It might not be beach weather just yet, but planning a summer holiday is just the thing to cheer up a dreary February afternoon, and the ranking from travel site TripAdvisor provides some inspiration.
Here are the ten best Italian beaches, according to reviewers for the site.
Rabbit beach, Lampedusa
The only Italian beach to make the top ten in Europe, this gem is found in Lampedusa, the island which is better known for being the landing point for thousands of migrants each year. The beach is beloved for its clear water, white sand and peaceful atmosphere – but despite the name, it isn't home to any rabbits.
Photo: Marco Assini/Flickr
Cala Mariolu, Sardinia
Snorkel, scuba dive or swim in the water off east Sardinia at Cala Mariolu. The beach is only accessible by boat so is rarely crowded, and one visitor said it had a “taste of the Caribbean”.
Photo: Marco Ghitti/Flickr
Cala Goloritze, Sardinia
To the south of the same island, you'll find this tiny slice of paradise, which one reviewer said was “the most beautiful place I've ever visited”. Even more remote than Mariolu, you can't get there by car or boat, but the one-hour hike is bound to be worth it.
Photo: Paolo Terraneo/Flickr
Cala Rossa, Favignana, Aegadian Islands
This beach boasts reddish sand as the name might suggest, together with rocky cliffs and clear blue water. Visitors raved about the “incredible colours” and described it as a “piece of heaven”.
La Pelosa, Sardinia
“The scenery is fantastic wherever you look,” said one traveller to this beach near Stintino, north-west Sardinia. The shallow waters and white sands make it a great choice for families, and it's also popular among divers.
Photo: Tommie Hansen/Flickr
Porto Giunco, Sardinia
Go kayaking, paddle by the rocks, or sip on a cocktail at one of the beach bars at this large, clean beach. It's a windy area, making it perfect for flying kites or sailing, and one tourist said it boasted “the softest sand ever”.
Photo: Non Solo Pene Photo/Flickr
Bay of Silence
In Liguria, the Bay of Silence is the place to be once the weather gets warm. Stroll along the picturesque waterfront and watch the world go by from one of the many restaurants or cafes there.
Photo: Jiuguang Wang/Flickr
This secluded beach boasts clear, warm waters for an idyllic day at the seaside.
Photo: Gianfranco Vitolo/Flickr
“Not only did we experience the most gorgeous sunset of our lives, we also found an amazing beach and a beautiful old town,” said one traveller of their experience in Tropea. In fact, not far from these soft sands and blue waters, you'll find ancient Roman ruins, old monasteries and palaces in the town – this is a favourite among Italians, so get there before the rest of the world catches up to this hidden gem.
Is Aruttas, Sardinia
The sand here is something special: made from tiny grains of quartz, the colours range from pink to white to green creating a unique effect. Make sure to stop off here if you're beach-hopping around Sardinia.
Photo: Marco Assini/Flickr