Planning an international holiday is a task in itself. Quite a difficult task, to be precise. With so many alluring locations, it’s hard to zero in on just one. While Switzerland must be the traditional spot for a Euro trip, millennials are now steadily venturing out into unexplored and virgin locations. Ask why? For a fresh dose of travel experiences, of course. Among them is Italy. It’s not just the city but the beautiful villages in Italy. Every Italian village has unique aesthetics and charm; amazing locations, peculiar architecture and the awesome atmosphere is what singles out each village. You need to be there to know how beautiful they are in real life. The Italian villages are some of the dreamiest locations giving you the complete countryside feel.
To postcard-perfect Tuscan hamlets to sleepy Sicilian seaside escapes, Italy has it all. With the variety on your plate, you are free to roam anywhere in the country. Off-beat tourist tracks are what has been most preferred by the tourists who go down there. What is more amazing is that most of the villages in Italy are within a day-tripping distance of a major city. So, if you are in and around any Italian city, then you know exactly where to head to. It’s time you look beyond Rome, Venice and Florence. Isn’t it amazing to wander a bit away from traditional places or just slip away from the crowds? In this article, we would be talking of some of the most beautiful Italian villages and towns. Keep reading to know more.
Most Beautiful Villages in Italy
- Orta San Giulio, Piedmont
- Manarola, Liguria
- Tellaro, Liguria
- Marina Corricella
- Ricetto Di Candelo
- La Scola di Vimignano
1. Orta San Giulio, Piedmont
If you are looking out for that typical North Italian magic, then Orta San Giulio is the best place for you. Considered one of the most beautiful villages in Italy, it’s a great place to spend a few days. You can even plan your stay at beautiful homestays or any place of the locals. Narrow lanes and lovely architecture make this place stunningly beautiful. Apart from that, the village also serves as the gateway to the enchanting Isola San Giulio.
Watched over by a forested hillside strewn with chapels, the village is indeed a beautiful sight. To top it all, Lago di Orta is undoubtedly the most romantic and beautiful lakes not only in the village but, in Italy. Orta San Giulio is a glorious medley of water, mountains, and pretty-as-picture little streets. Most of the village life revolves around the lakeside Piazza Motta. Take a walk to the Sacro Monte to enjoy broader panoramas and a collection of hillside chapels.
Also See: 12 Best Places to visit in Italy in 2019
2. Manarola, Liguria
Grapevines in the countryside. Who wouldn’t love that now? Part of the Cinque Terre where five villages are tucked into the steep terraces, Manarola is one of a kind. Twenty years ago, you might not have found too many visitors roaming there. But, now things have changed and for good. It’s now a national park and stays busy year-round. Especially in Manarola, some of the old world charms still does remain.
Famous for its sweet Sciacchetrà wine, Manarola is one of the scenic villages in Italy. Locals there speak an esoteric language or local dialect you can say. That’s Manarolese. When we speak of the old world charm, it’s brightly coloured houses and a warren of little alleys climbing to the medieval watch-towers.
3. Tellaro, Liguria
Another of the famed Cinque Terre villages in Italy is Tellaro. A less crowded yet equally charming than the rest is this village. Most of the villages in Cinque Terre has become crowded but, this village still retains its tranquil charm. For the major part, you won’t find any sights in the fishing villages there. But the narrow cobblestone streets, pastel-coloured buildings and sweeping sea views.
Do you need anything more? You can say, it’s Italy’s one of the best-kept secrets. Also known as the Gulf of Poets, for centuries this place has attracted and inspired a number of them. Wandering its maze of little streets and stumbling upon beautiful corners is a great way to get a feel of the old Cinque Terre. Like it had been two decades before.
Standing at an altitude of around 1000 metres, Pietrapetrosa is one of the most beautiful villages in Italy. Beautiful though is an understatement. The residents proudly say that they stay in a place which is suspended mid-air between the sky and the earth. Pietrapetrosa is located between the gigantic crags of the Basilicata region’s so-called “Southern Dolomites.” For the most part, the village looks as if it’s swallowed by the mountains around. It’s on a huge rock that in whose clefts this pretty village sits.
It takes its name from the ancient Petraperciata which means “perforated stone”. The backdrop of the place has allowed this village to become a hotspot for extreme sports lovers. Did you know what the most thrilling activity there is? It’s the Angel Flight, which sees visitors zip line from the village’s highest peak to that of the nearby Castelmezzano. The drive is an adrenaline-filled glide over sharp pinnacles and hairpin bends.
5. Marina Corricella
One of the oldest fishing villages, it’s also one of the prettiest villages in Italy. Pretty because of its a patchwork of purple, yellow, pink, blue, and greenhouses. Quite a sight for the first-timers. The village dates back to the 17th Century and has a simple, laid-back vibe that’s hard to replicate.
Most of the village is lined with wooden boats and fishing nets. And, the harbour there is always bustling with shouting fishers and vendors. A former prison named Fortress Terra Murata serves as the highest point on the island, with views stretching across the Gulf of Naples. Do try out the signature local fish dishes at the La Corricella Restaurant.
6. Ricetto Di Candelo
This is one of the most beautiful small Italian villages known to visitors. The village is situated in Piedmont and the name of this fortified hamlet means “refuge”. In the times of war, locals used this village as a hiding place and stored grapes, wine and grain after peace had been declared. Also known as the “Pompeii of the Middle Ages” the original architecture of this pentagon-shaped village has been preserved.
And, that too with great care and attention. Made up of around 200 reddish-brown cube-like houses and five main roads, it’s a pretty sight for sure. Most areas of the village are surrounded by high walls and meandering cobblestone alleyways. Try out the delicious local cuisine in Locanda La Greppia. You would surely love it.
