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The ten most Instagram-able places in Italy – beyond the obvious

It's a tough task, but we think we've narrowed down ten of the most beautiful Italian locations for taking photos - and there may well be a few you've never heard of.

The ten most Instagram-able places in Italy - beyond the obvious
Italy has plenty of spots for photography opportunities. Photo: Pexels.

There's no denying Rome's ruins, Venice's waterways and the tourist-filled towns of Cinque Terre will always provide good material for photographers, but what about places slightly more off the beaten track, to get a more unusual snapshot of Italy?

Here are ten of the most Instagram-worthy spots up and down the country 

Burano

 

A photo posted by THE COACH COUCH (@thecoachcouch) on Oct 5, 2016 at 10:40pm PDT

While you're in Venice, make time to stop off at its often overlooked neighbour, Burano. The houses are painted in bright colours reminiscent of a fairytale – originally this was to guide fishermen home at night, but it's now a local tradition. 

Monte Isola, Lake Iseo

This little-known gem is becoming more and more popular with tourists, particularly since artist Christo's installation allowing visitors to walk on water.

Grotte di Frasassi

 

A photo posted by Daniele Azzolini (@dan.azzo) on Sep 29, 2016 at 2:01pm PDT

These caves in the Marche region look like something from another planet. Discovered in 1971, there are stalactites and stalagmites covering the floor and ceiling, and there are even two temples in the caves, one dating back to the 11th century. 

Basilica di San Vitale, Ravenna

 

A photo posted by Nonna Box (@nonnabox) on Oct 5, 2016 at 3:54pm PDT

Ravenna in Emilia-Romagna is the mosaic capital of Italy, and the churches are truly spectacular. The Basilica di San Vitale, build in 526, is one of the most impressive.

Alberobello, Apulia

 

A photo posted by ITALIA (@ig_italia) on Oct 4, 2016 at 10:23am PDT

These beautiful buildings with conical roofs are 'trulli', and can be found in Apulia's Itria Valley. You'll spot them here and there across the whole area, but the town Alberobello has rows and rows of the huts, making for striking photos.

View from Florence's Duomo

 

A photo posted by Geoff Piper (@bassvoxsf) on Aug 22, 2016 at 9:47am PDT

Florence's cathedral itself is extremely photogenic, but we think the best views in the city are to be had from the very top. It's worth the long climb!

Cascate delle Marmore, Umbria

 

A photo posted by @vivoumbria on Jun 13, 2016 at 10:38am PDT

This is Europe's tallest man-made waterfall, created by the Ancient Romans, and it's around 8km from Terni, Umbria's capital. You can hike to the top of the hill and there are two observatories – one where you're guaranteed to get wet, and a more covered one for less intrepid visitors.

Monti, Rome

 

A photo posted by Domitilla Asquer (@dsuites) on Jun 11, 2016 at 5:15am PDT

Tucked behind the main streets just a few minutes' walk from the Colosseum, the Monti district has charming squares and buildings and great local eateries, meaning it's perfect for people-watching and getting snaps of the “real” Rome.

Sella Pass, Dolomites

 

#sellajoch #dolomiti #wanderlust #nature #vacation #südtirol #panorama #iphone #porsche

A photo posted by Gerd (@instagerdle) on Sep 20, 2016 at 8:28am PDT

Whether you drive, hike or ski it – the Sella Pass must be one of the most beautiful in the Dolomite Mountains.

Modica, Sicily

 

#modica

A photo posted by Ka Rimes (@rimeska) on Oct 3, 2016 at 1:56pm PDT

Not only is Modica known as 'the city of chocolate', which is good enough reason to visit in itself, its also known as the 'city of 100 churches' – and all of them are stunning. A Unesco World Heritage site, the town has plenty of narrow alleys and staircases, with amazing architecture at every turn.

 

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MAP: The best Italian villages to visit this year

Here are the remote Italian villages worth seeking out in 2022, according to a list compiled by one of the country's leading tourism associations.

MAP: The best Italian villages to visit this year

A total of 270 villages across Italy have been recognised as being especially tourist-friendly this year by the Italian Touring Club (Touring Club Italiano), one of the country’s largest non-profit associations dedicated to promoting sustainable tourism throughout the territory.

‘Orange Flag’ status is awarded if a village is judged to have significant historic, cultural and environmental value, as well as for being welcoming to visitors and outsiders, according to the initiative’s website.

READ ALSO: MAP: Which regions of Italy have the most Blue Flag beaches?

Villages can apply for the status if they are located inland with no coastal stretches; have fewer than 15,000 inhabitants; have a well-preserved historic centre and a strong sense of cultural identity; demonstrate sensitivity to issues of sustainability; have a well-organised tourist reception system; and show an intention to continue to make improvements to the town.

The list is updated annually, and in 2022 three new villages gained orange flag status for the first time: Dozza in Emilia Romagna, Manciano in Tuscany, and Sasso di Castalda in Basilicata.

See below for the map and a list of the Orange Flag villages according to region:

Montepulciano in Tuscany has 'orange flag' status.

Montepulciano in Tuscany has ‘orange flag’ status. Photo by MIGUEL MEDINA / AFP.

Abruzzo – 7 villages

Civitella Alfadena, Fara San Martino, Lama dei Peligni, Opi, Palena, Roccascalegna, Scanno.

Basilicata – 6 villages

Aliano, Castelmezzano, Perticara Guard, San Severino Lucano, Sasso di Castalda, Valsinni.

