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The best beaches in Tuscany tend to fall into two camps. There are those luminous stretches of sand that belong to handsome coastal towns, their surfaces scored by the hulls of fishing boats and the wheels of beach club loungers.

The other variety, of which there is a wealth in Tuscany, are the beaches that sit within nature reserves. These provide that elemental beach experience, remote and unspoiled, in one of Italy’s most picturesque regions.

But what they all share is easy access to the gloriously warm, glassy shallows of the Tyrrhenian Sea. So whether you’re seeking romantic isolation amid fragrant coastal foliage or looking for a short walk to your post-beach negroni, here are the best beaches in Tuscany.

Cala Violina

Clear waters of Cala Violina

Cala Violina

This exquisite Tuscan beach is found within the Scarlino Natural Park. Fringed by fragrant Mediterranean scrub, it manages the difficult trick of feeling remote and wild while still being well-maintained. Turquoise waters wash the famous quartz sands that earned the beach its name: stepping on the sand produces noises akin to bowed violin strings.

The shady pine woods that border the beach are well equipped with tables and benches for a Tuscan fare-fuelled picnic. However, be sure to bring your own supplies as delis here are thin on the ground.

As one of the best beaches in Tuscany, Cala Violina does become busy in the high season. Register on its website to be one of the lucky 700 who play music with their toes while the sun is at its warmest. Arrive by the regular boat from the port of Scarlino for a stunning view of the beach as you round the headland.

Marina di Alberese, Maremma National Park

Marina de Alberese, one of the best beaches in Tuscany

Marina di Alberese, Maremma National Park

The Marina di Alberese beach is the kind of photogenic stretch of wild coast that exemplifies the beach experience found in the southerly region of Maremma.

Found in the Maremma National Park, Marina di Alberese is over a mile long, its yellow sands dotted with ivory-white driftwood. To reach the beach, you make your way along well-worn dirt paths that snake through the vegetation, the greenery thinning as you arrive in earshot of the gently lapping sea.

It’s perfect for a family beach day, with acres of space for children to run, swim, and construct sandy, shell-ornamented imitations of the nearby medieval watchtowers. The beach is remote, so be sure to pack extra torta di ceci to snack on.

Peregrine falcon spotted in Italy

Peregrine falcon

While in this neck of the woods, be sure to allow more time to discover Maremma in all its unspoiled majesty. Its wetlands and rolling hills are a sanctuary for wildlife. Have your binoculars to spot the purple heron or a swooping peregrine falcon, although it’s unlikely that you’ll see one or more of the region’s relatively shy wolf population.

Spiaggia di Baratti

Spiaggia di Baratti, one of the best beaches in Tuscany

Spiaggia di Baratti

Spiaggia di Baratti is one of the best beaches in Tuscany, as well as one of the region’s most popular.

On the north of the stunning Piombino and Baratti Headland, the Spiaggia di Baratti is a mile-long, curving lip of reddish sand that offers sea views over the Gulf of Baratti. It’s roughly equidistant between Siena and Livorno and as such, is popular with locals and is well-served with amenities.

Scenic landscape of Spiaggia di Baratti

Spiaggia di Baratti

With such a high profile, the penny candy parasols of beach clubs are in colorful evidence across the beach. However, the majority of the beach is public and free to access. Besides lazy days in the sun, or strolling through the encircling pine-scented woodland, Spiaggia di Baratti is a brilliant jumping-off point for tours of the Tuscan Archipelago.

Reach Spiaggia di Baratti’s southern end and set off on one of the regular boat tours leaving the marina to see islands such as Napoleon’s old haunt of Elba. Head north along the beach to reach the hamlet of Baratti, where you’ll find beachside eateries such as the seafood brunch shack, Il Polpo Marino.

Historic ruins of Populonia


Also nearby are the remains of Populonia, an ancient Etruscan city, and the only one ever built on the coast.

Spiaggia della Lecciona

Aerial view of Spiaggia della Lecciona

Spiaggia della Lecciona

A vast Italian beach situated between the resort towns of Viareggio and Torre del Lago, Spiaggia della Lecciona offers remoteness with a few civilizing extras.

