The Best Family Beaches 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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Sperlonga Beach

Italy is home to more than 1,700 km of coastline and several stunning island regions, which means you have plenty of options for a family beach holiday in Italy. The beaches in Italy are varied, and depending on which region you choose to visit, you could find large and sandy beaches, small and rocky coves, and some stunning beaches that could rival the Caribbean and The Maldives. Some of these beaches are shallow, with calm waters safe enough for the kids to swim and snorkel.

When looking for the best family beaches in Italy, check out those beaches that have been awarded the “Green Flag“. This award is given to those beaches that are deemed as being partially suitable for children, meeting various criteria that include clean sand, shallow waters near the shore and lifeguards on standby.

To help you decide where to go on your family-friendly holiday, we’ve rounded up a list of the best family beaches in Italy. Whether you are only visiting for the day, spending a weekend in Italy, or a week-long holiday, these beaches are perfect for your family getaway. 

The 8 Best Beaches in Italy for Families

  1. Sperlonga, Lazio

Set on a rocky cliff jutting out into the Tyrrhenian Sea, Sperlonga is a medieval whitewash village that could easily be mistaken as a Greek island. This beautiful beach town is only about 80 miles south of Rome, making it a popular destination for Romans, especially during the summertime. 

Sperlonga rarely sees foreign visitors, so it’s perfect for families looking to get off the beaten path. The beach is clean, with soft sands that stretch for miles; ideal for children to play in. The water here is only a few inches deep for a few hundred metres out from the shore, which means that even your little ones can play in the shallows without the fear of sudden waves. 

The town of Sperlonga is also a joy to explore for families. The only challenge is the stairs in the upper part of the village that are very difficult to navigate with a stroller. You can walk through the large, paved road going into the town where there are many family-friendly hotels. But if you’re here for the beach, you might as well stay close to the Sperlonga beach.

  1. Pescoluse, Puglia

Famous for its golden beaches with waters sloping gently from the coast, Pescoluse is one of the best beaches in Italy for families. Dubbed the ‘Maldives of Salento’, this slice of beautiful paradise has a lot to offer – great food, culture, and history, which makes your family vacation with kids more memorable, fun, and informative. Moreover, Pescoluse was awarded the Green Flag in 2017, so you can be sure that it’s safe enough for your kids.  

With over four kilometres of beaches featuring fine white sands and clear, turquoise waters in a pristine landscape, Pescoluse is sure to entertain you and your kids. Aside from swimming, you can get yourselves busy with water sports like snorkelling or sea kayaking. 

Beyond the beach, Pescoluse is also a fun place to explore and discover archaeological treasures, prehistoric caves, and more. The seaside resort towns of Torre Pali and Lido Marini, close to Pescoluse, are also a joy to explore.

  1. Roseto Degli Abruzzi, Abruzzo

The beautiful beach of Roseto Degli Abruzzi is found in the charming seaside town of Teramo in Abruzzo. It’s protected by breakwater cliffs that mitigate erosion and has a long bike path, separating the beach from the road along the coast. 

Roseto Degli Abruzzi is a quiet and peaceful beach, awarded with a Green Flag which marks it as one of the best family beaches in Italy. The beach is broad and consists of fine golden sands, most of which is open to the public but with some stretches that belong to private bathing establishments.

You can rest assured that your kids are safe in Roseto Degli Abruzzi, as its seabed is low and gently sloping. Most of the visitors to this beach are families with little kids, who can all have fun at the shoreline without their parents worrying about their safety.

You will find cafes, restaurants, snack bars, shower facilities, and changing cabins along the shore. Some concessions also offer beach umbrellas and sunbeds for rent.

4. Praia a Mare, Calabria

Sitting along the Calabrian Riviera Dei Cedri at the northwest part of the region, Praia a Mare is a stunning coastal town famous for its beautiful beach that’s about 2km long. The town used to be called Praja d’Ajeta, which indicates that it was the waterfront section of Aieta. For many centuries, it has been a fishing town, notable for the spectacular Isola di Dino, a rock island jutting off the beach.

Praia a Mare lies along the seafront lined with stunning beaches. Its Main Street consists of a 5km pedestrian walkway lined with gelaterias, cafes, great restaurants and shops. 

The town is very welcoming to families with little kids and its beaches are wide and sandy and safe enough for your little ones to swim in. These beaches are the best in Italy for families since they have coveted the Green Flag rating due to their shallow waters and child-friendly facilities. 

