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Beach Towns near Rome: Sperlonga

Wednesday, July 8th, 2009

The sun can be relentless in the summer months here in Rome.

With everyone looking for a place to lay their beach towel it can become quite difficult to find the perfect spot. In my search for a strip of sand I wandered into the town of Sperlonga.

Sperlonga is just one hour south of Rome by trail and is very easily accessible. After a short bus ride from Sperlonga’s train station (Fondi-Sperlonga) I was dropped into the middle of this charming little town. The first thing that I noticed was that Sperlonga resembled Greece more than Italy; with it’s small alleys and stacked sun bleached buildings layered with balconies overlooking stretches of sea.

After a short walk through town I heard the shore calling me. I swiftly strolled down the zigzagging stairways past the sun bathing cats and made my way to the beach. Once I reached the sand I started scanning the prices for umbrella and beach chair rentals. Sperlonga does have public sections of beach but I would really recommend renting an umbrella; the sun can be very cruel and during midday it can be dangerous staying in direct sun. Sperlonga has an amazing beach; and they know it, you will be paying an average of sixteen euro for two lounge chairs and an umbrella (depending on how near to the water you want to be positioned). I paid twelve euro for two chairs with an umbrella in the back row; it was a mad dash on burning hot sand to get into the water but definitely worth saving five euro.

The sea was perfect, the water was clean and as clear as glass. From the coast you have a great view no matter where you look; whether up at the white hilltop town or out at the waves lapping in from the sparkling sea. I do have a few warnings though, mainly for your wallet. This town is beautiful but small, that means a bit on the expensive side. I would suggest buying all of your supplies before leaving Rome, packing a lunch and using the spare cash on something cold to drink on the beach.

A train for Sperlonga leaves every hour from Termini station (Rome) and costs €6,50 for a one-way ticket; when you arrive at the Fondi-Sperlonga station their will be a shuttle bus waiting to take you into town (€1 per one-way trip). That shuttle runs between the town and train station every hour all day; making it easy to get into and out of town. You really can’t beat this town; with it’s clean stretch of sand and sea and beautiful hilltop views. If you need a place to get away and cool off make your way towards Speronga.

Photo of Sperlonga by Lostajy

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About the author

Venere Travel Blog writer rob callan

Rob is originally from the United States of America; Seattle, Washington to be more exact. He caught wander lust at a young age and has been moving ever since. He is a dual citizen of the USA and UK giving him the possibility to live and work in an incredible amount of places. He has spent time in multiple countries, living in Canada, France, and most recently Italy. He enjoys seeing new places, meeting new people, and living life as it comes. He looks forward to advising you with your travels.

28 responses to “Beach Towns near Rome: Sperlonga”

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  1. Marion says:
    July 8th, 2009 at 3:33 pm

    Just a couple of tips for your day trip from Rome to Sperlonga beach:

    Save money by buying a “B.I.R.G” ticket. This ticket costs €10,50 and is valid until midnight of the day of your first train / bus /metro ride. You can use it on regional trains and the Rome public transportation system (ATAC) that includes all city bus lines and the metro network.

    Always check out the train timetable on the Trenitalia website. On Sundays, trains from Rome Termini Station to Fondi Sperlonga station don’t leave every hour (there is no train between 8.49am and 10.49am). Same thing for the return (no train from Fondi Sperlonga to Rome Termini between 5.57pm and 7.57pm).

  2. Rob says:
    July 9th, 2009 at 1:40 pm

    Thanks Marion!
    The “B.I.R.G” ticket is a great way to cut the travel expenses!

  3. Marion says:
    July 9th, 2009 at 2:20 pm

    You’re welcome Rob. :)

  4. Paola says:
    August 2nd, 2009 at 1:19 pm

    I took your advice and went to Sperlonga. It was as beautiful as you said and my family loved it so much, we went back a second time from Rome. We did find though that the price for a bottle of water in Sperlonga was cheaper than in Rome, and that the beach umbrellas set us back way more than you said. We probably got the most expensive site on the south side but it was the closest from the hot walk from the town(umbrellas are white). We paid 56 euros for two umbrellas and their chairs, but it was such a hot day, we couldn’t walk any further and so we paid it. However the facilities were very clean and nice and so it was worth it. Lovely beach, great day.

