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Immerse yourself in the beauty of rolling hills and picturesque villages. Italy is home to some of the most idyllic villages in the world, which also offer a closer look into the country’s rich history. 

Put the authentic experience of visiting the medieval streets of Siena or the characteristic Cinque Terre to the top of your list. Live the true Italian experience. 

Villages 128 Search results
Nature

Monterosso al Mare

Monterosso al Mare: holiday in luxurious nature Monterosso al Mare is the first stop to the Cinque Terre tour, this stretch of the Ligurian Riviera is included in the list of World Heritage sites by Unesco thanks to the respectful human interactions with its landscape, honouring it and its sublime beauty. Monterosso village is the biggest of the 5 that make up the Cinque Terre. It is the only one to boast large and beautiful beaches that are easy to access. Ideal for a family holiday enjoying the beauty of nature. Fegina beach, a stunning beauty The allure of the Cinque Terre is largely due to its rugged territory. In Monterosso, nature is uncontested. However, amongst the 5 villages of the coast, it is the only one to boast a wide, comfortable sandy beach, Fegina. Fegina beach is defined by Forbes magazine as “one of the 25 sexiest beaches in the world”. Starting from the train station, it’s quite convenient to access, you just go down a few steps and find your spot in the sun. You can choose the free section or areas serviced by bathing establishments. In the maritime area of the Parco delle Cinque Terre the water is breathtakingly blue, as it is in a protected zone. The coast is made up of sand mixed with pebbles. Children are at ease here so parents can relax on loungers. At the edge of the Fegina seafront you can also stop at the cliff by the Aurora tower. Slightly further on there is the small beach, Spiaggia della Stazione, at the end of the promenade, which points towards Levante. You’ll see the giants’ beach, Spiaggia del Gigante: recognisable by the large 14 metre statue depicting the god Neptune that dominates it. Immediately after the sailing club, it’s just a short wander to reach Portiglione beach. In the footsteps of a great poet: Eugenio Montale The poetry in I limoni e Punta del Mesco, (the lemon tree and the Cape of Mesco) from the Ossi di Seppia (cuttlefish bones) collection by the noted Italian poet and literary Nobel Prize winner Eugenio Montale, from Genoa is definitely worth a read. reading the verses you will invisage all the wonder of Monterosso al Mare. Its sounds and scents, the lyrical landscape denoted in his wording will captivate your senses. Montale spent his childhood holidays in the Liberty style family residence here. Named Villa delle Due Palme, although he recalls it as Pagoda Giallognola. It stands on the first slopes of Mesco, along he Fegina coast. The Eugenio Montale Literary Park was inspired by it. The house is now a private residence which offers accommodation in one section of it. You can admire it from the outside and also avail of one of the walks organised by the Literary Park Institution. The colourful houses in the village, the monuments and the vegetation combine to offer views of a tantalising mixture of culture and nature. Strolling in the village It is a pleasure wandering down the carruggi, the small streets of the Ligurian towns. You’ll enjoy the stairways and squares in the old village, speciality food shops, focaccerie, bars and restaurants. Take some time to visit the Church of San Giovanni Battista, its facade decorated with black and white stripes. The San Francesco Church with adjoining Capuchin Convent has precious paintings inside to view. From the outside you’ll find a magnificent view over the entire Cinque Terre coastline. 5 ideas for an unforgettable stay in Monterosso al Mare Monterosso is the perfect starting point, or finishing point when visiting Cinque Terre. The first recommendation would be to leave the car at Monterosso al Mare and get the train that follows the coastline. Comfortable, price efficient, eco friendly and you get to enjoy the fabulous views. Alternatively you could walk along the marked pathways. A visit to the Santuario di Nostra Signora di Soviore in the hills would be highly recommended. You can stay there overnight and book a table in the restaurant. For those who would like to get there on foot, there is a lovely path leading there from the village. Staying in a farmhouse in the hills, immersed in silence and greenery would also be an excellent choice. Lastly you could go to the pier and plan a boat trip to enjoy the wonders of the Gulf of Poets.
Nature