Also See: Top 13 Places To Visit In Florence
A hideaway in every sense, Marettimo is one of the most amazing villages in Italy. Wildest and the most pristine of all the islands in the Sicily’s Egadi archipelago, it’s a contrast of white and blue. Ask why? Cluster of white-washed dwellings with blue trimmings sparkle under the sunset. Looks beautiful and can send your camera to frenzy. The simplicity of this place and can be quite hypnotizing.
In this peaceful fishing village, only electric carts and donkeys are the means of transportation. Quite hard to believe in today’s times. Also, this pristine village is overlooked by an abandoned clifftop Saracen fortress. You would also see prayers scribbled on the walls and doors to keep storms at bay. Locals there had long back been instilled with the fear of the sea gods and hence the written prayers.
It is one of those enchanting and small Italian villages with not more than 6000 inhabitants in total. You can very well imagine how peaceful it is going to be. Not for from Bologna in the region of Emilia Romagna, this village sits pretty luring visitors since long. What makes this place unique are the narrow streets which have brightly painted walls at the sides. Beautiful murals to be precise.
During the Biennale del Muro Dipinto, many famous painters gather round to paint different subjects on the walls. Men, women and different symbolic senses. There’s also the medieval castle Sforza where you can walk to the top to get a splendid view of the landscape.
9. La Scola di Vimignano
One of the tiny villages in Italy, it is located in the Apennines Hills Bologna. Built in the XIII century as a defensive wall for the Byzantine kingdom against the longboards, the village is still well-known. You might as well feel as if time has stopped as you would get that typical medieval feel all around. The loveliest part about this place is that due to the narrowness of the streets, cd vehicles cannot enter.
So, you can enjoy your walk down the alleyways without any vehicle interruption. A lot of beautiful sights and wonderful places to take in as you go out to explore this village. Pass through an archway which is the doorway of the ancient village to see houses and tower houses linked by a wooden balcony. It’s a pretty sight for sure!
This is again one of the prettiest villages in Italy. Pretty, beautiful, and all those adjectives would be an understatement to describe the beauty of any of the villages in Italy. Located near Perugia in the region of Umbria, it lies atop a hill beside the ancient route leading from Perugia to Lake Trasimeno. Post the Second World War, the village has been in total decline. In fact continuous decline.
Some of the Renaissance architectures have been restored as of now. If you enter some of them, you can get to see expert artisans at work. They mainly produce rare cashmere clothes. You would also see a number of young enthusiasts learning work from the experts there. That is mainly to continue the tradition of their precious handicrafts.
Towns in Italy
- Atrani, Campania
- Collodi, Tuscany
- Monte Isola, Lombardy
- Belluno, Veneto
While talking of the beautiful villages in Italy, even the towns need a mention as well. Italy has got some of the prettiest small towns within a day-tripping distance. Really good for one-day trips from the cities. Here’s a look at a few of them.
1. Atrani (Campania)
Overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea, Campania is one of the most beautiful towns in Italy. It’s tucked between two cliffs and is tiny and picturesque. The small town of Atrani is the Amalfi Coast’s best-kept secret. Almost often bypassed en route to the larger and more famous towns of Amalfi, Positano and Sorrento, it’s a beautiful place for sure. Lovely churches, piazzas, and charming trattorias and al yours. The best way to explore this small town in Italy is of course on foot. Walk around and tut the sign fresh seafood and smoked mozzarella at A’Paranza.
Noted for being the ideal example of a Renaissance city, it is one of the most beautiful towns in Italy. Shaped like a star, the town is constructed in line with the Utopian theory. It is because of the concentric circles that make up the city representing idealism, as well as serve for defence. Palmanova is located in the southeast Friuli-Giulia, between Udine and Trieste. The town would be of interest to the people who have a clear knack in unique architecture.
3. Collodi, Tuscany
Between Florence and Pisa, carved into the side of a hill in Tuscany is Collodi. Beautiful as the name suggests, it’s one of the prettiest small towns in Italy. You can say it’s a village developing into a small town. Gorgeous with its medieval looks, the place is famous for being the home of Pinocchio. When you are there, you can stop by the Pinocchio Park, which boasts the tallest wooden Pinocchio statue in the world. The nearby Garzoni Gardens are also a treat for the eyes and your soul. Filled with Renaissance statues, gorgeous fountains and lush bamboo groves, it’s a beauty for sure.
4. Monte Isola, Lombardy
The town of Monte Isola sits in the middle of one of the most beautiful lakes in Italy. Lake Iseo. Located on the island of the same name, it’s an hour and a half drive from the city of Milan. Post that you need to take a 20-minute ferry ride across the lake from the town of Iseo. But, all these efforts are well worth as you would get to see one of the most beautiful towns in Italy. Lakeside cafes, excellent trattorias, cosy B&B’s and the gorgeous Madonna Della Ceriola Chapel. All nestled in the middle of the island is a visual treat for any visitor.
Further Read: Explore The Top 15 Places to visit in Venice
5. Belluno, Veneto
Backed by the snow-capped Dolomites, this town is perched on the high bluffs above the Piave River. It is undoubtedly one of the prettiest small towns in Italy. Apart from offering visitors a stunning 360-degree view, it’s a charming historical town centre. Renaissance-era buildings, palazzi, and Romanesque churches are what make up most of the town. And, it’s downright beautiful to look at. The best part is that this town is just a little over an hour’s drive from mainland Venice.
With curious histories, the towns and villages in Italy are some of the best travel destinations for a meaningful vacation. Lovely architecture, stunning panoramic views and lip-smacking gastronomy are what lures visitors to Italy. So, why should you be left behind? Wondering where to go next? Well, we have your back.