25 Most Beautiful Italian Towns

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Anywhere you go in Italy, you find beauty, art, and uniqueness. Each region and all Italian towns have its own story, its own rare beauties that make them stand out and be different from each other. The towns in Italy change their architectural style from north to south. Towns in north Italy have an influence on western Europe, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and France even. In the meantime, small towns in Italy in the south are different. The color of the stone used to build these towns changes from north to south, and therefore the color of cities changes too. Each of the Italian towns on this list is a real gem, and they are all worth our attention.

25 Beautiful Italian towns

In this article, we picked 25 Italian towns which are smaller. These towns in Italy were collected by looking through all the magical places from north to south, picking Italian hill towns, coastal towns, and those Italy towns that are near some of the most beautiful lakes in Italy. We picked places from different regions, close to the most beautiful cities in Italy. You can look for international airports nearby, or check for car rentals in Italy to reach these places, as they might be out off the way from trains, or take too much time with a bus.

1. Alberobello

Alberobello is one of the most outstanding towns in Italy, and it’s definitely one of the best towns in southern Italy to visit. When it comes to small towns in Italy in the Puglia region, everyone must have Alberobello on their bucket list. The famous Trulli houses, which are popular in this region make Alberobello outstanding.

Usually, people don’t spend more than a few hours here, since there are only a few streets built with Trulli houses, but it’s a perfect stop-by for a Puglia road trip. This region needs anyway a car, otherwise, it’s impossible to discover all the beautiful towns and beaches in Puglia. By train or bus, visiting Alberobello from Bari or Polignano a Mare would take a lot of time.

2. Amalfi

amalfi coast beaches

Amalfi is one of the gemstones of the Amalfi Coast. When it comes to beautiful coastal Italian towns though, Amalfi is unmissable. When people are looking for an Italian tourist town near Naples, they usually pick only Positano to visit. Amalfi isn’t far from Positano, and there’s a great bus connection to easily reach it.

There are beautiful hotels in Amalfi with stunning views, great restaurants, a lovely beach, and an enchanting town center to explore. While the neighbor, Positano might take over the fame, Amalfi is one of those Italian coastal towns, that are not so packed with tourists, and where you can enjoy the Italian summer to the fullest. A perfect summer destination that’s easily reachable from Naples by car, ferry, and bus.

3. Bellagio

things to do in Lake Como italy

When it comes to beautiful small towns in Italy, Bellaggio is a pearl of the Como Lake, that you shouldn’t miss! When it comes to Italy towns, most of you might want to visit places in Tuscany, Lazio, Puglia, or Campania, but the towns in north Italy are just as beautiful!

Como Lake is one of the most beautiful, and also exclusive locations in Italy, surrounded by beautiful towns, great restaurants, luxury hotels, and breathtaking views over the lake and the Italian Alps. You can reach Bellaggio from Milan within an hour by train, bus, or by car. It’s a pearl that’s worth seeing!

4. Bolzano

Bolzano is the capital of South Tyrol, a region that till 1918 (the end of the first world war) was part of Austria. It’s also one of the best small towns in Italy. German, Italian, and a local language called Ladin are all widely spoken. It’s this mix that makes the area so historically interesting and culturally refreshing. The blend of Austrian and Italian architecture is widely present.

You can get to Bolzano easily by road – the autostrada (motorway) connects Innsbruck in Austria with Bolzano and then down to Verona. You can reach Bolzano from Both Austria and Verona. By train from Verona, you’re in Bolzano in about an hour and a few minutes. A perfect destination for those who are also looking for the best ski resorts in Italy!

5. Como

things to do in Lake Como italy

Another of the beautiful towns in north Italy is Como, located also on the side of Lake Como between the Italian Alps. Como is the easiest to reach for a day trip from Milan, and if you don’t have a car, you can easily reach it by train from Milano Centrale.

As one of the most charming small towns in Italy, Como has beautiful streets, cute buildings, great restaurants, and charming lakeside promenades. It’s a perfect place to start exploring everything that Lake Como offers. From Como, you can move over to other towns around the lake.

6. Ferrara

Ferrara is one of the most beautiful Italian towns in the region of Emilia Romagna. It’s a perfect pick for a day trip from Bologna for instance. The medieval town is indeed one of the most outstanding Italy towns. You can explore the medieval streets in the historic center, the cathedral, and the many beautiful squares, streets, unique buildings, and architectural perfections.

As a town in Emilia Romagna, of course, Ferrara is outstanding for its food too! You must try here the Tenerina, which is a famous Italian dessert, but also one of the most delicious local pasta dishes, the Cappellacci di Zucca con Ragu. Cappellacci are like giant tortellini filled with pumpkin cream and it’s served with Bolognese ragu on top. Something incredible, honestly!

