People swim and walk on the beach. Rocks in the water, buildings on a promontory in background.

Castiglioncello with Kids – A Local Dishes on the Classic Tuscan Beach Town

If you’re looking for a family friendly Tuscan beach to visit, take a peek at Castiglioncello.  Located on the Etruscan Coast, just over 100 kilometers from Florence, it’s easily reached on a day trip by car or train. 

Known to Tuscans as a classic beach destination (we’ve got friends who are the third generation to spend summers in Castiglioncello), it’s got kid-friendly beaches and a chill vibe.

Although I’ve spent time in Castiglioncello with my family and my husband’s extended family, I had the chance to get the local scoop from fellow mamma, Kellie Hayden.  A longtime visitor, Kellie now lives in Castiglioncello with her family.  She loves being a resident in the small town and running the place for a panino (the Portamia Via takeaway sandwich shop, more on it below).  Thanks, Kellie, for helping us make the most of our family time in Castiglioncello! 

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Helpful Tip:  Castiglioncello is pronounced:

Map of Castiglioncello with Kids

When to Visit Castiglioncello with Kids

The beach is a great place to take kids any time of the year if the weather’s decent.  Even if they can’t swim, they can often still play in the sand and run around at the water’s edge.

April, May and June are the best times to visit Castiglioncello with kids because the weather is pleasant but the tourist crowds haven’t yet arrived.

If you visit during the busiest months of July and/or August you should try to get a place at the beach very early in the morning, as the beaches are small and fill up fast.  Or, book a spot at a beach club in advance and arrive at your leisure.

Read more about visiting Tuscany in the SpringSummerFallWinter

Things to Do in Castiglioncello with Kids

People sit on a sandy beach in Tuscany. Boats in far back, red umbrella in sand on left. Tiny waves at edge of water.
Spiaggia Caletta

Go to the beach – If you’re in Castiglioncello with your kids, heading to the beach is a must!  Heads up that Castiglioncello has sandy beaches, but also has a lot of big rock beaches that aren’t the best for kids. 

Our family’s favorite beach is Spiaggia Caletta, a sandy beach that has some rocks as well (which keep the kids entertained!).  At Caletta, you have private and public beach options, and you can even get swim and surf lessons.  As a mom, I appreciate that kids can enter the water without getting in too deep.    

At the beach, you can also rent a boat if you want to have some space to yourself away from the crowded beaches.

From Candice: We usually end up in Quercetano Bay, and Bagni Nettuno for its facilities and little cove with a shallow sandy area for toddlers and access to deeper water for older kids.  This area is perfect for big kids who want some freedom exploring the area, as they can walk around the beach, get snacks, play cards with other kids in the restaurants, and have some ‘freedom’ while at the beach.

Stroll the boardwalk – Castiglioncello has a wonderful boardwalk that runs along the beaches for a nice stroll, even with strollers, however it then cuts off to a sort of trail (not stroller-friendly at that point). The boardwalk runs between Bagni Caletta (by the port) and La Barracchina (on Punta Righini).

Visit Castello Pasquini – Stop by and explore the gardens, check out the views, find the fountain, and have your kids look for the dragons.  There are also sometimes events and small markets.

Explore Pineta Marradi – On hot days, you can bring your kids to this shaded pine grove for a walk, bike ride, or time at the playground.  There are also other attractions, like simple mini-golf, a fountain, a small carnival area, and snack bars.  This spot is a gem on a hot day!

Watch a film at the open-air cinema – Pineta Marradi has a casual, open-air cinema that shows plenty of kid-friendly films.  The only thing – the showings begin late, around 21:30. 

Things to Do Near Castiglioncello as a Family

Kids on a small roller coaster with a rodent face on the front. It's at a theme park in Tuscany.
Cavallino Matto amusement park

Cavallino Matto – theme park for kids with plenty of rides for younger children

Il Giardino Sospeso – ropes courses

More Beaches – north and south of Castiglioncello (including Forte dei Marmi and other beaches near Florence)

Pisa  – climb the Leaning Tower, explore the city

Skatepark Rosignano – For board-loving kids, just south of Castiglioncello

Where to Eat with Kids in Castiglioncello

Castiglioncello is full of great places to eat! 

Portami Via (Via Aurelia, 761/a) – This is our sandwich shop, and it’s an excellent option for families as you can choose panini to take to your apartment, to the beach, or to the pineta for a picnic.  It’s an easy dining option if you’ve got kids with you, and we use fresh, high-quality ingredients in our delicious sandwiches!

Il Sorpasso (Strada Vicinale delle Spianate) –  This restaurant is located at Casale del Mare, just a five minute drive into the countryside.  It’s got fantastic views, and families can take advantage of the large open area with pool (limited access, pay for entry) and garden. You can even visit the horses. Our family likes eating lunch poolside at Il Sorpasso or having dinner in the restaurant (special menu). 

