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What are the 5 must-see villages in Italy?

Metropolis, beach, countryside, mountain ... Italy is democratic and offers options for all tastes! Italian villages, however, deserve special attention and today we are going to talk about five of them! Come with us!

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What are the 5 must-see villages in Italy?

Hello reader, I will be participating in the blog ‘Brasil com Z’ with a super special post dedicated to unknown Italy, that is, to Italian villages and towns. Be sure to follow me, I am sure you will love it! Today we are going to talk about the Italian villages. Italy is the city of villages. From north to south, there are beautiful places, often far from the big cities, immersed in the woods or at the top of the hills. Perched or lying on green expanses, we find these little wonders, where time seems to pass slowly. But, after all, what are Italy’s 5 must-see villages? Here at Your Travel to Italy with Ana Patricia you make the trip of your dreams!!! ALSO: see our “Accommodation in Italy – Tips for your holidays!”

Our Introduction

The villages are considered true gems of the Italian artistic and landscape heritage, they have a special fascination that comes in a special way for their points of view, and the atmospheres that offer relaxing images of places that have stood still in time. In most cases, these are the towns that date back to medieval times, far from the most popular and chaotic hundreds. From north to south, Italy is rich in characteristic and fascinating villages, often underestimated by the tourist circuits that prefer cities rich in monuments, churches, museums and archaeological sites.

We suggest in this post some of the villages considered unmissable, proposing a virtual trip through five of the numerous most beautiful villages in Italy, repeating again that it is just a way to give an overview of these places. Especially because Italy is full of these charming little towns, and to name just five could be very reductive.

1) What are the 5 must-see villages in Italy? VERNAZZA – LIGURIA

We started this small tour between the villages of Italy with the first village chosen, Vernazza, one of the villages belonging to the wonderful Cinqueterre, in Liguria. A colorful tripod surrounded by powerful towers above the city, with many shops, balconies and narrow alleys.

Santa Margherita di Antiochia

Vernazza is considered one, if not the most suggestive and colorful among the villages of the Five Lands, it is a small jewel that has some notable monuments such as the parish church of Santa Margherita di Antiochia, placed in an enviable position overlooking the sea. This church was dedicated to St Margherita because a legend says that it may have been there that they found a finger of the Saint’s hand.

Vernazza Doria Castle

Also interesting is the castle of the Doria de Vernazza, which presents us with picturesque views, although currently only one tower is seen. Finally, there is the Sanctuary of Nostra Signora di Reggio (“Our Lady of Reggio”) where a Black Virgin with the child is venerated and is celebrated on the first Sunday of August. TIPS ON CINQUETERRE?

Cinque Terre by drone

(Source: Ricardo Netto)

2) What are the 5 must-see villages in Italy? CIVITA DI BAGNOREGIO – LAZIO

The second village we identify is Civita di Bagnoregio, in Lazio. Civita di Bagnoregio is also called “the city that dies” caused by this erosive phenomenon, but it remains one of the most beautiful and fascinating centers in the area. Authentic tip of diamond tourism in Tuscia, in practice it managed to make itself a system with all other places in the province. A magical place in the province of Viterbo, Bagnoregio is a car-free city, because, due to its situation, it is only possible to reach it on foot or by motorcycle, via a long bridge. It is a really fascinating place thanks to its position perched on top of a cliff, but also an unlucky place because it is an Italian jewel “in extinction”, because the hill that hosts it is slowly wearing away.

Civita di Bagnoregio by drone

(Source: Prowalk Tours)

3) What are the 5 must-see villages in Italy? CEFALÚ – SICILY

The third village that we want to include in this cast is Cefalù. Located near a promontory, Celafù will fascinate you for its location. Located about 50 km from Palermo, Calafù is certainly one of the most famous and renowned tourist sites in Sicily. It is an ancient medieval village, among the most beautiful and preserved in Italy, which has managed to keep its own characteristics and atmospheres intact, despite the fact that every year it is the favorite target of thousands of tourists from all over the world.

Do not miss the spectacular sunsets at the old forts and the Bastione di Capo Marchiafava, which face the sea and give us a spectacular view across the coast. Built on a promontory on the sea, Cefalù offers tourists remarkable attractions. A stroll through the historic center, between the small and narrow streets, the old houses, the shops, the restaurants and ice cream shops, will give you the impression of being in a timeless place, where the past and modernity merge harmoniously, without stepping on the feet. TIPS ON SICILY?

Cefalu by drone

(Source: Jimmy Mullen)

4) What are the 5 must-see villages in Italy? CHIANALEA DI SCILLA – CALABRIA

Chianalea di Scilla, a spectacle of nature. Chianalea di Scilla is the picturesque fishing village at the tip of the boot, on the charming Viola Coast, in the province of Reggio Calabria. Chianalea is famous for being considered the “little Venice of the South”. We can consider it as a mosaic of houses located directly on the sea and divided by narrow alleys. For its particularity, Chianalea de Scilla appears among the most beautiful villages in Italy and really deserves to be discovered.


Its name, Chianalea, derives from “Piano della Galea”, but it is also called Acquagrande or Canalea, due to the alleys that go down to the sea and that look like small channels. The spontaneity of the architecture, the small accesses to the sea, the steep stairways and the alleys crossed by the sea breeze and the sound of the sea hitting the rocks, will leave you speechless. TIPS ON CALABRIA?

