The four best beaches near Rome - and how to reach them! Read on for four great day trips to the seaside from Rome.

View from medieval Gaeta to inspire your inner Magritte

All prices and details have been updated for summer 2017

While Italy boasts one of the most stunning coastlines in Europe, it can be a slightly frustrating activity trying to get to a decent beach when you live in Rome. If you’ve had your fill of Ostia and you’re feeling a little more adventurous, here are four ideas for getting away from it all, and, primarily, enjoying cleaner water this summer. We’ve only picked locations you can reach by public transport, returning the same day, but sometimes recruiting a friend with a car is a good option. Lazio won eight “bandiera blu” for 2016, for the beaches of Gaeta, Latina, Sabaudia, San Felice Circeo, Sperlonga, Terracina and Ventotene in the province of Latina, as well as Anzio in the province of Rome. Fregene still makes our recommended beach list, despite not having a blue flag, in the spirit of trying something different; we haven’t covered Sabaudia and Circeo as you have to get a coach from Rome to those destinations, which, from personal experience, is pretty hot and a bit too long-winded for a day trip.

1.   Sperlonga

By far and away Lazio’s prettiest beach resort, it’s a unique spot on this coastline and is worth the trip. The dilemma: how to get there. By car, you have to brave the agonisingly slow Pontina (2 hours in traffic) or shoot down the A1 motorway and then work your way back to the coast. The cheap and fast option is the 1’ 10” train from Roma Termini to Fondi, but the challenge then is getting the bus from Fondi to Sperlonga. These run only every two hours (even in the summer) and seem designed to miss the connection with the train from Rome. We wonder if the local “unofficial” taxi cartel has something to do with it. Minicabs cost around €20 from Fondi to Sperlonga (don’t let them charge you more) but once you get to Sperlonga, it’s a rare paradise. Walk round the rock on which the town is founded to the second bay for the prettiest views and the better beach facilities.

By public transport: Take the 08.42 if you can from Termini to Fondi, which should coincide with the 10am bus going from Fondi to Sperlonga.

Cheapest  solution: The €14 all day ticket (7 zones) for Lazio will give you the freedom of the region for 24 hours (regional trains only; includes all trams, metro and buses in Rome as well). Ask for a €14 BIRG at one of the newspaper stands in Termini. The Sperlonga bus is €1 each way in addition. Two sunbeds and an umbrella start at €20 in Sperlonga.

Lunch tip: We like Da Martini sul Ponte up in the old town for the best views and an enviable breeze overlooking the coast.

Getting to the beach from Rome isn't difficult - read on for four great day trips to the seaside from Rome.

Lunch at Da Martini sul Ponte

My top Sperlonga hotels

Moresco Park Hotel

Ideal if you’re arriving by car, Moresco Park Hotel is set up on a hill with a gorgeous green garden and incredible views across the azure waters of the Gulf of Terracina, just 800 metres from the pretty town centre of Sperlonga. Free parking, spacious, modern rooms, air conditioning and private balconies with sea views make this an excellent choice (parking can be a real challenge in the historic centre, and gets expensive too).
To find out more or reserve a room at the property, click here.

Hotel Corallo

Hotel Corallo has a special place in my heart and it’s still my favourite downtown hotel in Sperlonga. This immaculate three-star hotel has a prime position in the white streets of the pretty old town and it’s just a five minutes’ walk from the beach. Ideal if you’re arriving with public transport, it has a gorgeous panoramic terrace, perfect for a drink at sundown.
To find out more or reserve a room at the property, click here.

B&B Sperlonga

Located along Sperlonga’s main promenade, but set back from the traffic of the sea front, B&B Sperlonga is a great, central choice. It’s five minutes’ walk from the Ponente beach, but there’s none of the walking up and down steps that you associate with accommodation in the old town. Clean, modern facilities, a bus-stop to Fondi close by, and Wi-Fi in all areas make this an ideal, practical choice.
To find out more or reserve a room at the property, click here.

For a full list of Sperlonga hotels and a more in-depth guide, read: How to Get to Sperlonga From Rome or Naples – Plus the Best Sperlonga Hotels

2. Gaeta

Getting to the beach from Rome isn't difficult - read on for four great day trips to the seaside from Rome.

