Romantic Italian Towns
In the heart of Tuscany you will find the town of Pienza, a small town close to Siena. Pienza is a beautifully-crafted Renaissance city of intricate and intriguing architecture. In 1459, Pope Pius II chose architect Bernardo Rossellino to transform Pienza into a town of Renaissance beauty. Enjoy visiting the exquisite churches crafted in Gothic style and don’t forget to stop by the splendid Palazzo Piccolomini, the beautiful home of Pope Pius’s descendants until 1968. At the palazzo you can find a gorgeous courtyard and enjoy views of the slopes of Monte Amiata. Located in the rural valley Val d’Orcia, lovers of nature will find that the landscapes of Pienza are equal in charm to the town’s awing architecture.
The city of Lucca is a true jewel of Tuscany. Lucca rests on a plateau near the Serchio River, just south of the enchanting Apuane Alps. Walls built in the 16th century surround Lucca. Today you can enjoy a leisurely stroll or bicycle ride down these medieval walls. Within the walls that border Lucca is a clandestine town full of quaint shops and fine restaurants that serve delicious Tuscan cuisine. The cathedrals of San Michele and San Martino display some of the finest Romanesque architecture in all of northern Italy. In the north of Lucca you can tour the grand villas and their spectacular formal gardens. Don’t forget to see the Guinigi Tower in the midst of Lucca. The top of this 15th century tower provides a stunning panoramic view of the city and beyond.
South of Venice by the River Po is a less known Renaissance gem, the town of Ferrara. Much of Ferrara that is seen today was influenced by the Este family, who ruled Ferrara from 1208 to 1598. Many of the monuments standing in Ferrara were constructed under the supervision of the Este family. Ferrara attracted many renowned artists and intellectuals during the Italian Renaissance, including Leonardo Da Vinci and Titian. Here you can view the elegant palaces of the Este family and the intricately planned neighborhoods constructed during the Renaissance period.
In the northeastern part of Italy on the Adriatic coast you will find the town of Ravenna. Here you will find an awing collection of some of the most superb mosaics in the world. Dating back as far as the 5th and 6th centuries, these mosaics were constructed so carefully that their designs can still be viewed in their original beauty today. These fascinating designs are composed of tiny cubes of glass and marble in every shade of color imaginable. The incredible mosaics are certain to evoke the deepest of emotions and should not be forgotten on a romantic trip to Italy. Ravenna offers walking tours and private tours to those who want to know more about the remarkable mosaics and take in the pleasant streets of the city. The regal brick palaces and quaint cobble streets are sure to please the eye while you are enjoying a relaxing tour of Ravenna.
Positano is an attractive hillside village on the Almalfi Coast in southern Italy. A small town near Salerno, Positano opens onto the majestic Tyrrhenian Sea. Nearly every room in the city has spectacular views, and there is an ample quantity of excellent restaurants in town where you can enjoy fine romantic dining. Positano offers beaches for those who want to bask in the Mediterranean sun, and stylish boutiques for the shopper with refined taste. The winding stairways and stacked buildings throughout the town give Positano a quaint and sentimental atmosphere sure to be enjoyed by visitors seeking romance.