It doesn’t matter how beautiful Rome is, there’s only one place you want to be on a blisteringly hot day in August and that’s certainly not the Colosseum. When the temperatures soar – often creeping up to 40°C – everyone heads to la Spiaggia (the beach). Given the Eternal City’s inland location, most people assume a trip to the seaside is off the cards for a day trip – but they can be found, you just need to know where to look. What’s more, most of them are easily commutable by public transport and less than two hours away. So pack up your bucket and space, slap on some factor 50 and feast your eyes on seven of the best beaches near Rome.
The Best Beaches Near Rome
The white(ish) sands of Santa Marinella are a mere 45-minute train ride from Termini Station in Rome. The water here is clearer than most beaches and partially protected by breakwaters which means it’s calmer and warmer than most too. The crescent-moon shaped beach curves around a large stretch of shallow waters, making it a good option for families and those who just want to use the sea to cool down, rather than practice their breaststroke.
Like most beaches in Italy, it’s split between stabilimenti (private beaches) and some very small pockets of spiaggia libera (free beaches) too.
Getting there: Two regional trains depart from Termini every hour.
In the 1960s and 1970s, Fregene (also spelt Fregenae) became quite the hotspot for well-heeled Romans and international jet setters. It’s still a place to be seen, attracting chic young city-dwellers who are happy to fork out for the upmarket private lidos. The water here is clear and the beaches are generally very clean. Those with stamina should stay well into the evening when it transforms into an outdoor club.
Getting there: There’s a reasonably regular Cotral bus which departs from Rome’s Valle Aurelia metro stop and takes around an hour to get there.
If the thought of going all the Rome to sit on a beach fills you with fear, Anzio could be the solution. The town has a serious history. It’s best known as the landing site from which the Allies liberated Rome from Nazi occupation in 1944. There are plenty of memorials to explore, as well as the ancient Villa Imperiale, which was once home to the Roman emperor, Nero.
The water is warm, clear and calm thanks to an artificial windbreaker. The blue flag beach stretches along the entire length of the town, peppered with brilliant seafood restaurants and cafes so don’t bother packing a picnic.
Getting there: Trains depart once an hour from Termini station and take around 60 minutes.
This blue flag beach offers acres of custard-coloured sandy beaches and picturesque dunes. Most of the sandy stretch is free too, with just a few private lidos to choose from. Pastel-coloured villas line the surrounding street, so there’s little commercial development. That means it’s also one of the quietest and most picturesque beaches in the region.
Getting there: Cotral busses run from Laurentina metro stop to Sabaudia, then it’s a short shuttle bus journey to the coast.
5. Santa Severa
This sprawling – and free– beach is 50 kilometres north of Rome, close to Tuscany. A spectacular ninth-century castle overlooks the beach; north of the structure the sand is brown and on the other side it’s black. The water is a little more choppy here so better suited to more experienced swimmers. Don’t miss the charming village, which feels like it’s been plucked off the Amalfi coast.
Getting there: Regional Civitavecchia trains depart from Termini and take around an hour. It’s a ten-minute stroll to the beach from here.
Great for a lazy afternoon of stretching out in the sun and splashing about in the sea, this Roman port city is often overlooked as a good place ‘to beach’. There are a few free and private sandy, pebble and reef beaches to choose from. It’s well-catered for in terms of casual pizzerias, gelato stands and street stalls too. The beach behind Saint Augustine boasts six kilometres of reef coastline – perfect for crabbing. If sand is more your scene, try the Saint Augustine Beach, which features a mile of fine sand.
Getting there: Trains run regularly between Termini and Civitavecchia and take between 40–60 minutes.
Last but by no means least is Sperlonga, also described as the ‘coastal pearl of Lazio’. There are two crescent-shaped beaches to choose from, both stretching out for miles alongside the mountains and the whitewashed city. The blue flag beach boasts crystal clear waters, as well as an ancient sea grotto and an ancient imperial villa. It’s a good spot to snorkel in too.
Getting there: Regional trains run from Termini regularly and take around an hour and 15 minutes. From here, it’s a short shuttle bus ride to the beach.