8 Breathtaking Coastal Destinations in Italy

Written by Rem Malloy, since 1995 Rem has been guiding and designing trips to Italy and all of Western Europe and is considered an expert in his field for over 30 years.

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Coastal destinations in Italy

Dreaming of a coastal destination in Italy? From the Mediterranean and the Ionian to the Adriatic and the Ligurian, stunning views and azure waters surround this culture-infused country. 

Enjoy a glimpse of fishing villages, defensive harbors, historic towns, and rocky beaches. While you can stop off at tourist attractions and well-loved eateries, you can also wander off into lesser-known villages and secluded destinations. Hop in the car and take a drive along the coastline when you’re feeling ready for a little adventure that’s away from the tourist crowds.

If you are ready to put aside your worries and relax amongst culture and natural beauty, a coastal destination in Italy might be just what you need.

Here are a few of our favorite coastal destinations in Italy: 

AMALFI COAST

Amalfi Coast

The Amalfi Coast includes the seaside areas that stretch from Vietri sul Mare to Positano. This well-known and loved stretch of coastline is a prime destination for road trippers and nature lovers. It’s located south of Naples and is famous for its rugged coastline and quaint towns that border the sea. The Amalfi Coast is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Amongst the fishing villages are beautiful hotels, shops and restaurants. While visiting, make time to wander through the boutiques, ceramic shops, and eateries.

From the province of Salerno to Castellammare di Stabia, in the province of Naples, there are around 100 kilometers of coastline overlooking the Gulf of Salerno and the Mediterranean Sea, a natural paradise that is famous all over the world. The region features incredible landscapes and towns filled with hidden art, history, and culture. 

PORTOFINO

Portofino

This charming fishing village is a popular destination for a yachting holiday. Portofino has long been recognized as a popular celebrity hideaway for the rich and famous. It features a quaint town surrounded by a small harbor dotted with colorful homes and buildings on the hillsides and along the shore. 

Portofino is quite small but is filled with boutiques and restaurants. In the harbor, among small fishing boats and tenders you’ll see some incredibly impressive yachts!

Enjoy a scenic walk up to the Church of San Giorgio and take in the stunning views of the sea. From there, hike farther up the winding hill past homes and gardens to Castello Brown, now an historic museum for an unbeatable view of the town and harbor, below. Tour the harbor, grab a drink at one of the nearby cafes, and just watch the world go by. 

CAMOGLI

Camogli

Camogli is a hidden gem! More of a fishing village than a beach resort, this coastal town is perfect for visitors who love history and traditional culture. It’s a romantic destination that is well-loved by photographers, artists, and anyone who appreciates fresh seafood in a beautiful coastal setting.  

Unlike the colorful buildings of Cinque Terre or the Amalfi Coast, the color palate of Camogli is notably subtle. Building facades are primarily painted in tones of apricot, cinnamon and amber, making it easily recognizable from the sea. 

Unlike Portofino, Camogli also features plenty of the glamorous lifestyle but at a more reserved pace. It just has a slower, different vibe. There are numerous hiking trails affording spectacular views. For example, from Camogli to San Fruttuoso (4 miles), or Camogli to Portofino (7 miles).

Stroll the seaside promenade and watch the waves splash into the rocks at the steps of Castello Della Dragonara before catching the ferry to your next coastal destination. 

CINQUE TERRE

Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre, a rugged and photogenic coastline on the Italian Riviera, consists of five beautiful hillside villages nestled on the cliffs and linked together by narrow hiking trails stretching along the coastline. 

The colorful, pastel buildings in Cinque Terre are iconic, and seem to fit perfectly into the area’s rugged landscape. Each of the five villages have a similar pastel color palette, feature steep streets and paths, and are full of charming houses, restaurants, churches, and shops.

Cinque Terre became a popular destination in the 1970’s. Now it is a UNESCO World Heritage site and National Park. This makes the region an ideal location for day trips or hiking holidays. There are many designated trails leading between the villages and plenty of breathtaking scenery. 

MONTE ARGENTARIO

Monte Argentario Tuscany

Located in southern Tuscany, this hilly, coastal town is a hot spot for wealthy locals. In fact, it may be Tuscany’s best kept secret! Monte Argentario has two centers, Porto Ercole, once a fishing village, as well as the bigger commercial port of Santo Stefano.

The unspoiled beaches are part of the allure, as well as the high-end restaurants and shopping that is available to visitors. There is also plenty of opportunities to get active by cycling or walking along the scenic trails. Its ragged coastline is dotted with crumbling forts and towers built by the Spanish kings who ruled the area 400 years ago. 

PORTOVENERE

Portovenere

Located along the breathtaking Ligurian coast, this picturesque town is home to one of the most beautiful harbors in Italy. Just a quick ferry ride from Cinque Terre, this medieval town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

You’ll be greeted by a stunning harbor, but once inside the town you’ll find a maze of narrow streets. Wander past shops, restaurants and up to Doria Castle, overlooking the Bay of Poets. Gaze at the beauty of Lord Byron’s Grotto or hike one of the many trails. There are many ways to just enjoy the natural scenery of this Ligurian gem. 

This port is close to museums, wooded islands, churches, and castles. Visit for the day or stay and explore Portovenere and the surrounding areas that are full of history and culture.

SORRENTO

Sorrento

Located on a plateau that overlooks the Bay of Naples, this destination has been popular with tourists for years. The seaside town is at its best during summer and offers a little something for every kind of visitor. Explore the olive groves, take sea excursions, do a limoncello tasting, or take a day trip to Mt. Vesuvius.

From Sorrento, take a day trip to the island of Capri, known for its breathtaking landscape. You can also visit the famous Blue Grotto. There you’ll witness the incredible turquoise light that floods the underwater cave twice a day.

If you’re dreaming of cobbled streets, coastal views and dining in lemon groves, you’ll find all that and more in Sorrento. 

TAORMINA

Taormina Sicily

Located on the eastern coastline of the island of Sicily, this is one of the most historic coastal destinations in the country. Taormina was featured prominently in the hugely popular 2022 HBO series, The White Lotus.

Taormina is perched on a rocky cliff above the Ionian Sea. It is a charming beach town, known for its beautifully restored medieval buildings and cobblestone streets. It also has many old churches and an ancient Greek theatre, carved directly into the rock of Mount Tauro. 

With its extensive beaches and rocky coves, this enchanting beach town is a favorite beach destination. It is the place to go if you want comfort and luxury on your vacation, and is considered a top spot for an opulent honeymoon.

To learn more about our Coastal Destinations and private guided tour itineraries, contact Italy4Real. We will make sure your vacation is the trip of your lifetime.

About the Author

Rem Malloy started Italy4real back in 1995 with his mother, Deborah de Maio.

He specialises in Italian tours as well as customised tours to France, England, Ireland, Germany, Switzerland, Greece and Spain. He was also featured in the Travel Channel show Mysteries at The Museum in 2016.

Rem has family in Italy and his mothers home town is Cava di Terrani, near the Amalfi Coast. The family has a street named after them in Sorrento, Via Luigi de Maio; a relative who was mayor of Sorrento.

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