5 Secret Beaches You Need to See in Italy

by Christopher Atwood

Surrounded by the Mediterranean, Italy borders water on three sides. Italy in fact touches a total of 4 seas  – the Tyrrhenian to the west, the Adriatic on the east, the Ionian in the south, and the Ligurian in the north.  
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The Bel Paese is home to myriad marine isles , including the two biggest ones in the Mediterranean, Sicily  and Sardinia .  With 7,600 kilometers of shoreline, it’s no surprise Italians flee to the sea at summer time.  American travelers are tempted too by Italy’s coasts.  Each summer, hundreds of thousands flock to the Cinque Terre  and the Amalfi Coast  — lured by crystal-clear water and postcard-perfect towns .
"Beautiful beaches abound beyond Italy’s tourist-packed swimming spots. Indeed, some of the country’s most breathtaking shores are barely known to foreigners. Travelers to Italy can stroll untouched beaches, visiting fishing villages and diving in blue-green bays . While some regions feature sugar-white sand, rocky cliffs frame the sapphire seas in other parts of Italy."
Below, we’ve created a cheat-sheet of Italy’s top-secret beaches – stretching from Tuscany to the sunny south.  Shhh, don’t tell.
                                                         ITALY'S TOP 5 SECRET BEACHES
Tuscany is famed for Florence, Chianti and the Leaning Tower. Travelers in-the-know head to the coast, though, in the summer. Elba, an island off Tuscany,  is accessible by ferry. Visitors can stroll the stunning Le Ghiaie Beach, which is in walking distance from the town of Portoferraio.  Sandwiched between sun-bleached cliffs,  Le Ghiaie boasts light blue water and a white pebble beach . As a marine reserve, the waters here are ideal for snorkeling and swimming. Elba’s shores tempt Italian, British and Northern European travelers. Visitors here tend to be return tourists to Tuscany, having seen Florence and Chianti on prior trips. 
As one of Italy’s most-visited destinations, Capri brims with tourists during the warmer season.  Peace and quiet can be hard to find here, if you don’t know where to go on the island. But, on Capri’s sunny southern side, travelers can bask at the Fontelina Club .  Home to an isolated beach, this private club takes reservations for elegant lunch and swimming in its calm waters .  Fontelina’s sanctuary is literally built into the rocks that jut from Capri’s coves.  Fontelina Club attracts luxury travelers from the U.S. and Italy — especially high-end visitors to Capri in search of crowd-free seas.  Beach is accessible only by foot or boat. 
Couched between two stone cliffs near the town of Praiano is one of the Amalfi Coast’s most remarkable beaches:  the Fjord of Furore . Yes, you read correctly. A fjord. On the Amalfi Coast.  A stone bridge arches over this smaller beach, which is reachable by stairs carved into the cliff.  Receiving direct sunlight only in the morning, the Fjord of Furore stays cool all day long – even as surrounding towns sweat it out.  Just down the road is the equally picturesque  Marina di Praia beach, where travelers might enjoy a clifftop stroll or lunch by the blue-green sea .  Praiano’s remote beaches draw mainly an Italian and local crowd, as they are most readily reached by private car or boat. 
Plunge into Puglia at the Grotta della Poesia. This limestone grotto shelters calm, clear waters.  Locals and visitors alike dive here into a shimmering blue cove . Protected from wind by the nearby cliffs, the grotto pampers swimmers with still Mediterranean water.  Located between the exquisite towns of Lecce and Otranto, it's haven is where Puglia becomes visual poetry .  Grotta della Poesia is a favorite of Italians. As an unmarked swimming spot, it lures mostly visitors in-the-know – including locals. 
Picking one beach in Sicily is like picking a favorite Italian dish. How do you choose just one? As the largest island in the Mediterranean, Sicily teems with inviting coastline .  Just a half hour’s drive from ancient Greek ruins, the  Scala dei Turchi is unlike any beach in Italy .  Wind-carved cliffs, baked white in the sun, bleed into a sea the color of the sky. Sunbathers bask on the bleached rocks, dipping in warm, transparent seas The Scala dei Turchi sea cliffs attract luxury travelers from Italy, the U.S. and N. Europe.  Up-scale accommodations can be found in the nearby town of Agrigento. 
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