Photo Credit: Photo Courtesy of Design Killer.
Italy is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. Travelers flock to the European coastal country looking for exquisite wines, delicious cheeses, and homemade pasta each year. Italy has some cities you just don’t want to miss if you ever find yourself touring its countryside. Florence, Venice, and Rome usually find themselves at the top of most travel bucket lists. However, Italy has so much more in store beyond its major cities.
Small towns full of life, excitement, and beautiful scenery can be found all throughout Italy. Whether is an ancient medieval hub or a hidden city with less than 300 inhabitants, the entire country is full of gems and small cities you’ll want to visit. Most of these places are overlooked by many tourists. But if you are looking to take your Italian adventure to another level, we highly recommend adding these seven Italian towns to your travel itinerary.
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If you’re looking for an Italian getaway near the water, look no further than Lake Como. There are a bunch of cities that border the lake including Bellagio, Varenna, and Como. So you have a variety of options when it comes to picking where to stay lakeside.
Lake Como is also known as Lario and is the third largest lake in Italy. It’s one of the deepest lakes in Europe and there are plenty of watersports to participate in around the water. The lake is shaped like a Y and a picturesque view of the Alps can be seen from all sides. Popular villages like Tremezzina and Menaggio can be found along the lake and there are a plethora of beaches where you can catch a quick tan under the Italian sun.
It’s highly recommended that you take a boat tour while visiting Lake Como. You’ll also find a bunch of historic villas along the shore.
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What used to be a historic fishing village has blossomed into a popular tourist destination for Europe’s elite and rich. Travelers fell in love with the village’s clean water and enchanting harbor where boat tours go out on the water each day. Portifino transformed during the first two decades of the 20th century into a resort hotspot and folks have been vacationing there ever since.
There are many reasons to visit Portifino. Of course meals alongside the harbor are a sheer treat during the day and night. Some even say it is the most beautiful harbor in the world. Along the main street in Portifino, you’ll find a bunch of luxury shops, ice cream parlors, and cafes to venture into as you explore the town by the harbor.
In the bay of Paraggi, you’ll find a lovely beach worth spending a full day at. If you want a great panoramic view of the Marina di Portofino, head over to the Church of San Giorgio. Travelers who’ve previously visited Portifino suggest staying in the nearby city of Santa Margherita if you’re looking for cheaper hotel rates.
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Tucked away between Assisi and Pescara, Castelluccio is a beautiful, alluring village that was devastated a few years back by an earthquake. Villagers had to evacuate and pretty much everything was destroyed. However, locals have started to rebuild and the village never lost its magical energy that can be felt across the land.
One traveler compared visiting Castelluccio to stepping into a Monet painting. The colorful flowers and lush green valleys seem to be the inspiration behind the Impressionist movement and these landscapes can be seen throughout the countryside.
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Built into the hillside, Collodi is an ancient, medieval hamlet made famous by an author who penned one of the world’s most famous fairy tales. The city has been beautifully preserved and many travelers come here to get a taste of old-world flavor. Author Carlo Lorenzini made the town famous after changing his last name to Collodi and penned the classic story Pinocchio. A large park can be found in the hamlet in honor of the author.
Atop Collodi sits a historic castle known as Rocca Antica and the rest of the city descends around it. There are plenty of noble villas, fabulous gardens, and ancient fountains throughout Collodi so there is plenty to see.
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The ancient village of Pietrapertosa dates back to times before the Greeks arrived in Italy. The village is full of castles and historic churches to see and it has a strong, artistic history dating back hundreds of years. Pietrapertosa is built directly onto the bare rocks so it is quite the architectural wonder and is considered one of the most beautiful villages in Italy.
There are quite a few attractions to see in Pietrapertosa. The village is home to Europe’s fastest zipline and there are plenty of spectacular views from the rocky cliffs that make up the city. Like Collodi, Pietrapertosa has been excellently preserved so this is a great destination for history lovers.
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Located on the northern coast of Sicily, Cefalù is a beautiful village about an hour from Palermo. The village is a place where art and culture come together and many travelers come here to learn about the ancient history of the city.
Cefalù has spectacular views and travelers can come face to face with what remains of the ancient, Greecian Temple of Diana. Visiting the beaches in Cefalù is also a must and there are even small duck offs that are perfect for fishing. The village is a hub for fresh seafood and it is also one of Italy’s best resort towns so there are endless hotel and resort options.
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A magical village located in southern Italy, Alberobello has some incredibly unique architecture you won’t find anywhere else in the world. The white-washed building resembles something out of a fairytale with its cobblestone rooftops and cone-like shapes. They are called Trulli and the ancient buildings date back over a thousand years.
Many of the Trullis have been turned into museums and archeological landmarks. A lot of sites in Alberobello are UNESCO world heritage sites and travelers visit the ancient city hoping to connect with Italy’s ancient past.
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Photo Credit: Photo Courtesy of Design Killer.