  5. Rob says:
    August 3rd, 2009 at 3:38 pm

    I’m glad you and your family had fun Paola! The umbrellas are getting a bit expensive as summer goes on and it seems that there are less and less open spots. I have had to show up in the early morning to be able to secure a spot usually costing around €22 for an umbrella, beach chair, and lounge chair. One way that I cut costs is to go with a group of about friends, we rent an umbrella or two and also lay out towels on the sand. The cheapest place I have found on the south side has green colored umbrellas.
    I hope you and your family get to return soon!
    Rob

  6. Claudio Corvino says:
    August 31st, 2009 at 10:45 am

    Sperlonga is a really great place to spend a day with sun and beautiful sea, and then is near Rome.
    I recommend to everyone :)

  7. Leigh says:
    September 7th, 2009 at 3:32 pm

    Would you recommend Sperlonga in early November?

  8. Marion Cerrato says:
    September 7th, 2009 at 4:48 pm

    Hi Leigh! I’ve never been in Sperlonga in November because I don’t think there is so much to do there during the winter season. A nice day trip from Rome that I would recommend in November is a day out in Calcata: a very nice medioeval hill-top village filled with excellent, traditional restaurants and “hippie artist” shops.

  9. Leigh says:
    September 8th, 2009 at 1:02 pm

    Thank you Marion; I am bringing my two adult children to Rome in November. We have 6 full days and nights there, 4 tours planned. I have been looking at day trips, so far have been told to go to Orvieto, Ostia Antica, and now Calcata. I was thinking of Siena as well (been there). I appreciate any and all advice! However, I am also okay with just hanging out in Trastevere and watching the world go by.

  10. Marion Cerrato says:
    September 8th, 2009 at 1:12 pm

    You’re welcome Leigh! :-)

    Orvieto would be an excellent choice! The city is really worth a visit for its cathedral, Medieval architecture, good food and wine. And, if you’re not traveling by car and have to use public transportation, Orvieto is with no doubt easier to reach compare to Calcata (trains from Rome to Orvieto are frequent).

    Ostia Antica is really interesting too, especially if you and your family are fans of History and Archeology. The visit to Ostia Antica archaeological site won’t take you the entire day, so you’ll have so much time to hang out in Trastevere (one my favorite places in Rome! :) ).

  11. Aya says:
    January 4th, 2010 at 8:45 am

    I am planning on going to Rome for week in early August, and would love to go to Sperlonga for a couple of days. We are looking at the hotel mayor there, would you recommend it? Also, do we still have to pay for umbrellas if the hotel has a private beach? Also, any places you recommend we HAVE to go. Sorry for so many questions, it is our first time in Italy and we are very excited :D

  12. Paola says:
    January 8th, 2010 at 7:33 am

    You will love Sperlonga, especially to get out of the heat of Rome for a couple of days. If you can get a room at the Hotel Mayor, it looks nice and is a great location. If you will be in Rome for one week, and you are spending two of those days in Sperlonga, you will need the rest of the days in Rome, as there is so much to see and do, and the heat will hinder you from going at a fast pace. As Marion mentioned, dining in and then walking around Trastevere is very nice, and although there are tourists wandering around, there are also plenty of locals. Another favourite evening activity is hanging around Piazza Navona, the Pantheon, and the Trevi Fountain, all within easy walking distance of each other. Check out the hours of the attractions (in guidebooks) and try and go as close to closing time as possible to avoid waiting in lineups in the scorching sun, but make sure you give yourself enough time to see the attraction. This method worked for us for the Vatican and the Vatican museums when we went mid-afternoon. If you are going to see the Colosseum, buy your tickets at the Forum across the street, you will then avoid a very long lineup at the Colosseum and you can go straight to the front of the line. It’s a great city with tons to do and you will love it!

  13. Aya says:
    February 20th, 2010 at 2:56 am

    Paolo you are great, thank you so much for your recommendations!

