Other than the islands of Greece and the South of France, beaches in Italy draw more people per year than any other country in Europe. The hardest part is deciding which of the Italian beaches to visit, as each one has a storied history and separate features.
The world famous Amalfi coast has many of the best beaches in Italy - you can throw a dart at a map and never go wrong. The sleepy villages along the coast lie on wicked curves, and its villas have acted as getaways for celebrities both new and old.
Palm trees and expensive boutiques line the narrow streets leading to the pebbled shores of the Italian beach resort of San Remo. Here you can also try your luck at the luxuriant casinos and racetracks, the gambling mecca for western Italy.
The lemon trees and fragrant flowers of the Isle of Capri provide a picturesque backdrop for its sprawling beaches. The statuesque arcs of the Tyrrhenian Sea guarantee that the resorts along its coastline are among the best beaches in Italy - the sights of the translucent blue and green grottoes more than make up for the lack of sand found here.
Sorrento was the home of the Greek sirens and the docks and cliffs of this town still call out to passing travelers. Connoisseurs of Italian beaches may shun this town, which is mostly made up of jagged rocks and crowded piers, but the combination of sunny locale and a wide array of shopping and nightlife make this one of the most popular destinations south of Naples.
Cinque Terre is another fine Italian beach resort, where a small but hospitable strip of sand lays unassuming in the midst of the five fishing towns. Popular with American and European honeymooners alike, this quiet spot on the banks of the Italian Riviera is just steps away from scenic hikes and exquisite seafood dishes constructed around the fishermen's daily catch. The only traditional beach in any of the five towns is located in Monterosso, but it is still one of the best beaches in Italy.
The white sands of the Venetian beach of Lido make it one of the most tempting beaches of Italy, even if the water lapping at your feet is not fit for swimming. Deluxe hotels offer endless privacy in one of the most romantic cities in the world, and waterfront huts are available for rental if your wallet feels too full.
Another popular Italian beach resort is located in the antiquated Greek ruins of Syracuse. Fontane Bianche is a prime spot for cooling off in the summer, popular with both vacationing Italians and tourists. Nearby Taormina offers equally fine displays of sand and shade beneath the imposing shadow of Mt. Etna. When it comes to Sicily, though, any number of them rival the Italian beaches located on the mainland.