A few hundred metres off the coast of the town of Portovenere lies Palmaria, the largest of the three islands in the Golfo dei Poeti at 1.9 sq km. The archipelago is part of the same UNESCO world heritage site as Portovenere and the Cinque Terre. We took the little ferry boat over for lunch…
San Terenzo is a frazione of Lerici that we often walk to via the waterfront boardwalk from downtown. Mary Shelly, English author best known for Frankenstein and political radical, moved here in 1818 with her husband Percy Bysshe Shelly. She left shortly after his untimely drowning death near Viareggio (just south of here) in 1822.
Castelnuovo Magra is a Ligurian hilltop town easily recognizable from the Magra River Valley below. It has a big castle tower on the north side and a big church tower on the south side. We went up and checked it out.
We visited the historic village of Montemarcello in August during the Liguria dei Red Carpet event.
Sometimes the best adventures are right outside your door. There are two hilltop towns perched above the road from Lerici to Sarzana that we admire every time we drive by and finally got around to visiting. What amazing views!
Perched on a peak with panoramic views of the Tuscan landscape lies Volterra, a walled hilltop town with plenty of ancient sites. We stopped on the way from Lerici down to Rome and spent our time eating delicious food and admiring the glorious views.
Experience the beauty of the Cinque Terre trails without the crowds or fees by hiking just south of Riomaggiore on the AV5T. We did, and it was spectacular. Visit the park website here: http://parconazionale5terre.it/sentieri-outdoor.php
2017 has been declared l’Anno dei Borghi – the year of ancient villages – by the Italian Government Culture Minister, coinciding with the UN’s Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. We visited one of Tuscany’s many hilltop borghi, a borgo named Certaldo.
Local folklore has it that the elite population of Pietrasanta has always spent their summer mornings luxuriating on the golden beaches of Marina di Pietrasanta (on Italy’s west coast near Viareggio) and their afternoons steeped in culture in the town of Pietrasanta (located 3 km inland in the last foothills of the marble-rich Apuan Alps)….
Clean mountain air and stunning vistas out over the Imagna Valley are two of the best things about a visit to Hotel Miramonte in Rota D’imagna. The wonderful restaurant and fantastic spa don’t hurt either! We spent 3 glorious nights at this family-run hotel and can highly recommend it.
The upper city of Bergamo, Città Alta is a UNESCO world heritage site located in the foothills of the Alps northeast of Milan. It’s surrounded by 16th century Venetian Walls and beautiful views beyond that. Well worth a visit!
High in the hills on the northeastern edge of Florence is the scenic Etruscan town of Fiesole. Conquered by Romans in 283 BC, it was once a powerful independant town that rivaled Firenze. Their skirmishes led Dante to reference “the beasts of Fiesole” in his Divine Comedy.