A swimmer alerted the coast guard to the boat which arrived at the shore of Morghella beach, Syracuse, La Repubblica reported.
A number of pregnant women and around 50 young children were on board, the newspaper said.
While the coast guard came to the rescue, beachgoers waded into the water and formed a human chain to help the migrants ashore.
A video (below) shows the new arrivals climbing into a rescue boat, before locals help them through the waves.
The same day Italy’s interior minister, Angelino Alfano, said that nearly 9,000 migrants had arrived in Italy between July 1st and August 10th this year.
More than 24,000 migrants arrived on Italy’s shores during 2012, the minister said on Thursday.