Manarola

Manarola, like a colourful painting in the heart of the Cinque Terre The yellow to warm orange houses proudly stand out from the dark cliffs, in a wonderfully bold contrast of colours. Here, perched on top of a high, sheer rock that juts out over the sea, is the peaceful and romantic town of Manarola. The mighty nature of the Cinque Terre National Park is furrowed by paths that mark the perfect routes to admire the vineyards and olive groves on the traditional terraces. In the scenic village At 70 metres above sea level, you can explore the maze of steep, narrow streets enveloped in salty air that branch off from the little square by the sea. The age-old village dates back to the year 1000, when it was chosen for its strategic position as a lookout and defence against Saracen pirate raids. After appreciating the most beautiful churches, including the Gothic church of San Lorenzo, we recommend heading towards the beautiful Belvedere: a scenic lookout over the water that offers breathtaking panoramic views. Be sure not to miss out on the chance to admire the unique Genoese-style “tower houses”, on several floors and leaning against each other. There is no real beach here, but you can go down to the water from the rocks in the marina area. The paths connecting the Cinque Terre Manarola is the hamlet of another village in the Cinque Terre, Riomaggiore, which it is connected to by a beautiful, one-and-a-half-kilometre footpath up the hill that separates the two villages. Another scenic route starts directly from the village and connects Manarola to Corniglia. Here, you will find yourself in the typical “cultural landscape” of the Cinque Terre, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You are sure to be fascinated by the terraces built using an ancient Roman technique to cultivate the inaccessible mountain slopes. Olive groves, orchards and vineyards stretch out across the terraces, forming a charming backdrop. Bold cuisine, combining land and sea Manarola's agricultural and seafaring soul is expressed through simple but extraordinary cuisine, where land and sea combine to create fantastic flavours, enhanced by excellent wines. Despite being a small village, it has become a mecca for lovers of good food, thanks to the wealth and quality of its restaurants. The local extra virgin olive oil is superb: delicious on bruschetta or accompanying grilled fish and vegetables, perfectly paired with the Cinque Terre DOC white wines. Ligurian focaccia is recognised as among the best on the coast. You will find countless fantastic restaurants, so take your pick! You can dine in a hillside restaurant, sat among the lemon trees as you admire the scenery from up high, or you can book a table in the village, at one of the delightful stone restaurants among the alleyways or overlooking the sea, towards the harbour. Anchovies, octopus and squid are among the most common seafood delicacies, best preceded by pesto and tomato bruschetta, also a delectable aperitif. Vegetables and herbs fill the Torta Salata Pasqualina Italian Easter pie, and we highly recommend tucking in to some stuffed and fried courgette flowers! A touch of class comes with dessert, accompanied by a glass of well-chilled Sciacchetrà: an age-old precious passito wine from grapes cultivated among terraced vineyards, listed among the Slow Food Presidia. 5 tips for travellers We recommend travelling to Manarola by train and then walking from then on. The Cinque Terre National Park has a complicated road system and there are no large car parks. In the village, make sure to take part in wine tastings and cooking classes: this unique experience will not only be a delight for your taste buds, but also rich in culture. The Cinque Terre Card gives you access to various services, including guided tours among the vineyards of the Manarola Foundation. Be sure to head to the pier where the boats for the Cinque Terre depart. From Manarola, you can explore an enchanting stretch of coastline by sea, taking in all the details of the rugged coastline, including cliffs, caves and coves. Read more: http://www.parconazionale5terre.it/Eindex.php
Art & Culture

