Dreaming of drinking an Aperol spritzer in an Italian square? It may not be sunny, but there’s one British destination that can come close to la vita bella.
According to holiday company Willerby, there’s a place in Wales that feels just like Italy.
A spokesman said: “The charming North Wales village of Portmeirion, built by St Cloud Williams-Ellis, wouldn’t look so good in the Italian countryside.
“The likeness is extraordinary, down to the details, such as cobbled streets, vibrantly colored squares, conical towers and imposing facades.”
Portmeirion is located in Gwynedd, North Wales, and it is no coincidence that it resembles an Italian village.
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Sir Clough Williams-Ellis designed and built the village between 1925 and 1975 in the Italianate village style.
The colorful spot has been used as a location for several movies and TV shows, including the 1960s show The Prisoner.
Despite the similarities, Williams-Ellis denied that Portmeirion was based on Portofino in Italy.
The designer once said: “How could I not fall for Portofino? In fact, its image remains an almost perfect example of the use of man-made ornaments and beautiful places.”
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Portmeirion is now owned by a charitable trust and most of the buildings are used as holiday homes or hotel rooms.
Tourists can also visit the beautiful village during the day, but will have to pay an entrance fee to enter.
Portmeirion Town Hall is a Grade 1 listed building and the village has many architectural quirks to look out for.
Although it is possible to visit the village in winter, tourists should be aware that some facilities may be closed.
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In the summer, the village has several cafes serving a variety of cuisine, as well as an Italian-style gelateria.
Only guide or service animals are allowed in the village, while children under five go free.
Portmeirion has a secret garden maze of woodland with rare flowers and tall trees.
There are more than 70 species of rhododendrons in Japanese gardens, while visitors can find pagodas and lily ponds.
Visitors can visit the village beach to walk along the coastal path to enjoy stunning views of the mountains and coast.
Walking on the sand is dangerous with incoming tides, so visitors will need to check tide times.
The village has a spa where visitors can enjoy treatments or spend the day in the heated outdoor pool.
Off-season tickets cost £10 for adults and £5 for children aged 5-15.