Looking for the best beaches in Rome? I don't blame you: Although you always can cool off at a swimming pool in Rome, there's nothing like dipping your toes into the Mediterranean on a sweltering summer day.
Here's a roundup of 5 of my favorite Rome beaches, located as little as 45 minutes away.
One tip: When heading to the beach near Rome, remember that most Italian beaches aren't public. In other words, most swaths of beach are serviced by private establishments, so you'll have to rent a cabana to claim your spot on the sand. This generally costs about €10 to €15 per day. The good news? You'll definitely appreciate the shade—and the ability to order food and drinks from the servers who pass through.
The most picturesque beach, and beach town, near Rome: Sperlonga
Sperlonga is my top choice for a beach escape from Rome. That's partly because of its white-washed resort town, lovely stretch of sand, and clean water (it's been given Blue Flag designation for its environmental initiatives and cleanliness). And the views from the town make it one of the most picturesque seaside spots near Rome.
And, okay. I might also love Sperlonga because of the nearby archaeological museum, on the site of Emperor Tiberius' ancient grotto, which boasts stunning ancient sculptures by the same guys who did the Laocoön. (Yes, I'm a history nerd). But even if you don't make it to the museum (although you should!), the beach and town alone make the trip worth it.
By public transport, Sperlonga takes about 1.5 hours to get to from Rome. Find out more about Sperlonga, and getting there, in my previous post on Sperlonga.
The beach with the best nightlife: Fregene
Want to do as the Romans do? Then follow up a day in the sun with aperitivo, drinking, and dancing. Fregene, located 23 miles northwest of Rome, is such a popular nightlife spot, I have friends who have gone there just for the evenings—skipping the whole daytime-sunbathing thing altogether.
Of course, Fregene is also nice during the day. And Maccarese, next door, tends to be a much less crowded option than other beaches near Rome, like Ostia.
You can get to Fregene and Maccarese by train from Rome's Termini station; get off at Maccarese-Fregene. The ride takes 30 minutes. From there, you'll have to grab one of the local buses for the beach (4 miles away from the station).
The cleanest beach near Rome: Anzio
The beaches at Anzio are some of the cleanest in Lazio, as shown by their Blue Flag designation. They're also beautiful, with golden sand and turquoise water.
Not to mention historical: If Anzio sounds familiar, it's because it's where the Allies landed in 1944. Want to pay homage? The 77-acre American Cemetery is where nearly 8,000 Americans, killed during the landing, have been laid to rest.
The beach that's prettiest and most convenient to Rome: Santa Marinella
Many of the other beaches near Rome require a train and a bus (or a car) to access. Not Santa Marinella. A 50-minute train ride takes you from Termini station right to the station in this little resort town, where it's just a quick walk to the beach.
Because of that convenience, of course, Santa Marinella gets pretty crowded on the weekends. That's particularly true of the "public" section of the beach, the size of which seems to change every year and is much smaller than the private part. Still, it's a better, cleaner option than, say, Ostia.
Getting hungry? Santa Marinella has some great seafood restaurants. My favorite, L'Acqua Marina, is just a 10-minute walk from the beach.
For more on the town's beach (and food), check out my previous post on Santa Marinella.
The most pristine, free beach near Rome: Sabaudia
Another Blue-Flagged beach, this one is also the most secluded. Sabaudia boasts gorgeous sand and turquoise water, but it's way less crowded than other options near Rome.
That's thanks, of course, to being a bit tougher to get to: From Termini, take the train to Priverno-Fossanova (a little under an hour), and then a COTRAL bus to Sabaudia (20 minutes). From the beach, climb down the wooden stairways to the beach.
If you don't like the idea of paying for your beach time, Sabaudia's a good option; while there are private sections, there's a number of public (free!) areas, too.
Don't miss the other posts in the Revealed Rome summer guide!