Blue Monday is over and January is nearly done with, so we feel it’s time to inject a little more colour into our lives. And what better way than to take a look at some of Italy’s most colourful towns and villages? From pastel-painted houses to rainbow-hued buildings, these colourful places are guaranteed to brighten your mood. They’re made for photographing, too – no filter required!
The north-western region of Liguria boasts more than its fair share of colourful towns and villages. One of its most famous destinations is Portofino, a haven for the rich and glamorous. It’s small but perfectly formed, with buildings daubed in peach, jasmine and cherry-red nestling around a harbour that’s packed with million-pound yachts. Even the hotels join in with the colour scheme – like the stylish Belmond Splendido, which sits on the hillside overlooking the town.
The Cinque Terre is a national park on the Ligurian coast, and is made up of five separate seaside villages. They’re all pretty colourful, but the top three are Vernazza, Manarola (pictured) and Riomaggiore. In Vernazza, houses painted in shades of red, pink and yellow cluster around a small beach and marina, while in Manarola and Riomaggiore, they climb up steep hillsides overlooking the water.
Another entry for Liguria, Portovenere is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site that also includes the villages of the Cinque Terre. The biggest concentration of colour is along the harbourfront, where tall townhouses line the promenade. One of the best views of the houses comes from the executive sea-view rooms at the Grand Hotel Portovenere.
Procida, Neapolitan Riviera
This pint-sized island sits in the Bay of Naples, between the mainland and the isle of Ischia. It’s easily visited from both Ischia and Naples, and is a wonderful place for a day trip. Head for Marina Corricella or Marina di Chiaiolella and you’ll find pretty jumbles of sorbet-coloured houses overlooking the water.
Positano, Neapolitan Riviera
Positano’s paint palette is slightly lighter than some of the other spots we’ve mentioned. Here, pastel tones reign supreme: think lavender, baby-pink and vanilla. Even the town church is decked out in a fetching pale yellow. Many of Positano’s hotels are positioned to make the most of the town’s good looks – Hotel Marincanto, Hotel Covo dei Saraceni and Hotel Savoia all offer superb views.
The small island of Burano sits out in Venice’s lagoon, a short boat ride from the city centre. Houses here are a little different to the grand palazzos of San Marco – they still tend to boast canalside locations, but they’re each painted in vibrant blues, greens, reds, yellows and purples that turn the streets into rainbows of colour. Legend has it that fishermen chose the bright colours so that they could identify their homes from out in their boats. Read more about Venice’s islands in our Murano, Burano and Torcello post.
Have we tempted you? Take a look at our holidays to Italy and start planning your next trip!
Procida photo by Porfirio via Flickr