Nothing compares to the unique charm of a mediterranean countryside setting. There's much to be said of what an authentic Italian village can bring to someones vacation experience. Most of the villages in Italy have a small population, usually just a few thousand inhabitants in each one. Scattered throughout the country, these villages offer an escape from the big city centres and a place to really slow down, relax and experience true Italian culture and untainted landscapes at their finest.
Manarola is one of the smallest villages in the Cinque Terre region and offers its visitors sweeping views of the Ligurian Sea from any one of its cliffside vantage points. One of its sister villages, in the same region, is Riomaggiore which is considered the most famous village in Cinque Terre and it is also the closest commune to La Spezia - a porty city in the Liguria region. Both are built into the sides of steep cliffs, and these villages are unlike any others you will ever visit.
If visiting Cinque Terre for the purpose of experiencing medieval history and fortresses, Vernazza will give you all that you are looking for. Besides the beautiful seaside views and ancient architecture along the coastline, why not try some informative guided tours of magnificent Doria Castle and the remarkable Belforte Bastion?
If you are looking to experience the quaintness of an original Italian fishing village then a visit to Portofino is in order. It has been known to take people's breath away with its magnificent views of the crystal clear water peppered with distinctive fishing boats. Also, let us not forget the numerous mouth watering seafood restaurant choices to pick from which are ready to offer you their freshest catch of the day. Nothing like a romantic dinner, sea-side after a long day of exploring all the charms the world famous village of Portofino has to offer.
Positano is a perfect gateway village for those who love to walk and explore. Located on Italy’s Amalfi Coast, Positano is filled with the narrowest sidewalks and alleys that weave their way throughout the village and past its numerous shops and bistros, furthermore - it is connected to other quaint neighbouring towns by a hiking trails.
While the big cities and hottest tourist attractions in Italy offer an exciting experience, nothing will allow you to truly enjoy all that this beautiful peninsula has to offer like a trip to a quaint Italian village. There you can get a closer look at what it's like living as a true Italian and meet the people that have carved out this great country over the centuries past. While there, don't forget to also take the time to step off of the beaten path and explore the interesting places less visited by majority of tourists.