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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
Art & Culture

Porto Recanati

Porto Recanati, the seaside town where Leopardi was born Porto Recanati has been awarded the Blue Flag several times for its beaches thanks to its environmental sustainability policies. The medieval Swabian Castle stands in the central square and had the main function of defence against pirate attacks. Summer shows and cultural events take place in the large courtyard, which houses the Gigli Arena named after the tenor from Recanati Beniamino Gigli. Leaving the centre, you come across an interesting archaeological site, which has brought the ancient Roman city of Potentia back to life. An all-natural bike tour One of the features of Porto Recanati is that it is surrounded by numerous cycle paths. From the seafront to the surrounding countryside, those who love cycling will not be disappointed, and will be able to organise countless routes on two wheels. From the city centre to more secluded places as far as Loreto, cycling of all kinds and levels can be organised. Porto Recanati: a small town with a seaside tradition In Porto Recanati, traditions are important and besides the sea, events are in the hearts of the citizens. One of these is the Palio di San Giovanni, a distinctive historical re-enactment footrace. On this occasion, those present take to the streets and cheer on the athletes from their own districts. Another long-awaited event is the Pink Night, with the streets of the city centre animated until late at night and open shops, live concerts, street performers and street food trucks. A brodetto to be enjoyed One of the jewels of traditional gastronomy is the brodetto portorecanatese, composed of a soup enriched with various types of lower-grade fish. All the ingredients are then cooked in a pan with tomato. Every year it is remembered in June with a festival called “Brodetto Week”. On days dedicated to the dish, participating restaurants offer it at a discounted price. Tips for a tour of Porto Recanati Porto Recanati is easily reached thanks to its central location on the Marche coast, at the foot of the Conero Park. In the fishing village, an after-dinner stroll along the central Corso Matteotti is very pleasant. In summer, antique and handicraft markets are set up, which are worth exploring.
Art & Culture

Lerici

Discovering Lerici: colourful villages and romantic poets With colourful houses reflected in the water and an ancient castle dominating the landscape, Lerici is a true sight to behold, and it is no coincidence that it has enchanted poets and romantic writers throughout history, from Lord Byron to Mary Shelley. If you are looking for a destination to fall in love with, Lerici is the place for you. The Gulf of Poets This beautiful fishing village is a real jewel set in the Gulf of La Spezia: also known as the Gulf of Poets, this vast inlet of the Ligurian Sea coastline seems to have been created especially for indulging in dolce far niente and strolling in search of picture-worthy sites. From the heart Our journey through the Riviera di Levante begins at its heart, Lerici, an easy-to-navigate town dominated by the mighty five-cornered tower of the fortress that dates back to the Maritime Republics. You won’t regret visiting the central Piazza Garibaldi: right by the sea and surrounded by pastel-coloured houses, this square hosts the 13th-century Oratory of San Rocco, built on a medieval “hospitale” for passing pilgrims, with its bell tower converted from an earlier Roman tower. Among the many 18th-century residences in the area, Villa Marigola is the most iconic, thanks to its position on the promontory, straddling the inlets of Lerici and San Terenzo. Captivating surroundings You will love how easy it is to venture around the magnificent surroundings of Lerici: places that have captivated the likes of Dante, Petrarch, Boccaccio, Giosuè Carducci and Gabriele D'Annunzio, and that, more recently, have earned themselves the title of World Heritage Sites. Tellaro at sunset Two kilometres from the centre of Lerici is the stunning Tellaro: if you visit at sunset, you will discover why it has been named one of the Most Beautiful Villages in Italy. We recommend a relaxing walk along the promenade overlooking small beaches: this is the spot where Eugenio Montale, struck by so much beauty during a train journey, stopped to pen a poem out of the blue: Verso Tellaro. Portovenere and Cinque Terre The spectacular seaside villages of the Cinque Terre, Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore, need no introduction. The same goes for the nearby Portovenere, where you can photograph the 16th-century Doria Castle or the Tower behind the ancient city walls and the promenade stretching along the seafront. If you are a poet at heart, you should explore the church of San Pietro, where you will find the Grotto Arpaia, also known as Byron's Grotto, in homage to the poet who visited this magnificent place to find inspiration. The magic of the Golden Butterfly Behind Lerici, the San Lorenzo mountains host an enchanted place where, on the days around the summer solstice, the rays of the setting sun pass through a gap created by a megalithic formation of local stones, projecting a butterfly-shaped beam of light onto one of the standing stones. A dip in the Gulf of Poets If you can’t resist some sunbathing and a refreshing swim, you will be spoilt for choice between bays and well-equipped, free beaches. Arriving from La Spezia, your first stop must be Baia Blu, between Punta Santa Teresa and Punta Galera. San Terenzo offers a comfortable beach in front of the town, while as you approach Lerici, you will find the famous beach Venere Azzurra, recognised for decades with the Blue Flag. Finally, Fiascherino offers a delightful small bay with a narrow beach where you can rent deckchairs and parasols.
City
Numana

