Seven Pretty Liguria and Tuscany Hill Towns near Cinque Terre.
Explore Evocative Old Italian Hill Villages with Castles & Medieval Streets.
Stay In a Castle Hotel / A Hotel In an Ex-Convent / or A Room with a 10 Mile View.
|Fosdinovo & the Malaspina Castle/Hotel with Portovenere & the Gulf of La Spezia . Giorgio Freschi /Turismo In Toscana|
These seven diverse hill towns are in the border area of Tuscany and Liguria - the part of Italy referred to as Lunigiana. They sit on hills around the lower valley of the Magra River adjacent to the Mediterranean Sea and the dramatic Apuan Alps. They are much older than the Cinque Terre villages and you can enjoy them without a crowd. We recommend them all, and we've visited each many times. See our Liguria & Tuscany Hill Town Map for orientation and the Getting There section below.
Italian hill towns are a fascinating example of human adaptation, so don't miss the opportunity to explore one or two to imagine and appreciate this unique way of life. They developed first and foremost for defense from attack, but continued to develop for other factors - access to pastures, escape from malaria, to control trade routes, as a visible symbol of power, and more. Modern life and modern economies have passed them by, but they are still available for you. Take the time to visit - you'll be rewarded with timeless sights and memories.
Scroll down or Click the hill town name to jump to the description. Note: We use these names to refer to the Historic Center (Centro Storico). You may also see the name used on maps to refer to the larger comune.
Fosdinovo Great views, good churches, and the region's best castle (and a unique hotel).
Castelnuovo Magra Panoramic views and the ruin of an historic castle with a maze of lanes.
Ortonovo In the foothills of the Apuan Alps, it also has a prominent sanctuary and forest paths.
Nicola Occupying its own knobby hill, it's the most medieval town and has a good restaurant.
Vezzano Ligure Two towns - the older perched above the valley; the newer, at age 400, is higher still.
Ameglia Ex-home to the Counts of Luni, its castle is surrounded by medieval lanes and houses.
Montemarcello A Roman army outpost became a movie-set-pretty Ligurian village.