    So I booked our hotel in Sperlonga and in Rome, and we will be in Sperlonga the first two days of the trip and in Rome for 4 days. When we arrive at the airport in Rome we want to go straight to Sperlonga. We arrive on a sunday at 7:50 a.m. I am somewhat confused on exactly how to get to Sperlonga from the airport? Do I have to take a train from the airport to Termini Station and then from there to Sperlonga? And if so, I hear the trains do not run every hour on sundays but I was unable to get the schedule, can someone help me with that? We do not want to spend too many hours just hanging around at the train station when we have a nice room waiting for us in sperlonga :D
    any suggestions/advice would be really appreciated! Thanks!

  14. Nonna Lou says:
    February 20th, 2010 at 10:37 am

    The nearest train station to Sperlonga is in fact FONDI.
    This is the website for TrenItalia, which gives timetables and you can also book your ticketsonline.

    http://www.trenitalia.it/cms/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=ad1ce14114bc9110VgnVCM10000080a3e90aRCRD

    You would need to catch a COTRAL bus from Fondi Station.
    I don’t think they run that regularly.
    Apparently you can buy bus tickets from the bar in the station.

    For more info re Sperlonga and the surrounding area see: http://sperlonga.shapcott-family.com

    Hope this helps.

  15. Paola says:
    February 24th, 2010 at 8:23 am

    Nonna Lou is right that you go to the Fondi-Sperlonga station and the only way I know to get there is from Termini. The bus that you catch from the Fondi-Sperlonga station to take you to Sperlonga you pay one euro to the driver, but this bus is extremely crowded even on a weekday. It doesn’t run as regularly on a Sunday and would likely be even more crowded than a weekday anyways. So with all your luggage, probable fatigue, and the heat, I would take a cab to Sperlonga from the Fondi station. It is about a 20-minute ride. You might even wish to hire a cab from the Rome airport to take you straight there. I don’t know if something like that can be booked online or if you will have to negotiate your fare when you get there. Does anyone have any advice on this?

  16. Rob says:
    February 24th, 2010 at 9:02 am

    I hope you guys enjoy Sperlonga, it is true that the bus can be a bit crowded but they do have a regular service (one bus almost every 15-20 minutes) so as long as you get yourself to the front of the line you can secure a spot for you and your luggage. I would definately have to advise against the Taxi in Rome, Taxi drivers are known to take advantage of tourists; it’s a shame but very true. If you do decide on taking a taxi be sure to know your rights, a one way trip from the airport to Termini station or the city center has a maximum cost of 40 Euros, I’ve seen taxi drivers often asking double that price. I would stick to the train all the way to Fondi. It is very easy to hop the train to Rome from the airport, The train to Rome’s Central Station (Roma Termini) runs frequently between 6:37 am and 10:52 pm and takes 31 minutes. It is called the Leonardo Express…
    http://www.trenitalia.com/cms/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=f12f3bf7c819a110VgnVCM1000003f16f90aRCRD

    How to get to Central Rome (Termini Station)

    After you’ve picked up your luggage, follow the signs to Stazione FS/Railway Station. You’ll have to go up 2 floors to find it.

    Buy a ticket “Per Termini” at the FS ticket counter or from one of the machines in the station. A ticket costs 11 Euros. You must validate your ticked by inserting it in the validation machine before you enter the train.

    Hope that helps you,
    Rob

  17. Paola says:
    March 6th, 2010 at 7:13 pm

    The Cotral bus schedule between Fondi-Sperlonga station and Sperlonga is found at the Cotral bus website.
    The current schedule is not indicative of the summer hours. The buses will run much more frequently once the warm weather arrives, and will include holiday hours as well.
    A few translations are:
    Partenze : departures
    Verso : towards
    Origine : originating point
    Destinazione: destination point
    da : from
    per : for
    Staz.FS : Fondi-Sperlonga station
    feriale : weekdays
    festivo : holidays
    Look on page 2 for “Partenze verso Sperlonga”, under “Origine Staz.FS”. I hope this is not too confusing.