Numana

Numana: between the blue sea and the Rosso Conero Numana is a colourful fishing village on the Conero Riviera with large, easily accessible beaches. This village is in the Marche region and in its lively historic centre there is a fascinating Antiquarium museum, which documents the very ancient origins of the Picentes settlements on this coast. Excursions by boat or canoe can be organised from the little port of Numana, while the green hills invite you to discover the hinterland along the Rosso Conero wine route with its thousand scents. What to see in Numana A stroll through Numana invites you to discover a pleasant historic centre that runs along the Costarella, a gentle flight of steps that connects the village on the slope to the beaches and the sea. At the top of the promontory, above the harbour, you will see the Arco di Torre, what remains of the bell tower of a church or watch tower destroyed in an earthquake in 1930, next to which is a bronze monument dedicated to fishermen. The belvedere is where you will want to go on summer days to enjoy the breeze that is always blowing there and the view of the coast. Not to be missed is a visit to the Antiquarium, a small museum documenting a major archaeological discovery: the trousseau of the Tomb of the Queen of Sirolo (6th century B.C.) found in Sirolo in the I Pini archaeological area. In the Sanctuary of the Crucifix, you can admire a cedar wood crucifix, a Byzantine work from the 13th century. Also of interest is the Town Hall, housed in a building dating from 1773, which was the summer residence of the bishops of Ancona. For beaches, you can choose between the two bays close to the cliff (the Spiaggiola and the Spiaggia dei Frati), or the large beach south of the harbour that extends to the hamlet of Marcelli, with bathing facilities and toilets for families. Numana’s turtle cove For several years, the municipality of Numana has been collaborating with the Riccione Cetacea Foundation to ensure the rescue, care and rehabilitation of sea turtles. A “turtle cove” has been created in Numana: once the turtles have recovered from injuries or accidents, they are placed in a fenced-off area in the sea near the harbour. Here they continue to be observed and monitored by marine biologists and volunteers to assess if and when they are finally fit to return to the sea. The moment of releasing them into the wild is always filled with emotion. The Rosso Conero wine route Numana is surrounded by vineyards which make good starting points for exploring the Rosso Conero wine route. This winds its way from Ancona to Osimo, between the towns of Numana, Sirolo, Camerano, Offagna and Castelfidardo, between the cliffs and the countryside. Here, some twenty wineries produce Rosso Conero DOC and Rosso Conero Riserva DOCG, wines made from Montepulciano and Sangiovese grapes that are influenced by the presence of the sea, the limestone soil of the promontory and the micro-climate of the coast. Full-bodied and fragrant, Rosso Conero wine is ideally paired with meat dishes. Find out more: www.turismonumana.it/en
Nature

