Sperlonga is a gorgeous whitewashed village with a sandy beach, stunning waters and charming corners less than 2 hours South of Rome. It is a wonderful destination for a day trip from Rome but also a great place for a family summer holiday or a relaxing weekend.
This is our guide to the gorgeous seaside village of Sperlonga.
Why you should visit Sperlonga
If you have never heard of Sperlonga, you might be wondering if it is worth making time for this small, lesser known center and this would be fair.
With all Italy has to offer, what makes Sperlonga so special to deserve a visit? I believe there are several answers to this question.
- Sperlonga is perched on rocky promontory overlooking the Mediterranean and has, at its base, a large sandy beach. This makes it perfect for travelers who want to strike a balance between beautiful sea views and beach accessibility.
- The town has lovely whitewashed alleyways that are a photographer’s dream
- Aside from the village, the area offers a lot to visitors who can easily visit the nearby islands, Rome and Naples
- Sperlonga has a beautiful archaeological museum that makes it a good stop for history lovers as well as beach goers
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Who should go to Sperlonga?
Sperlonga is a lovely destination for many types of travelers.
In particular, it is perfect for families with young children, due to its shallow waters, couples looking for a romantic and not overly expensive escape and anyone looking for a seaside overnight stop in the area between Naples and Rome
How to get to Sperlonga from Rome
Sperlonga is less than 2 hours South of Rome and the easiest way to get there is by private car.
If you prefer not to drive, you can also use public transport but you need to be ready for a little more hassle.
The train bring you from Rome to Fondi and there you need to catch the local bus or a taxi to the town.
This is not difficult to do, but does add a little bit of traveling time, especially on days such as national Holidays when the local services are less frequent. The best site to get hold of train tickets is Trenitalia.it: this is the official site of the Italian railways and is the one with the cheapest fares.
What to see and do in Sperlonga
Sperlonga is a small seaside town and works well as a destination in itself or a base to explore the area. My favorite things to do in Sperlonga are:
Take a stroll in its whitewashed alleys
It may not look like it, from below the rock, but Sperlonga is a whitewashed village with gorgeous white houses decorated with cascading flowers.
Taking a stroll in the village is a real pleasure and a photographer’s dream, alone one something that makes a stop in this town a worthy one.
Explore Tiberius’ Palace and local archaeological museum
Emperor Tiberius is probably better know for having a villa on the island of Capri, but he was also fond of Sperlonga and vestiges of his palace are still visible.
The ruins are just outside the town and access to them include also entry to the local archaeological museum which has impressive sculptures of Polyphemus, Scylla, Odysseus and Ganymedes, something history and sculpture lovers cannot miss.
The ruins of Tiberius’ palace just outside Sperlonga are one of the best things to visit in the area
Eat, eat, eat
The local between Rome and Naples, two major food capitals, may have given it away but Sperlonga is a great place for food too. Pizza, seafood and fish are all delicious here: start your evening with an aperitivo and then indulge in your favorite foodie treat in one of the many non pretentious, authentic restaurants in this village.
Go to the beach
Sperlonga is a seaside town and the main reason to come here is without a doubt the beach. Here the water is shallow and clean and this makes is perfect especially for families and non swimmers.
If you are idea of the sea is snorkeling and diving this is not the place for you but for sunbathing and se paddling, Sperlonga is just perfect!
Where to stay in Sperlonga
Sperlonga is a popular holiday destination and has several campsites and hotels catering for all types of visitors.
However, I have a favorite place to stay in Sperlonga, hotel Aurora, which is perfectly located on the beach and has nice room, pleasant breakfast and a lovely terrace cafe overlooking the beach.
For parents: why Sperlonga for a family beach holiday in Italy
I highly recommend Sperlonga for families and I do so out of personal experience: as well as having spent endless summers here as a kid myself, this was where we had our first family vacation when my son was just 2 months old!
The beach is perfect for children
Sperlonga beach is clean, soft, sandy and it stretches for miles.
The water here is shallow and clean and it is perfect for families with kids. Wandering into the Mediterranean here is safe: the water in only few inches deep until pretty far out and this means that even tiny tots can play on the shore without fear of sudden waves or sudden drops.
The beach here is mostly occupied by hotels and ‘stabilimenti’ so if you want to get a nice spot it is advisable to book chairs and umbrellas.
The cost varies and may get steep in high season: the best deals are usually with hotels, which often have private beach access.
Before heading to the beach for an evening walk, do use insect repellent – you can find them (both chemical and natural, for adults and kids) in the local pharmacy.
Where to stay in Sperlonga Italy with kids
We stayed in Hotel Aurora, mentioned above, which is right on the seafront, at the foot of the village.
Hotel Aurora is lovely: rooms are clean and perfectly equipped, the staff super friendly and the location excellent, just on the beach, close to shops and restaurants and at the bottom of the steps climbing up the hill (which means you never have to go up the steps unless you want to!).
Top tips for families visiting Sperlonga with kids
The village is on a high cliff and access to its upper part is through atmospheric but steep stairways, impossible to negotiate with a pram or buggy.
Car access can sometimes be arranged, but make sure you ask and confirm this with your accommodation provider). If you want easy access to the beach or are travelling without a car, choose accommodation at the bottom of the hill
If you don’t feel like taking the stairs, as we often didn’t, you can opt for an easier walk along the waterfront.
This is also where often, in the summer, you have events and festivals, usually based on either showcasing local food product or art.
What to pack for visiting Sperlonga Italy with kids
- Bring a baby carrier and leave the pram at the hotel when heading into the upper part of town
- Load up on insect repellent and after bite ointment. In summer, Sperlonga has very many mosquitoes and they are a real pain. While not dangerous (they do not carry diseases) they are very annoying and especially on little children or sensitive skins may cause an unpleasant swelling.
- Book chairs and umbrellas to get the best spot on the beach
- Buy baby supplies and equipment in the local supermarket and, for higher end products, at the local pharmacy