Italy

TRAVEL GUIDE

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Italy GALLERY
2019 2019 Fodor’s Go List Destination
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Italy is the whole package, and it knows it. Covering 116,350 square miles of gorgeous coastlines, mountains, and countryside and with more than 2,700 years of history and culture in all genres, it’s hard to beat the cultural wealth and beauty of Italy’s everyday–whether food, art, fashion, or design. And though Italy is united under the same country code +39, it is a patchwork of personalities—20 regions with distinctly different traditions and terrains.

Since the Grand Tour itineraries of yesteryear, the cities of Rome, Florence, Naples, and Venice have topped the list of must-see destinations. The 21st-century itinerary expands outward for full immersion into Italian culture with an extended lineup that includes the beaches of the Amalfi Coast and Puglia, the food towns of Emilia Romagna, the powdery slopes of the Italian Alps, the fashion of Milan, and the entire island of Sicily.

Capital city Rome leads the country in the center-south Lazio region, and it’s here where the reputation of Italian chaos comes from. Since its 753 BC founding, Rome has been the center of attention. Today’s Eternal City convenes millennia of culture and millions of residents and visitors in its historic center of approximately five square miles. Rome’s ancient history is seen every day in the contemporary Roman landscape whether it’s driving past the Colosseum, watching the pilgrims flow into St. Peter’s Square or queuing up to see Michelangelo’s masterpiece in the Sistine Chapel.

Along with the must-see cities, there are unparalleled experiences that you must do when in Italy, including eating a true Neapolitan pizza in Naples, climbing Sicily’s Mount Etna (an active volcano), driving the head-spinning curves of the Amalfi Coast, taking a midnight gondola ride around Venice, walking the top level of the Colosseum, driving a vintage Fiat through the Tuscan countryside, eating anything in Emilia Romagna, and exploring antiquity at any ancient sites such as Pompeii, Paestum, and Herculaneum.

All Italians would tell you the best way to get to know the country is simply to explore whatever is front of you and on your plate. Italy’s food culture varies from region to region. For pizza and pasta lovers, head south to Naples and Rome, and meat-lovers to Tuscany. Sicily is the country’s breadbasket for its incredible range of fruit and veggies, and seafood and desserts. Emilia Romagna sits on the throne of the country’s gastronomic empire, known for its Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, prosciutto di Parma, balsamic vinegar, and incredible homemade pasta specialties like tortellini. Wine, why not? There is no region where you can’t find an amazing bottle of wine—red, white or bubbles—just look for the area’s strade del vino (wine roads) to lead you in the right direction.

There is never a bad time to visit Italy, whether winter or summer, high season or low season. From November through the end of February, tourism tends to dissipate which makes sites are less crowded and highly requested tickets like Rome’s Vatican Museums, Florence’s Uffizi and Milan’s Last Supper easier to reserve. Spring kicks into high gear during La Settimana Santa (Holy Week, the week leading up to Easter), and from that moment, Italy unleashes events and holidays, and more as the weeks warm up. Crowds accumulate and by mid-June the best place to be are the lesser-visited towns. In the summer months, Italians head to the beach or mountains, and by August, Rome and other big cities are veritable ghost towns. Though the residents have left and infrastructure can be reduced, cities and towns organize summer events such as extended museum hours, outdoor concerts and other events.

Thanks to its unbeatable location in the southern Mediterranean basin, the climate is generally mild in the winters and warm in the summer, but here’s rub: weather varies notably from region to region. The northern regions, like Lombardia, Piemonte, Veneto, and even Emilia Romagna tend to have harsher, longer winters than their southern counterparts like Sicily, Calabria, and Campania where the hot sun seems to shine for 10 months a year. Be prepared, just as each region is climatically different from its neighbor, a drive across a region can vastly change from chilly mountainside and arid plains to scalding seaside.

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Rome

Italy's vibrant capital lives in the present, but no other city on earth evokes its past so powerfully. For over 2,500 years, emperors, popes...

Venice

Venice is a city unlike any other. No matter how often you've seen it in photos and films, the real thing is more dreamlike than you could imagine...

