Just a short drive from the city lies a variety of beach towns along the Lazio coast, known for their beauty. These beaches are popular among Romans, especially during the summer months and on weekends, so expect to encounter crowds of people vying for a spot on the sand.
Italian beaches typically require payment for access, often in the form of renting space at a stabilimento balneare or lido. These beach clubs provide amenities such as lounge chairs, cabanas, restrooms, and showers, and the cost can vary. Although these areas may be more expensive than the free sections of the beach, they offer better facilities and access to shade and refreshments.
Beaches near Rome may not boast the crystal clear waters found in Sardinia or Sicily, but they still offer plenty of options for a fun day away from the city. Use this guide to find the best beach to suit your preferences.
Though not the closest beach to Rome, this holiday town boasts picturesque whitewashed houses and narrow lanes leading to two beautiful crescent beaches. A small promontory separates the beaches and the sea is so clear and clean that it has been awarded a Blue Flag designation.
Ponente beach is located below the town, surrounded by hotels and restaurants. In contrast, Levante beach has a more natural setting and is located beneath hillsides covered in low Mediterranean shrubs. Additionally, there are several smaller cove beaches that can only be accessed by foot, located further north along the sand and dunes. Ponente beach is mostly made up of rented loungers, while Levante beach has some free public areas as well as a lido.
Both beaches are perfect for families with kids, offering warm shallow water and soft sand. If you’re feeling guilty about stepping away from Rome’s attractions, know that you’re in good company. Tiberius, an ancient Roman emperor, had a villa built here and some of the sculptures discovered there can be viewed at the Grotto of Tiberius Museum.
2. Santa Marinella
Santa Marinella is a great option for those looking for a beach that is close to Rome and easy to get to. It’s only a one hour train ride away and a short walk from the station to the beach. The beach itself is not particularly scenic, but it is made up of fine sand and is protected by a breakwater. The shallow waters make it a great spot for families with young children. Although there isn’t much free beach space available, there are plenty of lido’s that provide shade and amenities.
The beach is backed directly by the town, which apart from some good seafood restaurants, seems very little affected by tourism, as most of the beachgoers come from Rome on day trips. Santa Marinella was a popular bathing spot for ancient Romans, too.
Located just an hour south of Rome and easily accessible by train, Anzio boasts a picturesque long golden-sand beach protected by a breakwater that creates shallow and calm turquoise waters. This, combined with its Blue Flag status, makes it a popular destination for families with young children, who can enjoy playing in the gentle waves safely.
The town boasts a long beach with a free section located behind the remnants of Emperor Nero’s Villa Imperiale, which he often visited as he was born in Anzio. For a dose of more recent history, the Anzio BeachHead Museum is worth a visit, as it chronicles the 1944 Allied landing that played a crucial role in freeing Rome from Nazi occupation during WWII.
Anzio’s harbor is not only a source of delicious seafood for the town’s restaurants, but also the departure point for boats to the Pontine Islands. Additionally, Nettuno, located just a short distance down the road and easily accessible by train from Rome, boasts long beaches with clean water and sands that have earned them the Blue Flag award. Both Anzio and Nettuno offer a variety of beach-related services.
Fregene, located west of Rome and near Fumicino airport, is a popular beach destination for youthful Romans. In the evening, the beachside clubs and restaurants come to life as the trendy crowd gathers. During the day, the beach is more family-friendly and less crowded compared to Ostia.
Those who don’t come for the action and are looking for a quick break from the city will find moderate-to-good water quality and long stretches of sand, a good part of it free to the public. To get to Fregene, take the train from Rome Termini to Maccarese-Fregene station and a local bus to the beach.
The northern stretch of sandy beach in Maccarese is reached from the same train station as Fregene and Ostia, but it is less popular and less crowded. Beachside restaurants open in April when the water is chilly but the afternoon sun is warm, before the beach clubs arrive.
5. Santa Severa
Santa Severa beach, located just 40 minutes by train from Rome’s San Pietro station, offers more than just sun and sand. The beach is bordered by a 14th-century castle, whose foundations extend to the water, and a large portion of the beach is open to the public.
Those who like a little wave action will find it here (unlike most of the Lazip shoreline), although the waters are calm enough in the summer to make the beach a favorite with families. There are stabilimenti for those who want to rent lounge chairs, and plenty of restaurants to choose from.
Explore the charming walled village, or “borgo,” by strolling around the castle and visiting the shops of local artisans. Take in the exhibits at the castle, which has a history dating back to the 11th century. Prior to that, Santa Severa was a Roman settlement on the via Aurelia and remnants of the Roman foundations can still be seen in the form of large stones.
The secluded beach on the wooded slopes of Mount Circeo boasts 15 kilometers of soft golden sand, surrounded by dunes and the Sabaudi Lagoon. Unlike many beaches along the Lazio coast, it is mostly free and less crowded due to its slightly harder accessibility. The clear turquoise waters and clean beach have earned it a Blue Flag designation.
The Circeo National Park surrounds the beach, which is accessed by a series of boardwalks, so there is little commercial development apart from a few stabilimenti where you can rent loungers and umbrellas. Its size and location in the park keeps the beach more natural than its more developed neighbors.
