While summer is a popular time to visit Rome, the hot weather may be a bit much for some visitors. Fortunately, there are dozens of beautiful beaches in Lazio, the region surrounding Rome, and many of them can be reached by public transportation from the Eternal City.
In Italy, there are some free beaches, but most are divided into private beach areas called stabilimenti. Visitors pay a day fee for access to a clean beach, lounge chairs and an umbrella, a dressing room, outdoor shower, a good swimming area, and toilets. Some private beaches offer access to a bar or restaurant as well. Rates will vary depending on location, time of year and even how close your beach chair is to the sea. You can expect to pay between €10-€30 per person, per lounge chair.
Most local residents buy season passes for stabilimenti access. If you're planning to stay for a week or more, it's worth investing in a short-term pass so you get a prime spot on the beach of your choice.
If you want to escape the summer temperatures in Rome, here are a few beaches that are within a short trip from the city. Bear in mind that particularly on weekends, these beaches will be crowded with Romans who have the same idea as you—to escape the heat and crowds of the city.
If you want to visit a nice town with really good beaches, Sperlonga is the top pick for a beach day from Rome, although it's a little farther than the other options.
Sperlonga beach is one of Italy's blue flag beaches, which means the sand and water are clean and the beach is environmentally friendly. Most of the beach areas are private so you'll pay a fee for use. Sperlonga itself is a picturesque town with narrow streets rising up the hill from the sea. In town, there are shops, cafes, and restaurants.
Sperlonga has been a popular seaside destination since Roman times. Emperor Tiberius had a villa south of the town that you can visit, along with the Grotto of Tiberius and archeological museum.
Ostia Lido Beach
While it might not be as glamorous as other Italian beaches, Ostia Lido is the closest to Rome. The beach at Ostia is known for its dark sand and the water is clean enough for swimming. There are several public areas of the beach, meaning you can just spread out a towel wherever you find a spot.
If you're interested in some sightseeing during your trip to Ostia, stop off to see the ancient Roman ruins at Ostia Antica, the ancient port of Rome. If you're flying out of Fiumicino airport, Ostia Lido is a good alternative to staying in an airport hotel.
Santa Marinella Beach
Santa Marinella is north of Rome, about an hour by regional train from Termini Station, Rome's main railway station. There are two or three trains per hour most of the day and it's about a five-minute walk from the station to the beach.
Santa Marinella has nice sandy beaches, both with free access and private, clear water for swimming. Like most Italian beaches, they are very crowded on weekends. In the small town of Santa Marinella, you'll find bars, shops, and good seafood restaurants.
In the days of ancient Rome, Santa Marinella was a Roman bathing resort and the Etruscan ruins of Pyrgi are about eight miles southeast in Santa Severa, another beach resort town.
Fregene is the next beach town north of Ostia and is a popular spot for young Romans looking to party in the many bars and nightclubs that line the seashore. The water and beach quality are good, not great, so it might be a better option if you want to head there in the afternoon to spend a few hours in the sun then stay for the party scene.
To get to Fregene, take the train from Roma Termini to Maccarese-Fregene station. From there, frequent local buses connect to the beachfront.
Though it's a little farther from Rome, a visit to Anzio will reward with clean beaches and water, the ruins of an ancient villa that once belonged to Emperor Nero, and the Anzio Beachhead Museum, which recalls the Allied beach landing during World War II.
To get to Anzio from Rome, take the train from Termini to Anzio Colonia. From there, you're a short walk from several nice beaches, the Villa Imperiale and the war museum. If you continue one more stop to Nettuno, you'll be a little farther from the tourist attractions but close to other wide beaches with lots of services.