The Italian Beach Club, an Experience of Italian Culture and Lifestyle

The Italian beach club has its unique presence. The neatly laid out parasols, deckchairs, sun loungers, modern board walkways, well-maintained changing rooms, showering places, and toilets, are their common facilities on the Italian beaches. The majority part of the Italian beaches belongs to private beach clubs. Such beach clubs dominate the seaside scene in Italy.

Based on services and costs, the Italian beach clubs have various levels, from budget to luxury. But, it’s easy to find one that suits your style.

Luxury Italian Beach Club

The Italian beach club is a culture and lifestyle

Italian beach scene

Perhaps, the beach space in Italy is often at a premium. The deckchairs and parasols are lined-up utterly neat on the beach. It is the typical scene that the beach arrangement is amazingly in a linear precision. This type of form allows the beach club owners to maximum utilize the beach area. The sunbathers pay according to where they want to sit. The first row to the waterfront will usually cost more. Rates vary from day, week, or seasonal passes.

Many beach clubs have restaurants or dining facilities as well. A few steps from the water, the sunbathers can have a relaxed lunch. The food is not expensive, but the tastes are authentic.

Italian beach life

My understanding of a typical Italian family might rent a flat for a couple of weeks in a popular seaside resort. In the morning, everyone heads to the beach, lying in rows on their sunbeds. Italians at the beach will break for a couple of hours for lunch. They will either opt for lunch at a local seaside restaurant or head back home to cook a big family meal. In the afternoon, they come back to the beach again. And so on for weeks. Some beach clubs (most middle-level ones) are often empty during the day. But, they are probably rented out for the long term already.

Monterosso beach from Cinque Terre

What are the benefit of using the Italian beach clubs?

First of all, some of the beach clubs at the budget level are still affordable. To rent a deckchair only costs a couple of Euros.

Then a beach club offers individual comfort and convenience for the sunbathers. When we traveled to Liguria and Tuscany, we didn’t bring any beach equipment due to the baggage limitation. But we were able to spend time on the beach by renting those things from the beach clubs.

Lastly, compared to the mass holiday-makers on the public beach, the private-owned beach is much less crowded even during the peak holiday seasons. Therefore, the beach atmosphere is more relaxed and friendly.

During our Liguria and Tuscany summer trip, we coincidentally experienced the services from three beach clubs on the Ligurian coast, from budget level, middle level, to luxury level. Therefore, we had the chance to touch a part of the Italian culture.

Monterosso beach from Cinque Terre

Nikki beach club — a luxury Italian beach club

Nikki Beach Club on the Ligurian coast happens to be the very luxurious one. Incidentally, we went into the club. Without renting any chairs or sunbeds, we were able to sit on the bar chairs, swimming in the sea, and relaxing on the beach.

While my family was swimming, I settled myself in a comfortable bar chair next to the pool and looked around. The ocean view was blocked by those luxurious pavilions. Nikki Beach Club has a one-of-a-kind swimming pool fashioned entirely from Carrara marble. Around the swimming pool are the plush sunbeds and an octagon-shaped bar. It offers private changing and showering facilities as well as a sunset terrace for guests. Feeling curious about the club, I started a conversation with a guy busy setting up the music facilities.

The day rate for a plush sunbed, including Champagne, could cost a few hundreds of euros. It offers not only the beach setting but also Italian cuisine and creative cocktails. Besides, it offers various private and public events related to lifestyle as well. Nikki Beach Club is a purely luxury beach club full of Italian temperament and a venue for spending a romantic day.

While I was waiting for my drink, in the meantime, several tourists rented beds on the terrace.

Sun Bed from Nikki Beach Club
Nikki beach club -- a luxury Italian beach club

Bagno Eva  — a comfortable Italian beach club

On the other day during our Liguria and Tuscany summer trip, we planned to stay on the beach for a few hours before driving on Carrara’s marble route in the afternoon. The friendly owner of Bagno Eva Club just charged us 35 Euros instead.

Compared to the Nikki club it has fewer elements. But, toilets, changing rooms and shower places are available, and they were tidy and well-maintained. If you want to have a private changing room, a small fee would be added on top of the day rate.

Each square-shaped pavilion is equipped with two chairs, two stylish low-ground beach chairs, a square plastic table, a massage bed, and a deckchair. The pavilion is around 4 square meters. Even the sunshine moves throughout the day, we could still stay in the shade by rearranging the chairs.

All pavilions lined up from the beach club’s main entrance all the way to the beach front. To avoid one’s feet being burned by the hot sand, swimmers can walk on white wooden boards. The distance between the two pavilions is always the same and spacious. Such an arrangement ensures the privacy and silence.

Its restaurant offers simple but very delicious food at reasonable prices. We had pasta with fresh baby clams and the Parma ham sandwich, all below 10 Euro but in large portions. The service was quick, and the staff was friendly.

This type of club is actually very practical and comfortable. It suits for family travelers and has a very good value for the price. Nearly half of the pavilions were occupied when we left after lunch.

Deck chairs and massage bed from Eva beach club
Palma Ham and Salad Sandwich

Cheap Italian beach club

We experienced a simple and cheap beach club during our visit to the UNESCO town Portovenere. I couldn’t recall the club’s name. After we explore the town, we had a rest on the beach in the late afternoon. One of the beach clubs rent out chairs and small parasols at very low prices. The distance between any two settings is very narrow, and the parasols are so small that they could barely block the sunshine.

The day rate for renting a chair was 5 Euro, a parasol was 8 Euro,  a sunbed was 10 Euro. The half-day price is also available. There was also a shower place. We had to pay a small fee to get a hot shower. But it was free to take a cold shower.

Compared to the Eva beach club, this beach club is a budget one. It is suitable for a single person or a couple. Nevertheless, all the facilities were nearly sold out on that day.

Beach settings from a simple Italian beach club near Portovenere
Price list from a budget Italian beach club

Travel tips

All clubs close around 8:00 pm, and most people would get ready for the dinner scene in nearby places. A few free public beaches were available along the coast. In general, the public beaches were quite busy. Obviously, the majority of people opt for budget offers. But for travelers who only want to spend a day or two on a beach during the entire trip, the middle-level Italian beach clubs are the best choices.

Some hotels along the Italian beaches might already include access to the nearby beach clubs. Seaside hotels often have a private beach, sometimes across a road from the hotel. Others may have arrangements with beach clubs.

It is worth to mention that even as a hotel guest, you could still pay extra for the beach facilities. When you book a hotel for beach purposes, make sure to check detailed information in advance. Here are three hotels along the Italian coast with private beach front:

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