Amalfi

Amalfi, Queen of the Coast A landscape of outstanding beauty has made Amalfi famous throughout the world. The imposing mountains that surround it tumble into the turquoise sea, with a powerful scenic effect. This is the queen of the Amalfi Coast, which bears her name: the stretch of Tyrrhenian coastline recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Here, in addition to a fabulous sea, you will find treasured historical remains, a charming village, and enchanting nature. Choose your beach Amalfi offers relaxing days by the sea, always immersed in a splendid landscape. The most accessible beach is Marina Grande, in the town itself. It is made up of sand and pebbles, fully equipped and full of lidos, bars and restaurants. It is very convenient, and therefore often crowded in peak season. It is suitable for families and children, and also easily reachable for the elderly. In contrast, the Spiaggia del Duoglio is ideal for those who prefer more secluded situations. Reaching it is already an experience, taking a green path and a flight of 400 steps leading to a cove with perfect water. You can also reach this area on small boats departing from the pier in Amalfi, and if you want to go sunbathing, start early in the morning, because in the afternoon the cove is shaded. If you are travelling by boat, don't miss the Santa Croce Beach, which can only be reached by sea. A break in the greenery After relaxing by the sea, you can explore the inland by heading up into the mountains. The recommended itinerary is in the Valle delle Ferriere Nature Reserve, an easy walk that takes about three hours. You pass through woods and alongside streams, encountering the ruins of the ironworks that supplied the Maritime Republic of Amalfi with iron and that gives the valley its name. This is a peaceful spot, away from the crowds, among waterfalls and the ancient mills once used to manufacture the famous Amalfi paper. On this excursion, visit the sleepy town of Pogerola, on the Monte Falconello hill, and enjoy the view from up there. In the heart of the town Amalfi was a flourishing Maritime Republic from the 9th to the 11th century, a trade centre in the Tyrrhenian Sea towards eastern markets.Its history is told by the very structure of the town perched on the ridge, which will remind travellers very much of a souk. Houses are concentrated in clusters, very close to each other and connected by a maze of alleys and stairways. Explore the labyrinth, and then head for the main architectural wonder: the Cathedral of St Andrew the Apostle, the central cathedral dominating Piazza Duomo with its imposing staircase. Romanesque in layout and rebuilt several times over the centuries, today it is impressive for its neo-Moorish or Arab-Sicilian style façade, of which it is a superb example. The interior leads to the Cloister of Paradise, a peaceful place surrounded by a portico of decorated arches, also of Moorish influence. Some people even get married here Because of its unrivalled location and fairytale setting, Amalfi attracts more and more couples, also from abroad, who choose it for their wedding celebration. The Town Hall provides 3 locations for civil ceremonies. The Salone Morelli located in the Casa Comunale, the Arsenale della Repubblica with its majestic mediaeval structure, and the former Capuchin Convent. Non-residents are also allowed to celebrate the rite in the Cathedral of St Andrew the Apostle. Elegant hotels, gardens and excellent food provide the perfect finishing touches to a memorable reception. 5 experiences in Amalfi amidst views and flavours The Emerald Grotto can be reached either by lift or on small boats. The karstic cavity has stalactites and stalagmites, but it is the colour of the sea that steals the show: an emerald that plays on the reflections of the rays filtering through the entrance crevice, in a thousand shades. On the seabed is an underwater nativity scene, which divers pay homage to on major religious festivals. In the evening, once the day is over, climb up to the highest point of the town of Amalfi, coinciding with the Cemetery. You can only get there on foot by walking up the steps and through the alleys of the old town. The panorama of lights, reflections of the sea and old houses is truly incomparable. When the Marina Grande beach empties out at sunset, indulge in an aperitif on the terraces of the bars, delightful lounges right by the sea. Sfusato Amalfinato is the typical Amalfi lemon, with its tapered shape and juicy, fragrant flesh. Have a limoncello at the end of a meal, sample one of the many pastry delights of which it is the basic ingredient, and a lemon and chocolate ice cream from one of the street kiosks. A plate of pasta is the best way to appreciate the flavours of Amalfi: Scialatielli ai frutti di mare, Paccheri al limone or a simple Scarpariello, because tomato and basil have a unique taste here.
Art & Culture

