The best beach near Rome – in terms of travel time, comfort and overall experience – is most certainly Santa Marinella. This lovely beach is located in a quaint bay and has clear water, a great little hole-in-the-wall for a quick take-away lunch (beneath the Gigi Bar on the boardwalk), and plenty of lounge-chairs. There is a small public area to lay out your towel, but space fills up quickly so plan to arrive early.
How to get there: Take the train from any major station in Rome (Roma Termini, Ostiense, Trastevere, or San Pietro) to S. Marinella. The beach is just a five to ten minute walk from the station.
Another great option is Santa Severa, just one stop prior to Santa Marinella. This beach has an impressive castle, making for a very photogenic bathing experience, and some hidden rocky alcoves that lie just behind it. There is a delicious restaurant right on the beach, L’Isola del Pescatore, for a lunch of fresh fish or a sunset spritz.
How to get there: Take the train from any major station in Rome (Roma Termini, Ostiense, Trastevere, or San Pietro) to Santa Severa. The beach is a 20 minute walk from the station.
Ostia is the closest beach to Rome, and features many stabilimenti along the boardwalk, which require a membership to enter, along with a large public beach area. Although Ostia is the quickest option from the city, you’ll be rewarded with clearer water and cleaner sand as you head further away from the capital. If you do opt for proximity over quality though, check out the Cancelli: a series of numbered beaches within sand dunes (you’ll need to catch the 07 bus to arrive).
How to get there: Take the Metro B to Piramide, then follow the signs for the trains to Roma-Lido (up the escalator and to the left). Make sure to get off at Lido Centro and not Ostia Antica.
Just north of Ostia lies Fregene, a slightly cleaner and hipper beach. It is a favorite with the trendy crowd of northern Rome and has a delightful evening aperitivo at Singita Miracle Beach Club, when cushions are strewn all over the beach and a ceremonial gong is hit when the sun goes down.
How to get there: Take the Metro A to the Cornelia stop (direction Battistini). Then hop in one of the small buses that go to Fregene, which pass every 10-15 minutes.
Ladispoli is another safe bet north of Rome: with its long coastline you’re always sure to find ample room to lay out, and it is only a short train ride from Rome. And if you who enjoy spending time at the beach during the off-season, be sure to check out the artichoke festival that takes place here during the second week of April each year.
How to get there: Take the train from most stations in Rome to Cerveteri-Ladispoli. The beach is a 15 minute walk from the station.
Just south of Rome lies Anzio, a city best known for being the site of an Allied forces landing during World War II and the Battle of Anzio. The beach has beautiful water (it has been awarded the Bandiera Blu, an award that recognizes cleanliness, water quality, and sustainable management of beaches in 48 countries around the world) and the ruins of Emperor Nero’s ancient villa make for a delightful backdrop.
How to get there: Take the train from Roma Termini to Anzio. The beach is about a 15-20 minute walk from the beach.
Continuing further south is Sabaudia, a city characterized by its fascist architecture. This beach is also recognized with the Bandiera Blu award and is less crowded than many others because the train doesn’t stop directly in the town. With a little bit of planning, it’s worth the extra effort to arrive for its clear water and expansive beach.
How to get there: From Roma Termini, take the train to Priverno-Fossanova and then a COTRAL bus to Sabaudia. From the road, climb down the wooden stairways to the beach.
Sperlonga is most certainly the most beautiful beach near Rome: not only is its white-washed town worth a visit in its own right, the water has been awarded the Bandiera Blu for 16 years in a row. With long beaches on either stretch of the town, and plenty of quaint alleyways to discover post-sun bathing, Sperlonga is a great overnight stay over a weekend.
How to get there: From a train from Roma Termini to Fondi-Sperlonga. Then catch a bus to the town of Sperlonga, or opt for a taxi to avoid long waits.