A family beach vacation in Italy is a perfect opportunity for your kids to spend time outside, play in the sand and sea, and meet other children. And, Italy has almost 8,000 kilometers of coastline!
My kids love going to the beach here, and I always try to find beaches that are beautiful, aren’t too rocky, have shallow entry, and don’t have large waves. Fortunately, Italy has a ton of beaches that satisfy these requirements!
What We Do: Our favorite beaches for families are in Sardinia and Puglia – we love their white sand beaches and turquoise water. We live in Tuscany, so we also frequent the beaches on the Mediterranean Sea coast in Versilia.
Are you looking for a beach in Italy that’s safe and fun for your children?
To help you with your decision, there’s an Italian group of pediatricians that researches the best beaches for kids in Italy. Since 2008, the group (of over 2,000 pediatricians throughout the country) has awarded the bandiera verde (green flag) to beaches to those that are best suited for children and families. A bandiera verde beach must satisfy the following conditions:
- Has a sandy beach
- Has space between beach umbrellas for children to play
- Has shallow entry into the water and the water doesn’t get deep quickly, allowing for children to play safely
- Has lifeguards present
- Has equipment dedicated to children (for example, a playground or beach toys)
- Has aspects that make it fun for the adults in the family too (for example, restaurants or shops)
- Has clean water (controlled according to regional and local regulations)
By doing the research, this helpful group of pediatricians finds beaches that allows families to have a beach vacation that benefits the child’s health, well-being, and growth.
Good To Know: The pediatricians are located throughout the country and work at universities, in hospitals, and in family practices.
Tips for Going to The Beach with Kids in Italy
Italian beaches may be different from what you’re used to. For example, here in Italy it’s common to see the sandy part of the beach full of beach clubs that charge for use of a beach umbrella and sun lounger.
If you’re used to just showing up at the beach and claiming your space with your towel, this can be quite a shock.
I admit, when I first started going to the beach in Italy, I was disappointed with the lack of ‘wild beaches.’ I missed seeing just sand and water. But now that I have children, I appreciate all the services that Italian beach clubs provide, and I often seek them out when I’m heading to the beach with my children.
Here are some tips for your visit to an Italian beach with your kids:
- Bring your own sunscreen
- Reserve a beach club. Amenities often include changing cabins, clean toilets, restaurants, swimming pools, kids play areas, lifeguards. Even soccer pitches!
- Bring healthy snacks. And take a gelato break!
- Eat meals at beach restaurants or cafes. Put clothes on.
- Know what a rip tide looks like
- Expect crowds when Italian school is not in session
- If possible, arrive with your own car. Driving your own car gives you flexibility and you won’t need to carry all of your beach gear on the train or bus. Remember – don’t leave valuables in your car.
- Avoid traveling during busy days/times. In the summer months, traffic is heavy going toward the beach on Friday afternoon and evening. It’s heavy leaving the beach on Sunday afternoon and evening. If you have flexibility, visit during the week or at least don’t travel during the busy days. It’s much cheaper and you won’t need to fight the crowds.
- Remember that beaches in Italy can be fun during off-season. For example, we were in Sicily this past January and we spent a few days at different beaches and we all had a blast! It wasn’t warm enough to go all the way underwater, but we definitely got wet, splashed around, and played in the sand.
- Find the best beach for you and your family. If you want a private, wild beach, you’ll need to look elsewhere. Because of the green flag requirements, the beaches on this list will have other people and plenty of facilities. This may not be what your family is looking for.
Alternatives to Going to the Beach with Kids in Italy
- Lake Garda – A water playground for families! Not only are there beautiful beaches all around the lake, the area is home to beautiful villages like Sirmione and some of Italy’s best theme parks (Gardaland) and water parks (Caneva World, LEGOLAND Water Park).
- Hot Springs – Italy has hot springs from north to south, with some of the best being in Tuscany (Saturnia, Bagno Vignoni, San Casciano dei Bagni) and the Dolomites (Merano). Note that most hot springs are easier to visit with older kids and teens. Check out the 7 Best Tuscan Hot Springs.
