The 13 most charming small towns in Italy (2023)

The Italian boot is studded with many glittering gems to see and do, as Italians do when they head out for an Aperol spritz on a secluded beach away from the crowds. These 13 cities are ridiculously perfect and compact with incredible history, culinary delights and breathtaking views around every corner. enjoy your sweet lifeon the cover of your favorite storybook, from seaside romances to mermaids and medieval hilltop castles.

Arezzo, Tuscany

The 13 most charming small towns in Italy (1)

This enchanting city in eastern Tuscany, one hour south of Florence and two hours from the glamor of Rome, will envelop you in so much charm that the cities will run for their money. Enjoy quick access for a day trip or visit on the weekend to see the weekly Sunday antique market in Piazza Grande to shop and experience the local culture. The city of awe-inspiring beauty is the birthplace of Italian filmmaker Roberto Benigni and the setting for the Oscar-winning film "Life is Beautiful."

If Hollywood's good faith wasn't enough, the stunner expresses its ancient relics like no other, a true achievement for a nation steeped in rich heritage. Stroll through the impeccably preserved medieval architecture and impressive frescoes by Piero della Francesca in each church, and spend time in Arezzo Cathedral admiring sculptures by Donatello.

Brisighella, Ravenna

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Brisighella is not only the typical charming town of around 7,100 inhabitants, between the Renaissance cities of Ravenna and Florence, with a unique kitsch. It's the "city of three hills" in Italy, with plenty to explore and marvel at while exercising, just what you need after stuffing yourself with that pasta in Florence. Go to the 14th-century castle, La Rocca, on the first hill and climb the second to pay your respects at an 18th-century church shrine, Monticino. Visit the third hill and organize an outdoor picnic under the 19th century bell tower.

You can also save space to recharge in the city with some culinary delights in this city, in the province of Emilia-Romagna, famous for its gastronomic traditions. Try an entree of Volpina pear, a firm pear variety that adds a punch of flavor you won't find anywhere else, and pair it with local Sangiovese wines. Continue your sweet tooth adventures with a plate of pork from the local Mora Romagnola pig breed and buy some Conciato cheese, which matures in limestone caves. There is no better way to enjoy the local culture of Brisighella than a visit to one of the local thermal baths.

Castelluccio, Umbria

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With a population of less than 150, perched atop a steep hill 1,500 meters above sea level, Castelluccio is an enchanting sight to behold. With a backdrop of snow-capped mountains and a front of green plains with seasonal flowers, this highest city in the Apennines exudes overwhelming emotions with its nature and atmosphere.

Although Castelluccio has been virtually uninhabitable since 2016 following an earthquake, you can visit the never-diminishing natural beauty on a walk among red poppies, violets and rapeseed in spring and winter fun on the hillside. There are also some very inviting shops and restaurants in the hands of the remaining locals, and the heartbreaking charm will make you wish for a speedy recovery.

Cefalu, Sicilien

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A postcard-worthy medieval town, Cefalù is an eye-opening feast around every corner with a retro vibe that draws you in and evokes nostalgia on the way out. The town of less than 15,000 people, just an hour's drive from Palermo, is also a movie star, having appeared repeatedly in several films, including the beloved Cinema Paradiso.

Explore Cefalù on foot, with several beautiful themed sites to highlight each day, such as a walk through the aesthetic streets or a church tour in and around the many cathedrals adorned with mosaics. Enjoy the scenery along the picturesque waterfront, a favorite place for locals to mingle, and finally enjoy an alluring sunset from the top of La Rocca, which towers over the city.

Gallipoli, Apulia

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Find this stunning charm situated on its own little island off the Ionian coast of Puglia, easily accessible from the mainland via a bridge. donate,Gallipoliit is a regal vision of labyrinthine alleyways lined with whitewashed flat-roofed houses, interspersed with baroque courtyards, glorious church spiers and the imposing 13th-century Angevin fortress.

Stroll through the sunny city, named after the Greek word meaning "beautiful city", under the charming moods, from coastal views to a compact historic center. Wander through the narrow passages to the bastion wall with the sparkling turquoise sea on the other side. You'll find some of Italy's most beautiful beaches right around the corner, as well as excellent restaurants serving local seafood, cooked to order just the way you like it.

Manarola, Liguria

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Among the Cinque Terre, the three small multicolored coastal towns, Manarola has one of the most beautiful coastal landscapes in Italy. The small town perched on a cliff is a sight to behold and a true insider experience, as if you were walking on the cover of a novel. Access Manarola throughof loveHike and hike in search of sights at every turn, with plenty of access points to capture the ocean views.

Make your way north along the coast towards Corniglia in the evening for a spectacular sunset tour as the romance of the village only intensifies to come alive at night. The unforgettable atmosphere, when the lights of the village break through the darkness to reflect in the sea, makes it a true "La dolce vita" moment, enveloping you together with the village in a soft glow.

Orta San Giulio, Piedmont

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The small village along Italy's smallest lake is enveloped in rural charm on the small promontory on the south-eastern shore of Lago d'Orta. It is a refreshing oasis of urban atmosphere, often overlooked by the much more touristy Como and Maggiore, where you will feel part of the medieval atmosphere with unobstructed views. Stroll along the retro lakefront along the cobbled streets lined with old stone buildings that line Piazza Motta.

