A beach close to Rome, with clear water, a medieval castle, and some Roman ruins: why not?
Santa Severa, even though is not really a destination widely considered by foreign tourists, is in my humble opinion, a proper hidden gem that’s worth to visit especially if travelling during the summer months. If you need a break from the heat of the City, you might be surprised to hear how easy and close is to slip into the clean Mediterranean waters.
Santa Severa, amongst other destinations by the sea, is only 50 km from Rome.
The beach that surrounds the Castle is free, which is quite rare given the fact that in Italy most of the beaches are taken over by private owners (Stabilimenti).
Named after its homonymous martyr, is believed to have been an ancient Roman port under the name of Pyrgi. Like its bigger neighbour Santa Marinella, it was a popular summer resort for the Romans as well as a fishing settlement supplying fish to the mainland towns and Rome itself. The outline of the Roman settlement is still visible, if you walk around the borgo (walled village) you will notice that the Roman-era foundations are made of massive cyclopean masonry. On top of this, the medieval borgo walls were built, from smaller stones, covered in plaster. Inside the walls, there is a small museum, a church and some small artsy shops.
Here is the castle’s official website, where you can also pre-purchase the entry ticket: http://www.regione.lazio.it/santasevera/
How to get there from Rome: https://www.rome2rio.com/it/s/Roma/Santa-Severa
Santa Severa is about 45 minutes away by train from either Termini or Trastevere station. The train ticket costs about €5, but access to the beach is totally free.