14 Most Beautiful Coastal Towns and Cities in Italy to Soak Up the Mediterranean Sun

best coastal towns in Italy

Posted by on 04 Feb 2022

A quick drive away from major cities in Italy lie charming towns that line the coast. The country’s seaside cities and towns offer the perfect holiday attractions—colourful villages, magnificent landscapes, stunning beaches, and well-kept architectural sites.

Explore our list of the most beautiful small coastal towns in Italy to add to your holiday itinerary.

14 Best Coastal Towns in Italy

  1. Portofino, Liguria

    Beautiful port town Positano Italy

    When passing by the Province of Genoa, you can’t miss the lovely Portofino. This cliff town is home to one of the most attractive ports in Europe, which is known for its signature half-moon shape. Boats and lavish superyachts anchor themselves on the coastline.

    The Castello Brown is a place you can look forward to when visiting the area. This magnificent fort hosts 16th-century castles offering sceneries that will take your breath away.

  2. Manarola, Liguria

    Second on our list is Manarola, one of the oldest towns in Cinque Terre. This lively coastal town is brimming with colour from the vibrant buildings dotting the city. Milan, Cinque Terre to Rome Journey(entiretravel.com.au)

    This seaside town has plenty of hiking trails, such as the romantic Via dell’Amore (Love’s Trail). You can also enjoy a panoramic view of Manarola up in the Church of San Lorenzo.

    See the beauty and glamour of Cinque Terre’s seaside hamlets in the Cinque Terre in Style at Porto Roca Hotel package.

  3. Vernazza, Liguria

    Another gem in the North of Italy hails from Cinque Terre—the Vernazza. It harbours a spectacular dock along a rugged coastline. Colourful houses fill the town streets, creating a striking view that looks great in photos and in person.

    Take a swim in the town’s hidden swimming hole, or grab a bite at one of the scenic restaurants. And if you’re planning to hike the five villages of Cinque Terre, Vernazza is a great place to start.

  4. Rimini, Emilia-Romagna

    On the eastern coast of Italy, you can find one of the crowd favourites: Rimini. This town has all sorts of attractions to suit your unique taste.

    History enthusiasts will adore exploring the well-maintained historical buildings around the area. Meanwhile, sea lovers will have the time of their lives swimming and sunbathing on the beach.

  5. Positano, Campania

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    This gorgeous coastal town, lying in the heart of the Amalfi Coast, never fails to tug at everyone’s heartstrings. It allures its guests with a rustic, old-age charm from its beautiful harbours, bright-coloured houses, and sophisticated Moorish architecture.

    Water lovers can find themselves at home in one of the town’s beaches, such as the Spiaggia Grande and the Fornillo Beach. You can snorkel in the clear waters or bathe in the Italian sun.

  6. Sperlonga, Lazio

    Once a sanctuary for many Roman emperors, it’s no doubt that Sperlonga offers a seaside retreat that you can’t skip when in Italy. Breathe in the Mediterranean air and admire the lush foliage, pristine beaches, and charming landscapes from the cliffside.

    Visit the Museo Archeologico di Sperlonga, where you can find the ancient ruins of Emperor Tiberius’ old villa. You can also treat yourself to a splendid view from the top of Torre Truglia.

  7. Atrani, Campania

    Atrani is one of the best-hidden jewels on the Amalfi Coast. Travellers often pass by this town on the way to Positano and Sorrento, but this lesser-known seaside village radiates its charm.

    This town houses majestic medieval churches and piazzas that you can easily stroll along. The peaks of this cliffside town offer mesmerising sceneries overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea. And after a long day of sightseeing, enjoy a delicious meal from one of the local trattorias.

  8. Sorrento, Campania

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    Sorrento is one of the most famous coastal cities in Italy—and for a good reason. The dramatic seascape from the cliffs is a sight to behold. The narrow streets are also perfect for romantic strolls. Visit the historical piazzas and basilicas, and stop by a café for your caffeine fix.

    Explore the wonders of this enchanting cliffside town with our Love Positano holiday package.

  9. Polignano a Mare, Puglia

    Moving down the boot of Italy is the picture-perfect Polignano a Mare. Roam around the city square, along the narrow alleys and vibrant villas, and end your walk with a panoramic ocean view by the terrace.

    Adventurous souls can look forward to the town’s world-class diving spots. You can also swim in the turquoise waters of the beaches on both sides of the cliff.

    Admire the beauty of Polignano a Mare and the rest of the Puglia region in our Self-Drive Apulia & Matera package.

  10. Scilla, Calabria

    Further down the south of Italy lies Scilla in the Calabria region. If you’re a Greek mythology fan, you can’t miss the home of the legendary sea monster Scylla. But worry not, for it is far from a dark, scary place. Plenty of hidden treasures awaits your journey to this place.

    The Costa Viola is a must-visit spot in this charming town. If you’re lucky, you can catch the water turn into a lovely purple shade. But if not, you can still swim at the town’s pretty beaches.

  11. Cefalù, Sicily

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    Nestled between rugged mountains and pristine shorelines, the idyllic Cefalù is all you need to escape the bustling city. This small coastal town is famous among the local sunbathers for its sandy beaches with a marvellous view of the cliffs.

    The Cefalù Cathedral is a highlight, as it belongs to the UNESCO World Heritage Site as an Arab-Norman architectural feat. When the sun sets, enjoy the nightlife around the town square.

  12. Levanzo, Sicily

    Off the western coast of Sicily’s main island lies Levanzo, one of the three Aegadian Islands. Don’t let its size fool you, for it has an abundance of natural wonders in store.

    Climb up the town’s hiking trails while enjoying the cool breeze from the sea. Along the path, feast your eyes on a spectacular view of the limestone cliffs surrounded by pristine waters. Once you reach the summit, drink in the sight of the Mediterranean Sea.

    Roam around the west side of Sicily with our Palermo & Western Sicily holiday package.

  13. Castelsardo, Sardinia

    Castelsardo is an Italian cliff town lying on the northern coast of Sardinia. It is home to some of the most well-preserved historical sites dating back to the Bronze Age. Wander around the remains of the ancient Nuragic civilization, which existed almost 4,000 years ago.

    You can also hike on the historic citadel and enjoy incredible landscapes along the way. If you wish to be near the sea, you can lounge around the beaches in town.

  14. Cagliari, Sardinia


    Sardinia’s capital city is brimming with adventures on land and sea. Soak in the Mediterranean sun in one of the stunning beaches around the area like the hip Poetto Beach.

    This town also doesn’t disappoint in the history department. The Castello, for one, houses medieval structures atop the rocky hills. Meanwhile, the Romanesque San Saturnino Basilica is the oldest of its kind on the island.

    Learn more about what makes Sardinia unique with our Self-Drive Sardinia tour.

Plan Your Mediterranean Escape by the Italian Coastline

The coast of Italy is filled with colourful towns and cities scattered across the regions. Each has plenty of sights and attractions that you can squeeze into your itinerary if you want a change of pace.

Plot the ultimate coastal town tour along the Mediterranean with our Italy holiday packages.

Last updated: December 12, 2023
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