3 seaside destinations close to Rome only known to Italians (and a few discerning visitors)
This tiny island off the coast near Rome is truly a secret escape. Likely you won't hear about it unless a Roman friend takes you there. Known for its crystal clear waters and snorkel-friendly coves, the best way to experience Ponza is on a boat. Rent a dingy and spend the day cruising around the island, anchoring to sunbathe and 'take a bath,' as the Italian's say.
To reach Ponza, you must take a ferry from Formia. June and September are the best months to visit the island when the water is warm but crowds of Roman holidayers are less.
About an hour and 15 minutes south of Rome by train, this white-washed town makes you feel as if you have been transported to the likes of Greece. This hidden gem sits on a cliff above the water with beautiful sandy beaches below. Sperlonga is perfect for a day trip from Rome or even a long weekend. In the summer it will be abuzz with Romans escaping the heat of the city but in the spring and the fall is a quiet retreat. Rent a lounge chair and umbrella from one the beach clubs and indulge in fresh from the water fish at every meal.
3. San Felice Circeo
You will need a car to escape to the long-stretches of sandy beach in San Felice Circeo. What makes this beach destination most unique and beautiful are the green hills of the national park that rise behind it. You won't find many tourist here, only Italians who have likely been frequenting this beach for generations. Prepare to swim in the Mediterranean into the early evening before driving up into the hills to watch the sunset.