While the mention of Italy might make you picture historical Florence or stylish Milan, the most picturesque settlements in all of Italy are actually its many coastal towns.
With the aroma of fresh sea breeze in the air, locals love to flock to these places as the temperature grows warmer for perfect beach days and summer getaways.
If you’ve got your heart set on an Italian summer, but can’t decide where to drop anchor, here are 6 lovely seaside offerings bound to capture your interests.
Cut from the mountainside and overlooking an azure sea, Positano is a town flavored by many different facets of its history, having been a major trade route in the past and a favored holiday spot of famous artists like Shawn Phillips in recent years.
Pastel houses paint the town in a variety of beautiful, mellow tones, and groves of lemon, orange, and olive trees grow all across the area.
Now experiencing something of a renaissance in terms of popularity, you’ll definitely want to drop by to see the scenery that inspired so many classic films and songs with your own two eyes.
A member of the five-village Cinque Terre National Park, Manarola lives up to its title of the most colorful city in the world, with colorful buildings painting a multi-color menagerie on the cliffside upon which the town resides.
A highlight of the town is the Church of San Lorenzo, whose beauty on the inside belies gorgeous views of the whole city on the outside, perfect for capturing on your camera or smartphone.
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Particularly romantic tourists who enjoy a nice walk can also pay a visit to the famous walking trail known as Via dell’Amore, which translates to Lover’s Walk.
History says the trail was once a place for young lovers to meet up on secret rendezvous, and what could be more romantic?
Polignano a Mare, Puglia
A cliffside overlooking the Adriatic Sea plays host to this beautiful town, famed for its beautiful turquoise waves and quaint, white-washed streets.
Adventurous travelers may be particularly drawn to this town, as the towering limestone cliffs surrounding it on either side are famed as cliff-diving sites, even having hosted a cliff-diving competition for Red Bull.
However, if you’re more inclined towards a serene seaside experience, you’re welcome to relax and watch those gorgeous blue tides roll in on the pristine white-sand beaches under the warm, Italian sun.
Although it lacks the beaches that define the other entries on this list, Sorrento is well-loved by many a tourist for its romantic cliffs that overlook the Gulf of Naples.
Well-situated between several famous Italian sights, like the volcanic city of Pompeii to the north and the Amalfi Coast to the east, it’s a prime location for journeyers with an insatiable curiosity and a hankering for history.
As a bonus, you can also take a boat off the Sorrento shore to Capri, a small slice of Italian island paradise that’s served as a resort since the time of the Romans.
A destination particularly popular with party animals looking for a taste of local Italian nightlife, Cefalù offers many summer charms for visitors of all kinds.
A cozy town situated between mountains and the shore, it offers quality Italian food at several of its famed eateries, which can help fill you up for a night out on the town.
If an all-night party isn’t quite your speed, you can instead opt to lather on some sunblock and enjoy the idyllic beauty of its beaches, listening to the waves melt on the shore and sinking deeper into the spell of your perfect Italian summer.
Last but not least, it would be remiss in putting together a list of beautiful Italian coastal towns and not mention the luxurious Liguria town of Portofino.
The famous half-moon harbor often plays host to superstars of music and cinema on holiday; it won’t take long to spot a couple of superyachts cruising in and out.
If celebrity-watching isn’t quite your style, you can also treat yourself by going on a shopping trip, or, if you’re more the athletic type, take a hike up to the 15th-century castle known as Castello Brown.
Once you step foot in Castello Brown, you’re bound to feel like Italian royalty.
Of course, this is by no means an exhaustive list – Italy is positively chock-full of coastal towns that offer similarly stunning sights and visually arresting views of the Italian seaside.
Feel free to explore other towns that might be more fit for you, as the entries on this list are only some of the more famous and popular options for travelers seeking an Italian experience.
Wherever you go, all you have to do is embrace the spirit of travel and breathe in the Italian sea breeze. Once that Italian sun hits your eye, you’ll be guaranteed to feel all your troubles melt away.