There's no better way to discover and enjoy the Italian "dolce vita" than by adding a few sun-kissed Tuscan beaches to your Tuscany itinerary. To fully appreciate the relaxing effects of Tuscany’s "sweet life" and slower pace, give yourself plenty of time to explore some of the least spoiled spots on the Tyrrhenian Sea.
Sheltered from the southern winds by the rocky cliffs rising dramatically from the blue sea, Spiaggia di Capo Bianco remains one of Tuscany's hidden gems. Located on Elba Island, where Napoleon Bonaparte spent his infamous 1814 exile, the beach draws both local and foreign vacationers with its crystalline waters and tranquil sunsets. Calms waves make this spot safe for children, who can practice their strokes in shallow waters lapping a narrow stretch of white pebbles.
Another romantic beach on Elba Island, Spiaggia di Sansone sits in a sheltered cove reachable by a narrow pathway just steep enough to discourage masses of tourists from thronging this part of the coastline. White pebbles stand in contrast to the turquoise waters of the Mediterranean, with green cliffs providing a lush background to the usually quiet beach scene. If you base your Tuscany trip in nearby Portoferraio, you can head to this beach just before sunset, when all you need to enjoy a seaside picnic is some grilled fish and a bottle of fine Tuscan wine.
Rarely crowded, Feniglia combines the charms of a picturesque Tuscan beach with the appeal of a protected nature reserve. Ideal for families with children, this clean stretch of sand lies in an area known for its varied wildlife, which includes lizards, turtles, and sea birds. You can spend hours or days here, swimming, walking, and exploring the lush surrounding area. No need to burden yourself with too much of your own gear, as you can rent beach beds and umbrellas right on the sand.
A paradise for impassioned snorkelers, Cala Violina occupies an idyllic spot in a protected cove famed for its tranquil waters and alabaster sands. A short path to the beach leads through a shady Tuscan forest, with several high spots offering sweeping ocean views and providing a tailor-made setting for watching the sunset. The rugged terrain prevents visitors from driving right up to the sand, which makes this one of Tuscany's quietest seaside treasures. The easiest way to get here is by bicycle, which you can load up with supplies of drinking water and light snacks for a long day of fun in and out of the water.
Spiaggia di Cavoli stands in stark contrast to most other Tuscan beaches, many of which remain quiet coastal spots with plenty of kid-friendly things to do. This beach serves as Tuscany's seaside party zone, drawing its biggest crowds on the weekends. Each Friday, as the sun goes down and the families with children head back to their hotels, lively bars open up on the beach and set about luring weekend revelers with popular dance music and inexpensive drinks. You can still enjoy a quieter atmosphere on weekday mornings, when the soft sand remains largely free of pleasure seekers and partygoers.
Tuscany boasts so many beaches, each with its own unique character and appeal, it may seem nearly impossible to pick just a few for your perfect Italian vacation. A day at any of these beaches promises to fill your trip with countless memorable moments, from watching golden sunsets to connecting with Tuscany's friendly natives. The main thing to remember remains the local custom of taking it slow, enjoying each day's small pleasures and planning your trip perfectly.