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If you like combining sunbathing with sightseeing, Gaeta is always an option. Take the same train that you would for Sperlonga, but stay on until Formia (again the €14 24 hour BIRG ticket is valid). Cotral buses run every 20 minutes from outside the station to Gaeta (and accept the same BIRG ticket, so no extra expense). Stay on the bus until you get to Corso Italia and walk down to Via Marina for your pick of the dull but functional stabilimente. This isn’t a pretty stretch of sea front like Sperlonga, but the sea is clean and you’re close to nature if you head for the promontory of rock under the ruins of the old Aragon castle. We tried the private beach Risorgimento which asked €20 for two sunbeds and an umbrella. From the Via Marina, you can also walk around the coast road to the stunning old town, where a steep climb is rewarded with magnificent sea views and a visit to the imposing gothic church of San Francesco d’Assisi (not sure about the paint job). The same circular bus from the foot of the old town will take you back to the station of Formia; trains run every hour back to Rome but remember that the BIRG is only valid on the regional train, not the Intercity.

If you’re not enjoying your day in Gaeta there are also regular buses to Sperlonga from the town centre.

By public transport: Take any regional train from Rome to Naples (running every hour from Roma Termini) and then hop on a bus to Gaeta.

Cheapest solution:  The €14 all day BIRG should cover it. Stabilimenti cost from €15 for two sunbeds and an umbrella (typically more expensive from July onwards).

Lunch tip: Take a packed lunch this time to make the most of the beaches and the sightseeing options, also because the journey is longer.

The four best beaches near Rome - and how to reach them! Read on for four great day trips to the seaside from Rome.

Gaeta’s wild side


3. Fregene

Getting to the beach from Rome isn't difficult - read on for four great day trips to the seaside from Rome. Many Romans seem to favour Fregene as a beach resort so I had to go and see what all the fuss is about. There are some pretty chic stabilimenti out here, ideal if you want to stay until the early evening and enjoy an aperitivo on the beach. Singita and Onda Anomala are two of the most popular resort-style bathing establishments, but there’s plenty of choice here. The water isn’t much cleaner than Ostia but Fregene is ideal if you like a little luxury at the beach, from pottering around by a pool to enjoying a bite to eat al fresco in a decent beach restaurant. The town itself is a pretty anonymous place so stick to your stabilimento of choice and don’t forget your cruise wear.

By public transport: Take the train to Maccarese, from Termini, Tuscolana, Ostiense, Trastevere or San Pietro. Then, from Maccarese station, hop on a bus to Fregene – for example the 020 line. It’s only a 5km journey but can get busy at peak times. If you’re feeling adventurous, you could travel with a bike (preferably folding) and cycle to the coast from Maccarese station along Viale Castel San Giorgio, but watch out for speeding cars.

Cheapest solution: A single on the train costs just €2.10 and takes between 20 minutes and half an hour from the centre of Rome.

Lunch tip: Eat in one of the chic stabilimenti – we were recommended Bagni Albos and Controvento.

4. Anzio

Anzio is just an hour away from Termini and trains run hourly (slightly less frequently on a Sunday); while the beaches are a pleasant surprise. We got off at Marechiaro station, from which it’s a short walk to the sea front where you can choose public or private bathing establishments; this stretch of coast was a deserving winner of the blue flag award once again this year and the sea is clean. Try the stabilimenti of Tortuga or Sole e Luna for a simple and natural experience (we paid €26 in July for two sunbeds and an umbrella at Sole e Luna; the beach is pretty busy at this time of year). Anzio played its part in the second world war beach landings so history buffs might want to check out the Anzio War Cemetery or the Beach Head Cemetery, its two Commonwealth War resting places.

By public transport:  With a single costing just €3.60 (or ask for a 24 hour Lazio ticket costing €8) it’s a pretty cheap day out.

Lunch tip: The fish is excellent at Punto D’Anzio in the town centre. It’s a small and popular restaurant so you might want to book in the evenings.

The four best beaches near Rome - and how to reach them! Read on for four great day trips to the seaside from Rome.

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