Surrounded almost on all sides by water, Italy has a privileged geographical position. Dozens of scenic towns with colorful architecture dot the Italian coastline. If searching for stunning sea views, tasty seafood, and pristine beaches, read on to discover five of the best coastal towns of Italy.
This post contains affiliate links. If you click through and buy, we may receive a commission. Thanks for helping to support TravelingInHeels.
5 Most Beautiful Coastal Towns of Italy
Table of Contents
I admit it — I fell head over heels in love with Italy. Everything enchanted me, from its tantalizing language to the inviting locals to the amazing scenery — and oh the food and the wine! And the opportunity to explore the coastal towns of the Italian Riviera definitely tops my list.
Although Italy’s coastal towns may not offer the same historical appeal as Rome or Florence, these towns have a unique natural beauty. They are also excellent access points to the serene and gentle side of Italian life.
The Italian Riviera, (Italy’s Liguria region), is a crescent-shaped strip of Mediterranean coastline straddling between the south of France and Tuscany. Its rugged cliffs, turquoise coves, and pastel seaside towns define its eastern half, the Riviera de Levante. This includes the colorful Cinque Terre fishing villages and the contrasting stylish resort areas such as Portofino and Santa Margherita Ligure.
The Amalfi Coast is a 31-mile (50-kilometer) stretch of coastline along the southern edge of Italy’s Sorrentine Peninsula, in the Campania region. This popular holiday destination features sheer cliffs and a rugged shoreline dotted with small beaches and pastel-colored fishing villages.
Get ready for scenic inspiration with a look at these five beautiful coastal towns of Italy.
Located on the coast of Liguria, in the province of Genoa, Portofino is a small but sophisticated Italian town hidden in a stunning bay.
The town’s houses are all brightly colored and surrounded by lush vegetation. Luxurious mansions and superyachts are a common sight in this famous town.
However, this does not mean that the town’s attractions are not accessible to everyone.
Chose from plenty of affordable or free activities that sea and nature lovers can enjoy in the area.
Cinque Terre is a name that lumps together five of the most picturesque villages on the Ligurian Coast: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore.
Perched on cliffs, these coastal villages overlook the tranquil deep blue Mediterranean waters. They’re famous for their colorful architecture, the vibrant atmosphere of their markets, and the excellent seafood, wine, and gelato.
Considered one of the photogenic towns in Italy, Positano is the top destination on the Amalfi Coast.
The town is also a great starting point for visiting other stunning places nearby, such as Capri, Emerald Grotto, or Ischia. The best way to explore the wide range of both famous and secluded locations around Positano is to rent a boat. This will give you access to many otherwise unreachable places.
Consider Italy boat rentals with 12 Knots to get the best views of Positano and all the Amalfi Coast from the sea.
Located on Sicily’s northwestern coast, Palermo is a major Italian city and Sicily’s capital. This coastal city is an excellent base for exploring Sicily, but it’s also a destination worth considering on its own.
The city is home to Byzantine churches, lively markets, Baroque architecture, and dozens of historical and cultural sights. In and around Palermo, visitors can find gorgeous beaches with golden or fine white sand.
Polignano a Mare
Puglia is not as popular as other Italian regions among foreign visitors, but it’s a loved destination for locals. Polignano a Mare is the most picturesque coastal town to visit in Puglia.
This tiny town is perched up on limestone cliffs. Many of the houses overlook the calm Adriatic waters, with windows opening directly above the sea. With its narrow alleyways and panoramic terraces, Polignano a Mare is a place that can enchant any visitor.
Italy is a paradise for travelers. Whether you’re fascinated by history or art, nature or culture, food or fashion, Italy offers an endless supply of attractions.
If you want to explore the natural beauty of Italy’s coastal towns and villages, you can do it by train, car, bicycle, or boat. But just go there!