Fodorites’ Favorites: Small Italian Towns

bergamo.jpgFor some Fodorites, seeing the “real” Italy involves heading for the hills or the coast, in search of small cities and towns. We’ve compiled a few of their favorites. Feel free to weigh in on the following aptly titled thread, “Favorite Small Towns in Italy.”

  • Ferrara, Emilia-Romagna
    “Ferrara is a lovely town: interesting cathedral, Castello Estense with moat, a number of palazzi, some with frescoes (Palazzo Schifanoia).” more

  • Bergamo, Lombardy (photo, right)
    “Even the narrow crowded streets couldn’t disguise the allure of Bergamo’s Citta Alta…around almost every corner there was a little square complete with fountain or statue.” more

  • Castelrotto, Dolomites
    “The German speaking town of Castelrotto is a good family base for hanging in the mountains. A huge alpine meadow, Alpe di Siusi, is nearby and fabulous for hiking/walking.” more

  • Lerici, The Italian Riviera
    “We stayed in Lerici several years ago and really enjoyed it. It has lovely beaches, a nice town, lovely church and is a good jumping off spot.” more

  • Casole d’Elsa, Tuscany
    “I think what is ideal is a town that has small shops and a restaurant or two, big enough to have a fairly active culture, but small enough so that staying there for a week you’ll get a sense of that culture. We’ve stayed in Casole d’Elsa twice and find it perfectly suited for our needs.” more

  • San Quirico, Tuscany
    “San Quirico has three nice trattorias, and a cafe/bar where young & old congregate, and plenty of people strolling around at night – walking the dog, walking off dinner, etc.” more

  • Gallipoli, Basilicata
    “A restaurant in this quaint fishing village provided us with some of the freshest and tastiest fish dishes that we’ve had during our trip.” more

  • Dozza, Emilia-Romagna
    “(Dozza) was such a surprising, improbable combination of a traditional looking medieval town and a unique offbeat art site. I was just amazed by it.” more

  • Matera, Basilicata
    “Our favorite meal in Matera was at Oi Marì, set in a magnificent series of caves dug into the hillside. It was interesting to imagine that at one point, these rooms housed families and even stables of animals, all living together.” more

  • Assisi, Umbria
    “The basilica in Assisi, for me, was one of THE unique spots in Italy – a confluence of religion (in its best sense), art, history, and beauty.” more

  • San Chirico, Basilicata
    “San Chirico remains the same with steep stone winding stairs throughout the village and a piazza at the bottom where eveyone shows up for vino or caffe.” more