Florence

Florence, the city of the lily, gave birth to the Renaissance and changed the way we see the world. For centuries it has captured the imaginations...

Naples

Located under the shadow of Vesuvius, Naples is the most vibrant city in Italy—a steaming, bubbling, reverberating minestrone in which each...

Milan

Rome may be bigger and wield political power, but Milan and the affluent north are what really make the country go. Leonardo da Vinci's Last...

Capri

Fantastic grottoes, soaring conical peaks, caverns great and small, plus villas of the emperors and thousands of legends brush Capri with an...

Sorrento

Sorrento may have become a jumping-off point for visits to Pompeii, Capri, and Amalfi, but you can find countless reasons to love it for itself...

Turin

Turin (Torino, in Italian) is roughly in the center of Piedmont–Valle d'Aosta and 128 km (80 miles) west of Milan; it's on the Po River, on...

Genoa

Genoa (Genova in Italian) was the birthplace of Christopher Columbus, but the city's proud history predates that explorer by hundreds of years...

Lucca

Ramparts built in the 16th and 17th centuries enclose a charming fortress town filled with churches (99 of them), terracotta–roofed buildings...

Positano

When John Steinbeck visited Positano in 1953, he wrote that it was difficult to consider tourism an industry because "there are not enough ...

Bologna

Bologna, a city rich with cultural jewels, has long been one of the best-kept secrets in northern Italy. Tourists in the know bask in the shadow...

Palermo

Once the intellectual capital of southern Europe, Palermo has always been at the crossroads of civilization. Favorably located on a crescent...

Siena

With its narrow streets and steep alleys, a Gothic Duomo, a bounty of early Renaissance art, and the glorious Palazzo Pubblico overlooking its...

Amalfi

At first glance, it's hard to imagine that this resort destination was one of the world's great naval powers, and a sturdy rival of Genoa and...

Ravello

Positano may focus on pleasure, and Amalfi on history, but cool, serene Ravello revels in refinement. Thrust over the Bay of Salerno on a mountain...

Bolzano (Bozen)

Bolzano (Bozen), capital of the autonomous province of Alto Adige, is tucked among craggy peaks in a Dolomite valley 77 km (48 miles) from the...

Verona

On the banks of the fast-flowing River Adige, enchanting Verona has timeless monuments, a picturesque town center, and a romantic reputation...

Trento

Trento is a prosperous, cosmopolitan university town that retains an architectural charm befitting its historical importance. It was here, from...

Cagliari

Known in Sardinia as Casteddu, the island's capital has steep streets and impressive Italianate architecture, from modern to medieval. This...

Trieste

Trieste is built along a fringe of coastline where a rugged karst plateau tumbles abruptly into the beautiful Adriatic. It was the only port...

Taormina

The view of the sea and Mt. Etna from Taormina's jagged, cactus-covered cliffs is as close to perfection as a panorama can get—especially on...

Siracusa

Siracusa, known to English speakers as Syracuse, is a wonder to behold. One of the great ancient capitals of Western civilization, the city...

Pisa

If you can get beyond the kitsch of the stalls hawking cheap souvenirs around the Leaning Tower, you'll find that Pisa has much to offer. Its...

Parma

Parma stands on the banks of a tributary of the Po River. Despite damage during World War II, much of the stately historic center seems untouched...

Padua

A romantic warren of arcaded streets, Padua has long been one of the major cultural centers of northern Italy. Its university, founded in 1222...

Perugia

Perugia is a majestic, handsome, wealthy city, and with its trendy boutiques, refined cafés, and grandiose architecture, it doesn't try to hide...

San Gimignano

When you're on a hilltop surrounded by soaring medieval towers silhouetted against the sky, it's difficult not to fall under the spell of San...

Catania

The chief wonder of Catania, Sicily's second city, is that it's there at all. Its successive populations were deported by one Greek tyrant,...

Ferrara

When the legendary Ferrarese filmmaker Michelangelo Antonioni called his beloved hometown "a city that you can see only partly, while the rest...

Volterra

As you approach the town through bleak, rugged terrain, you can see that not all Tuscan hill towns rise above rolling green fields. Volterra...

