19 of the most beautiful villages in Italy

Aug 30, 2020

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As the travel industry reopens following COVID-19 shutdowns, TPG suggests that you talk to your doctor, follow health officials’ guidance and research local travel restrictions before booking that next trip. We will be here to help you prepare, whether it is next month or next year.

Italy has some of the dreamiest villages in all of Europe. From hilltop medieval hamlets to mountain retreats to colorful seaside towns, it’s near impossible to narrow down the list.

For now, choosing Italy for a socially-distanced getaway may not be a possibility, but that hasn’t stopped us from future planning. Here are some of TPG’s top picks for the most gorgeous Italian villages — and if you’d prefer a quaint getaway in Spain when the time comes, make sure to check out 15 of the most beautiful villages in Spain.

1. Collodi

Collodi, Tuscany, Italy. Photo by clodio/Getty.
Collodi, Tuscany, Italy. (Photo by clodio/Getty)

This village descends down verdant Tuscan hills, flanked by the majestic Rocca Antica fortress/castle at the top and the imposing Villa Garzoni at the bottom. Families should plan to explore Pinocchio Park, dedicated to the author of Pinocchio, Carlo Collodi, who adopted the town’s name as his pen name after spending many summers there.

Related: 15 of the most beautiful villages in Europe

2. Limone sul Garda

Limone del Garda village in Lake Garda, Lombardy, Italy. (Photo by Marco Bottigelli/Getty)
Limone del Garda village in Lake Garda, Lombardy, Italy. (Photo by Marco Bottigelli/Getty)

Oozing with Italian appeal, Limone Sul Garda sits on the edge of Lake Garda in the Lombardy region. Wander past tranquil lemon and olive groves, a vibrant town center and pebbly beaches. If it seems familiar, the James Bond movie “Quantum of Solace” had scenes filmed there.

3. Ostuni

Ostuni, Puglia, Italy. (Photo by Atlantide Phototravel/Getty)
Ostuni, Puglia, Italy. (Photo by Atlantide Phototravel/Getty)

Although the whitewashed, hilltop village of Ostuni seems like it could be set in southern Spain or on a far-flung Greek island, Ostuni feels distinctly different. Its winding streets hold a maze of Italian secrets: historical churches and convents, lively squares and breathtaking views of the surrounding olive groves and Puglian coast.

4. Bracciano

Bracciano, Lazio, Italy. (Photo by Freeartist/Getty)
Bracciano, Lazio, Italy. (Photo by Freeartist/Getty)

An easy day trip to escape the hustle of urban Rome (about 50 minutes away by car), Bracciano is a village located on Lake Bracciano. Pay a visit to the towering Castle Odescalchi, head out for a boat ride, swim in the lake or visit other charming lakeside villages such as Anguillara Sabazia.

5. Chianale

Chianale, Piedmont, Italy. (Photo by clodio/Getty)
Chianale, Piedmont, Italy. (Photo by clodio/Getty)

If a visit to the Italian Alps sounds enticing, head straight for Chianale. The village, which sits at the base of the mountains in a lush valley and is made almost entirely out of stone, is ideal for a snowy winter getaway or a summer hiking or cycling break.

6. Ragusa

Ragusa Ibla, Sicily, Italy. (Photo by Piero Damiani/Getty)
Ragusa Ibla, Sicily, Italy. (Photo by Piero Damiani/Getty)

All of the Baroque villages in Sicily’s Val di Noto are stunning, but Ragusa’s lofty hilltop location makes it one of the most breathtaking, whether you’re wandering the village itself or spotting it from afar. A visit to the Duomo di San Giorgio is a must, and simply exploring the Ragusa on foot, camera in hand, is the best way to see the sights.

Related: From Bologna to Bari: 5 of Italy’s best hidden gem cities

7. Riomaggiore

Riomaggiore village in Cinque Terre, Italy. (Photo by nycshooter/Getty)
Riomaggiore village in Cinque Terre, Italy. (Photo by nycshooter/Getty)

It’s tough to select a favorite of Cinque Terre’s glittering villages, but Riomaggiore, the easternmost village of these rugged, cliff top Italian Riviera hot spots is TPG’s top pick. The bold and colorful buildings built into the rocky uneven cliffs overlooking the crashing sea make for one of the most picturesque spots in all of Italy.

8. Bosa

Bosa, Sardinia, Italy. (Photo by Davide Seddio/Getty)
Bosa, Sardinia, Italy. (Photo by Davide Seddio/Getty)

Bosa’s vivid pastel houses are among the most colorful in Sardinia. A visit to the crumbling Serravalle Castle is a must, and make sure to visit the Sas Conzas, the old tanneries located along the Temo River.

9. Boccadasse

Boccadasse, Liguria, Italy. (Photo by Massimo Strazzeri Photography/Getty)
Boccadasse, Liguria, Italy. (Photo by Massimo Strazzeri Photography/Getty)

A favorite Sunday afternoon excursion for Genoan residents, this former fishing village doesn’t have much to do, but that’s all part of its relaxed charm. Stroll past the small port and bright homes or catch some rays along the pebbly beach.

