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The Beaches of Lignano Sabbiadoro (And Other Activities!)

Robie is an Italian artist who now lives in the US. She loves to share useful vacation tips and first-hand knowledge about Italy.

Lignano Sabbiadoro, Beach

Lignano Sabbiadoro, Beach

The Best Beach in the Region of Friuli Venezia Giulia

Lignano Sabbiadoro is a beach on the north-eastern coast of Italy, with fine golden sand and lively nightlife. The town is in the Friuli Venezia Giulia region of the country and is one of the major summer destinations in the country.

Shaped as a peninsula, Lignano Sabbiadoro protrudes from the mainland, one side of the coast sandy and busy with beach life, while the northern coast is rocky and quiet and spotted with little fisherman’s boats.

With three darsenas (docks), Lignano is loved by boat owners from all over Europe.

Beach Life in Northern Italy

In Northern Italy beaches on the Adriatic Sea are sandy so the water level starts very low, and gradually goes up. You may have to walk hundreds of meters (or yards) to get to the water up to your neckline.

Once you are far enough from the shore, the waters are deep and popular with boaters. This kind of shore is perfect for children and people that want to play in the shallow water.

Lignano’s beach is divided into areas managed by different agencies, called Beach Offices (uffici spiaggia). Each Beach Office has a selection of beach umbrellas that you can rent for a day, or for a whole month. Prices vary by type and location: the fancier and closer to the shore, the more expensive.

The strip of sand closer to the beach is umbrella free, and available to lie on your towel without a cost. There are also areas assigned for those who have their own umbrella.

Public restrooms, showers, and changing rooms are available and free as well.

Along the beach there are children’s playgrounds, bars and little restaurants where you can get snacks, coffee, gelato, drinks, and more.

Lignano Sabbiadoro, the Lighthouse

Lignano Sabbiadoro, the Lighthouse

Things to Do in Lignano

Lignano has something to offer everyone! It's very popular with young people for the nightlife, with the young families because it's safe and fun, with the older populations for sun-bathing and walks.

You can choose to enjoy the beach, visit a local zoo or try any of the water sports offered during the summer season. In Lignano, you can also golf on an 18 hole golf course.

Where to Stay In Lignano

Lignano Sabbiadoro welcomes tourists with a wide selection of accommodations. Hotels of all kinds, apartments or single homes and camping are all available.

Depending on the budget and how far you want to walk to the beach, you can find lodgings that meet your needs.

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Lignano Sabbiadoro, view of beach near Terrazza a Mare

Lignano Sabbiadoro, view of beach near Terrazza a Mare

Go to the beach

Of course, the main reason why people go to Lignano is to enjoy the beach. The water is usually calm, much to the delight of the young and old who love to jump and play in them. The exception is after a storm when you can have stronger waves,

The sand is very fine and may be stirred up by the waves and make the water look cloudy, but the quality is excellent. In fact Lignano is awarded each year with the European blue flag, an eco-label for the best beaches.

Lignano Sabbiadoro, having fun in the shallow sea water.

Lignano Sabbiadoro, having fun in the shallow sea water.

Activites Other Than the Beach

If you're a bit too burnt to head to the beach for another day or just feel like having a change of pace, there are plenty of other activities to occupy you time while still enjoying yourself.


Lignano has all kinds of wonderful shops that offer a wide selection of products, from fashionable clothes and shoes to home décor, Murano glass, souvenirs, and more.

Stroll Pedestrian Areas

After a day at the beach, everyone goes out for a walk. The sidewalks and pedestrian areas get crowded with people in a holiday mood. It’s much fun to just walk and be part of the lively crowd. If you're visiting, take a stroll and pretend you're an Italian local for the afternoon, perhaps with a gelato in hand!

Typical gelato in Lignano

Typical gelato in Lignano


Speaking of gelato, Italian gelato is really yummy, and the artisanal options you find in Lignano are creamy and made with the best ingredients. The choice of where, when, and how to get one is unlimited.

You can get a cone or cup to go, or you can sit at the gelateria’s tables and be served scrumptious looking gelato creations in glass chalices and cups, decorated with fresh fruit and whatnot. Usually just looking at the photos on the menu makes my mouth waters.

One of the many pizzas I ate in Lignano

One of the many pizzas I ate in Lignano

Pizza and Restaurants

The choices of where and what to eat are almost overwhelming! There are so many good restaurants and pizzerias and the quality is really high. If you want to taste some good local food you can opt for a grigliata mista (assorted grilled meat) or a grigliata di pesce (grilled fish), and you won’t be disappointed.

Pizza is always a great option, the menus offer dozens of choices for toppings, and Italian pizza crusts are thin yet so soft. The single portion is a whole pizza and, believe me, it’s not hard to gobble it all down!


Modern and sophisticated, bars are a big meeting point in the evenings, with options for indoor and outdoor sitting. Many bars have themed nights with music and entertainment. In the trendiest bars, you'll see big crowds standing and talking to the rhythm of lively music, sipping their drinks.

Others are more relaxed and soft, great for a quiet conversation.


Parking is difficult to find, and once you have a parking spot, you’d rather not move your car. So biking is a great option, plus Lignano is particularly bike-friendly.

You can rent bicycles, rickshaws, motorcycles, and more at several shops around the peninsula. Many hotels provide bicycles to their guests.

Water Sports

On the beach, there are different options for those that get bored lying around: windsurfing, kite surfing, canoeing and aqua gyms are all things you can explore.

Dance Until Dawn

Italian beach holidays are always full of music and dancing opportunities. In addition to the many bars with live music or DJs and trendy disco clubs, the new rage is to dance barefoot on the sand—making beach parties very popular. Some beach offices have dancing parties on specific week nights, often with no entrance fees.

Lignano’s disco clubs start filling up around midnight and stay open until dawn!

Looking for a Quieter Stay?

Lignano divides in three areas: Sabbiadoro, Pineta, and Riviera.

You can avoid the loud and busy areas of Lignano by staying on the north-side streets of Sabbiadoro, or in the green-filled and serene areas in Lignano Pineta and Lignano Riviera.

© 2012 Robie Benve

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