Sole, mare, amore: Beach hotels in the most beautiful regions of Italy

My heart is Italian. I am absolutely certain of that. As soon as I get off the night train at an Italian stazione and take my first sip of espresso al balcone, I am truly home.

Fantastic food, glorious sunshine and golden beaches are just a taste of the abundance Italy has on offer. The flower-filled landscape, the cool sea and the picturesque towns enchant travellers throughout Bella Italia, especially in summer. The land where lemons bloom is a peninsula, offering its visitors beaches of every type imaginable: wild and romantic bays, fine sand dunes and adventurous rocks. Whether in Sicily, Liguria, Apulia, Veneto or Sardinia – each region has its own charm with distinctive enchanting beaches.

So, let me share with you the most beautiful beaches and the pick of the hotels in my favourite country.

Luxury hotels in Veneto

Sergey Borisov / Fotolia

I spent six months in Veneto during my studies. And I soon came to realise: there is more to Veneto than just Venice. There are quieter places just outside the often jam-packed city which are well worth seeing and where you can relax and unwind.

I particularly liked the Giotto Chapel in Padua with its starry-sky dome and the mercoledì universitaria on the central Piazza dell’Erbe square – this is a popular meeting place for students and young people to party and drink spritzers together.

Vicenza is also beautiful – especially the market place with its lion column: every larger city in Veneto has a column with a winged Mark’s lion on the main square. If the lion’s tail points upwards, the city was free. If it points downwards though, the city was conquered by Venice in the Middle Ages and fell under Venice’s rule.

Beachfront hotel at the Lido di Jesolo

The Almar Jesolo Resort & Spa awaits you directly on the Lido di Jesolo. This five-star holiday resort offers the height of luxury and relaxation. Take in a fantastic view of the hotel’s private beach and the turquoise blue sea through the glass-fronted façade of your room. A short walk through the hotel’s flower-filled gardens takes you to this beach. Relax either there or in the modern guest rooms, bathed in light. You have all the time in the world. The most taxing decision you will have to make is whether to spend it in the crystal-clear pool of the Almablu Spa, in the massage suite or on the beach.

Almar Jesolo Resort & Spa

Top rated
Lido di Jesolo
9.7 Excellent (1778 reviews)

Beachfront hotels in Emilia-Romagna with sea views

Gregory Lee /

The gourmet region of Italy not only offers culinary delights, but also has white beaches and rich culture. The Rimini beaches are a popular holiday destination for Italians from the north. The perfect place to meet locals while swimming and walking on the beach.

Rimini has an extra highlight in store at New Year: at the Notte Rosa Festival, the whole of Rimini is bathed in the light of the setting sun, shining not only in bright pink but also other amazing tones.

Bologna, the region’s capital, is one of the most exciting cities in Italy. The città rossa (red town) is so named not only to reflect its political leaning but also for the red brick buildings of its townscape. My favourite museum there is Storia di Bologna – a small, interactive exhibition about the history of Bologna, which is neither too school-like nor just a list of facts. Instead, you can touch, feel and twiddle with the exhibits in almost all the rooms.

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Beachfront hotel in Riccione with seawater pool and cooking classes

The Hotel Atlantic is a true landmark in Riccione. It has been delivering first-class hospitality for over 50 years. Nevertheless, it features contemporary furnishing and never fails to put a smile on the sun-tanned faces of its guests. Discover la dolce vita by the sea, relax on the beach or explore the centre of Riccione.

If you prefer privacy, I can thoroughly recommend the newly refurbished Atlantic Spa with its seawater pool. But for me, the absolute highlight of the Atlantic is the Green Restaurant. Not only do you get a direct view of the sea, head chef Antonietti will also spoil you masterfully with his delicacies of Mediterranean cuisine.

And having fallen in love with the great cuisine of Emilia-Romagna during your holidays, you can then even recreate the delicacies yourself at home. The Maitre de Cuisine gives regular cooking courses on the cuisine of Romagna. Buon appetito!

Atlantic Hotel Riccione

Top rated
9.1 Excellent (368 reviews)

Beachfront hotels in Tuscany with spa and sea

Livorno, Pisa, Florence, Arezzo – one cultural highlight hard on the heels of the next in Tuscany. If you need to recharge your batteries during your cultural excursions, you can relax in these beautiful dream hotels directly on the sea front.

The medieval city of Arezzo is a pleasant change from the beach for those interested in architecture. The city is quite small, but visitors to Tuscany should not miss out on an espresso at sunset in the sloping square of Arezzo!

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Beachfront hotel in Tuscany near Viareggio

Versilia director Simone knows how to delight his guests: indoor pool, wellness trail, well-tended gardens and just a few steps to the Ligurian Sea. None of the 27 top equipped rooms and 42 luxurious suites leave anything to be desired. Enjoy delicacies of Tuscan cuisine in the restaurant, such as fresh fish from the Tyrrhenian Sea, cold meats and cheese from Garfagnana.

Take in the view over Viareggio and the “Gulf of Poets” from the panoramic terrace. The roof terrace is the perfect place to meet for an aperitif at sunset or a romantic cocktail after dinner.

Versilia Lido | UNA Esperienze

Top rated
Lido di Camaiore
9.4 Excellent (1532 reviews)

Dream holiday in beach hotels on Sardinia

Massimo Frasson / Visual Hunt

Do you love to take your holidays on an island? Then you really need to take a look at Sardinia. In fact, its 300-or-so days of sunshine each year is reason enough on its own to seek out a hotel there immediately. On top of that, though, there are beautiful bays, crystal clear water, delicious food and plenty of la dolce vita!

My favourite beach in Sardinia is without a doubt Cala Luna. This bright sand and pebble beach earns its name because of the crescent shape of its bay surrounded by rugged rocks. Dive into your holiday.

