Wouldn’t it be amazing to own a property near one of Italy’s natural wonders? We offer guidance on finding a home near some of Italy’s most awe-inspiring natural wonders.
The natural wonders of Italy are all around in the stunning landscape, from lakes and mountains to cliffs and caves. House buyers are sure to find the breath-taking views they have been dreaming of.
Stone farm houses, hill top villages and cliffside homes are perfectly integrated into their natural environments. Thus, making Italy an attractive destination for house buyers who appreciate scenic landscapes and the wonders of nature all around.
There are some natural wonders in Italy that really stand out as having the Wow factor. Here are five of our favourites, which also happen to be in great locations to own a property.
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1. Earth Pyramids, Trentino-Alto Adige
In the natural landscape of Renon-Ritton you can see the most perfectly shaped and tallest earth pyramids in the whole of Europe. In three gorges you can spot groups of cone-shaped pillars, some with boulders balancing on the top. The tallest ones are thousands of years old, as they started forming after the last Ice Age. When the glaciers melted the moraine clay soil remained. Each time it rains a little more mud washes away and forms the steep sides around the boulder.
Where is Renon-Ritton?
Renon-Ritton is a scattered Italian municipality of eight thousand residents, in the autonomous province of Bolzano, in Trentino-Alto Adige. On the plateau there are fifteen villages with chalet styles houses with views of vineyards and mountains.
With 300 days of sunshine a year on the plateau there is plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy year-round. Whether skiing or hiking, you will discover breath-taking panoramas in this beautiful mountain landscape. The nearest airport is at Verona, which is a 1hr 52min drive.
Property for sale near Renon-Ritton
Apartments have asking prices from €200,000. A detached chalet style house costs around €550,000. The province of Bolzano as a whole has similar properties for sale. If you like the area, we can put you in contact with an estate agent that may have other properties to suit your budget.
2. Staircase of the Turks, Sicily
La Scala dei Turchi, looks like white icing running off a cake. These sparkling white cliffs are in stepped layers carved by the erosion of wind and sea. Like natural theatre seating, it’s the ideal place to relax and enjoy the sunset over the blue Mediterranean Sea.
Where is the Staircase of the Turks?
La Scala dei Turchi is on the southwest coast of Sicily in an area is called Realmonte, which comes under the province of Agrigento. Nearby there are holiday homes, sea food restaurants and everything you need for a great holiday. The coastline also has beautiful beaches of fine white sand and crystal clear waters. This is a superb area to look for a holiday home with sea views. The popular town of Agrigento is only a 22 minute drive away and Palermo airport 1hr 51 mins.
The most famous ancient wonder in the province of Agrigento is the “Valley of the Temples”. The town itself was founded in 581 BC by Greek colonists from Rhodes and Crete. In the past it was considered one of the most magnificent centres in the Mediterranean. Therefore, in 1997, UNESCO placed the Archaeological Area of Agrigento on its list of world heritage sites.
There are superb views of the valley from some properties in the town, and from the archaeological museum of Agrigento. The museum illustrates the history of ancient Agrigento and its territory, from prehistory until the Greek period.
Another natural wonder is the almond blossom in March. In Agrigento they even hold an Almond Blossom Festival to celebrate its arrival. Near the temples, you can see almond, citrus and olive trees in the Garden of Kolymbethra. In the 6th century BC Diodorus Siculus narrates that in 480 BC the tyrant Terone, to supply water to the city had a network of tunnels built which ended at the foot of the city in a large basin called Kolymbethra. Over the years it transformed the arid Sicilian land in this location into a flourishing garden of Mediterranean plants.
Property for sale near the Scala dei Turchi
You can find villas for sale in Realmonte for as little as €205,000 and apartments for €165,000. The Island of Sicily has many properties for sale at great prices.
3. Saturnia Hot Springs, Tuscany
Saturnia Hot Springs, known in Italian as Terme di Saturnia or Cascate del Mulino, is one of the most amazing natural wonders in Tuscany. Warm water cascades into limestone basins, offering relaxation and wellbeing, due to its therapeutic properties. The sulphurous water at Saturnia is a lovely 37.5 degrees celcius all year-round, and is open to the public 24 hours a day. The greatest wonder is that it is free to enter.
Where are the Saturnia Hot Springs?
Saturnia is part of the Italian municipality of Manciano, in the province of Grosseto, in Tuscany. The town of Saturnia is about 5 minutes drive from the springs. You can reach the springs by car, and there is a car park close by. It is also within the area called Maremma. Rome airport is less than 2 hours drive, and Perugia airport is a little further.
Saturnia stands on the summit of a hill, looking over the famous springs. The village is near the remains of an Etruscan necropolis on the Roman Via Clodia. Not much remains of the ancient settlement, except the Porta Romana and an ancient bathhouse, which comprises a square and Roman-era pool next to the church of the Maddalena. You can also visit the Saturnia Archaeological Museum to see the finds unearthed in the local area. They date from prehistory up to the Roman period.