  1. Varigotti, Liguria

Varigotti is a coastal community in the area of Finale Ligure in Northern Italy, famous for its beautiful beach. Along its shore, you will find pastel-coloured houses neatly lined up next to each other, providing a beautiful background to your time spent on the beach.  

Once home to Romans and the Lombards before being conquered by the Saracen pirates several times, Varigotti is now home to the best beach in Italy for families, thanks to its laidback and happy vibe and numerous family-friendly activities. Here, the pace of life is slow, allowing you to relax away from the hustle-bustle. 

Most visitors come to Varigotti for its beach. The coast here is divided between long stretches of free beach and those lined with sunbeds and umbrellas that you can enjoy for a small fee. 

Aside from spending time at the beach, you and your kids can explore its elegant and narrow streets and beautiful squares. Check out the bright coloured beach houses that are a beautiful contrast to the surrounding green hills and the blue ocean waters. The ancient church of San Lorenzo is also worth checking out, which stands right next to the cliff of Capo Noli.

  1. La Pelosa, Sardinia

La Pelosa is one of Sardinia’s most beautiful beaches. Located at the island’s northwestern tip, it has stunning, fine white sands and shallow water, safe enough for your kids to swim in. 

Thanks to its gorgeous blue waters, this beach has become a favourite hangout spot for locals and tourists in Sardinia. It’s incredibly scenic and a perfect place to relax during a hot summer day. 

La Pelosa is quite a small beach no more than 60 metres wide. Since it’s quite exposed to the wind, it’s a perfect place to indulge in some water sports activities, like kite surfing, sailing, and windsurfing. But if the wind is not blowing, children can try activities like stand up paddleboarding, swimming, snorkelling, and kayaking. 

Along La Pelosa’s shores, you’ll find kiosks serving delicious snacks, gelato, and all kinds of drinks. You will also have access to beach equipment rentals, such as kayaks and sunbeds with umbrellas. 

Like most of the beaches in Sardinia, La Pelosa is also home to an Aragonese watchtower. Known as the ‘La Pelosa Tower’, it was built for defensive purposes in 1578. At 6 meters tall, the tower stands mightily in a private islet just north of the beach.

  1. Cala Violina, Tuscany

Located along the Gulf of Follonica, Cala Violina boasts spectacular blue waters and fine white sands, ideal for spending long days by the coast with your family. It belongs to the municipality of Scarlino in the province of Grosseto, Tuscany

Cala Violina is a public beach shaped like a half-moon. The blueness of its water and the whiteness of its powdery sands, combined with the greenery in the surroundings, make it a perfect destination for a family beach holiday in Italy.

Since Cala Violina is popular for both locals and tourists, it’s recommended that you get there early in the morning, especially if you are taking your car due to the limited parking space. As soon as this fills up, you might not be able to access the beach. 

The beach is tranquil and secluded, perfect for families looking for some peace and quiet. There are no bars here, but you will find a few snack shacks selling coffee, sandwiches, and cold drinks.

8. Mondello, Sicily

Discovered by the Arabs as a swampy, malaria-ridden marshland over a thousand years ago, Mondello in Sicily used to be called “Marsâ ‘at Tin” (Port of Mud). Nowadays, Mondello boasts a 1.5 km long stretch of fine white sands with shallow, electric blue waters. 

Mondello is famous for its excellent selection of seafood restaurants, fantastic bars, and a vibrant beachside atmosphere. Offering plenty of water sports activities, such as paddle boarding, jet-skiing, and windsurfing, the charming coastal town is the perfect destination for fun, Italy family beach holidays. 

Mondello Beach is about 12 kilometres away from the main city centre of Palermo, Sicily’s capital city. It is one of the region’s most active and crowded beaches, featuring long and sprawling sandy shores.

You will also find tons of restaurants, cafes, and beach bars that open to the stunning views of the beach. Since the water is clear and shallow, your kids can swim and play safely. 

After spending a day at the beach, take time to explore Palermo. The city has some amenities for children, such as playgrounds and theme parks. Most restaurants and trattorias are also very welcoming of kids of all ages.

Summary

Italians are known for being family-oriented and welcoming, so it doesn’t come as a surprise why it’s one of the best destinations for family holidays in Europe. There are plenty of family-friendly attractions waiting for you in Italy, but if you want to go on a family beach holiday in Italy, then the list above should get you covered. 

If you’re planning a family holiday to Italy and would like help deciding which coastal area to visit, get in touch with Italy4Real and speak to a member of our team for personalised advice and help planning a bespoke trip.

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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