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A little inland from the Gulf of Poets but still enjoying spectacular views of Tuscan seas, snow-capped mountains and a river (The Magra) is Ameglia.
It has consistently been chosen as one of the best villages in all of Italy and there are no tourists... yet.
Every single thing about Ameglia is charming beyond belief, people are super friendly, the views are spectacular and the narrow lanes are a joy to explore.
I could go on all day but I think pictures will probably do a better job than I ever could of explaining why it is so marvelous...
This piazza is picturesque, like the rest of the town, and it will forever remind me of the friendliness of the locals. The first time my son and I visited we'd just hiked fifteen miles around the peninsular (click for a map of the area) from another lovely town called Tellaro. We sat down in the piazza to find everything closed.
We resigned ourselves to our fates.
Then a lady from the little bar on the left of the photo ran out to offer us a huge, free, and very cold bottle of sparkling water. She wouldn't accept a cent from us.
You wouldn't get that in Rome or Venice!
Make sure that you visit Montemarcello and Tellaro as well - both of them are rated as being among in the loveliest little towns in Italy too. There are few other destinations in Italy where you'll find three of the top little towns within a few miles of each other.
View of Tuscany, the Magra river and the Apuan Alps. Ameglia is right on the border between Tuscany and Liguria and the difference in landscape between the hills and forests of Liguria to that of the Tuscan plane below is breathtaking.
The Castle was built in the twelve century and the view from here is stunning. In summer you might be lucky enough to visit when one of the occasional concerts is held here – these are unforgettable – stars above, old town lights below and an atmosphere unlike any other.