Florence is a city brimming with wonder: living in the Renaissance city means daily intakes of cultural patrimony, culinary marvels and fine wine. However, any Florentine, adopted or DOC, will agree that summer in Florence can become intolerably sweaty. Luckily, Florence benefits from being situated not far from beaches that may be comparable in beauty and cleanliness to some of the most renowned beaches in Italy, such as the Amalfi Coast and Sicilian shores.
The Gulf of Baratti has been left largely intact in its wilderness. It boasts of long, wide beaches perfect for families and for those who like to doze in the shade and breeze of the pinewoods. An undiscovered beach in the Gulf of Baratti is the Buca delle Fate, or ‘Fairy Hole Beach,’ which brims with myth and secrets. A mainly rocky cove, you can dive into the clear water from the numerous cliffs and explore the fascinating seabed. This beach can only be reached along a walking trail, where ancient Etruscan remains can be found.
If you would rather have a more social experience, the Versilia coast offers guaranteed fun. This coast consists of mostly privately owned beaches so you’ll have to rent deckchairs (sdrai) and sun umbrellas (ombrelloni) from one of the bathing establishments (bagni). Versilia is the perfect place to enjoy the quintessential Italian beach experience. Strike up a conversation with any of the beach dwellers and indulge in a seafood lunch at the bagno’s on-site restaurant. Dance the Tuscan summer night away at the countless famous clubs on Versilia’s nightlife scene.
Castiglioncello, near Livorno, is a gem along the Tuscan coast. Situated on a cliff, it is a small but lovely resort with plenty of rocky beaches. The water is all the more blue and clear as the sand is less fine. It is easily reachable by train from Florence.
Castiglione della Pescaia is slightly further away from Florence as it’s in the province of Grosseto. But the longer train ride is worthwhile. Castiglione della Pescaia is an age-old seaside resort built around a medieval fortress and surrounded by clean and clear beaches.
The last beach I’ll include is Feniglia, a strip of land connecting the Argentario peninsula to the coast. It is a wide expanse of white sand and clear water surrounded by pine tree forests. It has stretches of uncontaminated wilderness as well as areas with bathing facilities.
Tuscany boasts countless other beautiful beaches, but this list is a mini guide to all those desperate to flee the heat of Florence for a weekend.