© Rudy Balasko/Shutterstoc
A postcard-perfect landscape. Castelmezzano, Italy
Embraced by the rugged peaks of the Lucanian Dolomites, the ancient village of Castelmezzano in southern Italy glows with charm. Its narrow alleys and cobblestone streets pass buildings that cling to the mountainside. This picturesque destination is brimming with history; from its rule by feudal lords to battles long forgotten. It's believed that the Normans settled here around the 11th century AD and constructed a castle, from which the village gets its name. Castelmezzano isn't just a sleepy portrait of the past, it also offers adventure activities for the brave, including a high-altitude zip line between mountains on the Volo dell'Angelo (Flight of the Angel). Yet the finest pleasure the small village offers might just be grabbing a cup of coffee and watching the sun rise behind the majestic mountain peaks, illuminating those huddled houses as the streetlamps go out.