Tuscany is home to some of the cleanest and most scenic beaches in Italy. With over 40 certified Blue Flag beaches, clear waters are guaranteed. Bathers can take their pick from gorgeous spots offering fine sand, gravel and rock coastline, with options for families, couples, groups of friends, and even official naturist beaches.
If you would rather have a more social experience, the Versilia coast offers guaranteed fun from Liberty-style Viareggio to glitzy Forte dei Marmi. 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 and south of Livorno
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, promising the cleanest of water. Plus, it’s easily reachable by train from Florence. The more adventurous are advised to drive along the via Aurelia coastal road and climb down the cliff-side steps to beaches in Quercianella and Romito.
Sterpaia is a picture-perfect beach south of Piombino with its grayish white sand and aquamarine-shaded sea. But its main allure is the shallow waters, which make it perfect for paddling and loved by families and inexperienced swimmers. (It’s our editor’s preferred beach.) Stop by summer stable, Nano Verde, for a delicious salad and the perfect Moscow Mule.
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.
Castiglione della Pescaia
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.
Article updated on August 12, 2020