Arezzo

Arezzo is best known for the magnificent Piero della Francesca frescoes in the church of San Francesco. It's also the birthplace of the poet...

Elba

Elba is the Tuscan archipelago's largest island, but it resembles nearby verdant Corsica more than it does its rocky Italian sisters, thanks...

Merano (Meran)

The second-largest town in Alto Adige, Merano (Meran) was once the capital of the Austrian region of Tyrol. When the town and surrounding area...

Ravenna

A small, quiet, and well-heeled city, Ravenna has brick palaces, cobblestone streets, magnificent monuments, and spectacular Byzantine mosaics...

Procida

Lying barely 3 km (2 miles) from the mainland and 10 km (6 miles) from the nearest port (Pozzuoli), Procida is an island of enormous contrasts...

Spoleto

For most of the year, Spoleto is one more in a pleasant succession of sleepy hill towns, resting regally atop a mountain. But for three weeks...

Alghero

A tourist-friendly town of about 45,000 inhabitants, with a distinctly Spanish flavor, Alghero is also known as "Barcelonetta" (Little Barcelona...

Herculaneum (Ercolano)

A visit to the archaeological site of Herculaneum neatly counterbalances the hustle of its larger neighbor, Pompeii. Although close to the heart...

Treviso

Treviso has been dubbed "Little Venice" because of its meandering, moss-bank canals. They can't really compare with Venice's spectacular waterways...

Greve in Chianti

If there is a capital of Chianti, it is Greve, a friendly market town with no shortage of cafés, enoteche (wine bars), and crafts shops lining...

Matera

This town of unique Sassi (cave dwellings) is one of southern Italy's most intriguing places. The so-called New Town is full of elegant Baroque...

Prato

The wool industry in this city, one of the world's largest producers of cloth, was famous throughout Europe as early as the 13th century. Business...

Pistoia

Founded in the 2nd century BC as a support post for Roman troops, Pistoia grew over the centuries into an important trading center. In the Middle...

Vicenza

Vicenza bears the distinctive signature of the 16th-century architect Andrea Palladio, whose name has been given to the "Palladian" style of...

Bergamo

If you're driving from Milan to Lake Garda, the perfect deviation from your autostrada journey is the lovely medieval town of Bergamo, which...

Montepulciano

Perched on a hilltop, Montepulciano is made up of a pyramid of redbrick buildings set within a circle of cypress trees. At an altitude of almost...

Cortina d'Ampezzo

The archetypal Dolomite resort, Cortina d'Ampezzo entices those seeking both relaxation and adventure. The town is the western gateway to the...

Assisi

The small town of Assisi is one of the Christian world's most important pilgrimage sites and home of the Basilica di San Francesco—built to...

Cortona

Made popular by Frances Mayes's book Under the Tuscan Sun and film of the same name, Cortona is no longer the destination of just a few specialist...

Modena

Modena is famous for local products: Maserati, Ferrari, and opera star Luciano Pavarotti, born near here and buried in his family plot in Montale...

Cremona

Cremona is a classical-music lover's dream. With violin shops on every block along its crooked old streets, it is where the world's best violins...

Gubbio

There's something otherworldly about this jewel of a medieval town tucked away in a mountainous corner of Umbria. Even at the height of summer...

Castellina in Chianti

Castellina in Chianti—or simply Castellina—is on a ridge above three valleys: the Val di Pesa, Val d'Arbia, and Val d'Elsa. No matter what direction...

Pozzuoli

Legendary spirits populate Pozzuoli. St. Paul stepped ashore at the harbor here in AD 61 en route to Rome; his own ship had been wrecked off...

Orvieto

Carved out of an enormous plateau of volcanic rock high above a green valley, Orvieto has natural defenses that made the high walls seen in...

Radda in Chianti

Radda in Chianti sits on a ridge stretching between the Val di Pesa and Val d'Arbia. It is easily reached by following the SR429 from Castellina...

Trapani

On Sicily’s west coast, Trapani is said to have been formed when the goddess Demeter, searching for her kidnapped daughter Persephone, dropped...

