Rome Beach Guide
Escape the rigours of sightseeing in Rome by visiting a choice of nearby beaches at Sperlonga and Terracina.
These two beach resorts lie to the south of Rome on the Lazio coast, are less than two hours by train or car from the city and face two of mainland Italy's finest beaches.
Choose either of these beach resorts for both day trips and overnight holiday outings from Rome or for a satisfying stopover en route to Naples. Both resorts provide all the ingredients you need for a great Italian beach holiday near Rome.
Also close to Rome are the scenic Pontine Islands, a pretty archipelago sitting just off the Italian coast south of the city. With a dramatic landscape dotted with Pre-Roman and Roman ruins, good beaches, breathtaking views and a selection of bars, restaurants and hotels, the Pontine Islands offer the ideal island break from Rome.
Sperlonga Beach – Unwind on the soft golden sand of this crescent-shaped beach that nestles beneath a steep rocky headland with a hilltop cluster of ancient whitewashed houses.
Either pay to use umbrellas and sun loungers on the established section of the beach or stroll down to the public spiaggia libera (free beach) where you can take your own towels and sunbathe and swim for free. This long and clean beach is complemented by shimmering, clear turquoise water and a lush tree-lined promenade.
A short stroll from the beach stands the traffic-free old town, a warren of picturesque narrow alleyways and staircases leading to whitewashed houses and terraces overlooking the beach and the blue sea beyond.
To the south, around a rocky headland and another pretty beach, sits a nature reserve, the remains of a Roman villa (once owned by the Emperor Tiberius), an archaeological museum and a scenic grotto where Roman statues once stood.
Behind the beach, the lower modern town offers a good range of bars, pizzerias, trattorias and small delicatessens where you can buy food and drinks for a beach picnic. You can also find a good range of accommodation there, including two modern 4-star hotels – the Virgilio Grand Hotel and Hotel Grotta di Tiberio, and the 3-star beachfront Hotel Aurora.
By train, Sperlonga is on the main Roma – Napoli line, with a dedicated bus link direct from the station to the beach. Sperlonga is located on the Lazio coast, around 128km south of Rome.
Terracina Beach – Pick your own spot to relax on this long and wide golden-sand beach that nestles between two rocky headlands and shelves into clear turquoise water perfect for swimming.
Facilities include sun umbrellas and loungers, within an easy stroll of beachside cafes and restaurants. The beach is located a short taxi ride or 20-minute walk from the town along a wide tree-lined boulevard, the lungomare. Here, you can find a range of bars, restaurants, pasticcerie, gelaterie and clothing boutiques.
Away from the beach, explore the winding medieval streets of the Old Quarter of Terracina, with its tall stone houses perched high on a hill overlooking the beach. In the historic Piazza del Municipio, stroll across ancient paving stones taken from a Roman forum.
Admire a fine mosaic floor built over a Roman temple to Augustus inside the Duomo and see ancient sculptures in the small Museo Civico Pio Capponi. Then follow steps from the piazza to the hilltop ruins of the Temple of Jupiter Anxurus – a fascinating 1st BC ruin of vaulted arches and an acropolis with sweeping views overlooking the coast. Beneath the temple is a 36m-deep cut in the rock face – part of the famed Appian Way.
Terracina offers a good range of accommodation including two beachfront 4-star hotels, the Hotel Torre del Sole and the Albergo Mediterraneo.
By train, Terracina is on the main Roma – Napoli line, with a dedicated 15-minute bus link from the town’s station to the beach. There are also buses direct from Rome EUR Fermi; the trip takes around two hours. Terracina is located on the Lazio coast, around 112km south of Rome.
The Pontine Islands (Isole Pontine) – Discover this pretty archipelago sitting just off the Italian coast south of Rome. Swim from a choice of sand and pebble beaches including Ponza’s Chiaia di Luna Beach, which nestles beneath craggy cliffs, a typical characteristic of the islands’ beaches.
Go boating and diving in the clear waters surrounding the islands of Ponza and Ventotene. Visit the remains of the Roman Villa Giulia on the tip of the Eolo headland on Ventotene. Take a cruise to the other uninhabited islands, including craggy Palmarola, the green isle of Zannone and its nature reserve and ruined 13th century monastery, and tiny Gavi, inhabited only by wild rabbits.
Stay at the 4-star Grand Hotel Chiaia di Luna on Ponza, which sits on a cliff top with stunning views overlooking Chiaia di Luna Bay and nearby Palmarola Island.
By ferry and hydrofoil, the Pontine Islands are easy to reach from Anzio (42km), an hour's train journey from Rome. Other ferries travel to Ponza and Ventotene from Terracina and Formia, both on the Lazio coast.