See Why Italy Has the Most Beautiful Towns in the World
When traveling to Italy most people tend to flock to the large cities like Rome and Florence and their famous attractions and miss out on the stunning Italian countryside where Italy's true beauty lies. The whole country is dotted with gorgeously picturesque coastal towns and villages perched on mountains guaranteed to drop your jaw. Although you could spend an age traveling around the numerous picture-perfect settlements, we've picked some of our favorite for you to consider.
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Located right in the south of the famous region of Tuscany, Pitigliano is perched in the perfect location on top of a hill with picturesque views down into the valley below. With many of the buildings seemingly molded into the rocky cliff, the town looks exceptionally beautiful when viewed from the surrounding area. It also makes a great day trip from the capital, Rome, only a couple of hours drive away.
The jewel of the island of Sicily, Cefalù offers beautiful pristine beaches and gorgeous turquoise waters alongside the stunning colorful architecture of the town. The town is also iconic for its uniquely-shaped hill, which if you can brave the steep hike offers breathtaking views over the coastline of north Sicily along with views out over the town and ocean. Be sure to check out the cathedral too, built in the 12th century, a perfect example of Sicilian-style architecture.
Positano (Amalfi Coast)
The crown of numerous jaw-droppingly gorgeous towns dotted along southern Italy's Amalfi Coast, Positano is built up a rocky hill in a series of peaks jaunting out of the picturesque coastline. While the beach is a popular hangout, to really make the most of the stunning scenery found here take a canoe ride along the dramatic coast.
Manarola (La Spezia)
All of the coastal towns included in the Cinque Terre area are incredibly picturesque, but if you only have time for one be sure to make it Manarola. This beautifully quaint town nestled on the cliffs of northern Italy is especially famous for its gorgeously colored houses, exaggerated as the rays of the Italian sun shine of the vibrant structures.
A stunningly picturesque village nestled in the Dolomiti Lucane mountains, Castelmezzano was first built by Greek settlers in the 5th century. The town's location stuck right into the side of a mountain not only makes for beautiful serine views, but also is the perfect spot for hiking around the surrounding area. For the thrill seekers visiting the town check out the 'Angel's Flight', a zip line which propels people between two of the dramatic peaks dotted around the region.
A row of buildings built into a sheer cliff above beautifully sandy beaches, Tropea is an underrated gem in Italy's rugged Calabria region. Equally as beautiful as the impressive view of the town is the nearby Sanctuary of Santa Maria dell’Isola, a 6th century Benedictine monastery built into a rocky coastal hill.
Atrani (Amalfi Coast)
Another example of how just how uniquely different each of the stunning Italian coastal towns are, Atrani is a little further up the coast from its similarly picturesque neighbor of Positano. It's also just round the bend from Amalfi town which tends to draw most of the crowds, leaving Atrani's beach often much less busy and another great reason to head to this quaint seaside town.
Located on the beautiful Mediterranean island of Sardinia, this historic walled city contains a wealth of popular sites, augmented by its quaint cobbled, narrow streets that wind through the town. As expected from Sardinia, the area is also home to numerous gorgeous beaches that run down the coastline. Also be sure to check out the nearby Elephant Rock, a uniquely-shaped rock formation that looks just like an elephant.
San Gimignano (Tuscany)
A beautiful hillside town in the heart of Tuscany, San Gimignano is famous for its unique skyline of medieval towers and old walls surrounding the town. The architecture of the buildings is a perfect example of Italian Romanesque and Gothic style and unlike most other Italian towns - whose taller structures have often been brought down during wars or natural disasters - San Gimignano has managed to retain 14 of its imposing towers, giving the settlement its unique appearance.
Although many of the tourism hot spots like Venice and Florence are famous for good reasons, with such a huge number of picture-perfect quaint Italian towns to choose from, we'd highly recommend venturing into the countryside and rural areas of Italy next time you visit this beautiful nation. Not only will you find some of the best views in Italy here, they're often devoid of the crowds that flock to the bigger cities.