Palazzo Scategna (Scatgena Palace)

In Chianalea we find all these particularities and the tones of the most authentic sea villages. Its origin is very old, as it is narrated since the times of Homer: built by the exiles of Troy for its position and the wealth of its waters. At “Scaro Alaggio”, a place for landing fishermen’s boats, we find the harmonious Palazzo Scategna, which has now been transformed into a hotel, the entire bay dominated by the virtuous Castello dei Ruffo, which appears on a rock that bears the name of the famous Homeric monster.

Castello dei Ruffo (Ruffo Castle)

The Castle was the home of Count Paolo Ruffo who dominated Scilla’s fief in 1523, defending the village of Pirate Barbarossa. From this ancient fortress it is possible to admire a wonderful panorama on the Eolie Islands and part of the Sicilian coast. Fishing has always been the main activity of the village, the maximum expression was swordfish fishing: carried out with the “luntri”, that is, the typical rowing boats, or with the most modern “walkways”, motor boats with the lookout antenna (medallions) and the scaffolding at the bow.

The apotheosis of swordfish fishing is in August, when the Sagra del pesce spada (“Swordfish Festival”) takes place. An event created to recover the old traditions, which tells the stories and culture of Scilla and Chanalea. Between nights with moments of folklore, music, exhibitions and thematic events, all enriched with an enogastronomic offer where all the dishes based on swordfish naturally stand out. TIPS ON CALABRIA?

Scilla by drone

(Source: Epic Life Flashes)

5) What are the 5 must-see villages in Italy? SAN GIMIGNANO – TUSCANY

It is necessary to visit this village due to the uniqueness of the architecture, the charm of the village climate, the extraordinary landscapes of the surrounding fields and the wine produced here (and their respective tastings). For all these reasons, San Gimignano is one of the most visited places in Tuscany, and not only by foreign tourists or from other regions, but also by the Tuscan people themselves, who take the time off to spend a pleasant day, strolling outdoors.

Tower Houses

We can start with the tower houses, which are one of the typical features of this village. Of the seventy that existed in medieval times, today there are only thirteen left, and thanks to them, San Gimignano has preserved all the fascinating architecture of an inspiring period. In the past, tower houses were not only an element of prestige (detail: the competition was to see who had the highest tower house), but they also had practical reasons, such as defense. Certainly, it is these towers that distinguish this beautiful city from the others.

Tower houses, linked together by bridges, were an extremely safe system to move from one tower house to another without having to pass through the street (which was usually frequented by suspicious people or with whom they could have debts, policy and family fights). Another reason for the diffusion of tower houses would have been in relation to the world of the textile industry, in this region saffron-based dyes were used. To fix the color well, it was necessary to keep the fabric away from dust and the sun, not having adequate space to extend the fabrics, people always built taller houses.

San Gimignano by drone

(Source: Drone Nomads)

San Gimignano Cathedral

We will continue our tour to admire the main attractions; among them, you cannot miss the visit to the Cathedral of San Gimignano and the Palacio Comunale, which is right next door, where the Medieval Art Gallery is located. Its romantic façade from the 12th century is all-original and inside there are several masterpieces, including a wooden cross from 1200.

The beautiful Collegiate Church of Our Lady of the Assumption, built in the 12th century, is characterized by a staircase and a rustic facade, and inside, three naves. It contains a series of masterpieces, such as: the Martyrdom of San Sebastian, by Benozzo Gozzoli, the wooden statues by Jacopo della Quercia and the frescoes by Lippo and Federico Memmi. Without a doubt, it is worth climbing to the top of the Grossa Tower, the tallest tower in the city, from where it is possible to observe the best view of all of San Gimignano. Still in this region, we will visit the Palazzo Comunale, the Art Gallery and the Grossa Tower.

Palazzo Comunale (“Municipal Palace”)

Built and expanded between 1288 and 1323, the Palazzo Comunale is another masterpiece of late-medieval architecture, where Sala di Dante (Dante’s Hall) is located, decorated with a series of important frescoes with the theme of the court and its cavalry. At the Art Gallery, there are works from the period between the 13th and 17th centuries.

The Grossa Tower

The Grossa Tower, which is exactly 54 meters high, can be visited through the Civic Museum. A symbol of the city and the secular state, the tower reigns throughout the village and in the surrounding fields. Through an external staircase of the palace, it is possible to access the Civic Museum (where even Dante stayed for a period). There they stand out: the “Majesty”, by Lippo Memmi, the “Cross”, by Coppo di Marcovaldo, the tondo with the “Annunciation”, of Filippino Lippi, besides one of the last works of Pinturicchio.

Chapel of Saint Fina

Another masterpiece of Giuliano and Benedetto Da Maiano’s Renaissance architecture is the Chapel of St Fina. Legend has it that Santa Seraphina, after his mother’s death, would have decided to spend the rest of his life praying in front of an oratory. This story is illustrated in a fresco by Ghirlandaio present in the chapel, in which the artist narrates the life of the saint.

Church of Saint Augustine

Finally, without a doubt, it is worth seeing the Church of Saint Augustine, on the outskirts of Porta San Matteo. It has a Romanesque-Gothic style and houses a work of art by Piero Pollaiolo (The Coronation of the Virgin, on the main altar) – another wonder is the set of frescoes by Benozzo Gozzoli about The Life of Saint Augustine, which decorates the walls of the choir.

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What are the 5 must-see villages in Italy? The most beautiful villages in Italy represent the ideal destination for those who love to relax away from everyday chaos, in real oasis of tranquility, which in addition to fantastic views offer a renowned and genuine culinary tradition. To visit Italy in an original way and for a stay that you will never forget, then you should visit these places in search of breathtaking views, forgotten traditions and sensations that will be a surprise.


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