Bellaria-Igea Marina

Bellaria-Igea Marina for a holiday full of sea and culture in the heart of the Adriatic Coast A famous destination since the beginning of the 20th century: those who choose Bellaria-Igea Marina for their holidays are sure to return year after year. Spending a summer holiday in this tourist resort at the centre of Emilia Romagna’s Adriatic Coast means knowing you’re in for an enjoyable and safe family holiday, but also being able to count on excellent nightlife. Are you looking for wide sandy beaches, high-quality hotels and beach resorts with all the comforts you need for a carefree holiday? Bellaria-Igea Marina is the place for you. Do you love greenery, shady walks and contact with nature? Ditto. Can’t do without a bit of culture and history before indulging in a cocktail on the beach? You’ll be spoilt for choice between the Saracen Tower that has stood a few steps from the canal port since the 17th century, the Shell Museum housed in the tower, and the Red House of the writer Alfredo Panzini. A holiday without ever leaving the beach If your ideal holiday involves spending as much time as possible on the beach, the stretch of the Adriatic Coast from Bellaria to Igea Marina ensures just that. Why not start the day with breakfast in the shade of the beach kiosks’ verandas and then stretch out for a spot of sunbathing, choosing from the deckchairs and umbrellas that stretch out as far as the eye can see? When it’s time to swim in the sea, you can count on an ideal seabed with no hidden dangers, suitable for letting children play or for keeping fit with aerobics and water aerobics. The smell of freshly cooked fish coming from the restaurants will tell you that it’s lunchtime. You can choose from many zero-kilometre delicacies, accompanied by a good wine from the Romagna region. After your post-prandial nap, you can refresh yourself with an ice cream or an exotic drink, take another dip in the sea and enjoy the pleasant music coming from the nearby bars. Meanwhile, children can enjoy Mini Clubs, Nutella parties and delicious watermelon slices on the beach. And even at aperitif time you won’t have to leave the sand behind: the beach resorts are transformed into lounge bars and the fun continues until late in the evening. What a dream! The cultural heart of Bellaria-Igea Marina: the Saracen Tower and the Red House Bellaria-Igea Marina has many different sides to it. In addition to those dedicated to the sea and tourism, there is the more cultural one, ideal for those seeking a holiday balanced between relaxation and culture. The Saracen Tower is a reminder of the days when the area was constantly invaded by Turkish pirates and the Papal State decided to build a series of defensive towers. Today, the upper floors of the tower can also be visited thanks to the Shell Museum that is housed inside. What better way to admire shells, the skeletons of marine organisms, crustaceans and turtle shells from all over the world? We also recommend a visit to the Museum of History and Memory, housed in the old abattoir, which was built in 1926. With its fascinating exhibition of objects, documents and testimonies that trace the city’s history of tourism from the earliest settlements to the present day, it provides an important account of the area’s seafaring, fishing and merchant traditions as well as the culture of hospitality and seaside tourism. The Casa Rossa (Red House), which was purchased in the early 1900s by the writer Alfredo Panzini, offers you the opportunity to attend receptions with writers and cultural events in the villa’s park, mainly during the summer. https://www.bellariaigeamarina.org/it/eventi-bellaria-igea-marina.html Cycling in nature and nights that never end As we’ve already mentioned, it’s not just beach and culture that are on offer here. Nature lovers visiting Bellaria-Igea Marina can take advantage of the “Sentieri per l’Uso” trail, which winds along the Uso river for 6 kilometres, starting from the town centre and ending at Villa Torlonia, Pascoli’s Poetry Park. The cycle path is well signposted and also suitable for spontaneous cycle trips, with picnic areas, picnic tables, games and information panels. Keep your eyes open: along the route it’s common to come across many species of birds such as kingfishers and grey herons. When evening falls The night is always young in Bellaria-Igea Marina. From the beach to the city streets, you can dance until dawn in the many renowned venues such as Beky Bay, a 360° arena on the beach for concerts, shows of all kinds and nightlife with top DJs. For the nostalgic, the Mito Club is unmissable. This historic venue has existed since 1954 and has hosted artists such as Mina, the Nomadi and Adriano Celentano. Today, it’s a place where you can spend hours listening to music, with themed evenings, a large garden with a swimming pool and 2 cocktail bars. https://bekybay.com/en/933-2/
Art & Culture

Classe

Classe: the imposing Basilica of Sant'Apollinare within the green lung of Ravenna Classe is a district of Ravenna that took shape from the 6th century around one of the most important monuments in Emilia-Romagna, the Basilica of Sant'Apollinare. Located just five kilometres south of the Romagna capital, this small town is not only home to the imposing UNESCO World Heritage monument, but is also the gateway to one of Ravenna's oldest and most important green lungs, the Classe Pinewoods, which forms part of the Po Delta Park. While the present settlement is linked to the Basilica of Sant'Apollinare, the history of Classe originates much earlier. It was in 27 B.C. when the Emperor Augustus chose this very area for the construction of a military port capable of accommodating a fleet of 250 warships tasked with guarding the eastern part of the Mediterranean. Today, what remains of the ancient port of Civitas Classis, the name of the first settlement, embellishes the area leading from Ravenna to Classe and can be visited independently by following the illustrated route starting from the junction between Via Romea Sud and Via Marabina or by taking advantage of the guided tours available upon reservation. Three wonders with just one ticket: the Classe Archaeological Park The Antico Porto, also accessible by bicycle or scooter from Ravenna city centre, is part of the larger Classe Archaeological Park, which includes a compulsory visit to Sant'Apollinare Basilica and the Classis Ravenna, the Museum of the City and Territory. You can visit all three sites in one day, taking advantage of the €11 combination ticket, with reductions available down to €5. Once you visited the port, you can go to the other two sites, located 400 metres apart. The Basilica is the one that will take you the longest, so pay attention to the times: closing time is 7.30pm., but the last entry is possible until 7pm. https://ravennantica.it/cosa-vedere/basilica-di-santapollinare-in-classe/#orari001f-3041 Start at the main entrance and allow yourself to be enchanted by the majestic mosaics created from the 6th century onwards, from those adorning the apsidal basin and triumphal arch to those embellishing the sides of the apse. Once when you are sure to have truly appreciated this masterpiece you can move to Classis for a plunge into the history of Ravenna and its territory, following the great Time Line that will mark your visit. You will find interesting insights into the Classe fleet and navigation, objects from everyday life over the centuries, and statues and mosaics that will leave you speechless. A tour of the pine forest among oases and old trees A visit to Classe cannot end without a few hours in the centuries-old pine forest: 900 hectares of unspoilt nature to be discovered on foot or by bicycle following itineraries leading to the most precious areas such as the Ortazzo and Ortazzino oases, the mouth of the Bevano river or the green area where the 18th-century Casa delle Aie stands. And don't forget that Ravenna's southern beaches and Mirabilandia area are just a stone's throw away, well connected by bicycle paths or bus services. http://www.parcodeltapo.it/it/
Art & Culture

