The Best Beach Day Trip From Florence .

After just one week of living in Florence, Italy, the roomies and I were itching to dip our toes into clear water. I mean cut me some slack, I did just live in California for the summer, so city living is quite the change. With an empty Saturday schedule, we decided a day trip to the beach was just what the doctor ordered.

After a little bit of research, I was shocked to see how many beaches were just an hour train ride away from us! We ended up settling on Castiglioncello per a professor’s recommendation and it was beautiful, to say the least. Castiglioncello is a small beach town nestled just beneath Livorno, Italy. It was full of locals so we got an authentic beach day experience.

Sharing all of the details from our beach day below!

How To Get There 

We looked into several beaches but decided on Castiglioncello since we were able to find a direct train ride. This was our first time using the train system in Florence so we wanted as seamless of an experience as possible.

The Best Beach Day Trip From Florence -Castiglioncello

The ride from Firenze Santa Maria Novella (our local train station) to Castiglioncello was just an hour and thirty minutes. We were shocked to learn that nobody speaks over the intercom to announce what stop you’re at; I highly recommend downloading your train line’s app as it keeps you updated with each stop/arrival time.

I booked my train ticket three days in advance through Trenitalia and it was €24.20 round trip!

Where To Beach 

Castiglioncello is full of beach clubs where you can rent a chair for the day, grab an ice cream from the local clubhouse, and enjoy an elevated view of the ocean. You can typically spot these by numerous matching umbrellas clustered together. It was around €15 to rent a chair and umbrella for the day.

However, we wandered just past the beach clubs and found a spot to sprawl out our towels along the public beach. There were a few key differences here from your average American beaches— 1) The “sand” is actually composed of tons of small rocks and crushed shells. 2) The “beach” itself is very short, with very little space to sprawl out. It was very crowded where we were, so expect to be fairly close to the next group. 3) It’s not the easiest water to get in and out of because of how rocky it is. It was very slippery so, although swimmable, just be cautious where you are stepping.

This water is also a part of the Ligurian Sea, meaning there aren’t really waves. It was incredibly warm and the current was so weak that it felt like we were swimming in a lake. It was super salty too so you could float on your back so much easier, haha.

The scenery was just incredible here—truly so beautiful. We spent the entire afternoon napping in the sun, dipping in and out of the water, and taking photos!

Where To Eat 

Immediately after getting off of the train, you are met with a huge park—there were several different vendors selling things, a carousel, and some food trucks. We were hungry around 5 pm and the restaurants in the area had yet to open so we decided to just grab a quick bite from one of the stands.

The girls ordered hot dogs but I wanted to try something truly Italian. After a little broken English exchange with the cashier, I settled on the Crudo Guacamole. I wasn’t sure what to expect but she claimed it was her favorite so I gave it a try— this sandwich had prosciutto, formaggio cheese, guacamole, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, and some salsa. It was an interesting combination but quite tasty! I was happy to try something new. It was €6.50 for the sandwich + a bottle of still water.

By the time we finished eating, a gorgeous rooftop had opened for the evening so we wandered over to grab a drink. When it comes to Il Cardellino it was truly a 10—an incredible waterfront view, free appetizers, and American top hits playing over the speakers.

I ordered a Sexy Coolada— rum mix, banana, and cocoa liquore and it was delicious. Not to mention, the presentation was phenomenal! I really loved this place and wish we could have stayed longer.

What I Wore

I wore a cute white bikini from a sustainable small business called Svn Swim. For the sake of our train ride and walking around, I tossed on a lightweight linen set over top. This one is incredibly breathable and the pieces are sold separately so I was able to get different sizes in both the top and bottom. Don’t forget flip-flops, sunglasses, and a cute tote to throw your beach towel in!

I’m so happy to know we’re just a short ride away from the beach. I’m hanging onto every sliver of summer left. We’re off to Cinque Terre this weekend… I’ll be sure to keep you posted on how it goes! Until then, be sure to keep up with my Florence day-to-day on Instagram (@styledbymckenz ).

With love, McKenz

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