Italy has many places one could visit for a fun vacation. Big, beautiful cities such as Florence, Rome, and Venice are the most traveled destinations in the picturesque European country. The popularity of Italy’s premier hotspots also means that they are too expensive and overcrowded for a quiet, lovely time. However, there are some spots in the country that offer all the cultural and natural beauty one would want without being jam-packed with tourists.
While the popular tourist destinations are worth visiting for any first-time visitor to Italy, the country’s best charms can only be experienced in its quaint, well-hidden small villages. You can wander down isolated cobblestone lanes and have first-hand experience of the local lifestyle. From the mountains of the north to the sun-soaked island villages in the south, we have compiled a list of a handful of villages you should visit before they become overrun by tourists.
Bolgheri is a beautiful village known for the beautiful scenery of the Viale dei Cipressi country road that leads to the village gates. The three-mile-long road is lined by over 2,500 cypress trees. Along the way to the village, you will see the Oratory of San Guido, the Church of Sant’Antonio, the Church of San Sebastiano and an obelisk dedicated to poet Giosue Carducci. The symbol of the village the Bolgheri Castle stands tall with its entrance walls and its impressive tower at the end of the avenue. You can also stop at Caffe della Posta, on the main square, and try one of Bolgheri’s red wines.
Norcia is a picturesque village to the southeast of the Umbria region of central Italy, which is famous for its stunning landscape and air. It is also a base for mountaineering and hiking. It is a typical medieval village, surrounded by still largely intact defensive walls. The narrow winding streets leading to the Piazza San Benedetto are the most alluring. You can explore the artistic and architectural heritage of Norcia, including the Church of the Crucifix, the Church of Our Lady of Sorrows, and the Church of San Lorenzo. Moreover, it is also known for artisanal culinary traditions that cater to every palate.
Tellaro is a fishing village located on a cliff on the east coast of the Gulf of La Spezia in Liguria. Rated as one of the most beautiful Italian villages, the village is much less crowded than other villages of Cinque Terre that have become congested in recent years. Its pastel-colored establishments, narrow cobblestone streets, and breathtaking sea views are an absolute pleasure to behold. The village has a colorful harbor and historic centers that are worth exploring. The village attracts many Italian and foreign artists and is beloved by tourists. There are many architectural marvels to admire in the little fishing village including the church dedicated to St. George.
Also known as Little Jerusalem, the medieval hill village of Pitigliano was established in the 16th century by a large Jewish community. Top of FormThe ancient village still has many sites for you to explore, tour the old Jewish ghetto that includes a restored synagogue, traditional bread ovens, and a small museum. There is also a 14th-century fortress that inhabits a collection of historical artifacts and Vie Cave, a walking path to a sequence of Etruscan caves. Moreover, you can enjoy many unique and flavorful dishes of the Tuscan countryside.
One of the Flegrean Islands off the coast of Naples, Procida is the smallest island in the Bay of Naples encompassing merely 1.6 square miles. While not a popular travel destination, it is definitely a place to visit if you want a quiet and isolated holiday, as many visitors often bypass Procida in their hurry to see Capri and Ischia. It has brightly colored buildings overlooking a picture-perfect harbor, making it one of the most picturesque places on this list. You can climb the Terra Murata, the highest and oldest point on the island, which is perfect to see the magnificent ruins of the days past and splendid views.