  18. Nick says:
    April 14th, 2010 at 9:27 pm

    Very interesting idea. We have some time planned in Rome during the summer to show the children the sights, and also plan to go on a short beach holiday (maybe to Tukey). I hadn’t thought of combining the two trips. It would make for a longer, more relaxing and possibly cheaper break (less flights at least). I will set my wife (the family travel guru) on to it !

  19. Matt says:
    May 25th, 2010 at 2:29 pm

    Hello, my fiance and I are considering Sperlonga as the destination for our honeymoon in early September. We are both late 20′s and looking for a beach environment that is not flooded with tourists. We’ve both been to Italy multiple times and love the idea of just “setting up camp” in one place to take in the culture. We like the idea of either renting an apartment or getting a hotel if needed, going to the local market, grabbing food/drink for the day, making a casual lunch and dinner, relaxing on the beach, and going out for a drink in the evening and people watching. As far as we can tell Sperlonga looks great for the beaches and true Italian life, but curious on the viability of it as a 5-7 day vacation. Can anyone tell me a little about the day to day life. Shops, markets, places to grab a drink, etc. Any recommended day trips? Thanks!

  20. Nonna Lou says:
    May 25th, 2010 at 6:28 pm

    I would highly recommend Sperlonga for your honeymoon holiday. I
    think it meets all your criteria.
    By September, except perhaps at weekends, Sperlonga will have reverted
    to a sleepy little resort, with lots of charm.

    We are an English Family who came on holiday several times to this beautiful area of South Lazio, and we liked it so much, we decided to make it our home. We live nearby in the small town of Itri which
    nestles in the Aurunci Mountains:
    http://trecancelle.shapcott-family.com.
    You can read about our new
    life in Italy by visiting our BLOG :
    http://trecancelle.wordpress.com

    For some more info about SPERLONGA and also ITRI:

    http://sperlonga.shapcott-family.com

    http://itri.shapcott-family.com

  21. Rita Arrigo says:
    November 30th, 2010 at 5:26 pm

    Thank you for answering questions about Sperlonga many of the answers were pertinent to my queries. My husband and I are considering spending 4 days there and were wondering what it is like during May. Also, can you give suggestions for places to stay. We hope to find a place with amenities and close to good restaurants. This will be my first trip to Italy and from Sperlonga we go to Rome and then home to the states. Thanks for any info you can offer.

  22. Seeker says:
    June 28th, 2011 at 2:29 am

    Hi, do u have a promo nowadays in Sperlonga? i was considering this one when we Visit Rome for a vacation and ofcourse we would like to go to Vatican This Sept. maybe we could stay in this resort. this is indeed beautiful, i think we will enjoy if we have our stay in this resort. :) this could be lots of Fun! Thank you for this Info.
    Moalboal Beach Resort

  23. Tracy says:
    August 27th, 2011 at 11:34 pm

    If you have the time, go just a bit further south to Gaeta. Beautiful seaside village where many sailboating races and events take place. Fabulous places to eat and lots of interesting architecture too!

  24. Nadia says:
    September 8th, 2011 at 5:38 pm

    Wow, so many great news about Sperlonga. I will go there in 2 weeks with my husband and our 5 months old son. We do need urgently a good hotel reccommendation. Near the beach would be great. Or a small appartment would be also fine…any ideas?

    Thanks

  25. Sarah says:
    September 19th, 2011 at 8:29 am

    Hi,

    How about October…can you still swim here in October? (I am planning on going from the 21st-23rd)

    Thanks!
    Sarah

  26. Pınar says:
    August 5th, 2012 at 9:47 pm

    Thank you very much for informations. What about the safety of beach. If I go there on my own or with my friend what can we do our stuffs like wallet, machines, passports?
    Thanks.

  27. Miriam says:
    March 22nd, 2013 at 6:11 pm

    I would be interested in know about how to secure your items when at the beach in Sperlonga- are there lockers available or some place secure to leave items when in the water?

  28. Catherine says:
    September 26th, 2013 at 8:59 am

    I conceive this web site has got some really fantastic information for everyone : D.


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