Backed by grass-furred dunes, Lecciona has one sandy foot in the Massaciuccoli nature reserve and the other dipped into a marine protected area in the Tyrrhenian Sea. Looking from the shallows into the Tuscan hinterland, you’re greeted with a view of the verdant undulations of the Apuan Alps.

Wooden walkways meander over the restored wetlands and through the dunes to the beach. You’ll find the entrance to the park near the former royal seat of Villa Borbone.

Despite its impeccable wild beach credentials, Lecciona also has a flourishing beach club where you can pick up heat-busting lemonades and pesto panini, as well as use the restrooms and showers, for a fee.

But if you’d prefer to pitch camp away from the infrastructure, there is enough space to find a beach club for one. Also, be aware that the area between sections 13 and 15 is clothing-optional.

Spiaggia di Rimigliano

Brown sands of Spiaggia di Rimigliano

Spiaggia di Rimigliano

Close to the coastal town of San Vincenzo, Spiaggia di Rimigliano nevertheless feels like it’s miles away from civilization. With a Bandiera Blu award for its clean water, this over-two-mile-long stretch of sand is one of the best beaches in Tuscany for serene isolation.

Within the nature reserve of Parco Costiere di Rimigliano, the beach is characterized by macchia scrub and low-lying dunes. In this untouched landscape, wild boars snuffle through the undergrowth before making their way onto local menus and into plates of pappardelle al cinghiale.

However, you won’t find any pasta on Spiaggia di Rimigliano as it’s entirely undeveloped. What you will find, especially if visiting in winter, is balls of seagrass blown on the salty breeze. This marine version of tumbleweeds is produced by seagrass that only flourishes in healthy water conditions, so see this as visible encouragement for a dip.

Quercetano Bay

Quercetano Bay, one of the best beaches in Tuscany

Quercetano Bay

Just south of the historic port of Livorno, Quercetano Bay is part of the Costa degli Etruschi or “Etruscan Coast”. This gorgeous cliff-etched, pine-shaded coastline runs from Livorno to the headland of Piombino. Quercetano Bay presses itself into the steep topography below the trendy coastal town of Castiglioncello.

Aerial view of Quercetano Bay

Quercetano Bay

Made famous in a cult Italian film, this stretch of golden sand has been one of the most high-profile beaches of this Italian region since the 1960s. As such, you’ll find the usual beach club industry present but there’s a good swathe of spiaggia libera or public beach for you to unroll your towel upon if you’d prefer not to pay.

After you’ve snorkeled or just floated in the warm, gin-clear water, retire to one of the beach-club restaurants such as Bagni Aurora for fresh seafood to go with your fabulous sunsets.

If you’d rather round off your day with some culture, the Etruscan Coast is littered with archaeological sites that date back over 2,000 years.

Read: Tuscan Food: Incredible Dishes to Try

Bocca di Serchio

Quiet shoreline of Bocca di Serchio

Bocca di Serchio Photo by Giovanni Cerretani on Wikimedia Commons, licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

For a beach day crossed with a bird-spotting expedition, find the town of Vecchiano, about ten minutes drive from Pisa. The Serchio River wends its way through Vecchiano towards the sea, and at its conclusion, you’ll find the Bocca di Serchio and its beach.

The Serchio itself is a popular spot for lazy fishing days, with locals enjoying seared catch-of-the-day on barbecues in the pine forest that lines the riverbank. But for many, it’s better to push on to where the river flows into the Tyrrhenian.

To the north of the river mouth, you’ll find a sandy beach, entirely untended and spacious enough to manage the typical summer influx of Pisans. The south side of the river, and the land there, is part of the private San Rossore Estate. Look out for the grebes, wild ducks, and coots that flourish in this bird sanctuary.

This area also has connections to Italian military history. During the Second World War, it’s where the Italian Navy tested out its manned torpedoes.

Spiaggia di Marina di Castagneto

Quiet beach of Spiaggia di Marina di Castagneto

Spiaggia di Marina di Castagneto

Spiaggia di Marina di Castagneto serves Marina di Castagneto, one of Tuscany’s most popular seaside resorts located in the heart of the Costa degli Etruschi.

Spiaggia di Marina di Castagneto itself is an enormous beach that offers soft, butter-yellow sand slipping beneath translucent shallows.