10. Civita di Bagnoregio

Civita di Bagnoregio, Lazio, Italy. (Photo by AGF / Colaborador / Getty)
Civita di Bagnoregio, Lazio, Italy. (Photo byAGF/Colaborador/Getty)

This formidable hilltop village swathed in stone was founded by the Etruscans in the 7th century. You can enter by crossing the steep footbridge. You won’t find many big sites to visit — instead, wander through the village enjoying the views and indulge in a leisurely lunch.

11. Vieste

Vieste, Puglia, Italy. (Photo Marka/Universal Images Group/ Getty)
Vieste, Puglia, Italy. (Photo Marka/Universal Images Group/ Getty)

Set on jagged rocks overlooking the sea, Vieste is worth a visit — and so are its surroundings, the Gargano National Park. Once you’ve seen the village and its 11th-century cathedral, bask on some of the nearby beaches or view the Pizzomunno, a legendary limestone monolith.

Related: Italy to allow cruises to resume later this month

12. Amalfi

Amalfi, Campania, Italy. (Photo by ezypix/Getty)
Amalfi, Campania, Italy. (Photo by ezypix/Getty)

It’s difficult to pick just one of the many awe-inspiring villages along the Amalfi coast — they all have dramatic cliffs lined with houses rising high over the sea. But the village of Amalfi itself wins points for its beautiful cathedral, bustling atmosphere and family-run restaurants.

13. Bassano del Grappa

Bassano del Grappa, Veneto, Italy. (Photo by rhkamen/ Getty
Bassano del Grappa, Veneto, Italy. (Photo by rhkamen/Getty)

Located north of Venice, Bassano del Grappa’s claim to fame is its 13th-century Ponte Vecchio, a wooden bridge over the River Brenta. Traverse the town, then drive further northeast through the Strada di prosecco (prosecco Road) to admire more beautiful villages and vineyards.

14. Molveno

Molveno,Trentino Alto, Italy. (Photo by Arseniy Rogov/Getty)
Molveno, Trentino Alto, Italy. (Photo by Arseniy Rogov/Getty)

Just east of the famous Cima Tosa mountain peak, Molveno is a lake and small village perfect for skiers in the winter and hikers or outdoor enthusiasts in the summer. The village is ideal for those wanting to relax in the shade of the Dolomites.

15. Alberobello

Trulli huts in Alberobello, Puglia, Italy. (Photo by Masahiro Noguchi/Getty)
Trulli huts in Alberobello, Puglia, Italy. (Photo by Masahiro Noguchi/Getty)

One of Italy’s unique villages, Alberobello is famous for its small, whitewashed huts with conical roofs. For a truly memorable experience, spend the night in one of these special huts, which the Italians refer to as trulli.

Related: Which of the hundreds of Italian islands is best for your summer

16. Montepulciano

Montepulciano, Tuscany, Italy. (Photo by jenifoto/Getty)
Montepulciano, Tuscany, Italy. (Photo by jenifoto/Getty)

The medieval hilltop town of Montepulciano is full of historical wonders: the famous cathedral, 14th-century Piazza Grande and a number of other churches and sites to see. And don’t forget to taste the wine, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, which is produced in vineyards surrounding the village.

17. Peschiera Maraglio (Monte Isola)

Peschiera Maraglio, Monte Isola, Lombardy, Italy. (Photo by Artem Bolshakov/Getty)
Peschiera Maraglio, Monte Isola, Lombardy, Italy. (Photo by Artem Bolshakov/Getty)

The main village on the island of Monte Isola located in Lake Iseo, this town is reachable only by boat. Once you’ve walked the Peschiere Maraglio, which artfully weaves up the hill, rent a bike for a few euros and the lap the entire island, jumping into the lake to cool off along the way.

18. Pitigliano

Pitigliano, Tuscany, Italy. (Photo by Peter Zelei Images/Getty)
Pitigliano, Tuscany, Italy. (Photo by Peter Zelei Images/Getty)

Known as Italy’s “Little Jerusalem,” Pitigliano rises out of volcanic rock, a village founded by the Etruscans that once had a thriving Jewish community. A walk through the Jewish quarter is a must, as well as a trip to the Orsini Palace and Museum.

19. Gubbio

Gubbio, Umbria, Italy. (Photo by Giusy Cutuli / EyeEm / Getty)
Gubbio, Umbria, Italy. (Photo by Giusy Cutuli/EyeEm/Getty)

This medieval town set at the base of Mount Ingino is a short gondola ride from the peak, home to the Basilica di Sant’Ubaldo (beware, this birdcage-style open gondola structure is not for the faint of heart). Don’t miss the iconic Palazzo dei Consoli and a visit to the ancient Roman Theatre.

Bottom line

Italy has some seriously stunning villages to visit. So whether you’re in the mood for a seaside escape, an olive or wine tasting experience or an adventure in medieval times, Italy has a beautiful village right for your holiday.

Featured photo of Pitigliano courtesy of Andras Jancsik/Getty

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