Beaches around Rome

Rome is famed for its history, drama, food and culture. But what if it's too much? What if you're all "historyed" out, you've done the Pantheon, the Colosseum, the foro romano, the Vatican...? What if you need a break from all the scooters, noise and dirt? Maybe it's time to head to the beach.



Rome isn't famous for it's nearby beaches, however there are one or two that are well worth a visit. Be warned though, Rome empties out almost every weekend between May and September, so the beach (and roads to the beach) can get pretty crowded. The best way to travel is to hire a Vespa, seriously, it can save you a lot of time!

The Easiest Beach to reach by Public Transport:

Lido di Ostia
The easiest beach to reach by public transport from Rome is Ostia, situated at the mouth of the tiber near the ancient ruins of Ostia Antica. While it might not be as glamorous as some of the other Italian beaches, it's easy to get to and is the beach of choice for most Romans. The beach is known for its dark volcanic sand, which also means it can be incredibly hot to the touch in the summer months. A beach chair and towel at one of the private beaches costs around €10. If you don't want to spend money just to sit on a beach, Ostia, like every other Italian beach, has a spiaggia libera (free beach) section.

Ostia Antica
Lido di Ostia is at the end of the Roma-Lido di Ostia trainline, leaving from Porta S. Paolo (Metro Piramide, line B). It takes about 40 min and costs only 1.5€, thanks to being within the Rome metropolitan circuit.

The Best Beach if you have time:

Sperlonga
Sperlonga, a two and half hour drive from Rome (depending on traffic) is the beach you want to go for if you have a day or two spare and want the real beach experience. The beach is well-developed, and can be quite pricey, but is the best within striking distance from Rome, in my opinion. There are plenty of deckchairs and sun loungers (the price of which varies depending on the season), as well as areas where you can just claim your stretch of sand by the simple act of laying down a towel.
Grotto of Tiberius
Sperlonga isn't just all about the beach. There is a nature reserve next to the headland, nearby Fondi (see a previous post) and the grotto that Tiberius used to use for parties. Getting to Sperlonga by public transport isn't too hard, although it's an altogether longer trip than Ostia. There are regular trains from Stazione Termini in Rome to nearby Fondi, and from there a navette can take you the short distance to Sperlonga for approximately 1.5€.

The Beach Off the Beaten Track:


Santa Marinella, approximately 60 kilometres north-west of Rome, is a quiet seaside town close to the ancient Etruscan port of Pyrgi (modern day Santa Severa, mentioned below). Santa Marinella is easy to get to, with trains from Stazione Ostiense, Termini, Trastevere or San Pietro in Rome taking 45 minutes (and costing less than €5). The beach itself is free (a relative rarity in Italy), although of course, there is a section where one can hire a chair or sun lounger (for cheaper than in Sperlonga). More information on Santa Marinella can be found in an excellent post by revealedrome.

Just up the coast from Santa Marinella, Santa Severa, is equally as accessible and has the enviable accolade of having the cleanest water of all the beaches around Rome. It's easy to get to, found along Via Aurelia, direct from Rome, near Civitavecchia. By public transport, take Metro line A to Lepanto and then take a CoTral bus to Santa Severa.



Of course, there are many more, like Fregene, Ladispoli and Tarquinia, each with their own attractions (and Etruscan remains), but I'll cover them in another post next year, when it's a bit warmer and I actually want to go to the beach!
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Photo credits:
Lido di Ostia - Christian Olsson on Panoramio
Ostia - http://www.crossingitaly.net/
Sperlonga - Stefano Moschella on Panoramio
Grotto of Tiberius - springday1 on flickr
Santa Marinella - ita26b on Panoramio

4 comments:

  1. I'd always avoided beaches around big cities like the plague, until a two-month trip in our old VW Camper exploring rock climbing sites of Italy took us to Sperlonga. What a beach! And what great climbing. We spent an amazing week there in June, camping right next to the beach and having it all to ourselves (apart from the weekend).

    This encouraged us to explore the Rome coastline further and whole-heartedly agree that the Lazio beaches are little gems not to be missed.

    As for the nature reserve protected, sand-dune beaches around the Pontine Marshes... I could go on and on!

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  2. Me too. To be honest, I'm not really a beach person! However, you're quite right, some of the beaches around Rome (and Lazio in general) are really nice. It's amazing people (tourists that is) don't make more of them.

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  3. It costs 1,5 euro now, by the way.

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