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The Great Italian Tour

We share some insider knowledge on the most scenic landscapes of Italy, cherry-picked by Giovanni Rana

 

Italy boasts an unforgettable landscape to cater for every holiday. Whether it’s ancient cities or coastal towns, Giovanni Rana has cherry-picked the nine most beautiful and picturesque places that must make the priority list.

 

Vernazza, Liguira is perfect for a romantic coastal weekend. A vertical labyrinth of back streets known as Carugi, paves the way between vistas and villas. This will lead you to the the Castello Doria on the harbour, a perfect location to gaze out to the ocean as the sun sets.

 

Otranto, Apulia evokes a sense of majesty with its regal architecture hugging expansive blue seas reaching out from the docks. Visit the Cathedral of Otranto to bask in the history of Salento, and you won’t want to miss the fresh local seafood and orecchiette pasta.

 

Compiano in Emilia-Romagna is a small medieval town sat within a wall in the heart of Taro Valley which makes for a scenic drive. Learn about the origins of the Compiano castle, home to numerous royal families since 800 AD with a guided tour or pave your own journey.

 

Similarly, Treia in the region of Marche is an ancient city which sits atop a hill running parallel to the Potenza river. This Roman town is uniquely frozen in time with strikingly preserved brickwork and cobbled piazzas with expansive views looking out towards a horizon of hilltops.

 

The riverside town of Bosa in Sardinia has proved undisturbed by holiday goers and is on the rise for its mix of modernity and rich heritage. The area offers a handful of bars, cafes and clubs set amongst terracotta rooftops and palazzo architecture for the ultimate R&R location.

 

Chianale in Piedmont hosts a tightly knit cluster of huts on the France-Italy border. By January time the town is snow-topped and by July gloriously warm.

 

Bevagna can be found in the Western plains of Foligno. 12th century gothic churches such as the notable Palazzi dei Consuli are dotted around the town. During peak summer periods the streets as well as the Piazza di Sylvestri are filled with market stands selling tapestries, pottery and more celebrating the town’s ancient origin through bespoke craftsmanship.

 

Lazio is one of the best places to visit in Italy. Sperlonga offers serene “spiaggia libera”, or free beaches, looking over the Tyrrhenian Sea, ideal for coastal walks or to laze on with a towel and a good book.

 

Aieta is found in the Calabria region in the greenery of the hilltops, but just close enough to the coastline to offer tranquil views of crystal blue seas virtually untouched by tourists. Outside of its picturesque selling points comes a wealth of culture, with the town dominated by a Renaissance mansion converted into a gallery showcasing the finest Calabrian art.

 

Castelluccio, Umbria is one of the highest villages in Italy sitting 5,000 feet above sea level. Panoramic views look out onto expansive fields covered with poppies and the Appenine Mountains. It’s an impressive vista not to be missed.

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