7. Matera

I call Matera the Italian Minas Tirith, and it is definitely one of the most beautiful small towns in Italy. Matera is located in the region of Basilicata, about an hour by bus from Bari International Airport. There’s a bus that’s taking visitors to Matera every hour. On side of discovering the caves, the old houses, and the beautiful town, make sure you stop to eat in Matera, as the food in Basilicata is just heavenly!

Matera is one of the oldest towns in the world, dating back to 8000 years ago. In the valley opposite the town, there are caves where they found proof of people living here over 8000 years ago. Matera is also a UNESCO heritage site, and it is definitely one of the most outstanding, beautiful Italian hill towns I’ve ever seen! And, I’ve seen all of these on the list, and more!

8. Manarola

Manarola is one of the most beautiful Italian towns in the Liguria region. When it comes to coastal towns, Cinque Terre is always a highlight, and Manarola is one of the 5 towns in Cinque Terre. You can explore in the area some of the best beaches in Liguria, as well as you can enjoy some beautiful views, cute streets, and lovely coastlines.

Make sure you check the best restaurants in Manarola, because of the delicious Ligurian food, such as the pesto, or the focaccia. If you want to stay in the area, make sure you check the best hotels in Cinque Terre, to maximize your stay. We also suggest taking the tracking trails that link the towns, especially the one from Manarola, as the view from the trail is just spectacular! Oh, and of course, don’t miss the Aperitivo time on the cliffs!

9. Modena

We are back to the Emilia Romagna region once again, bringing next Modena, one of the most charming Italy towns you must explore. Beyond the porticoes, the beautiful historic center, the architecture, churches, and the arts, Modena is also famous for its nightlife. You must check the best restaurants, and best hotels in Modena too!

And on top of all that, there’s the famous Balsamic Vinegar from Modena too! The food in this town is spectacular, just as everywhere in Emilia Romagna, but there’s more here! Modena is one of the best towns in Italy for other reasons too. It’s the hometown of the famous tenor, Luciano Pavarotti, as well as the home of the most famous Italian car brand, the Ferrari.

10. Orvieto

Orvieto is one of the most beautiful Italian hill towns in the Umbria region. If you’re looking for beautiful hilltop Italian towns that are close to Rome, Orvieto is about 1.5 hours away by car, or by train. Orvieto’s old town, the place to explore, is up the hill from the train station. All that cuteness makes it one of the best small Italian towns to visit.

A funicular railway near the station connects the lower town to the upper town, or a mini-bus runs through town. However, one of the best ways to see and savor the spectacular views is to walk up. One of the main reasons to visit Orvieto’s old town is to marvel at the Duomo di Orvieto, the spectacular 13-century cathedral located in the pretty Piazza del Duomo. When you are finished exploring the cathedral, you should then take a tour of the caves. There are over 1200 caves under Orvieto dating back to the Etruscans, each one of them man-made.

11. Parma

things to do in parma

Once again, we are back in Emilia Romagna region, since this is my personal favorite region of Italy, as it was my first home after moving to the country. Parma is one of the most outstanding towns in Italy, and it was the cultural capital city of Europe in 2020, for many reasons.

If you’re looking for a town in north Italy, Parma is between the Northern regions and Tuscany. It’s easy to reach it from Bologna, Florence, or Milan as well. Parma has outstanding architecture, a really charming historic center, an even more beautiful theatre, museums, and a castle too. Beyond that, it’s important for the most famous ham, the Prosciutto di Parma, but also for the worldwide famous parmesan cheese, the Parmigiano Reggiano.

12. Piacenza

piacenza

A hidden gem, one of the most beautiful Italy towns in Emilia Romagna is Piacenza itself. When it comes to small towns in Italy, Piacenza is one that’s not yet overtaken by tourists, and it’s really authentic still. You should discover the Piazza Cavalli with Palazzo Vecchio in the middle.

Then, the Palazzo Farnese, the Duomo di Piacenza, and the Basilica di Sant’Antonino too. In this last one, you’ll find beautiful frescoes. The historic center is charming and packed with loads of cafes, restaurants, and bars. Then, of course, the food! Three of the most famous Italian cold cuts are made in Piacenza. These are the Coppa, Pancetta and Salume from Piacenza.

Also, one of the most famous dishes here to try is the Anolini in Brodo. This is similar to the tortellini, it’s rounded instead and they look like the sun. Now, the Anolini is filled with stracotto, which is minced meat that’s cooked for 3 days, along with cheese. This pasta is served in meat broth, and you should put Parmigiano Reggiano on top!

13. Polignano a Mare

polignano a mare

Polignano a Mare is one of the most beautiful Italian towns in the region of Puglia. When it comes to the most beautiful beaches in Puglia or the most fascinating summer destinations in Italian coastal towns, then Polignano a Mare is the place to go. The beautiful white historic center, charming streets, and beautiful views from the top of the cliffs.

