A tour of Italy’s best black beaches
Black beaches are by far the most striking, not least because their dark colour creates a stunning contrast with the blue sea. They are unique and wildly fascinating places, usually of volcanic origin and shaped over millennia. In these locations, then, sunbathing is more than guaranteed!
Have you already felt like setting off to discover Italy’s most fascinating black beaches? Well, you’re spoilt for choice, from those on the mainland in Basilicata, Calabria and Lazio, via the volcanic beaches of the Aeolian Islands, to the island of Elba.
Cala Jannita, Maratea, Basilicata
Among the most famous black beaches in southern Italy, Cala Jannita, also called the beach of the islet of Santo Janni, stands out. This beach, partly free and partly equipped with bathing establishments, located in Marina di Maratea, is surrounded by cliffs covered with dense vegetation and can be reached by following a short path through a wild landscape, bordered by rocky ridges and natural chasms surrounded by greenery. And speaking of colours, the sea here is turquoise and crystal clear, ideal for bathing and swimming.
Sabbie Nere in Lazio
It is located in Santa Severa, about 50 km from Rome, and is known as ‘Sabbie Nere’. It offers a picture postcard view: a pitch-coloured sandy shore and blue sea, with the castle and Etruscan ruins of Pyrgi in the background. Legend has it that the pebbles scattered on the sand have beneficial influences on those who carry them, which is precisely why they are used to make bracelets and necklaces for good luck. Superstitions aside, this area of the Latium coastline is very popular with bathers looking for a bit of tranquillity and also with naturists.
Praia a Mare in Calabria
On the beach of Praia a Mare, located in the province of Cosenza, the dark colour of the sand mixed with gravel and the intense blue of the waters that bathe it create a spectacle that should not be missed. One part of the sandy shore, the most striking, is dominated by the Fiuzzi Castle with the Island of Dino in front. The beach is well equipped with bathing establishments that rent sunbeds, deckchairs, parasols and water sports equipment.
Sabbie Nere beach on Vulcano
Also called ‘Sabbie Nere’ and located in Vulcano, this wonder is one of the volcanic beaches of the Aeolian Islands. The beach is washed by crystal-clear water in sharp contrast to the dark seabed due to the lava stones, which is shallow and slopes gently out to sea: perfect even for small swimmers. Don’t forget to bring your sea shoes to protect you from the heat of the fine, dark sand that becomes incandescent in the hottest hours of the day.
Rinella beach in Salina
We are still in the Aeolian Islands, in Salina, with Rinella beach located next to the small port of Leni. It is a crescent-shaped beach of black sand, surrounded by caves carved into the rock that were once used by fishermen as a shelter for their boats. The sea, with its sandy seabed sloping down little by little, is always crystal clear and ideal for snorkelling. Near the beach, the only sandy one on the island, there are several bars and restaurants where you can enjoy local delicacies.
The Island of Elba’s black beaches
Short stretches of sand, gravel and dark pebbles characterise the approximately two kilometres of black beaches on the Island of Elba, on the Capoliverese coast, all lapped by a very clear sea. These include: Punta Polveraia, a small and wild black stone beach; Le Tombe, of dark pebbles, so called because of the presence of some Etruscan tombs nearby; Cala di Punta della Contessa, of dark gravel, surrounded by rocks; Norsi, of fine sand with gently sloping waters; Acquarilli, surrounded by greenery. Also in Capoliveri is the long and beautiful beach of Naregno, equipped with all amenities.