Aosta

Aosta stands at the junction of two of the important trade routes that connect France and Italy, the valleys of the Rhône and the Isère. Its...

Como

Como commands the south shore of the lake. In its center, elegant cobblestone pedestrian streets wind their way past parks and bustling cafés...

Courmayeur/Monte Bianco

The main attraction of Courmayeur is a knock-'em-dead view of Europe's highest peak, Monte Bianco. The celebrities and the wealthy who come...

Udine

Udine, the largest city on the Friuli side of the region, has a provincial, genteel atmosphere and lots of charm. The city sometimes seems completely...

Ortisei (St. Ulrich)

Ortisei (St. Ulrich), the jewel in the crown of Val Gardena's resorts, is a hub of activity in both summer and winter; there are hundreds of...

Forte dei Marmi

Forte dei Marmi is a playground for wealthy Italians and equally well-heeled visitors. Its wide, sandy beaches—strands are 6 km (4 miles) long...

Asolo

Once considered the most romantic and charming of Veneto towns, the hamlet of Asolo has unfortunately lost much of its appeal, now that it's...

Montalcino

Tiny Montalcino, with its commanding view from high on a hill, can claim an Etruscan past. It saw a fair number of travelers, as it was directly...

Gaiole in Chianti

A market town since 1200, Gaiole is now a central destination for touring southern Chianti. A stream runs through its center, and flowers adorn...

Lecce

Lecce is the crown jewel of the Mezzogiorno. The city is called "the Florence of the south," but that term doesn't do justice to Lecce's uniqueness...

San Miniato

San Miniato has a history dating to Etruscan and Roman times; today it's a tiny, pristine hill town of narrow streets lined with austere 13th...

Madonna di Campiglio

The winter resort of Madonna di Campiglio vies with Cortina d'Ampezzo as the most fashionable place for Italians to ski and be seen in the Dolomites...

Viterbo

Viterbo's moment of glory was in the 13th century, when it became the seat of the papal court. The medieval core of the city still sits within...

Alba

This small town has a gracious atmosphere and a compact core, studded with medieval towers and Gothic buildings. In addition to being a wine...

Portofino

One of the most photographed villages along the coast, with a decidedly romantic and affluent aura, Portofino has long been a popular destination...

Corvara

Corvara is the main town of the Alta Badia, known for its prime skiing and hiking location in the middle of the Sella Ronda. The first chairlift...

Acireale

Acireale sits amid a clutter of rocky pinnacles and lush lemon groves. The craggy coast is known as the Riviera dei Ciclopi, after the legend...

Noto

If Siracusa's Baroque beauties whet your appetite for that over-the-top style, head to Noto, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Lying about 40 minutes...

Colle di Val d'Elsa

Most people pass through on their way to and from popular tourist destinations Volterra and San Gimignano—a shame, because Colle di Val d'Elsa...

Fiesole

A half-day excursion to Fiesole, in the hills 8 km (5 miles) above Florence, gives you a pleasant respite from museums and a wonderful view...

Stresa and the Isole Borromee

One of the better-known resorts on the western shore, Stresa is a tourist town, which provided Hemingway with one of the settings in A Farewell...

Conca dei Marini

A longtime favorite of the off-duty rich and famous, Conca dei Marini (the name means "seafarers' basin") hides many of its charms, as any sublime...

Vesuvius

Vesuvius may have lost its plume of smoke, but it has lost none of its fascination—especially for those who live in the towns around the cone...

Bellagio

Sometimes called the prettiest town in Europe, Bellagio always seems perfectly adorned, with geraniums ablaze in every window and bougainvillea...

Massa Marittima

Massa Marittima is a charming medieval hill town with a rich mining and industrial heritage—pyrite, iron, and copper were found in these parts...

San Remo

Once the crown jewel of the Riviera di Ponente, San Remo is still the area's largest resort, lined with polished hotels, exotic gardens, and...

Saturnia

Saturnia was settled even before the Etruscan period, but nowadays it's best known not for what lies buried beneath the ground but for what...

Panzano

The magnificent views of the valleys of the Pesa and Greve rivers easily make Panzano one of the prettiest stops in Chianti. The triangular...