Find a cafe in this cobbled central square where you can people-watch with an espresso and traditional tiramisu that you can devour with a small spoon. The surrounding hills are ideal for walks in the fresh air with views of the city beyond. You can also enjoy a walk in the cool sea breeze to the mysterious nearby island of San Giulio and learn how Saint Giulio floated on his cloak to get rid of snakes and dragons. Visit the basilica from the year 392 AD. C., the church he founded after his feat.

Portofino, Ligurian

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Portofino is a must-see townItaly, with postcard views around every corner. Plan a visit in the winter with most of the local hikers and during the holiday glow. The seaside town is ridiculously perfect, with mud and sand colored houses looking fiery against the deep bar of a natural harbor and the backdrop of cafes and restaurants along the azure and turquoise waters.

The surrounding wooded hills hide near the Agnellis and the Dolce & Gabbana villa itself. Come in the hazy summer months to relax on Portofino's famous beaches with regular locals, watch the mega-yachts drop anchor and enjoy the little Chuflay at least once for the view from the piazzetta's grandstand. Simply eat deliciously at Taverna del Marinaio and choose Belmond Splendido Mare for a fantastic break.

Positano, Campania

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This wonderful villa inAmalfi coastit is one of the most spectacular places in Italy, suspended from the cliff face like an architectural miracle or a natural growth on a cliff. Take a cruise from Nerano or Sorrento and enjoy the ridiculous scenery that the locals can see and experience every day between the sea and the mountains. Author John Steinbeck wrote of it as a "dream place that doesn't feel real when you're there and feels such nostalgia when you leave".

Walk down the street plans and along the city's paved strip, narrowing on the road down to the water, to the white and pastel-colored houses on the bank. Rocks and sunny peaks are reflected in the turquoise sea, creating a landscape that makes you doubt your perception and stop trusting your senses.

Scilla, Calabria

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Calabria, a region in southern Italy of Greek origin, lies in the shadow of neighboring Sicily. Its sparkling jewels, like Scilla, have beauty and stories for the curious to discover without the crowds. Scilla is the small town Homer wrote about "falling from Charybdis to Scylla", poetically referring to falling from one peril to another.

Although you may never see the dreaded monsterStrait of Messinatoday you will fall in love with the view of Scilla as soon as you see it from the water on the Tyrrhenian coast. This dangerous nexus is as seductive from the inside as the Chianalea neighborhood, with undeniably suggestive charm along the winding streets lined with fishermen's houses.

Sorrento, Campania

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Sorrento is a must-visit seaside town in Italy, despite the number of tourists all year round. Once home to mermaids according to Greek mythology, this true charmer will convey a range of impressions and emotions and leave you with memories for a lifetime. Just as sirens lured sailors with their beautiful songs to clap on rocks on the open sea, Sorrento draws visitors to Italy's southern coast with seascapes, sunny beaches and an abundance of restaurants.

A tourist choice along the Neapolitan Riviera, Sorrento charms at first sight with around 16,000 inhabitants, a surprisingly humble atmosphere and easy access to further explore the Bay of Naples. Visit this old town sprawling over dramatic rocky cliffs overlooking the sea in the off-season, and head to the Amalfi Coast to the east, Pompeii to the north and the coastal island of Capri.

Tropea, Calabria

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The charming town of Tropea is magnificently situated at the tip of Italy's boot, along the Capo Vaticano peninsula. Book a room at the five-star Villa Paola, a former 16th-century convent turned adults-only, and plan your excursions with a nice red onion ice cream to keep the theme unique. Tropea literally hangs over a cliff overlooking the sea, with a vertical dip from the cliff into open water and only a crescent of sand at the bottom.

Stroll down palatial alleyways to the city's stunning waterfront, where even the volcanic island of Stromboli steams silently off the coast at such a sight. Tropea is a secret local "hangout" to soak up all this nature-filled atmosphere without the crowds in a truly quick-get-away cultural experience with impressions that last a lifetime.

Vernazza, Liguria

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The steepest and most charming of the Cinque Terre villages, with less than 1,000 inhabitants, will envelop you in a charm and atmosphere that you will not want to leave again. Vernazza descends with picturesque streets lined with colorful one- and two-story fairy-tale houses, with sea views through the buildings and Instagrammable views at every turn as you descend. The small sandy beach in the background is the only natural harbor in the entire Cinque Terre.

Find the most stunning views paired with ditto cuisine at the iconic fish restaurant Belforte, inside the 11th century double castle and look forward to it on the edge of the harbor. There are also so many ice cream parlors in this Cinque Terre village that you may want to return for a separate tasting visit.

From cliffside villages to glamorous stretches of beach along the coast, these are Italy's 13 most charming towns. Enjoy easy access to a major city after an espresso atRomaor Milan to stroll through the narrow medieval streets or enjoy an ice cream on a lunchtime walk along the beach.

Choose a quiet seaside town in Sicily or a Tuscan village to escape for a drive or relax on a breezy cruise with excellent regional train connections between the picturesque small towns. Without the straight lines to attractions and pampered sights, these typical Italian charmers allow you to immerse yourself in the local culture.

The most beautiful cities in ItalyEvery Italian city is a treasure trove of history, culture and art.

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little alice21 May 2023 iplaces

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