Beachfront hotel in Sardinia

The Hotel Villa Margherita celebrates Sardinian traditions to the full. Not only is the modern interior furnished in typical Sardinian style, but the proverbial warmth of the Sardinians will soon make the villa your second home. At the pool, on the private beach or under the cool arches of the courtyard, even the hottest summer days will fly by. The typical Sardinian restaurant Il Grill proudly serves Sardinian specialities on the terrace between palm trees and hibiscus flowers.

Elegant furniture and navy-blue fabrics from the old tradition of Sardinian art are featured throughout the luxury rooms. There is a wonderful view of the sparkling Golfo Aranci from the beds of the 237-sq-foot (22-square-metre) guest rooms. Sardinia, ti amo!

Hotel Villa Margherita

Top rated
Golfo Aranci
9.4 Excellent (501 reviews)

Beach hotels in Campania for pure relaxation

A dream come true: from the breakfast table to the beach. The nearest beach with turquoise water is only a few barefoot steps away in these hotels. Campania, by the way, comes from Campania felix, which means “happy countryside”. So there is literally nothing standing in the way of the happiest beach holiday you can imagine on the Amalfi coast.

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Ultra-romantic luxury beachfront hotel in Sorrento

The luxurious Bellevue Syrene, in radiant white and cool blue, beckons you to the Olympus of relaxation. Feel like Greek gods in the lava stone pool or in the glass conservatory, which has already entranced intellectuals, artists and heads of state.

The five-star hotel enchants visitors with a view onto the waves of the Gulf of Naples and the imposing Vesuvius in the background. One of the most famous hotels in Sorrento, it is located in a place of timeless beauty. Ancient fishermen and nymphs whisper about the Roman times – from Augustus to Tiberius and Virgil – and legend has it that the city of Sorrento, situated between rock and sea, was so beautiful that the Mermaids chose it as their home.

Bellevue Syrene

Top rated
9.8 Excellent (1979 reviews)

Feel-good beachfront hotels in Sicily

A striking rock monument towers up on the most impressive beach in Sicily: the Scala dei Turchi. The limestone rock with the stair-like relief in the south of the island rises up to the water and offers a spectacular sight from the beach. Sunbathing has never been more gorgeous!

Curtain up for pure emotion – don’t miss out on a visit to the amphitheatre of Taormina. The view from the upper tiers of this ancient theatre over the smooth-as-glass sea is breath-taking.

Small beachfront hotel in Sicily with fantastic breakfast

The Giuggiulena Bed & Breakfast run by the two Perasole sisters is a well-kept secret. The small pearl on the coast of Sicily is not only close to the sea, but literally hangs above the water.
With its magical location on the rocks of Syracuse, the Giuggiulena is closer than ever to the radiant blue below. Every window reveals a view of the crystal-clear sea and the spectacular rock formations under the glittering water surface.
The sumptuous breakfast is lovingly prepared by the enchanting hosts, Sabrina and her sister, and the historical centre of the UNESCO World Heritage City of Syracuse is only a few minutes’ walk away.

Giuggiulena Bed & Breakfast

9.8 Excellent (278 reviews)

Stylish beachfront hotels in Liguria

Federico Magonio / Fotolia

Liguria is in the northwest of Italy, along the coast. The extraordinary nature in this flora-rich region will captivate you. The Ligurian Alps extend to the sea here. Our tip is the Genoa Aquarium. Considered the largest and most beautiful in Italy, you can spend whole days here, especially when the children are ready for a break from the beach.

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Beachfront hotel in the fishing village

The magnificent Cenobio Dei Dogi lies amidst the colourful house façades in the sleepy fishing village of Camogli on the Ligurian Riviera. The rooms and suites of this four-star residence are furnished in Mediterranean style and comfortably equipped with a mini-bar, parquet floors, carpets and some with a terrace overlooking the sea or the garden.

Cenobio Dei Dogi has its own private beach and seawater pool and a panoramic terrace with sea and coastal views. Discover the flavours and tastes of Ligurian delicacies at Ristorante del Doge and La Playa. Or take in the peace and quiet and the sound of the sea on the Terrazza di Giulia.

Hotel Cenobio Dei Dogi

Top rated
9.5 Excellent (2139 reviews)

Fantastic beach hotels in Puglia

Andiamo a ballare in Puglia, Puglia, Puglia” (Let’s go dancing in Puglia, Puglia, Puglia) booms from the radio. This thoroughly popular Italian hit says it all: when Italians go on holiday, they usually stay in their own country. Or to be more precise: they go to Puglia.

My favourite town and at the same time my favourite city beach of Puglia is in Polignano a Mare. The white pebble beach in the middle of the town centre is often crowded, but still well worth a visit. The water is crystal clear and the bright blue of the water in the small grottos is magically reflected on the rock walls.

Otranto is beautiful for a day trip and easy to reach by train. A town that will linger in your mind for a long time, and one that has always been considered amongst the most beautiful in Italy. The harbour town is completely white and in spring you are more likely to come across purring cats in the house entrances than hordes of tourists. Beyond the city wall, which you can easily walk around, the blue sea sparkles.

Beachfront hotel in Apulia

La Bella Trani opened in summer 2014. Ever since then it has been welcoming its guests directly on a beautiful sandy cove in the shade of the famous monastery of Santa Maria di Colonna. A large veranda with a breath-taking view of the sea awaits you. You can look forward here to a sumptuous buffet in the early morning hours with everything a continental breakfast has to offer, as well as home-made jam.
The property has direct access to the sandy beach below and the sun deck is ideal – either for sunbathing or simply relaxing.

La Bella Trani

9.8 Excellent (106 reviews)