Gardone Riviera

Now pleasantly faded, this once-fashionable 19th-century resort is best known these days for the hilltop estate of the poet Gabriele D'Annunzio...

Baia

Now largely under the sea, ancient Baia was once the most opulent and fashionable resort area of the Roman Empire, the place where Sulla, Pompey...

Riva del Garda

Riva del Garda is set on the northern tip of Lake Garda, against a dramatic backdrop of jagged cliffs and miles of beaches. The old city, surrounding...

Chianciano Terme

People from around the world come to the città del fegato sano (city of the healthy liver) to experience the curative waters. The area's...

Modica

Modica and Ragusa are the two chief cities in Sicily's smallest province, and the centers of a region known as Iblea. The dry, rocky, and gentle...

Lerici

Lerici, part of the Riviera di Levante, is on the spectacular Bay of La Spezia, otherwise known as the Gulf of Poets, and is famous for its...

Pienza

Pienza owes its appearance to Pope Pius II (1405–64), who had grand plans to transform his hometown of Corsignano—its former name—into a compact...

Castelnuovo di Garfagnana

Castelnuovo di Garfagnana might be the best base for exploring the Garfagnana, because it's central with respect to the other towns. During...

Montecatini Terme

Immortalized in Fellini's film 8½, Montecatini Terme is one of Italy's premier terme (spas). Known for their curative powers—and, at least...

Sirmione

Dramatically rising out of Lake Garda is the enchanting town of Sirmione. " Paene insularum, Sirmio, insularumque ocelle, " wrote Catullus in...

Portovenere

The colorful facades and pedestrians-only calata (promenade) make Portovenere the quintessential Ligurian seaside village; it's often called...

Nuoro

The somewhat shabby provincial capital of Nuoro is on the edge of a gorge in the harsh mountainous area that culminates in Gennargentu, the...

Brunico (Bruneck)

Located in the heart of the Val Pusteria, this quiet and quaint town is divided by the Rienza River. The modern part of Brunico is on one side...

Bormio

At the foot of Stelvio Pass, Bormio is the most famous ski resort on the western side of the Dolomites, with 38 km (24 miles) of long pistes...

Santa Margherita Ligure

A beautiful old resort town favored by well-to-do Italians, Santa Margherita Ligure has everything a Riviera playground should have—plenty of...

Pompeii

Mention Pompeii and most travelers think of ancient Roman villas, prancing bronze fauns, writhing plaster casts of Vesuvius's victims, and the...

Todi

As you stand on Piazza del Popolo, looking out onto the Tiber Valley below, it's easy to see why Todi is often described as Umbria's prettiest...

Asti

Asti is best known outside Italy for its wines—excellent reds as well as the famous sparkling white spumante. The town itself has some impressive...

Gallipoli

The fishing port of Gallipoli, on the eastern tip of the Golfo di Taranto, is divided between a new town, on the mainland, and the beautiful...

Mantua

Mantua (Mantova in Italian) stands tallest among the ancient walled cities of the Po Plain; it may not be flashy or dramatic, but its beauty...

Monte Argentario

Connected to the mainland only by two thin strips of land and a causeway, Monte Argentario feels like an island. The north and south isthmuses...

Vieste

This large whitewashed town jutting off the tip of the spur of Italy's boot is an attractive place to wander around. Although curvy mountain...

Tropea

Ringed by cliffs and wonderful sandy beaches, the Tropea Promontory is still just beginning to be discovered by foreign tourists. The main town...

Trani

Trani has a harbor filled with fishing boats and a quaint old town with cobblestone streets, gleaming medieval churches, and palazzi built from...

Bari

The biggest city in the region, Bari is a major port and a transit point for travelers catching ferries across the Adriatic to Greece, Croatia...

Porto Cervo

Sardinia's northeastern coast is fringed with low cliffs, inlets, and small bays. This has become an upscale vacationland, with glossy resorts...

Agrigento

Agrigento owes its fame almost exclusively to its ancient Greek temples—though it was also the birthplace of playwright Luigi Pirandello (1867...

