8 Dreamiest Towns in Italy That Will Steal Your Heart

8 Dreamiest Towns in Italy That Will Steal Your Heart

From seaside cliffs to glittering lakes, these Italian towns beckon to travellers with their own kind of charm.

I have travelled to many places far and wide, fallen in love with unspoilt mountains and beaches. But Italy, that boot-shaped peninsula floating between the Adriatic Sea and the Mediterranean Sea, is still my favourite country in the world.

Why? The climate is warmer, the food reaches “Don’t talk to me, I’m still eating my pasta” levels of mind-blowing, the museums are packed with great art, and the views — well, they just take your breath away. Nowhere are these facts truer than in the remote parts of the country, where the Italian sun shines brighter without the crowds to distract you.

And so, whether you are pining for historic sights or tracing the footsteps of Romeo and Juliet, these are eight of the most enchanting towns in Italy. 

Also read: 12 Off the Beaten Track Destinations in Italy You Should Discover 

1. Alberobello

towns in italy: alberobello

Alberobello, a small town in the Puglia region in Southern Italy, has been recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage site for its adorable medieval trulli. This word refers to the white buildings with cone-shaped roofs made of limestone, almost like Hobbit dwellings. Make a beeline for the Rione Monti district to see over 1,000 trulli gathered on a hillside neighbourhood. Aside from these fairy tale-style homes, Alberobello also draws many visitors for its summer festivals.

2. Manarola

towns in italy: manarola

A fishing town along the Italian Riviera, Manarola is a cluster of colourful houses poised on a steep rock overlooking the Ligurian Sea. The land is bursting with grapevines that produce Sciacchetrà wine, the sweet dessert wine coming from the Cinque Terre towns in Italy. Moreover, this darling town offers pleasant strolls around vineyards and geranium-covered balconies. Head down to the scenic lookout of Punta Bonfiglio for a postcard-worthy vista of Manarola’s cliffside homes, as the sun sinks into the horizon. 

3. Capri

Set on a rocky island, the glamorous town of Capri attracts visitors with its laid-back atmosphere. Grandiose villas and hotels inhabit this side of paradise, but you can also enjoy ancient trails, bountiful gardens, and impressive views of the Amalfi coastline. Not to mention an envy-inducing shot of the Faraglioni rock formations, which emerge from the Mediterranean Sea. And you can’t miss out on the town’s popular attraction, the Blue Grotto, a sea cave known for the heavenly light of its azure water. 

Also read: 10 Most Beautiful Islands to Visit in Italy

4. Sorrento

From Capri, you only need a 20-minute ferry ride to arrive in Sorrento, a serene town perched on dramatic cliffs with matchless views of the water. But unlike many coastal towns in Italy, Sorrento keeps the crazy crowds at a distance. Rumoured to be the sighting place for mermaids in myths, the harbour has a rustic appeal that blends with the terrain. And if you squint your eyes, you can see the silhouette of Mount Vesuvius in the distance. Teeming with fragrant lemon groves, this seaside town also happens to be the birthplace of limoncello, an Italian liqueur that might as well be the drink of the gods! 

5. Positano

Driving with your family won’t be such a labour of love when you traverse the beautiful stretch of road and sea that is the Amalfi Coast Drive, crossing sun-kissed landscapes to reach Positano. Tumbling down a cliffside to a pebbled beach, this jewel of a resort town is such that even if you were to see it from your car window, the view would be enough to last a lifetime. You simply can’t explore the Campania region without hiking the Il Sentiero degli Dei (“Path of the Gods”) or getting lost in the narrow cafe-lined streets of Positano.

Also read: 10 of the Most Stunning Coastlines in Europe

6. Varenna

towns in italy: varenna

Surrounded by Lake Como, the harbour of Varenna has a subdued beauty to rival the most secluded towns in Italy. Wander through the botanical gardens of Villa Cipressi and Villa Monastero, where you can soak up sights worthy of a landscape painting. Meanwhile, old fishermen’s houses and cobblestone streets lead visitors down to the promenade. Be sure to sit on a bench near the edge of the water, where swans circle the lake. 

7. Crema

towns in italy: crema

No longer the hidden corner in Northern Italy that it used to be, Crema — this little town that could — now holds an irresistible allure over a new generation of travellers, who are coming from all over the world to see where Call Me By Your Name was filmed. And while the sets have disappeared, the warmth of that Italian summer remains. With a map from the visitor’s centre, find your way around the pastel-coloured streets and houses. Or, hop on a bike and cycle through the lush countryside outside of town. Lazy afternoons are perfect for milling around the arches of the Piazza del Duomo, while you wait for summer or winter’s end. 

8. Verona

Ah, to be young and in love again — and in Italy, too! Not only does the province of Verona have breathtaking views, but it also sets the stage for the famous play, Romeo and Juliet. Taking your cue from the star-crossed couple, you can pay a visit to a romantic courtyard filled with lovestruck notes and letters on the walls. Pretend to woo someone under a balcony at Casa di Giulietta (“Juliet’s House”), where a bronze statue of Shakespeare’s heroine awaits. By the Piazza delle Erbe, you can wind down with an aperitivo and bask in Verona’s spell, which continues to mesmerise young lovers around the world.  

Also read: A First-Timer’s Guide to Florence, Italy

Small towns in Italy can be hard to reach, but these hidden corners of the peninsula are well worth the journey. Among these dazzling escapes, which place captured your heart today?

About Author

Tiffany Conde
Tiffany Conde

Tiffany is a writer based in Manila. When she was younger, she knew she wanted to write stories or go on adventures—now, she's learning to do both. She enjoys being swept up in books that spark her curiosity for new places, both real and imaginary.

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