- Italian Lakes – You won’t see much swimming in the lake (but it can be done – I love a refreshing dip in Lake Como and Lake Orta), but there are plenty of boat rides to be had and some fun gardens too (we love Isola Bella and Stresa on Lake Maggiore).
- Local Lakes and Rivers – Ask locals (at your hotel, at a restaurant, parents at a playground) and find out if there are any kid-friendly lakes or rivers to visit on a hot summer day.
- Swimming Pools – You may have a pool at your accommodation. If not, you can bring your children to a public swimming pool. Some are indoors but have a roof that slides open during summer months.
Map of Family-Friendly Italy Beaches
Here are the bandiera verde (green flag) beaches in Italy as of 2022. Choose one of these family-friendly Italian beaches for your upcoming vacation.
The beaches are listed in by region (alphabetical order) and you can see the year the beach was first awarded the bandiera verde.
Good To Know: There are many other gorgeous beaches in Italy that aren’t on this list. Don’t think that because a beach isn’t on this list that you can’t visit it with your kids!
Family Beaches in Italy – Abruzzo
- Alba Adriatica (Teramo) – 2019
- Giulianova (Teramo) – 2010
- Montesilvano (Pescara) – 2010
- Ortona – Spiaggia dei Saraceni (Chieti) – 2019
- Pescara – 2016
- Pineto – Torre Cerrano (Teramo) – 2016
- Roseto degli Abruzzi (Teramo) – 2012
- Silvi Marina (Teramo) – 2012
- Tortoreto (Teramo) – 2015
- Vasto Marina (Chieti) – 2010
Family Beaches in Italy – Basilicata
- Maratea (Potenza) – 2012
- Pisticci – Marina di Pisticci (Matera) – 2010
Family Beaches in Italy – Calabria
- Bianco (Reggio Calabria) – 2018
- Bova Marina (Reggio Calabria) – 2010
- Bovalino (Reggio Calabria) – 2010
- Caulonia – Caulonia Marina (Reggio Calabria) – 2022
- Capo Vaticano (Vibo Valentia) – 2016
- Cariati (Cosenza) – 2010
- Cirò Marina – Punta Alice (Crotone) – 2012
- Isola di Capo Rizzuto (Crotone) – 2009
- Locri (Reggio Calabria) – 2016
- Melissa – Torre Melissa (Crotone) – 2015
- Mirto Crosia – Pietrapaola (Cosenza) – 2010
- Nicotera (Vibo Valentia) – 2008
- Palmi (Reggio Calabria) – 2016
- Praia a Mare (Cosenza) – 2010
- Roccella Jonica (Reggio Calabria) – 2012
- Santa Caterina dello Ionio Marina (Catanzaro) – 2010
- Siderno (Reggio Calabria) – 2016
- Soverato (Catanzaro) – 2009
- Squillace (Catanzaro) – 2018
Family Beaches in Italy – Campania
Campania is home to the Amalfi Coast, and the list includes beaches in the popular destination of Positano. While not stroller-friendly (it’s full of steps!), the town makes a nice base for families with babies who want to relax in town and spend time at the beach.
- Agropoli – Lungomare San Marco, Trentova (Salerno) – 2016
- Ascea (Salerno) – 2016
- Centola – Palinuro (Salerno) – 2009
- Ischia: Cartaroma Lido San Pietro (Napoli) – 2016
- Marina di Camerota (Salerno) – 2009
- Pisciotta (Salerno) – 2016
- Pollica – Acciaroli, Pioppi (Salerno) – 2016
- Positano – Spiagge: Arienzo, Fornillo, Spiaggia Grande (Salerno) – 2015
- Santa Maria di Castellabate (Salerno) – 2012
- Sapri (Salerno) – 2012
Family Beaches in Italy – Emilia-Romagna
When your belly is full of prosciutto, tortellini in brodo, and parmigiano Reggiano, head to Emilia-Romagna’s beaches. We find Ravenna to be a fun city to visit with kids, and it’s near the coast. While the area’s beaches can get very crowded during the summer, there are a lot of kid-friendly activities like mini-golf and theme parks.