Sorrento

Sorrento: jewel of the Gulf of Naples Perched on a high cliff overlooking the sea, at the centre of its peninsula, Sorrento embraces the Gulf of Naples, Vesuvius and has Ischia and Procida on the horizon. All around, the green gardens of the villas and citrus groves; in the centre alleyways and squares full of historic buildings, including the house where the poet Torquato Tasso (1544-1595) was born, museums and workshops. At its feet are the beaches of Marina Piccola and Marina Grande and the ports. There are about a hundred hotels and some can boast 200 years of history. 10 things to see in Sorrento Torna a Surriento, one of the great classics of Neapolitan song, is a hymn to the beauty of the Sorrento sea and the scent of flowers "of the land of love". There is no more compelling invitation to visit this town and the Sorrento coast, and then extend, if you have time, to the well-known, neighbouring Amalfi coast. You can easily get to Sorrento with the Circumvesuviana train from Naples: just a few steps from the station you’re on Corso Italia, the main street leading to Piazza Tasso, the city's living room, with a statue of the illustrious poet who only lived a few years in Sorrento. The Santa Maria della Pietà alley, one of the most charming, should be explored. Some of the oldest buildings overlook it: Palazzo Veniero (13th century) in late Byzantine style; Palazzo Correale (14th century), in Catalan style; and Loggia di vico Galantariaro (15th century), from the Aragonese period. If you walk along Viale Enrico Caruso, you can look out over the Vallone dei mulini, what remains of the wide valleys that surrounded Sorrento in ancient times and where the mills were located. Not to be missed, in the centre of Sorrento, along Via San Cesareo, is the Sedil Dominova (from1500), theonly one remaining in Campania of the ancient sedili, the building where the nobility met, with its characteristic yellow and green tiled dome. There are three churches to see in Sorrento: the Cathedral of Saints Philip and James, with important paintings by painters of the 18th-century Neapolitan school and the wooden choir with inlays by Sorrentine craftsmen; the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, with a remarkable majolica floor; and the church of San Francesco, with its delightful cloister used for outdoor weddings. The villa Comunale, where they often organise exhibitions, is beautiful, with a panoramic garden: from here you can take the lift down to the beach of Marina Piccola and the port. Three museums of art, archaeology and handicrafts There are at least three museums to visit in Sorrento: the Correale di Terranova museum, housed in an 18th-century villa surrounded by citrus trees with a terrace overlooking the sea, displaying more than 10,000 pieces of furniture, inlaid wood objects from Sorrento, majolica, clocks, Neapolitan crib statues and the library that holds original writings by the poet Torquato Tasso in 24 rooms. The recently restored Georges Vallet archaeological museum is housed in the 19th-century villa Fondi de Sangro in a park open to the public overlooking the Marina di Cassano. Its collection of artefacts comes from excavation campaigns carried out on the Sorrento peninsula and documents everything from prehistoric to Roman times. There is also a model of the villa of Pollio Felice, the remains of which can be seen on the tip of the Capo di Sorrento and where the famous natural pool known as the Bagni della Regina Giovanna is located. On the ground floor is a marble statue of a female figure from a villa of the Imperial age found in Sorrento in 1971. Exquisitely Sorrentine is the museum-workshop of wooden marquetryin the Pomarici Santomasi palace, which exhibits a collection of furniture made with the particular decorative cabinet-making technique that is still widespread in Sorrento. When to go to Sorrento The magnificent coastal climate makes it possible to visit Sorrento at any time of the year, but the days when the atmosphere is truly magical are those of Holy Week: during the Easter period, the orange blossoms are in bloom and in the city preparations are in full swing for the evocative religious processions, with processions of hooded men held on the evenings of Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, accompanied by torches and thuribles with incense.
Art & Culture

San Benedetto del Tronto

5 stops to discover San Benedetto del Tronto, pearl of the Marche region A tourist city between Marche and Abruzzo. An exemplary mix of monumental beauty, nature and entertainment. A spectacular view of the Adriatic Sea. This is San Benedetto del Tronto. The city has a hexagonal floor plan, reminiscent of a ship's hull, and is ideally embraced by the sea, which acts as a fil rouge for many of its outlooks. Everywhere you go in San Benedetto del Tronto you will see the ocean. What to see in San Benedetto del Tronto in a weekend We are in the heart of the Riviera delle Palme, on a stretch of the Marche coast where this plant is common. San Benedetto del Tronto is strategically located and walking along its seafront promenade is one of the attractions not to be missed. The long beach has been awarded the Blue Flag several times and the fishing port is considered among the most important in the Adriatic. With only a few days to spare, it is still possible to discover its heart and fall in love with it. Here's what not to miss. Equipped and free beaches The shoreline is wide and sandy, framed by palm trees and various shrubs. There are many equipped beach clubs providing all services, but there are also free beaches and the famous 'chalets', restaurants offering local cuisine. The fine sand, shallow water and clean sea with plenty of areas for children make the area perfect for families. Cycling, art and waterfront shopping The pedestrian precinct is very well kept, enriched with shops and clubs, as well as open-air sculptures and works by contemporary artists. Its overall length is 6 kilometres and it was built in the early 1930s. Perfect for evening entertainment, especially in fine weather, it is much sought after for sports. In addition to walking or running, a cycle path of about 15 kilometres runs parallel to the beach and reaches the area of the Port of Ascoli. The Borgo Alto is a gem indeed The small hamlet of Paese Alto, not far from the sea, is famous for the Torre dei Gualtieri from 1145. The Torrione has a flattened hexagonal plan and two large bells at the top complete it. The Church of St Benedict Martyr The church of St Benedict Martyr stands opposite the tower and is rather ancient. Dedicated to the city's patron saint, it was built over the saint's tomb and renovated in the 18th century in neoclassical style. On the altar you can see his relics and his tombstone. Cathedral of Santa Maria della Marina The cathedral is dedicated to Santa Maria della Marinapatron saint of sailors and fishermen. It was built in the 17th century in another location, but after the flood of 1898 it was demolished and rebuilt here. Thefaçade is square and sober; inside, the mosaic floor and the 400-square-metre fresco by Franciscan artist Father Ugolino da Belluno, which depicts (in addition to saints) the city's maritime traditions, arestriking. The 5 curiosities that might sound new to you San Benedetto del Tronto is home to the world's largest palm tree, the Arboreal Mastodon, and there are no less than 8,000 species of palm trees along the seafront, a symbol and heritage of the city. The coastline of San Benedetto del Tronto is part of a 1931 project by Modenese engineer Luigi Onorati, who turned the ancient seaside village into a modern tourist area. Very special is the feast of the Madonna della Marina, with a procession and sea procession, during which flowers are thrown from many fishing boats. In San Benedetto del Tronto, Carnival has been celebrated since 1828 with a parade of floats and masked groups.
Nature
Vietri sul Mare - Costiera Amalfitana, Campania