Property for sale near Saturnia
Apartments in Saturnia are priced from €120,000. There are some lovely stone farm houses in the Grosseto province, covering a large price range.
4. Rock Formations along the Coast of Salento
As well as beautiful sandy beaches there are some amazing cliffs and rock formations around the Puglian coast. It’s difficult to select one to highlight. Therefore, I have chosen two. They are the stacks and arch of “Sant’Andrea” and the cave pool called “Grotta della poesia”.
The Stacks and Arch of Sant’Andrea
The powerful force of the wind and water has sculpted a stretch of coast of exceptional beauty. The white cliffs plunge straight into the sea and gigantic limestone formations in the shape of arches and stacks emerge from the crystal-clear water. The arch has become the symbol of the area and is called “Arco degli Innamorati” . The stacks are known as the “Faraglioni di Sant’Andrea”. A few metres from the stacks is a sixteenth-century defense tower, then the small town, the bay and a sandy beach.
Where are the stacks?
The Faraglioni of Sant’Andrea are located in Salento, in Puglia, near Torre Sant’Andrea. Torre San’Andrea is an ancient fishing village in the municipality of Meledugno, in the province of Lecce. The beautiful town of Lecce is only 33 minutes drive and the seaside town of Otranto just 20 minutes. The airport at Brindisi is about an hours drive up the coast.
The Cave of Poetry
Just seven minutes drive up the coast is a natural pool surrounded by rugged limestone cliffs, with caves and a tunnel to the open sea. It is called the “Grotta della poesia” (Cave of Poetry). The name “Poesia” actually derives from the Greek-medieval term POSÌA, i.e. drink of water, implying there was once a fresh water spring here. Texts in Latin and Greek are preserved on the rock walls. It is considered one of the most beautiful natural pools in the world and was mentioned by National Geographic.
Grotta della Poesia, is part of a karst complex, with the cavities once being caves with a rock cover. Over time, the pounding of the sea and the karstic and atmospheric phenomena have caused the ceiling to collapse. This transformed the caves into natural pools with emerald-coloured waters. The largest pool is Grotte della Poesia, with sides that rise about thirty metres from the water. It is connected to a smaller one by a canal. Young people used to love jumping into the pool from the high sides.
As it is a place of historic and natural interest that needs to be protected, the authorities have felt the need to no longer allow swimming in the pool. In any case, there are plenty of other beautiful spots to swim along the coast. Access is restricted to protect the cliff sides, and you pay a few euros to help towards its conservation. Therefore, you may want to book a tour in English through the Grotta della Poesia website, to get the most out of your visit. There are also paddle board tours that depart from Roca Vecchia.
Where is the Grotta della Poesia?
The pool is located 7 minutes up the coast from the Faraglioni of Sant’Andrea, between Roca Vecchia and Torre dell’Orso. Both natural wonders are in the Salento, which is the lower part of the “Heel” of Italy’s boot, below Brindisi. This is a very popular summer destination for Northern Italians, due to the almost guaranteed sun and sparkling seas.
Property for sale in Salento
For Salento properties you need to search under the headings of Salento, Lecce and Puglia. There are some very cheap properties to be found in the countryside and inland villages. As the peninsula is quite narrow, even inland the sea is never more than 30 minutes drive away.
Previously I have talked about “7 beautiful places to buy a home in Salento”. which covered some of the larger towns. However, there are also some lovely seaside locations in between these. An apartment with sea views at Torre Dell’Orso costs around €230,000, while a house in the same village without the sea view might cost €160,000. Salento has a wide range of properties for sale.
5. The Frasassi Caves, Marche
Caves are one of the worlds most hidden natural wonders. There are many caves in Italy that you can visit, such as those at Castellana in Puglia and the Blue Grotto in Capri. Among the prettiest for stalagmites and stalactites is Grotte di Frasassi in the Marche region. A tour of the caves takes about an hour and a half, but the paths are good and the caves are large. The highlight for many visitors is the Hall of Candles, which is an underground frozen lake with long thin candle-like stalagmites.
Where are the Grotte di Frasassi?
These caves are off the beaten track, but well worth the drive. They are located within the municipality of Genga, in the province of Ancona, in the Marche region. Ancona airport is about 30 minutes’ drive. The caves also fall within the Regional Natural Park of Gola della Rossa and Frasassi. “Could you live in a National Park?”. There are many wild and beautiful ones to explore in Italy.
Property for sale near Frassasi Caves
It’s still possible to find small houses to renovate in the Genga area for less than €30,000. From €165,000 you could get a detached house that is ready to move in. If a large detached house is what you are looking for, then the region of Marche is a great place to look.