Not many tourists realize that excursions from Rome can include not only spectacular historical sight but also lazing on the beach. The Eternal City is close enough to the sea, so you can cool off and relax for a day from sightseeing.
Only 18 miles from Rome, Ostia Lido is the closest beach to the Italian capital. It might not be the prettiest but it is the longest and the most popular with Romans, who head there on summer weekends. It has a few free public areas and 50 well-equipped private beach establishments along the six-mile sandy coastal stretch. In case you feel like you have not seen enough Roman ruins, the ancient port of Ostia Antica is just a couple of train stops away and is certainly worth a visit.
Anzio has some of the cleanest beaches in the Lazio region which have been awarded the prestigious Blue Flag (Bandiera Blu) on numerous occasions. Roman emperors loved this seaside location and built their lavish villas here. Golden sandy beaches, Anzio’s colourful harbour with many excellent seafood restaurants feel will revive you after the stiffening heat of Rome. There is also a 77-acre American Cemetery in Anzio where nearly 8,000 Americans, killed during the World War II allied beach landing in 1944 are buried.
A bathing resort since Roman times, Santa Marinella, north of Rome, is pretty and can get crowded during high season. Clean sandy beaches, great bars, seafood restaurants and small boutiques will keep you busy. Swedish actress Ingrid Bergman used to have a vacation home here for a reason: it has everything anyone would want for a relaxing break and the Eternal City is only a 45-minute train ride away.
Excursion from Rome can let you discover another beautiful seaside destination: Sabaudia. Located little further away from Rome this small town spectacular sandy coastline will steal your heart. The beaches here have been awarded the much coveted Bandiera Blu many times for high environmental and quality standards.
Photos via Flickr by: Luca Conti, Helen Cook, Andrea Omizzolo.