Best beaches near Rome — and how to get there (photo essay)

Wait…ruins and beaches? People forget how close The Colosseum is to the coast. Even when visiting in the summer, unsuspecting travelers skip the beaches around the ancient city entirely, driving or flying to farther towns for their Italian beach holidays. This week’s Beach Thursday photo essay features the best beaches near Rome and how to get there!

See more Italian beaches: Best beaches in Sicily

best beaches near Rome, Fregene

Peter Casier, Flickr

Best beaches near Rome (in no particular order!)

Ostia

Did you know that Ostia Antica is actually Pompeii’s less-obnoxious sister? Only 30-40 min. away from the city, Ostia is not only considered the capital’s beach, but it is also a lesser-known point of interest. A worthy day trip from Rome whether you are looking for more interesting ruins and/or a beach escape. I recommend you hit the ruins early in the day, then refresh at the beach after lunch.

How to get there: Take the train (Metro Line B) toward Piramide station. Once there, go up the stairs in order to take the ROMA-LIDO train all the way to the end (C. Colombo Station). If you wish to see the ruins, get off at Ostia Antica station instead. [Source: Lonely Planet]

Extra tip: Since Ostia is quite close to Rome’s Fiumicino International Airport, it might be a good place to spend your last day or afternoon in Italy.

best Beaches near Rome, Ostia

Ostia Beach (•• Federì ••, Flickr)

Anzio and Nettuno

Want a plate of seafood with that beach trip? Only 57 km south of Rome, Anzio is a fabulous fishing port. You may also take a ferry to the Pontine islands of Ponza, Palmarola, and Ventotene in the summer.

How to get there: Take the Roma-Nettuno train from Termini. Once at the station, it is only a 10-15 min. walk to the sea 😀

Extra tip: Make sure you take the express train in order to get to the beach in an hour. You may also get there by bus, but beware: If you are only in Rome for a few days, you don’t want to take a 3-hour bus ride (each way!).

best Beaches near Rome, Anzio

“Near San Felice Circeo, between Anzio and Terracina” (Alessandra Kocman, Flickr)

Sperlonga

Visiting Sperlonga is like taking a day trip to the Greek islands. Picturesque white-washed buildings make this a lovely little city. It has two different centers: A pedestrian-only one by the old town (lots of steps, gorgeous views from here!) and a second one open to traffic, leading to the beach. Blue-flagged for meeting high standards of cleanliness and water quality, Sperlonga is without a doubt the most beautiful beach near Rome.

How to get there: Take the train Roma-Napoli via Formia and get off at Fondi-Sperlonga. Once there, take the hourly bus (in the summer; every other hour in the winter) from the train station to the center. Total travel time is about 1.5-2 hours.

Extra tip: Do not rent a car and drive around the city in the high season — it’s unlikely you’ll find a parking spot!

best beaches near Rome, Sperlonga

Sperlonga beach (Alessia, Flickr)

Santa Marinella

Location location location — that’s Santa Marinella. Often quite crowded on weekends, it is not my top choice for beaches near Rome. However, I must admit that it is the most convenient. A stretch of its coast has free access, allowing you to bring your own towel (or chair) and enjoy. Alternatively, you may rent a cabana from one of the resorts and dine at one of the many seafood restaurants. It is a place you go to be social and/or people watch!

How to get there: From Rome Termini, take train on Roma-Pisa line toward Santa Marinella. The ride takes approximately 45 minutes.

Extra tip: This goes without saying, but I’ll tell you anyway. If you are seeking for a speck of solitude on the coast, Santa Marinella is not the right day trip from Rome for you.

best Beaches near Rome, Santa Marinella

Not the best beach near Rome, but the most accessible: Santa Marinella (pandemia,Flickr)

Did I leave out any of the best beaches near Rome? Comment below!

19 thoughts on “Best beaches near Rome — and how to get there (photo essay)

  1. Nettuno is a great place to go. Beach there is good, but the true highlight of the place is the old quarter surrounded by medieval wall. We took regular (cheaper) train there as there’s not that much time you can save with express one, though we had 8 days to spend in Rome.

    • the length of your holiday is definitely key here, Arnis. But thanks for offering additional advice about Nettuno and an alternative way to get there from Rome! Cheers

  2. As much as I love Italy and the beach, I’ve never been to an Italian beach. I’m always too wrapped up in the history and art. Thanks for a wonderful alternative travel idea for Rome.

  3. I’ve never really associated Rome with beaches either 🙂 Maybe because we visited during November last time. The beach was the furthest thing from our minds with all those ruins and incredible architecture. But, these pictures are so enticing especially during a hot summer day.

  4. So many people don’t realize how close Rome really is to the water! I spent a summer there and went to Santa Marinella and Ostia many times! I agree, SM is extremely crowded and the trains were always packed, but it’s a good escape from the city in the oven that is Rome in the summer.

    The downside: You have to pay to go on the beach! Imagine if they tried to do that here in Puerto Rico! Jaja!!

    • that’s exactly why I wrote this post, Ashlee! in my book, being close to the water, no matter how crowded the places, is always a good thing.

      If they start charging for beach access in Puerto Rico, you know a coup d’état would ensue XD

  5. fabulous beaches and fabulous views – thank you for taking me there. We are looking forward to summer in Australia.
    And thanks for dropping by my blog the other day to say hi! Your message has brought me to yours. I off to look some more!

    • thank you! I can’t wait to get to Australia myself. Can’t wait to see your photos and read about your adventures there

  6. Thanks Maria! There’s precious little information out there about the beaches!!
    I’m considering a day trip from Rome to Nettuno on Saturday June 29. Does one generally have to wake up superearly to get an umbrella or will there be a spot available any time of day? Also, will things like sandbuckets and shovels for the kids be easy to find?
    Many Thanks for your expertise!

    Kim

    • Kim, I personally recommend you get there as early as you can, as it is best to beat the crowds! This is my preference whenever I go to any beach in the world, even if I’m not looking for an umbrella spot 😉

      As far as beach toys for kids go, I doubt you’ll be able to find those in the area. I could be wrong, but it is best for you to bring your own in order to be sure.

      Glad you found this post useful!

  7. We hoping to find a seaside/beach town between the airport and Civitavecchia to spend two nights prior to our cruise. Due to luggage and poor knees, public transportation would be difficult, so it will probably be a taxi. Any ideas for villages or resorts (somewhat reasonable) that would fit the description? Thank you in advance for any suggestions!

    • Suzanne,

      You could go by taxi to any of the beach towns — none of them are terribly far from Rome.

      That being said, Ostia is really close to the international airport, so I recommend you spend your last 2 nights there. It’s on the way! 😉

  8. Greetings Maria, I’m traveling to Rome with my husband and two other couples. In the month of July,2014. However we have planned to do two days of exploration of Rome and it’s history and two days in Capri. We have two extra days and unsure of what to do. Let me tell you a little about my group. Although we all appreciate history, we’re more of partying type of group. Could you make some suggestions to us for our trip and the two extra days. I’ve been searching the internet like crazy for things to do that will keep us entertained but it’s looking like this maybe a more calm And educational type of trip. Which is not a problem. But it is our vacation and we want to have fun. Please help!!!!

    • Rome at night can be A LOT of fun. I would Google search “Rome nightlife” and explore all the options 😉 have a wonderful trip!

  9. we are traveling to Italy in September and was thinking on going to Ercolano since we have been to Pompei before. Did not know of Ostia Antica or Ostia, I think we will go there instead. By Reading this posts I found that we can do the beach and the ruins the same day, closer to Rome and cheaper too. Thanks !!

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