Top 10 Most Beautiful Coastal Towns in Italy
Italy boasts Mediterranean views, immaculate beaches, delicious seafood, and well-preserved architecture from the Italian Riviera to the farthest reaches of Sicily. These scenic areas are definitely worth a stop on your next travel itinerary. Prepare to give up city life for the charm of the coast from Manarola to Ravello.
Saying that Positano is among the most beautiful places on earth wouldn’t be an exaggeration. The pastel-colored houses in this little town on the Amalfi Coast are a sight to behold, perched atop mountains overlooking the sea. Positano has had many incarnations: it was a fishing village that was forgotten during the Renaissance, a major trade route during the Middle Ages, a part of the maritime republic of Amalfi during the Middle Ages, and finally, a charming beach town going through a modern renaissance.
“It is a dream place that isn’t quite real when you are there and becomes beckoningly real after you have gone,” wrote John Steinbeck, who lived here in 1953. You might, however, never want to leave.
Though Amalfi may be more well-known, Ravello really takes the cake. It is, as French writer Andre Gide put it, “closer to the sky than the sea.” Perched atop the Bay of Salerno, the town is well-known for its romantic gardens, Villa Rufolo and Villa Cimbrone, which provide breathtaking views of the sea.
The aristocratic families of the maritime republic of Amalfi from the 12th century made Ravello famous. Innumerable artists have also drawn inspiration from it, such as Richard Wagner, Tennessee Williams, M. C. Escher, Virginia Woolf, Joan Mirò, Truman Capote, and Tennessee Williams, who is honored annually with a music festival.
Manarola, a part of Liguria’s Cinque Terre National Park, which consists of five villages, has been dubbed the world’s most colorful city. The town is reminiscent of an artist’s palette due to the colorful buildings competing for limited space.
Hiking between seaside villages is a popular annual attraction, drawing large crowds during peak season. Don’t miss the Church of San Lorenzo, which boasts stunning exterior and interior design due to its expansive views of Manarola and surrounding towns.
Sorrento is set in an amazing landscape where deep valleys alternate with citrus plantations at the meeting point of the mountain and the sea. Located in the province of Naples, the old town is well-known for its ceramic and lace production. Enjoy a glass of falanghina while taking in the ambience of Piazza Tasso, a haven for people-watching.
There aren’t many beach options: the gorgeous Capri is just offshore, the Amalfi Coast to the north, and the rolling countryside to the east. Fortunately, though, the town’s ideal location more than makes up for it.
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Elba Island is one of the least visited Italian islands right now, despite being the former residence of Napoleon Bonaparte, who was exiled. The public can still visit his summer residence, Villa San Martino.
Elba is the largest island in the Tuscan archipelago, but because of underground springs that keep the island green all year round, it resembles the verdant French island of Corsica rather than its rocky sister islands. With its lush vegetation, secluded beaches, and preserved Medici forts, its largest city, Portoferraio, welcomes ferries from the Italian mainland.
Numerous Roman emperors once sought refuge in Sperlonga, and it’s easy to see why: the small town’s immaculate beaches, abundant vegetation, and easy train ride to Rome make it the ideal weekend getaway destination.
A superb museum, the Museo Archeologico di Sperlonga, is situated in the town amidst the ruins of Emperor Tiberius’ former villa. The best views in town can be found from the top of the promontory where Sperlonga is situated, the Torre Truglia.
Riomaggiore, the largest of the Cinque Terre’s five islands, is another area of the region. It is well-known for its wine and seafood. The region’s incredible Bosco, Albarola, and Vermentino grape varieties are used to make the well-known Sciacchetrà.
The city of Atrani is located next to Amalfi. With only 870 residents, it has the distinction of being Italy’s smallest community. That undoubtedly reduces the number of visitors to Atrani. Locations like the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Torre dello Ziro, Cave, and House of Masaniello are among those you could visit.
The charming town of Cefalù, located in Sicily, wedged between mountains and the coast and only an hour’s drive east of Palermo, is small but well-liked, especially by travelers from other regions of Italy who come for the sun. Cefalù has fantastic restaurants and a vibrant nightlife scene in addition to its stunning beaches, especially during the summer when the city’s population triples.
The island of Capri gets its name from the herds of goats (called capra in Italian) that used to live there and was a popular holiday destination for Roman emperors. When German poet August Kopisch and artist Ernst Fries “discovered” the Grotta Azzurra in 1826, it became a symbol of the pastoral Romantic ideal due to its unmatched natural beauty.
Light refracts off a hidden opening in the cave, giving the water an amazing sapphire blue appearance. Now that the secret is out, Capri attracts large numbers of visitors, but the breathtaking beauty of the island makes the trip worthwhile.
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