13 places in Italy that look like they belong in a fairy tale
From crystal clear lakes to postcard-perfect villages, and castles perched on clifftops, Italy has more than its fair share of fairytale travel destinations. We’ve rounded up 13 of the most magical locations from up and down the country.
San Cassiano, Dolomites
In winter this tiny town is a skiing paradise, in summer it’s a hikers’ haven – all year round, the Dolomite mountains provide an impressive backdrop to San Cassiano. The area has plenty to see, from First World War relics to well-preserved cave bear dwellings, or you can spend your days walking the aptly named ‘Path of Meditation’.
Gardens of Bomarzo, Viterbo, Lazio
More commonly known as the Park of Monsters, the gardens were created in the 16th century when the architect carved spooky and grotesque sculptures, as well as mythical creatures, supposedly as a way of dealing with grief after his wife’s death. One inscription in the park says the sculptures were designed and set out “just to set the heart free”, and the lack of a rational pattern or set route to follow adds to the other-worldly appeal.
Val d’Orcia, Tuscany
When people talk about Tuscany’s rolling hills, they’re probably picturing Val d’Orcia, a World Heritage Site which offers miles and miles of barely-touched landscape, dotted with photogenic villages and ancient castles and fortresses. It’s also a region well known for its wines, so a road trip through the region should be combined with a visit to the vineyards.
Cascate delle Marmore, Umbria
These are the tallest man-made waterfalls in the world, and we have the Ancient Romans to thank. The flow can be turned on and off, which usually happens at midday and 4pm today, and it’s best to time a visit with the moment the falls are turned on. Try to catch a glimpse of the rainbow of Marmore, a phenomenon which has inspired painters and poets throughout the centuries on their Grand Tour. If the beautiful views aren’t enough, the site also offers white-water rafting.
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