- Bellaria – Igea Marina (Rimini) – 2012
- Cattolica (Rimini) – 2012
- Cervia – Milano Marittima-Pinarella (Ravenna) – 2010
- Cesenatico (Forli Cesena) – 2012
- Gatteo – Gatteo Mare (Forli – Cesena) – 2015
- Misano Adriatico (Rimini) – 2015
- Ravenna – Lidi Ravvenati (Ravenna) – 2015
- Riccione (Rimini) – 2008
- Rimini – 2016
- San Mauro Pascoli – San Mauro mare (Forli – Cesena) – 2016
You may want to check out our Guide to Visiting Emilia-Romagna with Kids.
Family Beaches in Italy – Friuli-Venezia Giulia
- Grado (Gorizia) – 2010
- Lignano Sabbiadoro (Udine) – 2008
Family Beaches in Italy – Lazio
- Anzio (Roma) – 2016
- Formia (Latina) – 2009
- Gaeta (Latina) – 2009
- Lido di Latina (Latina) – 2010
- Montalto di Castro (Viterbo) – 2009
- Sabaudia (Latina) – 2008
- San Felice Circeo (Latina) – 2012
- Sperlonga (Latina) – 2009
- Terracina (Latina) – 2019
- Ventotene – Cala Nave (Latina) – 2015
Family Beaches in Italy – Liguria
Wondering why Cinque Terre beaches aren’t featured on this list? Remember, there are specific characteristics the beach must have. For example, a sandy beach. Most Cinque Terre beaches aren’t sandy beaches – they are rocky or have stone slabs.
- Finale Ligure (Savona) – 2015
- Lavagna (Genova) – 2016
- Lerici (La Spezia) – 2012
- Noli (Savona) – 2016
Family Beaches in Italy – Le Marche
The Marche region of Italy is home to some of the most popular beaches for Italian families. We know a lot of families that spend weeks on Le Marche’s Adriatic Sea beaches at family-friendly resorts and campgrounds.
Le Marche has some of Italy’s most beautiful beaches, and they’re often overlooked by visitors.
- Civitanova Marche (Macerata) – 2012
- Cupra Marittima (Ascoli Piceno) – 2020
- Fano – Nord – Sassonia – Torrette/Marotta (Pesaro – Urbino) – 2016
- Gabicce mare (Pesaro – Urbino) – 2015
- Grottamare (Ascoli Piceno) – 2016
- Mondolfo – Marotta (Pesaro – Urbino) – 2016
- Numana – Alta – Bassa Marcelli Nord (Ancona) – 2015
- Pesaro (Pesaro – Urbino) – 2016
- Porto Recanati (Macerata) – 2012
- Porto San Giorgio (Fermo) – 2010
- San Benedetto del Tronto (Ascoli Piceno) – 2008
- Senigallia (Ancona) – 2012
- Sirolo (Ancona) – 2016
You may want to read more about Visiting Le Marche with Kids.
Family Beaches in Italy – Molise
Termoli (Campobasso) – 2012
Family Beaches in Italy – Puglia (Apulia)
- Fasano (Brindisi) – 2016
- Gallipoli (Lecce) – 2009
- Ginosa – Marina di Ginosa (Taranto) – 2015
- Lizzano – Marina di Lizzano (Taranto) – 2010
- Margherita di Savoia (Barletta-Andria-Trani) – 2019
- Melendugno (Lecce) – 2016
- Ostuni (Brindisi) – 2008
- Otranto (Lecce) – 2012
- Polignano a Mare – Cala Fetente – Cala Ripagnola – Cala San Giovanni (Bari) – 2016
- Porto Cesareo (Lecce) – 2016
- Rodi Garganico (Foggia) – 2012
- Salve – Marina di Pescoluse (Lecce) – 2010
- Vieste (Foggia) – 2009
Family Beaches in Italy – Sardegna (Sardinia)
- Alghero (Sassari) – 2009
- Bari Sardo (Ogliastra) – 2010
- Cala Domestica (Carbonia-Iglesias) – 2010
- Capo Coda Cavallo (Olbia-Tempio) – 2010
- Carloforte – Isola di San Pietro: La Caletta – Punta Nera – Girin – Guidi (Carbonia-Iglesias) – 2010