To reach the beaches from Rome, take a bus from Laurentina metro station to Piazza Oberdan in Sabaudia, and then transfer to a shuttle bus for the final leg of the journey. Sabaudia is known for its unique architecture, built quickly under Mussolini’s direction following the drainage of the coastal marshes.
7. Lido di Ostia
Ostia is a bustling beach destination, known for its rows of stabilimenti (beach clubs) each with its own colored umbrellas. The beach can be crowded and it can be difficult to find a quiet spot, especially on weekends. However, its proximity to Rome (just a 30-minute train ride) and the traditional Italian beach atmosphere make it worth visiting, despite the cost and less-than-crystal-clear water (which is still safe for swimming).
This is the place to go if you want to sample traditional beach culture and don’t mind paying for it. The scene is lively, boisterous, and more about the social life than swimming. Because the city is only half an hour away, this is the quick getaway choice for Romans, so it’s most crowded in the afternoon and into the evening.
To reach Ostia’s beach, take the train from Rome’s Porta San Paolo station to Lido Centro. For a more secluded experience, continue on the train to the final stop and take the 07 MARE bus to Cancelli. There, you can find a variety of free public beaches with restrooms and a more natural atmosphere, as the beaches are surrounded by dunes. If you prefer a beach with a particularly natural feel, head to Cancelli 8, which is backed by dunes.
Terracina, a charming town located near the beaches of Gaeta and Sperlonga, boasts a historic center filled with narrow lanes and colorful houses. The town’s long sandy beach is lined with palm trees, and behind it, a row of seafood restaurants can be found in the commercial area. The beach is also defined by the steep rock slopes of Mount Sant’Angelo, which is topped by the ruins of the first-century Temple of Jupiter Anxur.
The beach at Terracina features mostly stabilimenti, but there are also some free areas available. Active visitors can hike to the temple for panoramic views of the coastline and nearby mountains, including Mt Vesuvius on clear days. The town also boasts several Roman ruins, including a section of the Appian Way. Additionally, ferries to the Pontine Islands depart from the port in Terracina.
Gaeta’s setting alone would make it one of Lazio’s – or Italy’s – most beautiful beach towns. Ancient Romans thought so, too, and made it one of their favorite seaside bolt-holes. Since their time a pretty town has grown above the beaches, with a gigantic Aragonese castle from the 6th century, medieval churches, and narrow streets.
There are several beaches to choose from, or Gaeta is close enough to Sperlonga and Terracina that you can divide a holiday easily between the beaches from a base at any of them. Buses to Gaeta run from the train station in nearby Formia, connected directly to Rome’s Termini station.
Gaeta’s soft golden sands are demarcated almost to the waterline by beach clubs, leaving little free sand, but this is true of most Italian beaches, and the attractive town and tourist attractions make Gaeta a good choice.
10. Castel Porziano
A rare phenomenon in mainland Italy, the beach at Castel Porziano (also spelled Castelporziano) is wild and in a natural state, with no expensive beach clubs or rows of matching umbrellas and loungers. That this wild and undeveloped stretch of fine sand and sea should be so close to Rome is even harder to believe.
Protected by the Roman Littoral State Nature Reserve, a green area of windswept dunes and wild lands behind it, the beach is a bit of a walk – about two kilometers – from the last stop of Bus 061, which leaves from the Cristoforo Colombo stop, also the last, on the Roma-Lido train line.
No stabilimenti means no restaurants and few facilities, although there are rest rooms and usually people there renting umbrellas, and maybe a refreshment stand or two; to be safe, bring shade and something to drink. As difficult as it is to get here, you’re still close to the city, so on a hot summer weekend you won’t have even this beach to yourself.
The beach at Civitavecchia is not where you go to see Rome’s smart set, and on weekends it can be a chaotic scene of children and sun-seekers crowding its sands and busy boardwalk. But few other beaches can offer its two aces: it’s free and only a five-minute walk from the train station, on a direct line from Rome.
The beach is sandy, and the water, although not the incandescent blue of many other Lazio beaches, is relatively clear. You can rent an umbrella, and the boardwalk is lined with eating places, pizza and gelato stands, kiddie rides, and kiosks selling the beach accessories you forgot.
12. Lake Albano
Those who prefer freshwater beaches to swimming in the sea can head inland, south of Rome, to lovely Lake Albano. The Papal summer palace, Castel Gandolfo, overlooks the lake, which formed in a collapsed volcanic crater in the Alban Hills.
You can reserve a spot on the sand or on the lawn at Giogio’s Beach or at another of the lakeside , Hire a kayak, or follow the flat walking path for a two-hour stroll around the scenic lake.You can get there by COTRAL bus or on a train from Termini or another station in Rome. The beach is a 15-minute walk from the Viale Costa/Via Montecrescenzio bus station, or 20 minutes from the Pantanella train station.
Although it’s only about 35 kilometers north of Rome, the beaches at Ladispoli are not as crowded as many others, possibly because of the dark sand. Along with the main beach, where you’ll find lidos with lounges and umbrellas, there are smaller, more secluded beaches that are worth the walk.
Head north and through the lagoon to find sand dunes and Torre Flavia Beach in a protected eco-park, along with the ruins of a medieval fort. To get to Ladispoli, take the train from Rome Termini to the Cerveteri-Ladispoli station; it’s a 10- to 15-minute walk to the beach.