With more than 500 km of coastline between land and islands, Tuscany is probably the region in Central Italy that offers the greatest variety of beaches. And it is also the only region in Central Italy to be washed by two seas: the Ligurian Sea bathes the northern end of the region, while going down, the Tyrrhenian Sea takes centre stage.
Often, when one thinks of seaside holidays in Tuscany, the first images that come to mind are the VIP beaches of Versilia, famous for their legendary nightclubs, or the rocky beaches of the islands, bathed by a sea of marvellous colours that many do not hesitate to compare to Sardinia.
But Tuscany’s incredible variety of beaches includes everything: sandy shores bordered by shady pinewoods, wide beaches where you are guaranteed a space all to yourself, white sandy beaches, black sandy beaches, enchanting coves that can only be reached by boat…
How to find the beach of your dreams among so many? Don’t go looking far, it is probably on the list of the 15 most beautiful beaches in Tuscany below.
Roma Imperiale (Imperial Rome) in Forte dei Marmi is the most exclusive beach in the most fashionable seaside resort in Tuscany: in short, it is the top of elite beach tourism, recommended for those who want to treat themselves to a VIP holiday.
Elsewhere, this long beach would be a typical sandy beach with bathing establishments suitable for family holidays. Here it is an icon of luxury. The services are impeccable, the sand is so manicured that it looks combed, sunbeds and umbrellas widely spaced to ensure maximum privacy for those who want it, and those who want worldliness will find plenty of it in the legendary clubs that line the beach.
The prices are naturally appropriate for the wealthy clientele that usually frequents the Roma Imperiale area. There is no escape: those who want star treatment must be prepared for staggering bills.
The other top resort in Versilia is Viareggio, a town famous for one of the most important carnivals in Italy. Viareggio, like Forte dei Marmi, is also a symbol of the seaside tourism developed during the years of the economic boom and its beaches are all equipped… with the exception of one, beautiful, which represents the final strip of a large nature reserve within the Park of Migliarino, San Rossore and Massaciuccoli.
We are talking about La Lecciona, the only free beach in Viareggio: it is a 5 km long sandy shore still in its wild state where there are suggestive sand dunes covered with vegetation. Behind the beach are marshy areas and pine forests.
An alternative to the very expensive Forte dei Marmi for those seeking fine sand, services and entertainment is Lido di Camaiore, a popular seaside resort between Marina di Pietrasanta and Viareggio. The atmosphere is typical of Versilia, sparkling and dynamic, with plenty of opportunities to meet people and have fun, but without the VIP excesses of Forte dei Marmi.
The symbolic image of Lido di Camaiore is a futuristic-looking steel pier that allows one to walk among the waves of the sea for almost 300 metres.
For those who are always undecided between the sea and the mountains, Marina di Massa is the ideal destination: its long sandy beach is in fact a short distance from the peaks of the Apuan Alps. You can therefore combine days of lazing on the beach and outdoor activities in the nearby mountains in a single holiday.
If it is only the sea that attracts you, you will appreciate its long sandy shore with all amenities, perfect for families and people who want comfort and safe bathing as well as young people looking for fun.
Marina di Massa is also an excellent base for day trips to Versilia or Liguria.
If you only have time for one beach in the province of Grosseto, choose Cala Violina: it is unique, a must-see… or rather, a must-feel!
What makes this beautiful beach of light-coloured sand between two very green headlands special is a particular quartz in the sand that emits a sound when it is trodden on. The perceived sound is so sweet that it is compared to that of the violin.
To preserve the natural environment of Cala Violina, daily access is limited to 700 people; online booking is required. Furthermore, the beach can only be reached on foot or by bicycle; the routes to get there are different, varying in length from 1.8 to 6 kilometres.
Castiglione della Pescaia is a romantic seaside village perched along the slopes of a promontory overlooking the sea, dominated by an impressive castle. The most beautiful beach in this delightful location is the Rocchette beach.
Located a few kilometres away from the town centre, it is an enchanting beach set in a picturesque bay bordered by high cliffs.
It is divided into two areas: the larger, and more frequented, is a wide sandy beach of golden sand, the smaller one is a cove of pebbles and reddish-coloured rocks; both are washed by a calm and very clean sea.
Monte Argentario is famous for its breathtaking beaches. Among them, the most beautiful is Cala del Gesso, a crescent of very white pebbles at the foot of a rocky wall covered with thick vegetation. It is highly recommended for those who love snorkelling: the beach is sheltered from the winds and the sea is a wonderful colour, with a thousand shades of green and blue.