Mt. Etna

The first time you see Mt. Etna, whether it's trailing clouds of smoke or emitting fiery streaks of lava, is certain to be unforgettable. The...

Ragusa

Ragusa, a modern city with a beautiful historic core, is known for some great local red wines and wonderful cheese—a creamy, doughy, flavorful...

Enna

Deep in Sicily's interior, the fortress city of Enna (altitude 2,844 feet) commands exceptional views of the surrounding rolling plains, and...

Pula

Resort villages sprawl along the coast southwest of the capital, which has its share of fine scenery and good beaches. On the marshy shoreline...

Carrara

Carrara, from which the famous white marble takes its name, lies in a beautiful valley midway up a spectacular mountain in the Apuane Alps....

Tivoli

In ancient times, just about anybody who was anybody had a villa in Tivoli, including Crassus, Trajan, Hadrian, Horace, and Catullus. Tivoli...

Frascati

It's worth taking a stroll through Frascati's lively old center. Via Battisti, leading from the Belvedere, takes you into Piazza San Pietro...

Misurina

Nestled on the shores of Lake Misurina, among the Dolomites, Misurina's high altitude, low air humidity, and total absence of dust mites and...

Sansepolcro

Originally called Borgo San Sepolcro (City of the Holy Sepulchre), this sprawling agricultural town takes its name from relics brought here...

Cetara

Tourists tend to take a pass on the village of Cetara. A quiet fishing village below orange groves on Monte Falerzo, it was held in subjugation...

Bressanone (Brixen)

Bressanone is an important artistic center and was the seat of prince-bishops for centuries. Like their counterparts in Trento, these medieval...

Rovereto

A 15th-century Venetian castle dominates Rovereto's compact medieval centro storico, with one of Italy's finest contemporary art museums just...

Praiano

Praiano has less wealth and sophistication than its more famous neighbors and more olive and lemon trees than tourists. From afar, it looks...

Breuil-Cervinia/The Matterhorn

Sitting in a huge natural basin at the foot of the Matterhorn, this town, once a high Alpine pasture, grew to become one of Europe's most famous...

Oristano

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San Quirico d'Orcia

San Quirico d'Orcia, on the modern Via Cassia (SR2) south from Siena toward Rome, has almost-intact 15th-century walls topped with 14 turrets...

Empoli

Empoli, roughly halfway between Florence and Pisa, is a small town with a long history. References to the city first appear in documents from...

Camogli

Camogli, at the edge of the large promontory and nature reserve known as the Portofino Peninsula, has always been a town of sailors. By the...

Marostica

26 km (16 miles) northeast of Vicenza, 93 km (58 miles) northwest of Venice. From the 14th-century Castello Inferiore, where the town council...

Cosenza

A construction boom in the 1950s and '60s encased Cosenza's medieval city—which winds up the hillsides between the Busento and Crati rivers...

Alberobello

With more than 1,000 trulli along its steep, narrow streets, Alberobello has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is one of the...

Urbino

Majestic Urbino, atop a steep hill with a skyline of towers and domes, is something of a surprise to come upon. Though quite remote, it was...

Bordighera

Bordighera is an attractive seaside resort with panoramas from Genoa (on a clear day) to Monte Carlo. A large English colony, attracted by the...

Barga

Barga is a lovely little city (one of Italy’s smallest under that classification) with a finely preserved medieval core. It produced textiles...

Atrani

In some respects this stage-set of a medieval town is a secret treasure: set in a narrow valley between two cliffs, this is the smallest municipality...

Pitigliano

From a distance, the medieval stone houses of Pitigliano look as if they melt into the cliffs upon which they are perched. Etruscan tombs, which...

Erice

Perched 2,450 feet above sea level, Erice is an enchanting medieval mountaintop aerie of palaces, fountains, and cobblestone streets. Shaped...

Olbia

Amid the resorts of Sardinia's northeastern coast, Olbia, a town of about 60,000, is a lively little seaport and port of call for mainland ferries...

Cividale del Friuli

Cividale is the most important place for taking in the impressive and beautiful art of the Lombards, a Germanic people who entered Italy in...

