The Rustic Italian Beach That Will Get You Away From The Bustling Tourist Crowds

There's nothing more beautiful than the stunning beaches of Italy. Hugging her coastline from the cuff throughout the entire boot, and her surrounding islands, an array of diverse beaches stretching over 4,000 miles — from the east coast to the south coast and back up the west coast — can be found. Jagged cliffs surrounded by five beckoning blue seas, pristine sand that feels like cotton under your toes, jaw-dropping scenery, ancient historic sites, and colorful seaside villages frame Italy like a captivating Renaissance painting created by Botticelli.

And while the beaches in Italy are a favorite among the locals year-round, particularly during the summer season, tourists tend to flock to the more popular beach destinations in Italy during the height of summer as well. According to U.S. News & World Report, the Amalfi Coast is the top choice for sun worshippers, and also the most crowded. However, travel approximately 114 miles south of Amalfi's busy beaches, and you'll find yourself sun-lounging on a rustic, Italian beach that takes you away from the chaotic tourist crowds.

The hidden gem of Aquafredda

Roughly three hours south of the Amalfi Coast, lies the picturesque, seaside, and hilltop town of Maratea. Known as "the pearl of the Tyrrhenian Sea," as stated by Visit Italy, this comune of Basilicata, within the Province of Potenza is home to 44 churches, and a Christ the Redeemer statue that sits high atop Monte Sant Biagio. Similar to the statue in Rio de Janeiro, it proudly watches over the sea and region of Maratea.

The village and seaside resort of Aquafredda ("cold water") in Maratea, has been awarded the Blue Flag by the Foundation for Environmental Education since 2007 for the purity of its water and the environmental structure of its beaches. Wooded sloping cliffs and forested hills jut down onto its surrounding coastline, with impressive natural rock formations and lush green landscape framing its picturesque and tranquil beaches of dark sand, pebbled coves, and secluded grottoes.

Timeless treasures away from the crowds

According to Condé Nast Traveler, both Maratea and Acquafredda have characteristics akin to Amalfi, but far less crowded, and much more peaceful. Not only are the beaches of Acquafredda enticing, but the area also contains some pretty magical spots worth visiting. The Spiaggia Grotta della Scala ("Beach Cave of Stairs") of Acquafredda looks like something out of the movie, "The Beach."

According to TripAdvisor reviews, reaching it is a bit of a challenge, with over 200 steep steps to take down towards its cozy shoreline. However, once you arrive at this stunning and intimate beach that has crystal clear, turquoise-colored water, pebbles along its dark sandy beach, and rocky cliffs that sharply plunge into the sea, you'll feel as though you've found a hidden paradise. Spiaggia dell'Anginarra ("The Anginarra Beach") is another sun and sand-filled treasure of Acquafredda. The largest of the beaches, it has a rustic charm to its beach, with hidden coves tucked within its cliffs that spirit you away from the hot summer sun for a brief respite, as shown on TripAdvisor. All in all, the quaint village of Acquafredda in Maratea is a jewel along the Mediterranean Sea that offers everything and more than its distant cousin farther north — its beaches both magical and serene, its charm intoxicating.