Polignano a Mare is one of the best towns in southern Italy that’s also affordable, pretty, and offers one of the most picturesque town beaches you’ll ever see. The nightlife in Polignano a Mare is also outstanding, and the famous Pugliese food… Don’t miss trying local dishes in the osterias and trattorias of the town. You can reach Polignano a Mare easiest from Bari. It’s reachable by train or bus, but as always in Puglia, a car is recommended!

14. Portofino

portofino hotels

Portofino is one of the most refined, exclusive, and beautiful towns in Italy. When it comes to the most beautiful, and even fanciest Italian coastal towns, it’s also Portofino that’s on top of the list. Portofino is located in the region of Lugia, on the Italian riviera. If you’ve got Portofino on your list, you must check the best hotels and restaurants in Portofino too!

Yachts, exclusive places, and pricy food that comes with the most magical views, in a town that can easily compete with Positano even. Besides relaxing and boating, you can go hiking, diving, or do other watersports in the area. You must also visit Chiesa di Divo Martino here, while you’re exploring all the elegant, fashionable, and posh places in town. Portofino is reachable easily from Milan or Genoa.

15. Positano

best places to visit in Campania Italy

Positano is definitely one of the most famous Italian towns on this list. Everyone has seen or heard of the colorful cliffside town which is actually one of the popular Italian tourist town near Naples. Positano is located on the Amalfi Coast. A dreamy destination that offers beautiful views over the sea, and the town itself.

Positano is a place of amazing food, dreamy sunsets, great restaurants, and the dreamiest Amalfi Coast-style hotels. When it comes to dreamy Italy towns, ones that look like they’ve been taken out of a fairytale, Positano is always on the list. You can easily reach this place from Naples by ferry or bus. Enjoy a scooter ride on the serpentines, and eat some great seafood while sitting under fruit trees or on the town’s beach.

16. Porto Cervo

When it comes to beautiful towns in Italy, Porto Cervo is one of the highlights when it comes to the island of Sardinia. This is one of those small towns in Italy that just like Portofino, it’s visited mostly by the rich and famous. Elegant party places, fancy restaurants, and yachts all around.

You can find in this area plenty of luxury hotels, beach clubs, and the most beautiful beaches in north Sardinia. Visiting Costa Smeralda is one of the best picks you could have for an Italian vacation. The white sandy beaches and crystal clear light blue and emerald waters are just like nowhere else!

17. Ravenna

Ravenna

Another highlight of Italian coastal towns is Ravenna, in the region of Emilia Romagna. Ravenna offers lovely beaches, ancient history that takes us back to Roman times, and some of the most unique frescoes and mosaics dating back to Byzantine times.

On side of the great food, beaches, and beautiful historic center, in Ravenna, you’ll find several UNESCO World Heritage Sites. This is a great place to visit if you’re rather skipping the busy Rimini, as Ravenna is not far from it. You can also reach Ravenna from Bologna or Venice easily by train too. And also, make sure to check the best restaurants and hotels in Ravenna!

18. Rimini

Rimini is one of the most popular Italian towns when it comes to summer holidays. This town is also located in the Emilia Romagna region, and it is home to some of the most famous beaches in Emilia Romagna. When it comes to budget travel to Italy, Rimini is one of the Italy towns that’s affordable, and it’s really packed each summer, all summer.

The town offers kilometers of sandy beaches, with a really developed beachside area packed with restaurants, bars, and cafes. Depending on where you stay in Rimini, many hotels have their own beach areas in the city. Nightlife in Rimini is also outstanding, as you can imagine, during the summer. You can easily reach this town from Bologna, Venice, or Milan by direct trains, but by car, it’s easier from anywhere else.

19. Siena

siena

Siena is one of the most beautiful Tuscan towns in Italy. When you’re looking for Italian hill towns, you’ll find Sirmione always among the top-rated ones. The medieval town features lots of amazing buildings, historic sights, and the Piazza del Campo, which is one of the most famous medieval squares in all of Europe.

Don’t forget one of Italy’s most imposing churches, the Cathedral of Siena either. Then, there’s the great Tuscan food, and local specialties, like truffles, olive oil, cheese, cured meats, ceramics, and much more. Siena is the town for romantic getaways, honeymoons, and great Tuscan wine.

You can reach it from Rome or do a day trip from Florence easily. If you’re exploring Tuscany by car, Siena should be one of the Tuscan towns you won’t skip! Make sure you also check the best restaurants and the best hotels in Siena for a perfect trip!

20. Sirmione

Castle sirmione Italy

Sirmione is one of the most beautiful Italian towns around Lake Garda. It’s located on the south shore of the lake, and its historic center is built on a long peninsula stretching out on the lake. Sirmione is one of those small towns in Italy that has all the magic for a perfect holiday.

