10 of the most beautiful villages in Italy
One of the best countries to visit in your summer vacation will always be Italy – filled with breathtaking places just waiting to be discovered, a rich historical legacy, delicious cuisine and some of the world’s best wines – a true winning combination for anyone, right?
Almost every city in Italy is filled with a lot of charming attractions, retaining most of the gems of their former past, but if you just want to escape and recall the life that was going on in the country a while back, then you should totally head over to the countryside and visit some of Italy’s most amazing villages.
There are so many wonderful villages worth seeing here that a selection might prove difficult to make, but we’ve managed to do it for you! These are, in our opinion, the 10 most beautiful villages in Italy, perfect for an unforgettable summer getaway.
Set in the gorgeous province of Como, Lombardy, right on the western shore of Lake Como, the area is frequently visited for its Menaggio and Cadenabbia Golf Club founded in 1907. This beautiful village still retains its old charm, with beautiful surroundings that could be enjoyed from one of the many waterfront terraces. One of the best times to visit Menaggio is during the Guitar Festival that takes place every summer.
Apart from its rich history, the walled medieval village Montone has the advantage of being surrounded by the countryside in Umbria, an area filled with great wheat fields, olive groves and grapevines that is truly idyllic. Montone was a small industrial village during the middle age and it was ranked as one of the 100 most beautiful villages in Italy every single year.
Set on the breathtaking Amalfi Coast at a distance of just 30 miles from Naples, this village is the definition of awesome with a great beach and a lovely harbor from where you could take a boat to explore the scenic region. The roads leading here are narrow and with single tracks but there are buses that can take you to the town.
There are also stairs connecting the top and bottom of the town and the main attraction is the splendid Duomo built in the 10th century.
Set in the region of Puglia, close to the coastal town of Bari, this village is famous for its beautiful trulli, which are conical roof structures made without any mortar. The large amount of trulli makes Alberobello truly unique and it also made the village a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can even stay in one of these house when visiting the village, but you’ll need to take a train because it’s really difficult to access the village with a car.
The impressive village of Castelmezzano sits quietly in the Volo dell’Angelo or the Flight of the Angel which is a stunning walking path along the top buildings, offering spectacular vantage point views.
The village still retains some of its authentic charm with old taverns, fresh food coming straight from the nearby farms as well as wonderful wines. There are several festivals held here throughout the year and if you want to reach the hamlet you will have to go through a tunnel carved into the rock of the Dolomite Mountains in Lucania after going through a picturesque gorge.
Also known as the City of a Hundred Horizons or the Pearl of the Treviso province, this hill-top hamlet is set between Cyprus foothills and you can reach it easily when traveling to Venice since it is only 30 miles away.
Asolo is filled with gothic arcades, frescoes and decorated balconies that will make you feel like you’re still in the medieval age. You can visit the Castle of Caterina Cornaro here, which became a theatre, the Rocca castle, the Palazzo delle Ragione (which is now a museum0 as well as the Cathedral that was built back in 1747.
Dubbed as “Citta dei Sassi”, or the city of stones, Matera is one of the most ancient and unique towns in the world, featuring some of the earliest examples of houses carved in the rock. It’s more a village than a town though, and there are monasteries and churches in the caves found here. In the surrounding Apulia region you can also find other medieval churches like the Matera Cathedral or the San Pietro Caveoso.
The picturesque harbor village of Portofino, located in the province of Genoa, offers access to several cozy beaches nearby, which is why this medieval village has been transformed into a pretty exclusive vacation site.
Featuring anything from old landmarks to designer stores and superb terraces on the Mediterranean, this village is the perfect place to enjoy the finest things in life. You could also visit here the 16th century Castello Brown, several medieval churches and an underwater statue of Christ of the Abyss which was set to protect fisherman and divers.
Found in the Liguria region, the Manarola borgo is widely considered the most beautiful village of the Cinque Terre, with the other four being Riomaggiore, Monterosso al Mare, Corniglia and Vernazza.
The houses here are built right atop of the rocky slopes and the combination of sea with mountains makes the whole picture truly awe inspiring. When you arrive to this village, you will be completely mesmerized by the vineyard above the town or the wonderful architecture with bright and colorful homes.
1. San Gimignano
The Jewel of Tuscany or the Town of Fine Towers, San Gimignano, totally deserves being named the most beautiful village in Italy and also one of the most breathtaking places in the world. It’s one of the best preserved medieval hill towns with 13 towers (there were 16 originally) adding to its charm. A UNESCO World Heritage Site sitting in the middle of vineyards, sunflowers and cypress trees, this village is truly one of a kind.
To preserve its authenticity no traffic is allowed near its center but it’s a lot better to explore it by feet. A trip to San Gimignano should include at least a glass of the fine Vernaccia di San Gimignano wine and a local boar stew specialty dish.