Vietri sul Mare

Vietri sul Mare, a sparkling ceramic town on the Amalfi coast. Whether you are a ceramics enthusiast or not, the minute you set foot in Vietri sul Mare, you cannot help but be dazzled by the colours of its majolica tiles that draw a shimmering mosaic and light up the entire village, from the historical monuments to the squares and courtyards. Yet it is not because of its famous ceramics that Vietri sul Mare is called the 'first pearl of the Amalfi Coast', but because of its strategic position in the area, i.e., the one furthest to the east, the very first stop on this magical stretch of the Campania coastline coming from Salerno. A colourful country Blue and yellow will be the colours that will be immediately imprinted on your eyes, even from a distant point. These are the colours of the majolica tiles adorning the dome of Vietri sul Mare Cathedral dedicated to Saint John the Baptist and located at the highest point of the historic centre along a panoramic terrace. Ceramics is a theme that you’ll constantly find at every corner. You will find them in another religious building, right next to the cathedral: the 17th-century Arciconfraternita dell'Annunziata e del Rosario. Cladded in majolica are the three façade panels, as well as ceilings and flooring. It is again the polychrome majolica tiles that stand out at the Villa Comunale, a surprising place often compared to Gaudí's Parc Güell in Barcelona. Walls, avenues, fountains and the sinuous handrails of the paths are a riot of majolica mosaics, red, yellow, blue and dove-grey tiles. You are right inside a joyous explosion of colours, while below the blue expanse of the Tyrrhenian Sea and the coastline of the Gulf of Salerno. Here you will find nothing but unique pieces Stroll through the alleys of Vietri sul Mare, admire the hundreds of compositions that adorn the village of Etruscan-Samnite origin and visit any of the countless shops. Whether you shop or not, you will still come away enchanted because the masters will welcome you with a great sense of hospitality, eager to tell you the centuries-old history of the art of Vietri ceramics, a tradition that began in the Renaissance. You will amazed by the clay cooking process and the hand-painting of what are always and only unique pieces: vases and tableware, decorative paintings depicting landscapes, in an infinity of artefacts in contrasting colours. Pantone “Vietri yellow” If you do go shopping, don't forget to favour yellow, in a unique shade that they know how to reproduce only here, so well that it is known worldwide as “Vietri yellow”. The bright light of the Mediterranean makes it stand out in all its beauty. Among the subjects, the typical Vietri one is the donkey, mainly in emerald green, a theme that goes back to the 19th century. A statuette reproducing the animal will be a nice souvenir, a symbol of the entire Amalfi Coast, which once was a means of locomotion along the mule tracks for transporting men and goods. If curiosity drives you to learn more about this art, Vietri boasts three exhibition spaces dedicated solely to ceramics: the Provincial Ceramics Museum in Villa Guariglia, the Cargaleiro Museum and the Solimene Ceramics Palace. Fine sand and shallow waters The Marina di Vietri offers a stretch of coastline characterised by fine golden sand and a shallow and gently sloping seabed, an ideal setting for families with children and the elderly. You can opt for the free beach or the beach equipped with every comfort of the resorts. Nearby you will also find the La Crestarella beach dominated by the so-called tower, the Schiarata and the Cancelluzzo Beach: the latter is free, with pebbles mixed with sand, and can only be reached by sea, which you can do by hiring a pedalo from Marina di Vietri. Two out-of-town trips There are two recommended visits if you travel a little further from Vietri sul Mare. Go to Albori which has two quiet little beaches in its inlet, not very popular since you have to walk down 200 steps. The water is crystal clear and a small stream flows into the sea at this very spot. Two beach clubs and a refreshment stand will be useful for equipment and refreshment. When the sun sets behind the rock, climb up towards the fishing village, delightful with its whitewashed houses and the scent of lemons as you walk. Raito is famous for its stairways, the only way to get around this scenic village. Visit the Villa Guariglia with its Museo Provinciale della Ceramica (Provincial Museum of Ceramics) and surrounded by a marvellous terraced park, as is typical on the Amalfi Coast, where vegetation is wrested from the sea and rock with a skilful technique.