your list. This expat favorite, located not too far from Sperlonga, borders the Tyrrhenian Sea and is home to some stunning beaches. The closest beach to Gaeta is called Spiaggia di Serapo and it’s a great spot for enjoying views of the coastline and the warmth of the Italian sun. Today, Gaeta is also a fishing and oil seaport, so there’s plenty to see and do here if you like fishing. Plus, with its renowned tourist resort status, you can be sure that there are plenty of activities and entertainment year round.
If you’re looking for the best coastal town in Italy, you might find your next home in Viareggio. This Tuscan gem is bordered by the Tyrrhenian Sea and is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in all of Italy. The closest beach to Viareggio is called Bagno Marechiaro and it’s worth a visit. But Viareggio isn’t just known for its incredible beaches – it’s also known as a seaside resort and has held many public celebrations all the way dating back to 1873. If you’re looking for an unforgettable experience, make sure to add Viareggio to your list of potential places to live.
Piombino is a coastal town in Tuscany, on the West Coast of Italy, with a population of just over 34 thousand people. If you’d like to mix the beauty and character of Tuscany with the benefits of living by the beach, Piombino is one of the best beach towns in Italy you could ask for. Piombino also used to be an important port town of the Republic of Pisa during medieval times. Nowadays, however, it is better known as a seaside resort town. There are several beaches located near Piombino, but probably the most popular one with tourists is called Calamoresca.
Pesaro is a beach town located in the Marche region of Italy. The town is situated along the Adriatic Sea and is home to some of the best beaches in the country. Pesaro’s closest beach, Spiaggia Libera Sottomonte Pesaro, is a popular spot for swimming, sunbathing, and surfing. In addition to its beautiful beaches, Pesaro is also known for its annual film festival. Since 1965, The Pesaro Film Festival has been celebrated and it showcases films from all over the world.
Few places in the world rival Italy when it comes to jaw-dropping coastal towns such as Ancona, in Marche. If you’re looking for a slightly lesser-known but equally stunning spot along Italy’s coastline, Ancona in Marche is worth a visit. One other advantage of living in Marche is a lower cost of living compared to other regions. This town is located on the Adriatic Sea and boasts a lovely beach nearby called the Spiaggia Della Scalaccia. Another thing to note is that most of the region surrounding Ancona is hilly or mountainous, meaning that breathtaking views are never far away.
Santa Margherita Ligure, Liguria
Liguria is brimming with amazing coastal towns to live in, so it’s especially difficult to choose just a couple in this region. Our top choice when it comes to best places to live on the beach in Liguria is the small town of Santa Margherita Ligure, particularly for its exquisite, understated beauty. Located on the renowned Italian Riviera, in the northwest region of Liguria, bordering France, this town is known for its dramatic coastline and lovely beaches. The closest beach to Santa Margherita Ligure is called Giò e Rino Beach which can be reached by foot or boat from the harbor. This scenic spot features crystal clear water perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and enjoying views of neighboring Portofino. After World War II ended, Santa Margherita quickly became a renowned tourist destination thanks to its natural beauty and easy accessibility from nearby cities.
Monterosso al Mare, Liguria
Monterosso al Mare is one of the best coastal towns in Italy. The town is located on the Tyrrhenian Sea. The closest beach to Monterosso al Mare is called Scoglio di Monterosso. Historically, Monterosso al Mare, like many of the other villages in the Mediterranean, had walls built around itself to protect its citizens from being attacked and captured by pirates.
If you’re looking for one of the best beach cities in Northern Italy, look no further than Caorle. This town is located on the Adriatic Sea, just an hour away from Venice, and is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in all of Italy. The one of the more popular beaches in Caorle is called Beach Levante, a wide sandy beach much enjoyed by families. In addition to its stunning beaches, Caorle was also established in the 1st century by the Romans – making it a truly unique place to visit. Caorle is especially popular with Germans and Austrians thanks to its proximity to these countries.
There are few things more idyllic than an Italian seaside town and Chioggia in Veneto fits that bill. The small town is located on the Adriatic Sea and its closest beach is called Bagni Lido Sabbia D’oro. In this particular town in Italy is especially you get to experience the laid back vibe of a small town as well as elegant beautiful canals like reminiscent of Venice.
Grado, Friuli-Venezia Giulia
Grado is a small town located in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region of Italy. It is situated on the Adriatic Sea, and its closest beach is called Costa Azzurra Beach. In the ages of the Western Roman Empire, a lot of people ran away from Aquileia to this town to escape from the invasions that were approaching from the east side. Grado became an important center of culture and trade, and its golden age lasted until the 13th century. In recent years, Grado has become a popular tourist destination thanks to its lovely beaches and peaceful atmosphere. If you’re looking for a relaxing place to enjoy the sun and sea this summer, be sure to visit Grado.
Lignano Sabbiadoro, Friuli-Venezia Giulia
Lignano Sabbiadoro, which literally means “golden sands”, is one of the most popular beach towns in Friuli-Venezia Giulia. The town is situated on the Adriatic Sea and its closest beach is called Spiaggia Lignano. Lignano Sabbiadoro truly started to show its potential near the start of the early 20th century, with the building of some new resorts. Nowadays, thanks to its wide offer of services and accommodation, as well as its beautiful beaches, Lignano Sabbiadoro attracts tourists from all over Italy and abroad.
Planning on moving to Italy? Check out more useful articles about living in Italy, to help you with the big move.