The beach is divided into three distinct parts, with the Marino Centro where you’ll find the most life—restaurants with sea-view tables and beach clubs with lively bars, and even private jacuzzis.

There’s a dog section at the widest part of the beach while the southern end is called Pianetti. This is the most peaceful section of Spiaggia di Marina di Castagneto.

Once you’ve completed a wonderful beach day here, the town and its surroundings offer plenty of cultural and historic interest. These include the Forte Lorense fortress and the grand Villa Margherita.

Marina di Pietrasanta

Marina de Pietrasanta, one of the best beaches in Tuscany

Marina di Pietrasanta

Marina di Pietrasanta is found on the Versilia Coast, a famous continuity of sand that’s drawn visitors for centuries seeking the finest Italian beach vacations.

Sandwiched between the upscale resort of Forte dei Marmi and the belle epoque town of Viareggio, Marina di Pietrasanta offers a beach that stretches out for three long languorous miles.

Close to La Spezia in Liguria, Marina di Pietrasanta is also seen as a superb starting point for an expedition to the Cinque Terre.

Waterfront of Pietrasanta


While vacationing here, you always feel like you have space, even in the heights of summer. Dotted among the regiments of beach clubs are expanses of free beach, allowing you to tailor your seaside experience accordingly.

The beach is named for the nearby 13th-century town of Pietrasanta, long renowned for its marble industry. The town itself is wonderful to explore, with a bike path that arrows into the gelateria-rich historic center.

In the summer, you’ll also find an almost nightly program of concerts, festivals, and cultural events to be swept up in.

Cala del Gesso

Rocky shoreline of Cala del Gesso

Cala del Gesso

One of those beaches that makes you work for the magic, Cala del Gesso is found at the end of a steep set of stairs.

At the end of it, however, is the simple beauty of this well-loved beach. Laid with smooth pebbles that gently descend into opal shallows, Cala del Gesso looks out over a verdant island set in the azure Tyrrhenian. At one end, you’ll see the atmospheric ruin of a medieval watch tower that harks back to less peaceful beach days.

Clear waters of Cala del Gesso

Cala del Gesso

Be sure to pack your snorkel as the typically tranquil waters here are rich in marine life. In high season, arrive in the morning to secure some sand.

Based on the Monte Argentario peninsula, this area, in the Maremma region of Tuscany, is a stunning blend of mountains and coast. Popular with the yacht club set, it’s an area of hidden coves and lively sea towns. There’s even an annual pirate festival.

Cala di Forno

Pristine shoreline of Cala di Forno

Cala di Forno

A bronze strip of sand tucked away in the region’s coastal south, Cala di Forno is one of the best beaches in Tuscany.

Found in a dreamy bay surrounded by pine forest, macchia scrub, and very little else, Cala di Forno is a peaceful destination located in the Maremma Regional Park. Commended regularly for its water quality, it’s also well maintained, despite its relative isolation.

The most regular visitors here are those in boats who putter among the crags and grooves of the coastline before dropping anchor in its most beautiful bays. This is probably the most picturesque way of reaching the beach, not to mention the most restful. You can also get to Cala di Forno after a two-hour hike or while navigating the wiggly roads in a car.

Bring everything that you think you’ll need. However, if you forget the sun spray or your trunks, the Hotel Cala di Forno with its small shop is conveniently located just behind the beach.

Sterpaia Nature Park

A wonderful family day trip, the Sterpaia Nature Park is a 700-acre nature reserve close to Piombino. You’ll stroll its walkways through mature eucalyptus and oak woodland until the landscape opens up onto a six-mile-long stretch of pristine coastline.

There are literally acres of soft sand found here, while the clean seas have been continually awarded Blue Flag status for more than a decade. Umbrella palms teeter close to the beach shading handy picnic benches. Between the forest and the deep blue sea, you’ll also find a coastal Sahara of dunes to explore.

Despite its sense of remoteness, the beach is well catered for with amenities: showers, toilets, nearby parking, and even snack kiosks. If you’re on the free beach section, look for the Nano Verde beach bar for your sundowner mojitos, salumi platters, and weekend DJ sets.

Read: Best Time to Visit Tuscany

Skyline of Florence


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