Naturno (Naturns)

As the name suggests, Naturno is a great location for a nature-based vacation; you can access a number of hiking trails to explore the area...

Giardini Botanici Hanbury

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Livorno

Livorno is a gritty city with a long and interesting history. In the early Middle Ages it alternately belonged to Pisa and Genoa. In 1421 Florence...

Castelnuovo Berardenga

The southernmost village in Chianti has a compact center with hilly, curving streets. A plethora of piazzas invite wandering. ...

Castelmola

Although many believe that Taormina has the most spectacular views, tiny Castelmola—floating 1,800 feet above sea level—literally takes the...

Aquileia

This sleepy little town is refreshingly free of the tourists that you might expect at such a culturally historic place. In the time of Emperor...

Paestum

For history buffs, a visit to Campania is not complete without seeing the ancient ruins of Paestum. A visit to the ruins to stroll past the...

Monterosso al Mare

It's the combined draw of beautiful beaches, rugged cliffs, crystal-clear turquoise waters, and plentiful small hotels and restaurants that...

Ostuni

This sun-bleached medieval town lies on three hills not far from the coast. From a distance, Ostuni is a jumble of blazing white houses and...

Rimini

Rimini is one of the most popular summer resorts on the Adriatic Coast and one of the most popular in Italy. July and August are the most crowded...

Otranto

In one of the first great Gothic novels, Horace Walpole's 1764 The Castle of Otranto, the English writer immortalized this city and its mysterious...

Finale Ligure

Lovely Finale Ligure is actually made up of three small villages: Finalmarina, Finalpia, and Finalborgo, and makes a wonderful base for exploring...

Montelupo

This small town, which straddles the Arno, and its surrounding villages, have been producing ceramics for centuries. A ceramics museum proudly...

Lipari

The largest and most developed of the Aeolians, Lipari welcomes you with distinctive pastel-color houses. Fields of spiky agaves dot the northernmost...

Piacenza

Piacenza has always been associated with industry and commerce. Its position on the Po River has made it an important inland port since the...

Giglio

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Tremezzo

The dreamy lakeside town of Tremezzo is close to two outstanding and magical villas, as well as sprawling gardens and one of the lake’s grandest...

Viareggio

Tobias Smollett (1721–71), the English novelist, wrote in the 1760s that Viareggio was "a kind of sea-port on the Mediterranean. . . . The roads...

Abetone

Abetone is one of the most-visited vacation spots in the Apennine Mountains, where Tuscans, Emilia-Romagnans, and others come to ski. Set above...

Abbazia di Monte Oliveto Maggiore

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Spello

Only a few minutes from Assisi by car or train, this hilltop town at the edge of Monte Subasio makes an excellent strategic base for exploring...

Sovana

This town of Etruscan origin was once the capital of the area in southern Tuscany dominated by the Aldobrandeschi family, whose reign was at...

Gargnano

This small port town was an important Franciscan center in the 13th century. Today, it comes alive in the summer, when German tourists, many...

Pavia

Pavia was once Milan's chief regional rival. The city dates from at least the Roman era and was the capital of the Lombard kings for two centuries...

Cernobbio

The legendary resort of Villa d'Este is reason enough to visit this jewel on the lake, but the town itself is worth a stroll. The place still...

Sant'Agata sui Due Golfi

Because of its panoramic vistas, Sant'Agata was an end-of-the-line pilgrimage site for beauty lovers through the centuries, especially before...

Marina del Cantone

As the largest (pebble) beach on the Sorrentine Peninsula, Marina del Cantone attracts weekend sun worshippers and foodies drawn by the seaside...

Montefalco

Nicknamed the "balcony over Umbria" for its high vantage point over the valley that runs from Perugia to Spoleto, Montefalco began as an important...

Reggio Calabria

This raw city is one of Italy's busiest ports, where you can find not only container ships and cranes but also a wonderful lungomare (promenade...

Sestriere

In the early 1930s, before skiing became a more egalitarian sport, the patriarch of the FIAT automobile dynasty had this resort built to cater...

