Claim to fame: A virtual absence of cars anywhere on the steep streets.
Whether or not you believe heaven is real, Cinque Terre (“five towns” in Italian) may be the closest thing to it. The quintet of coastal villages are connected by walkable mountain paths that wind through vineyards and all have ludicrous views of the Mediterranean. Vernazza’s the most charming, or at least the most picturesque. If you opt to hike there, you’ll walk down down into the town, nestled like an Easter egg in a little cove right on the sea, arrayed with pink, yellow, and blue-hued buildings and rowboats lining the water. One of the best-known fishing villages on the Italian Riviera, it’s a fantastic spot to refuel with mussels, fresh catches, and lots of wine.