Calabria – 6 villages

Bova, Civita, Gerace, Morano Calabro, Oriolo, Tavern.

Campania – 5 villages

Cerreto Sannita, Letino, Morigerati, Sant’Agata de’ Goti, Zungoli.

READ MORE: Six Italian walking holiday destinations that are perfect for spring

Emilia Romagna – 23 villages

Bagno di Romagna, Bobbio, Brisighella, Busseto, Castell’Arquato, Castelvetro di Modena, Castrocaro Terme and Terra del Sole, Dozza, Fanano, Fiumalbo, Fontanellato, Longiano, Montefiore Conca, Monteleone, Pennabilli, Pieve di Cento, Portico and San Benedetto, Premilcuore, San Leo, Sarsina, Sestola, Verucchio, Vigoleno.

Friuli Venezia Giulia – 7 villages

Andreis, Barcis, Cividale del Friuli, Frisanco, Maniago, San Vito al Tagliamento, Sappada.

Lazio – 20 villages

Arpino, Bassiano, Bolsena, Bomarzo, Calcata, Campodimele, Caprarola, Casperia, Collepardo, Fossanova, Labro, Leonessa, Nemi, San Donato Val di Comino, Sermoneta, Subiaco, Sutri, Trevignano Romano, Tuscania, Vitorchiano.

Liguria – 17 villages

Airole, Apricale, Balducco, Brugnato, Castelnuovo Magra, Castelvecchio di Rocca Barbena, Dolceacqua, Perinaldo, Pigna, Pinion, Santo Stefano d’Aveto, Sassello, Seborga, Toirano, Triora, Vallebona, Varese Ligure.

Lombardy – 16 villages

Almenno San Bartolomeo, Bellano, Bienno, Castellaro Lagusello, Chiavenna, Clusone, Gardone Riviera, Gromo, Menaggio, Pizzighettone, Ponti sul Mincio, Sabbioneta, Sarnico, Solferino, Tignale, Torno.

Marche – 24 villages

Acquaviva Picena, Amandola, Camerino, Cantiano, Cingoli, Corinaldo, Frontino, Genga, Gradara, Mercatello sul Metauro, Mondavio, Montecassiano, Montelupone, Monterubbiano, Offagna, Ostra , Ripatransone, San Ginesio, Sarnano, Serra San Quirico, Staffolo, Urbisaglia, Valfornace, Visso.

Molise – 5 villages

Agnone, Ferrazzano, Frosolone, Roccamandolfi, Scapoli.

READ MORE: These are the 20 prettiest villages across Italy

San Gimignano has long been an orange flag destination.

San Gimignano has long been an orange flag destination. Photo by FILIPPO MONTEFORTE / AFP.

Piedmont – 40 villages 

Agliè, Alagna Valsesia, Arona, Avigliana, Barolo, Bene Vagienna, Bergolo, Candelo, Canelli, Cannero Riviera, Cannobio, Castagnole delle Lanze, Cherasco, Chiusa di Pesio, Cocconato, Entracque, Fenestrelle, Fobello, Gavi, Grinzane Cavour, Guarene, La Morra, Limone Piemonte, Macugnaga, Malesco, Mergozzo, Moncalvo, Monforte d’Alba, Neive, Orta San Giulio, Ozzano Monferrato, Revello, Rosignano Monferrato, Santa Maria Maggiore, Susa, Trisobbio, Usseaux, Usseglio, Varallo, Vogogna.

Puglia – 13 villages

Alberona, Biccari, Bovino, Cisternino, Corigliano d’Otranto, Locorotondo, Oria, Orsara di Puglia, Pietramontecorvino, Rocchetta Sant’Antonio, Sant’Agata di Puglia, Specchia, Troia.

Sardinia – 7 villages

Aggius, Galtellì, Gavoi, Laconi, Oliena, Sardara, Tempio Pausania.

Sicily – 1 village

Petralia Sottana

Tuscany – 40 villages

Abetone Cutigliano, Anghiari, Barberino Tavarnelle, Barga, Casale Marittimo, Casciana Terme Lari, Casale d’Elsa, Castelnuovo Berardenga, Castelnuovo di Val di Cecina, Castiglion Fiorentino, Certaldo, Cetona, Chiusi, Collodi, Fosdinovo, Lucignano, Manciano, Massa Marittima, Montalcino, Montecarlo, Montefollonico, Montepulciano, Monteriggioni, Murlo, Peccioli, Pienza, Pitigliano, Pomarance, Radda in Chianti, Radicofani, San Casciano dei Bagni, San Gimignano, Santa Fiora, Sarteano, Sorano, Suvereto, Trequanda, Vicopisano, Vinci, Volterra. 

Trentino Alto Adige – 8 villages

Ala, Caderzone Terme, Campo Tures/Sand in Taufers, Ledro, Levico Terme, Molveno, Tenno, Vipiteno/Sterzing.

Umbria – 10 villages

Bevagna, Città della Pieve, Montefalco, Montone, Nocera Umbra, Norcia, Panicale, Spello, Trevi, Vallo di Nera.

Val d’Aosta – 3 villages

Etroubles, Gressoney-Saint-Jean, Introd.

Veneto – 12 villages

Arquà Petrarca, Asolo, Borgo Valbelluna, Cison di Valmarino, Follina, Malcesine, Marostica, Montagnana, Portobuffolè, Rocca Pietore, Soave, Valeggio sul Mincio.

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