Italy colorful houses: the best places to see them. Discover the most colorful villages in Italy and where to find Italy’s rainbow towns.
Italy is full of pretty places and some of the prettiest of all are small villages with colorful houses that seem to have been kissed by a rainbow.
They are lovely in photos and they are even more stunning in real life.
The colors truly fill your eyes and soul and it is impossible not to play the game of ‘in which one would I live’ as you take in shade after shade of any possible color you may dream of.
But where are the colorful houses in Italy?
What are the colorful villages in Italy and how easy are they to visit?
In this article, I share the best places to see colorful houses in Italy and our top picks of pretty villages in Italy with rainbow houses.
Best Italian towns to see colorful houses
Burano Island, Veneto
Burano is fairytale looking island in the Venetian Lagoon famous for colorful houses overlooking tiny canals.
The place seems out of a fairytale: you get there with a short ferry trip from Venice and stepping out of the boat feels like stepping into a different world.
There are no cars and the town is entirely made of vibrantly colorful houses with walls that pop in the brightest of tones.
The whole of Burano is a rainbow of yellow, green, red and pink, shimmering in the sun and reflecting tier image in the calm waters of the lagoon!
The colorful houses of Burano are small and if you take a stroll here, you will be immersed in a 360 rainbow experience.
This is one of the prettiest places in Italy and the most famous Italian island with colorful houses.
Riomaggiore is one of the five towns making up the villages of Cinque Terre and it is a delight for seekers of colorful houses.
The village developed between the sea and a cliff and the houses all gather close to each other in the narrow space locals have managed to claim for nature.
This special location is part of the beauty of the place but also the reason why this area is Unesco World Heritage site: the mix of human presence and natural forces here is unique.
The houses of Riomaggiore are tall and brightly painted, rich especially in red and yellow tones.
They say fishermen painted their houses in rainbow-colored fashion so that they could see their home from the water.
While this may not be the whole truth to it, it is easy to imagine a fisherman far from the land looking back towards this pretty village, trying to spot its warm home!
Riomaggiore is easy to visit from La Spezia and can be easily combined with a visit to other towns on the area, as we recommend in this Cinque Terre itinerary.
Manarola is one of the villages of Cinque Terre and like Riomaggiore, one of the best places in Italy to see colored houses.
The dominant colors are shades of yellow, orange and red and the effect is made even stronger by the colorful boats moored in the small harbor.
The houses in Manarola develop over a gravity-defying rock and makes up one of the stunning places to see colorful homes on the Italy coast.
Manarola is one of the prettiest cities in the area and usually considered one of the most beautiful places to visit in Italy.
Cinque Terre is the place in Italy with the highest number of colorful villages and this is why third in this list is Vernazza, again one of the 5 Cinque Terre VIllages.
The houses here are tall and narrow and have colors that go from light yellow to deep red to green.
The colored walls often have a battered appearance thanks to the presence of the sea and the wind.
However, the charm is undeniable, especially in those that betray the presence of their inhabitants with lines of laundry outside the windows, drying in the Italian sun!
Cinque Terre are not the only part of Liguria with colorful houses.
Boccadasse, in Genova, also is a wonderful stretch of the Italian coast with colorful homes and it is hidden, so you will not find it unless you know it is there!
This is a tiny corner of the city with small, colorful houses in mostly pastel color overlooking a small beach and the sea: the strawberry color houses are probably the most distinctive!
The local history tells us that Boccadasse was founded in 1000 A.C. by Spanish fishermen but that it managed to remain largely untouched while the city of Genova grew around it.
This is one of the best places to visit to see Italy’s colorful houses and the perfect location to get a Cinque Terre-esque landscape outside of the actual Cinque Terre area.
It also feels like a true Italy hidden gem!
Portofino, on the Ligurian coast, it a lovely fishing village and now glamorous holiday resort with beautiful, bright colorful houses overlooking the sea.
It is an absolute delight of a place.
Portofino is best enjoyed from the sea so if you have the chance of getting on a boat here, take it!
You will come back with stunning pictures and that quintessential Italian shot of colorful houses and boats over a small natural port as well as having tasted a little morsel of the beautiful life of the Italian riviera.
Portovenere is a small town in Liguria immediately outside of the area of Cinque Terre, famous for its pretty colorful buildings overlooking a small port.
Portovenere has a lot in common with Cinque Terre and it is a great place to see as an alternative to its most famous neighbors or also to use as a base for a trip in the area.
However, there is a difference: Portovenere hasn’t got a coast as high as that of Manarola or Vernazza and it is mostly flat, which makes for a different type of visual experience (and much easier access!).
This is one of the best places to base yourself to visit Cinque Terre with kids.
Procida is a beautiful island in front of Naples, in the South of Italy and one of the best places to see Italy’s colorful houses without heading all the way to the North.
Less famous than neighboring islands such as Capri or Ischia, Procida is distinctive for its stunning colorful homes on the sea, a real rainbow vision welcoming you from the sea!
Procida is very easy to reach from Naples and it is a lovely place for a day trip or, even better, if you are looking for an off the beaten path place in Italy to call home for a few days.
Positano is best known as a glamorous locality on the Amalfi Coast however, it is also a lovely place to see colorful houses, especially if you look at it from the sea, the beach, or one of the many scenic lookouts around the city.
The colors here are mostly along with the shade of red and yellow and pop especially on a bright summer day.
The buildings here tend to be bigger than in Burano to Cinque Terre so you don’t notice the colors as much while walking around the city but they do make for stunning panoramic photos!
Sant’Angelo is a dreamy little village on the island of Ischia with pretty, colorful houses overlooking the sea.
The colors here are a mix of orange and light-shaded blue houses and they mix with many white houses in more traditional Mediterranean style.
Unlike in Burano, you will not find yourself wandering for hours in tiny alleys but rather, you will have the chance of taking lovely photos of a gorgeous small cluster hof colorful homes without basking in sun and waters of this gorgeous Italian island.
This is also a lovely place for families if you want a taste of the Amalfi Coast with kids without the stress of driving.
The small island of Ponza has a small row of pastel colores houses overlooking its pretty port.
It is a gorgeous view with houses in the shades of light yellow and pastel pink and one of the prettiest places to see colorful houses.
However, the colors of the houses are not what leaves the strongest effect.
The main impression here is the blinding light of the Mediterranean and the whitewashed houses mixing with the colored one, leaving you with a sense of diffused light more than one of popping colors.
I hope you enjoyed this overview of the best places in Italy to see colorful houses. Happy travel planning!