Picnic – Supplement panini with fresh fruit, something to drink, or something salty like potato chips.  Conad City is an easy stop and has everything you could want or need. 

Cantiere del Gelato (Via Straulino) – This is our favorite gelateria in town.  It’s at the port, so you can get a cup or cone and stroll and check out the boats (great kid activity!).  Heads Up:  There is a small metal railing on the edge of the water here, but kids can easily sneak through it. 

Where to Stay with Kids in Castiglioncello

Castiglioncello doesn’t have many hotels.  Rather, there are plenty of vacation rentals – apartments and villas.  These are great options if you’re traveling with your family, as you’ll have a kitchen and more space than traditional hotels. 

There are plenty of apartment and villa choices on sites like

I definitely recommend booking a place near the beach (vs too far inland) as you’ll want to be able to walk to the beach, restaurants, and the pineta.  If you have a place close to the beach you can also head back for naps, if you forget something, or for lunch. 

If you prefer a hotel, these are good options:

Villa Martini and Hotel Atlantico – 3/4-star options near the beach with swimming pools

Hotel Costa Verde – Simple, clean, small property, A/C, close to the beach, private parking; (Candice) I’ve stayed here before on a short stay.  Albergo Pensione Bartoli is a similar option.

Getting To and Around Castiglioncello with Kids

Many people visit Castiglioncello from Florence, either on a day trip or for a multi-day stay.  One of the best things about Castiglioncello (compared to other Tuscan beach towns) is how easy it is to arrive by train.  The train station is in the center of Castiglioncello, so if you’re coming with kids, you don’t need to worry about parking or  navigating busy streets.  Taking the train is a perfect option for a day trip (from Florence, Livorno, Pisa, Lucca, etc.). Just exit the train station and walk to the beach!  The closest beach on foot is Quercetano Bay (10 minutes), but note that the last part is a walk down steps, so it’s not stroller-friendly unless you have someone to help you carry your stroller down.  Spiaggia Caletta is about 20 minutes on foot.

You can also drive, and it’s just 1 hour and 20 minutes from Florence.  The big disadvantage with driving is that you need to worry about parking, which can be a pain on the narrow streets of the town.  The best thing to do is find the blue signs with a white ‘P’ to get to parking areas (paid).  Pineta Marradi has parking and there is some metered parking around town. There is also a ZTL (limited traffic zone) that you need to avoid if you don’t want to get a fine.

Helpful Tip:  Keep in mind that the traffic to and from Castiglioncello can be intense on Friday afternoons and Sunday evenings in the summer, when Italians head to/from the beach for the weekend. 

Once in Castiglioncello, it’s best to get around by walking.  You can bring your stroller to get you between the main places if you’ve got a baby or toddler with you.  Older kids will be fine on foot.  On a day trip, the main movement is from the train station (or where you parked your car) to the beach, lunch, and Pineta Marradi.

Tips for Visiting Castiglioncello with Kids

Kids hug on a sandy beach with blue and white umbrellas in Castiglioncello, Tuscany.
Candice’s son and his cousin at a beach club in Castiglioncello’s Quercetano Bay

Changing Diapers – You can use bathrooms in restaurants, cafés, or bagni (beach clubs), or find a bench (or your beach towel) and change your baby.  No one will blink an eye.

Water – We do have public water fountains in Castiglioncello, but you can also purchase cold water in a shop, grocery store, or one of the bagni.

Strollers – Castiglioncello is fairly stroller friendly.  It has sidewalks and paved streets.  If you prefer beaches with rocks, leave your stroller at home (but I don’t recommend the large stone beaches with kids!).

Beach Access – If you want a spot on a private beach, it’s best to reserve in advance on the beach club’s website or by phone.  The public beaches can get crowded, so if you can, arrive early to get one of the best spots! 

Baby Supplies and Essentials – Castiglioncello has a few grocery stores and pharmacies if you need to pick up diapers, wipes, sunscreen, baby food, etc.  Conad City is the most convenient supermarket (Via Fucini, 26/24 – close to Quercetano Bay), but if you’re staying for awhile it’s worth it to head just south to the bigger Coop and Conad supermarkets to stock up.

Beach Toys – You can bring your own or pick some up at one of the shops in town or near the beach. 

Grazie to Kellie for all of the tips – we’ll see you at your panino shop! And readers, enjoy your time in Castiglioncello with your kids!

Sandwiches and ingredients in a glass display at a sandwich shop in Tuscany, Italy.
Panini at Portami Via
Candice Criscione Avatar