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Discover Italy's most beautiful villages

Enchanting hamlets in the countryside

If you’re looking for places to get away from the stress of daily life, places that offer cultural enrichment, we recommend heading to one of Italy's most beautiful villages. Throughout Tuscany you'll find little gems of towns, where every corner holds a surprise: tiny churches with hidden masterpieces, restaurants with the best Tuscan dishes and small workshops where artisan traditions are still practiced today.

Anghiari - Credit: Erin Johnson

From Arezzo to Siena to the Maremma countryside, Tuscany is home to endless towns that seem as if they’re frozen in time, where genuine flavours and atmospheres of the past are alive and well.

If you travel along the Pisa Hills Wine Trail, you'll come across Montescudaio, an excellent area for DOC wines. But the “nectar of the gods” isn't the only reason to visit: this is where food, wine and history blend together to create a unique experience.

Lose yourself in the Arezzo countryside, where the evocative medieval fortresses of AnghiariCastelfranco Piandiscò, Ortignano Raggiolo and Loro Ciuffenna are located. These towns are beloved not only for their fairy-tale landscapes but also for their historic centres, unforgettable thanks to enchanting alleyways, towers, palaces and small Romanesque churches.

View of Barga and the Apuan Alps
View of Barga and the Apuan Alps - Credit: Allie_Caulfield

In the heart of the Casentino, the most beautiful valley in Tuscany, you'll find the unmistakeable outline of Poppi. Those who want to relive the Middle Ages in all its splendour need only visit this historic centre and wander amongst its abbeys and piazzas. 

Next up is the Mugello, where Scarperia is undoubtedly the most interesting village. The fortified settlement, protected by two massive walls, is home to a precious jewel nestled in its town centre: Palazzo dei Vicari, an important example of 14th-century architecture.

In the Serchio Valley, a territory characterized by pristine landscapes and natural springs, the more beautiful villages include Barga, Castiglione di Garfagnana and Coreglia Alteminelli, three medieval towns that still maintain their original features. Here, history and nature come together to offer visitors the chance to explore incredible itineraries and discover the queen of the Tuscan mountains, the Apuan Alps.

Giglio Castello
Giglio Castello - Credit: Shutterstock / Lokis

In the heart of the clay countryside of the Crete Senesi, once a passage point on the via Francigena, a lovely stop can be made in Buonconvento. Not far and of rare beauty is Cetona, an Etruscan village in the Valdichiana. Strolling along its small, paved roads, between noble palazzi and Renaissance piazzas, you'll feel transported back in time. Then there’s San Casciano dei Bagni, still within the Siena territory, boating thermal waters, castle and medieval towers.

In the green Val di Cornia, not far from the waters of the Etruscan Coast, there’s the beautiful medieval town of Suvereto, with houses and medieval workshops, all the colour of the local stone. Watching over it all is the Rocca Aldobrandesca, situated at the town’s highest point.

On one of the pearls of the Tuscan Archipelago, where sea, sky and land are joined like the colours of a painter's palette, you'll find Giglio Castello. Picturesque locations, towers overlooking the sea and hiking trails, fully immersing you in nature: these are just a few of the experiences that the island of Giglio has to offer.

Sorano - Credit: Steven dosRemedios

The Maremma offers the wild landscapes of the Tuscan cowboys as well as the Vie Cave. A place suspended in time where, in the fortified villages of Pitigliano and Sorano, and in the Etruscan necropolises in Sovana, you can still see majestic traces of the Etruscan civilization.

The itinerary ends with three gems in the Grosseto area: Montemerano, protected by a three-part circular wall dating to the Middle Ages, Santa Fiora, in the southern slope of Mount Amiata, and Porto Ercole in the municipality of Monte Argentario, home of sardines and potato soup.

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