Towns in north Italy are usually very clean, and very well-maintained. Therefore, Sirmione too is beautiful, clean, and covered in oleanders, flowers, and palm trees. You can enjoy some amazing food here, along with great wine from the nearby Valpolicella, and have nice walks in the town. You can enjoy the summer on the lakeside, while you can also head to the mountains or the nearby Verona for day trips.

21. Sorrento

Sorrento is an Italian tourist town near Naples, on the Sorrentine peninsula. This is one of the most beautiful towns in Italy, built on top of the cliffs, offering an incredibly beautiful view over the bay of Sorrento and the Vesuvius volcano.

When it comes to beautiful Italy towns for summer destinations, Sorrento is one of the most preferred around the Amalfi Coast. The charming town whose streets is covered in orange and lemon trees. The food in Sorrento is incredible, and this is considered one of the cheapest destinations in the area. You should check the restaurants and hotels in Sorrento to plan your vacation.

22. Taormina

Finally, here’s one of the best towns in southern Italy, specifically in Sicily: Taormina. Taormina is one of the most beautiful Italian coastal towns in Sicily, offering not only beautiful beaches, but rich history dating back to Greek times, spectacular views over mount Etna, and amazing Sicilian food!

You can reach Taormina from Catania or Palermo. If you’re not into a road trip around Sicily, it’s recommended to fly into Catania, and take the bus or taxi from here to Taormina. Once you’re in the town, you should plan a hike on Mount Etna, one of the active volcanoes of Italy. You can do ATV tours, go diving, boating, or snorkeling too. On top of that, you must visit the Greek theatre too! There are plenty of great restaurants and hotels in Taormina to stay at!

23. Trento

Trento is one of the most charming alpine Italian towns in the region of Trentino Alto-Adige. The town is located north of Lake Garda, about 1 hour away from Verona. It’s really easy to reach it both from Verona, and from Bolzano or Innsbruck. This is one of the most beautiful towns in north Italy.

Trento offers a lot. Great food, charming streets, colorful architecture, the Buonconsiglio castle, and all this with spectacular views over the Italian Alps. This is a great town to visit for those who are looking for mountain destinations! You can do hiking around the town, as well as you’ve got quite a few ski resorts in the area. Culturally, the town has a great number of museums, churches, and expositions to explore.

24. Tropea

When it comes to the best towns in southern Italy, Tropea is one of the most popular gems that is currently becoming more and more popular among visitors. If you’re looking for beautiful Italian towns for summer vacations, Tropea is one of the best picks in the region of Calabria. While it’s hard to fly into this area, you can reach Tropea from other big southern cities.

Legend says that Tropea, one of the most charming Italy towns was founded by Hercules himself. The historic center is really pretty, while you’ve got the beautiful beach right under the cliffs. You can find here the sanctuary of Saint Mary’del Isola on an island connected to the mainland, and turquoise water too. For those looking for budget destinations with sandy beaches, cliffs, and the vibes of Southern Italy, Tropea is the right pick. Make sure to check the best hotels in Tropea too!

25. Vernazza

Spiaggia di Vernazza, Cinque Terre

Vernazza is one of the most charming towns in Italy. One of the 5 towns of Cinque Terre, a coastal town that’s all about breathtaking views, cute streets, local products of food, and handmade products. Vernazza also has a beautiful little beach and beachside restaurants to enjoy the views from.

You can reach Vernazza along with the other towns of Cinque Terre from La Spezia by train, or from Genoa and Milan. It’s not recommended to visit Cinque Terre by car, as parking is impossible, and it’s a waste of time. The train makes 5 minutes between the towns of Cinque Terre. The tracking trail from Vernazza to Monterosso is also one of the most beautiful pieces of the Cinque Terre trail.

Wrapping up the 25 most beautiful Italian towns

Now that we’ve been through the best Italy towns, we hope you’re ready to plan your Italian trip. Make sure you check all the linked articles under each of the towns in Italy, so you can get all the information needed to plan a holiday. We tried to cover some of the top small towns in Italy, and some of the most famous Italian hill towns, but of course, there are much more that are beautiful and worth visiting than these 25. We cover all of Italy, so make sure you read through our online publications and find more amazing places!

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  • Helga D.

    Hi. I'm the founder of Italy Best, the editor, SEO person, writer, project manager, and everything in between. My love for Italy, brought me to first move to Italy, and then build this online magazine with my amazing team of writers. As for my articles, I specialize in Italy travel - Mostly Tuscany, Emilia Romagna, and Lombardy - but also luxury brands, hotels, Italian food, and celebrities. Also, as a former historian, I write most of the history, architecture, and art-related articles.


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