Most Beautiful Villages in Italy
As some of the most beautiful villages in Tuscany are going to occupy most of the following list, I‘d like to give you my personal insight also on the best and most beautiful villages in Italy, not just Tuscany.
Italy offers so many spectacular places and enchanting borghi all across its territory that is quite hard to make any selection! I’ve chosen just some of them, so feel free to suggest your most beloved Italian town!
All of the following destinations have been chosen for their peculiar architecture, their special atmosphere, their amazing locations. There’s no a first or a last, each of them is peculiar and characteristic.
Let’s start our journey to the most charming, suggestive and spectacular villages and towns across Italy.
The Best Towns to visit in Italy
San Gimignano – Tuscany
One of the best preserved and most characteristic medieval hill towns of Italy, and the one with the most unique and unmistakable layout, thanks to its 16 towers looking at the sky. Traffic is not allowed in the town center, which contributes to make San Gimignano a real timeless place! Surrounded by beautiful verdant hills in the province of Siena, San Gimignano is definitely a must visit in Italy!
Pitigliano – Tuscany
It’s enough to have a look at the picture to see why Pitigliano is one of the most spectacular villages of all Italy! Rising directly from a spur of tuff stone, you can hardly distinguish the houses from the rocks. Pitigliano is located in the very south of Tuscany, in a marvelous area called del tufo, where you find also other stunning smaller Etruscan towns like Sorano and Sovana. That’s one of the lesser known and most beautiful areas of Tuscany.
Pienza – Tuscany
This is a real jewel in Tuscany! We are in the Val d’Orcia south of Siena. The village was actually planned to be beautiful and perfect by the humanist Pope Pius II, alias Enea Silvio Piccolomini, that built the town in just 3 years (1459-1462) under the guidance of the great architect Bernardo Rossellino. In addition to the famous magical trapezoidal square and the Cathedral, Rossellino’ s masterpiece is also the splendid Renaissance Palazzo Piccolomini, with its elegant courtyard and extraordinary garden with a stunning panorama over the Val d’Orcia.
Montepulciano – Tuscany
Montepulciano is pure beauty! One of my most beloved Tuscan towns! It is rightly also called la perla del ‘500. Its palaces from the Renaissance are incredibly beautiful and full of charm. Its alleys are enchanting, all leading to Piazza Grande, a wonderful square dominated by a stunning Town’s Hall. The Nobile di Montepulciano red wine is one the finest wines of Italy. The location of Montepulciano is again in the province of Siena on the border between the Val d’Orcia and the Valdichiana.
Civita di Bagnoregio – Lazio
Civita di Bagnoregio is a rare gem! In my opinion the most striking and impressive of all Italian villages. Particularly spectacular for its fabulous location perched on top of an isolated cliff, that unfortunately is slowly eroding. Because of this, Civita di Bagnoregio is also called the dying city, la “città che muore”: It can be reached via a long dramatic bridge only on foot or on scooters. You see it and you’re soon captured; this is, in some ways, a magical and surreal place.
Orvieto – Umbria
Orvieto is Umbria’s most striking hill town, rising over a spectacular volcanic outcrop, and dominated by one of Italy’s finest cathedrals. Its wonderful Duomo, masterpiece of Italian Gothic architecture, would be enough for Orvieto to stay in this list, but the whole town is delightful and characteristic, enjoying fabulous vistas!
Manarola – Liguria
Manarola is an ancient borgo of the Ligurian coast. Manarola is probably the most impressive and characteristic of the famous Cinque Terre in the Liguria region: Riomaggiore, Monterosso al Mare, Corniglia, and Vernazza. Manarola rises right on the rocks over the sea, its houses are colorful and stand side by side while the steep mountain range behind them seem to fall down at anytime.
Matera – Basilicata
Known as the “Città dei Sassi”, the city of stones, Matera is located in southern Italy, in Basilicata. It is a UNESCO world heritage site for its beauty and uniqueness. Matera is actually one of the most ancient and most beautiful towns not just of Italy but the world! I Sassi are the most ancient examples of “houses” carved into the rock. The sight is extraordinary!
Positano – Campania
Just 30 miles from Naples, the village of Positano is the most spectacular and romantic village of all the Amalfi Coast. Its location on the sea is fantastic. Positano has a nice beach, cozy restaurants, wonderful shops (some of the best and most particular I’ve ever seen), but there is also a small enchanting harbor from which boats depart to explore the suggestive cliffs of the Amalfi Coast and its scenic villages. Amalfi, Ravello, Furore, Maiori, and Minori are all incredibly beautiful! The Costiera Amalfitana is a place you will never forget.
Sperlinga – Sicily
The name Sperlinga derives from the greek word for cave and indeed the town itself is characterized by numerous caves excavated into the rock, some of them can even be visited. The Castle is definitely a must see for its incredible natural conformation being partly carved into the stone.
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