The easiest way to get to Cala del Gesso is to take a water taxi departing from Porto Ercole; by car, you will have to drive along a scenic road, continue on foot along a pedestrian street about 700 metres long, and face a steep flight of steps.
La Feniglia, a beach in Orbetello, has a particular shape that brings together lovers of comfort and lovers of wild beaches.
It is a tombolo, i.e. a strip of sand connecting two locations: at one end we find Monte Argentario, at the other the hill of Ansedonia; in total it is 6 km long. Most of it is free, but in the areas closest to the towns there are some bathing establishments.
The beach is bordered by low dunes and behind a large pine forest; the area has been protected with the establishment of a nature reserve.
Torre Mozza beach between Follonica and Piombino (not to be confused with Torre Mozza in Salento) takes its name from an ancient coastal tower with a severed top. The mighty construction that gives its name to the beach, composed of three bodies of different epochs, juts out from the beach towards the waters of the sea, almost as if it were an enormous ship departing: it is a truly suggestive sight.
Another good reason to choose this beach are the waters made particularly calm by a rocky outcrop a short distance from the shore. The beach includes both free areas and bathing establishments.
One of the best beaches in Tuscany for families is Marina di Bibbona, one of the most popular seaside resorts in the Livorno Maremma. It is also called Marina del Forte due to the presence of a defensive tower built in the 18th century and today used for exhibitions and events.
Safe beaches, Blue Flag award-winning services, and good quality/price accommodation are good reasons to come here; plus there is the coolness and the greenery: Marina di Bibbona is in fact located between two pine forests that stretch from Marina di Cecina to Marina di Castagneto Carducci.
Do you love Caribbean beaches, with very white sand, water as blue as a swimming pool and lots of greenery all around? The destination for you is Rosignano Marittimo, a town famous for its enchanting White Beaches.
It is a wide sandy strip about 4 km long stretching from Rosignano to Vada; it is famous for its characteristic white colour reminiscent of Caribbean beaches.
What in everyone’s eyes is a natural paradise owes its origin – incredible to think! – to an industrial sodium carbonate and bicarbonate plant located nearby. It is precisely the residues of the limestone materials that have reached the beach that have given the sand its white colour.
Tired of sandy beaches? For lovers of rocky coves, one of the best areas in central-southern Tuscany is the Romito coast and in particular the Calafuria cliff, a high sandstone cliff squeezed between the sea and the green hills of Livorno.
It takes its name from a tower of the same name… and the same name is that of a splendid rocky beach that rises at the foot of the cliff, right next to the tower. The beach and seabed are completely rocky and the water is immediately deep; however, there are some small natural pools created by the rocks where inexperienced swimmers can cool off.
Despite being a little difficult to reach, Calafuria beach is always very popular; it is also well known and loved by diving enthusiasts.
It is difficult to choose the most beautiful beach on the island of Elba, but if a name has to be named, then we, like many others, bet on Sansone beach.
It is a crescent-shaped beach of very white pebbles at the foot of high cliffs, which are also very white; the ends of the beach are marked by a rock and a tall stack. The extraordinary palette of colours that make up this natural masterpiece also includes the green of the shrubs growing on the rock and the turquoise of the sea.
The crystal-clear waters lapping the beach at Sansone are considered the most transparent on the whole of Elba. On sirocco days, the sea is particularly calm and it is possible to admire the white sea bed. Needless to say, with such a sea, this beach is ideal for snorkelling.
If you want splendid natural scenery without giving up the comforts of a bathing establishment – and maybe even an aperitif overlooking the sea – the recommended Elba beach for you is the Paolina beach in Marciana. It is a narrow tongue of pebbles mixed with gravel washed by a crystal-clear sea with splendid colours.
It takes its name from a small island a few metres from the shore that was named after Napoleon Bonaparte’s sister: you can reach it by swimming or on foot as the sea bed is shallow there.
Located along the coast of the enchanting island of Giglio, the Cannelle Beach overlooks Monte Argentario, another marvel on the Tuscan coast: a unique combo not to be missed.
It is the second largest beach on the island: the central part is a fine sandy shore, while the ends are rocky. The sea is shallow and very transparent: perfect for children and snorkelling enthusiasts.
Cannelle beach is always very busy, but it is possible to find a quieter corner: walking along the rocks you will come across isolated coves, perfect for sunbathing away from the hustle and bustle.