- Castelsardo-Ampurias (Sassari) – 2012
- Is Aruttas – Mari Ermi (Oristano) – 2010
- La Maddalena: Punta Tegge-Spalmatore (Olbia-Tempio) – 2012
- Marina di Orosei-Berchida-Biderosa (Nuoro) – 2010
- Oristano – Torre Grande (Oristano) – 2015
- Poetto (Cagliari) – 2012
- Quartu Sant’Elena (Cagliari) – 2012
- Santa Giusta (Oristano) – 2016
- San Teodoro (Nuoro) – 2008
- Santa Teresa di Gallura (Olbia-Tempio) – 2012
- Tortolì – Lido di Orrì, Lido di Cea (Ogliastra) – 2016
Family Beaches in Italy – Sicilia (Sicily)
- Balestrate (Palermo) – 2016
- Campobello di Mazara – Tre Fontane – Torretta Granitola (Trapani) – 2010
- Catania – Playa – 2016
- Cefalù (Palermo) – 2008
- Giardini Naxos (Messina) – 2016
- Ispica — Santa Maria del Focallo (Ragusa) – 2012
- Lipari – Marina di Lipari-Acquacalda-Canneto (Messina) – 2012
- Marsala – Signorino (Trapani) – 2015
- Mazara del Vallo – Tonnarella (Trapani) – 2021
- Menfi – Porto Palo di Menfi (Agrigento) – 2010
- Noto – Vendicari (Siracusa) – 2010
- Palermo – Mondello – 2016
- Pozzallo – Pietre Nere – Raganzino (Ragusa) – 2015
- Ragusa – Marina di Ragusa-2009
- Santa Croce Camerina – Casuzze – Punta secca – Caucana (Ragusa)-2010
- San Vito Lo Capo (Trapani)-2009
- Scicli – Sampieri (Ragusa)-2021
- Vittoria – Scoglitti (Ragusa)-2010
You may want to read
Palermo with Kids
Cefalù with Kids
Family Beaches in Italy – Toscana (Tuscany)
If you’re visiting Tuscany in the summer with your family, it’s easy to add the beach to your itinerary. It’s not that far from Florence, for example. Our family often visits the beach on a day trip!
- Bibbona (Livorno) – 2016
- Camaiore – Lido Arlecchino-Matteotti (Lucca) – 2015
- Castiglione della Pescaia (Grosseto) – 2012
- Follonica (Grosseto) – 2012
- Forte dei Marmi (Lucca) – 2012
- Grosseto – Marina di Grosseto, Principina a Mare – 2010
- Monte Argentario – Cala Piccola – Porto Ercole (Le Viste) – Porto Santo Stefano (Cantoniera – Moletto – Caletta) – Santa Liberata (Bagni Domiziano – Soda -Pozzarello) (Grosseto) – 2015
- Pietrasanta – Marina di Pietrasanta – Tonfano – Focette (Lucca) – 2015
- Pisa – Marina di Pisa – Calambrone – Tirrenia (Pisa) – 2016
- San Vincenzo (Livorno) – 2012
- Viareggio (Lucca) – 2008
You may want to check out
Best Beaches Near Florence
Beaches Near Lucca
Forte dei Marmi Beach
Family Beaches in Italy – Veneto
- Caorle (Venezia) – 2015
- Cavallino Treporti (Venezia) – 2010
- Chioggia – Sottomarina (Venezia) – 2016
- Iesolo– Jesolo Pineta (Venezia) – 2008
- Lido di Venezia (Venezia) – 2010
- San Michele al Tagliamento – Bibione (Venezia) – 2016
You may want to check out our post on Visiting Venice with Kids!
While exploring Roman ruins, seeing Renaissance art, taking cooking classes, and eating gelato are amazing Italian experiences, your children will no doubt love some time at an Italian beach. Enjoy your time at a beach in Italy with your family!
Family Beaches in Italy FAQ
If the beach doesn’t satisfy all of the main requirements (at the top of the post), it won’t receive a green flag. That doesn’t mean it’s not a great beach for families, though. In fact, many families spend their vacations on Elba Island.