Italy's most beautiful coastal towns
The small Italian fishing village nestled on the Italian Riviera isn't just pretty—it's surprisingly happening, too. In addition to rows of candy-colored homes, there's a small harbor with shops and restaurants, a carousel near the water, and a big square where children can play and adults can sip coffee and people-watch.
Wedged between mountains and coastline, just an hour's drive east of Palermo, the idyllic town of Cefalu is tiny but popular—especially among sun-seekers from other parts of Italy. Besides gorgeous beaches, Cefalu also offers great Sicilian restaurants and a hip nightlife scene, particularly in the summer months when its population triples.
Manarola is one of the oldest towns in the Cinque Terre, and arguably one of the most beautiful. It's known primarily for its fishing, wine-making, and excellent hiking in the hills and vineyards above the town. Don't miss the famous walking trail called Via dell'Amore, or Love's Trail.
POLIGNANO A MARE
The stunning town of Polignano a Mare rises out of a cliff face on the Adriatic Sea. In addition to breathtaking views over the Adriatic, the tiny town also boasts charming, white-washed streets, enchanting old churches, and a beach with warm turquoise waters, flanked on either side by cliffs.
The coastal town of Portofino is one of the most beautiful European ports to sail into, in our opinion. It also has a wealth of excellent hotels like the Hotel Splendido and the Grand Hotel Miramare, great shopping, and of course, that radiant coastline.
Nestled on the Amalfi Coast, the popular fishing village of Positano is a reader favorite (and even once graced our cover). It's famous for its picturesque harbor and elegant, Moorish-style architecture, and for being frequented by celebrities like Denzel Washington, Tom Cruise, and Mick Jagger.
Also on the Amalfi Coast, the town of Praiano (close to Positano), boasts beautiful beaches like Marina di Praia and Gavitella, and culture to boot. Think stunning ancient churches, towers, and sacred sculptures.
Ravello, located high on a mountain three miles from the town of Amalfi, isn't just a pretty face—you'll find plenty of restaurants, cafes, museums, and stunning villas galore, which host musical events and concerts throughout the year.