Marina di Ravenna

Nestled between beach and pine forest, Marina di Ravenna is a true jewel of the Riviera Romagnola Some people prefer the pine forest behind the dunes – ideal for early morning jogs and afternoon naps – while others prefer the shore with its miles and miles of well-equipped beaches. Some choose it for its trendy clubs and others for its proximity to Ravenna, city of mosaics and much more. Whatever your reasons for choosing Marina di Ravenna, you’re sure to be satisfied. Here, greenery, hospitality and expert-level fun are the rule, with something for everyone. The secret to this appeal lies in the two sides to Marina di Ravenna: during the day, the beach fills up with loungers, deckchairs and colourful umbrellas, while in the evening it becomes a large open-air disco with concerts, music evenings and free events to suit all tastes. Guaranteed relaxation in Marina di Ravenna Marina di Ravenna beach is a succession of bathing establishments equipped with all the necessary comforts and hotels that will plan your holiday so you can enjoy every moment worry-free. After indulging in a few hours of relaxation on the beach, you can stroll along the boulevards to the rhythm of music and entertainment, discovering markets, quaint bars and restaurants with meat and fish specialities. Your day could start with a walk along the Molo Zaccagnini: 2.5 km of wooden walkways through the dunes, built with a view to sustainability and respect for the environment, that make you feel like you’re walking on water while enjoying the morning breeze. The construction of the breakwater, together with that of Porto Corsini, has helped make the pleasure port at Marina di Ravenna – known as Marinara – one of the most important in the upper Adriatic and a favourite with sailors who can access it even in bad weather. Sailing and more There’s no shortage of things to do during your stay in Marina di Ravenna. If you love water sports, you can find several sailing schools, and kitesurfing, paddle boarding and canoeing courses. On the beach, an array of areas for beach volleyball, basketball, beach football and beach tennis (known locally as “racchettoni” and considered the “national sport” of Ravenna) awaits you. Sea and diving enthusiasts cannot avoid a visit to the MAS – Museo Nazionale delle Attività Subacquee (National Museum of Underwater Activities) in the city centre. Inside, you can trace the history of underwater activities, from its beginnings to the present day, in an experience unique in Italy. https://www.hdsitalia.it/ And the discos? The disco Marina di Ravenna is a real institution. You can’t truly say you’ve visited the town without stopping at one of the many nightclubs that have made the name and reputation of the Riviera Romagnola so great. The aperitivo hour marks the beginning of the nightlife: dancing on the sand between the pine forest and sea is a must, thanks to the numerous bars and clubs located on the beach, as well as the bathing establishments, which illuminate the promenade with lights and colours. During the summer, the nightlife is mainly concentrated in the discos of Marina di Ravenna, which are all located on the beach, while in winter, the streets of the city centre get crowded at weekends around the main clubs and discos. Good times and good food You can find plenty of places to try the local flatbreads known as piadina and crescione, but among the many specialities you can enjoy in Marina di Ravenna, we’d particularly recommend: the Cozza Selvaggia di Marina. This Adriatic delicacy of wild mussels can be found a few miles off the Romagna coast. There is a big party every year at the start of the summer to celebrate this exquisite local treat. Worth a visit, definitely. https://www.lacozzadiravennainfesta.it/