A short guide on 10 of the some of the most beautiful villages in Italy to visit on weekends, by motorbike or by bike: what to see and other information.
In Italy the villages to visit in a weekend are really many, even combining them in short or long itineraries. Here are some suggestions to discover some, more or less famous.
- Castelrotto, Trentino-Alto Adige
- Cividale del Friuli, Friuli-Venezia Giulia
- Abbadia San Salvatore, Tuscany
- Sestri Levante, Liguria
- Passignano sul Trasimeno, Umbria
- Amalfi, Campania
- Recanati, Marche
- Scanno, Abruzzo
- Maratea, Basilicata
- Presicce, Apulia
Castelrotto is within the Sciliar Nature Park, at the foot of the Alpe di Siusi. It is a splendid village with a characteristic South Tyrolean charm, typically medieval architecture as well as a rich artistic and cultural heritage.
On foot you can reach the ruins of the ancient medieval village, while in the historic center you can visit the church of Saints Peter and Paul in neoclassical style, the bell tower in Baroque style among the frescoed palaces. A few kilometers away, after the village of Siusi, you can reach the cable car that leads to the top of the Alpe, or take the motorcycle and enjoy the curves that lead to an altitude of 1.7000 meters above sea level
citizen of the Friuli it is a real gem on the Natisone river, with historical testimonies of great importance, such as the Lombard Temple. Cividale del Friuli is also the starting point of the Longobard itinerary in Italy, recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Do not miss the Cathedral and the Monastery of Santa Maria in Valle.
From Cividale follow the signs for Castelmonte. The road climbs again and in eight kilometers it goes from 135 meters of altitude in Cividale to around 600 in Castelmonte. The curves are exciting and upon arrival we find ourselves in front of the ancient and suggestive village with the sanctuary, a pilgrimage destination to venerate the Black Madonna, also known as the "Living Madonna", for its lively attitude and maternal posture, and " Beautiful Madonna ”, for the pleasantness of the features of the face.
Abbadia San Salvatore, a medieval village at 822 meters above sea level, perfect for those who love the mountains all year round. The historic center, known as the "old town" develops between alleys and ancient buildings, with breathtaking views of the Val D'Orcia.
The village is known above all for the splendid Abbey di San Salvatore which gives the town its name: it was founded in 750 by the Lombard king Ratchis, in the place where according to legend he had seen the Trinity appear to him on a silver fir. In the alleys, on the evening of Christmas Eve the torches are lit: large piles of wood that burn throughout the night.
You cannot miss a visit to the Mining Museum of Abbadia in the mine where until 1972 cinnabar was extracted to obtain mercury.
Sestri Levante it is a village rich in history and culture, a magical place, with a fabulous nature, which has always been a source of inspiration for poets and writers. The largest bay, called Bay of Fables, it owes its name to Enzo Tortora, who so baptized it towards the end of the fifties. The second, smaller bay is the famous one Bay of Silence, so called for the first time in 1919 by Giovanni Descalzo, the Ligurian poet who lived in Sestri.
Passignano sul Trasimeno is the main village on the northern shores of Lake Trasimeno. The town is a small fishing village stretched towards the shores of the lake and dominated by the overhanging fortress. From Passignano ferries also leave for both islands, making it a perfect starting point for exploring the lake and its treasures.
After a fresh walk along the lake and a tour inside the village, a visit to the Roll it is a must. A real journey into the past, also thanks to the small Boat Museum housed inside. Furthermore, from the over 30 meters of the Tower you can admire a unique view of the lake and its islands.
Amalfi is a city of about 7000 inhabitants, rich in history and art, and gives its name to the Amalfi Coast of the same name, famous throughout the world and since 1997, declared UNESCO World Heritage Site. Always visited for its beauty, Amalfi it is a destination with a summer vocation but it is also a recommended destination for gourmets and gluttons, in fact it boasts of being the place where cannelloni were invented.
Among the most famous monuments there is certainly the Cathedral of Amalfi in Arab-Sicilian style dedicated to Sant'Andrea, patron saint of the city. There is no shortage of other attractions, intended for adults and children or for lovers of trekking and nature, in fact among the things to see in Amalfi there are: the arsenals, the paper mills, the paper museum, valley of the ironworks and the paths with breathtaking views, while among the things to do: boat excursions and diving to discover the crystal clear sea of the Amalfi Coast.
Do not miss a visit to the Mount Tabor, the famous "hill of infinity" by Leopardi from which you can admire an enchanting panorama. Back at Palazzo Leopardi you can admire the church of Sant'Agostino: its bell tower is the ancient tower sung in the Solitary Sparrow. Continuing you arrive in the center, Piazza Leopardi, where behind the monument dedicated to the great poet stands the Town Hall. The building houses the Beniamino Gigli Museum, another obligatory stop: there are preserved costumes, photographs and relics of the great tenor from Recanati.
The village of Scanno, with its narrow streets, baroque portals and ancient buildings is a real jewel: a characteristic village of Sangro Valley. To visit are the church of Santa Maria della Valle and church of Sant'Eustachio, named after the patron saint and the Madonna of Loreto.
Continuing towards the north you then come across the Lake of Scanno, the suggestive stretch of water heart-shaped, located at an average altitude of 922 meters above sea level and surrounded by some peaks of the Marsicani Mountains such as the Montagna Grande and Monte Genzana, has very reduced coasts and for some very short stretches they have been adapted for the reception of bathers by forming artificial beaches of stones .
Maratea, baptized the "pearl of the Tyrrhenian Sea"Is as small as it is rich: sea caves, silent beaches and lush mountains that plunge into transparent waters, Maratea is one of the most visited tourist destinations in Basilicata and an ideal stop for those who love the sea.
Over everything dominates thehuge statue of Christ Redeemer (second in size only to that of Rio de Janeiro), tall twenty-one meters and built on the top of Mount San Biagio. The village of Maratea has the typical beauty of small Mediterranean towns, with white houses and narrow streets that are lost in romantic squares. Then you cannot leave the village without having tried the local fish delicacies renowned restaurants in the port, and meat in the alleys evocative of the village.
The village of Presicce, located in the Salento near the Capo di Leuca, is known as the city of hypogea, due to the presence of many mills underground, where yellow gold is produced. The inhabited center is located in a valley particularly rich in water, and is dominated by the Serra di Pozzomauro, a hill organized in terraces and dry stone walls.
Not to be missed, in addition to the underground oil mills: the Ducal Palace, Mother Church of Specchia, dating back to 1605, Risolo Castle and Convent of the Black Franciscans.