Bagno Vignoni

Bagno Vignoni has been famous since Roman times for the mildly sulfurous waters that come bubbling up into the large rectangular pool that forms...

Mattinata

The town of Mattinata is a good center for hikes in the Foresta Umbra and for visiting the Santuario di San Michele. It also has attractive...

Sassari

With a population of about 130,000, Sassari, the island’s second-largest city, is an important university town and administrative center, notable...

Sant'Agnello

Back in the 18th and 19th centuries, the tiny hamlet of Sant'Agnello was an address of choice. To escape Sorrento's crowds, Bourbon princes...

Taranto

Taranto (stress the first syllable) was an important port even in Greek times, and it's still Italy's largest naval base. It lies toward the...

Vernazza

With its narrow streets and small squares, Vernazza is arguably the most charming of the five Cinque Terre towns, and therefore, usually the...

Buonconvento

Buonconvento dates back to the 12th century, though it was surrounded by defensive walls in the later Middle Ages. Though the name means "happy...

Canazei

Of the year-round resort towns in the Val di Fassa, Canazei is the most popular. The mountains around this small town are threaded with hiking...

Bagni di Lucca

Pretty Bagni di Lucca was a fashionable spa town in the early 19th century—in part because of its thermal waters. The Romantic poet Percy Bysshe...

San Pietro

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Camigliatello

Lined with chalets, Camigliatello is one of the Sila Massif's major resort towns. Most of the Sila isn't mountainous at all; rather, it's an...

Messina

Messina's ancient history recounts a series of disasters, but the city once vied with Palermo in a bid to become the capital, developing a fine...

Passignano

Other than its Romanesque abbey and the few houses clustered around it, there is very little to actually see in this tiny hamlet. But the panoramic...

Ticinese

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Monteriggioni

Tiny Monteriggioni makes a nice stop on the way north to Colle di Val d'Elsa, San Gimignano, or Volterra. It's hard to imagine that this little...

Crotone

One of the most important Magna Graecia colonies in Italy, Crotone was a major cultural center in the 5th century BC, when it was the home of...

Castelgandolfo

This little town is the pope's summer retreat. It was the Barberini Pope Urban VIII who first headed here, eager to escape the malarial miasmas...

Sestri Levante

Halfway between the Cinque Terre and Portofino lies this lovely seaside resort. The old village is on a peninsula with the beautiful Baia del...

Busseto

Sleepy Busseto’s greatest claim to fame is local son Giuseppe Verdi (1813–1901), who was not exactly born here—he was born in Le Roncole, a...

Imperia

Imperia actually consists of two towns: Porto Maurizio, a medieval town built on a promontory, and Oneglia, now an industrial center for oil...

Selinunte

Numerous Greek temple ruins perch on a plateau overlooking an expanse of the Mediterranean at Selinunte (or Selinus). The town is named after...

Verbania

The quaint town of Verbania is across the Gulf of Pallanza from its more touristy neighbor, Stresa. It is known for the Villa Taranto, which...

Caltagirone

Built over three hills, this charming Baroque town is a center of Sicily's ceramics industry. Here you can find majolica balustrades, tiled...

Cefalu

The coast between Palermo and Messina is dotted with charming villages. Tindari (which dates back to the early-Christian era) and Laghetti di...

Marsala

Marsala is readily associated with its world-famous, richly colored eponymous fortified wine, and your main reason for stopping will likely...

Maratea

The high, twisty road into the Maratea region affords breathtaking glimpses of the turquoise sea and a gigantic statue of Cristo Redentore ...

Ostia Antica

Founded around the 4th century BC, Ostia served as Rome's port city for several centuries until the Tiber changed course, leaving the town high...

Albisola Marina

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Palestrina

Except to students of ancient history and music lovers, Palestrina is little known outside Italy. Its most famous native son, Giovanni Pierluigi...

Marina di Praia

Just east of Praiano, the scenic hamlet of Marina di Praia is nestled by the sea at the bottom of a dramatic chasm. This is the only anchorage...

Castel del Monte

The isolated Norman Castel del Monte dominates the surrounding countryside from the top of a 1,778-foot-high hill. The nearest town is Andria...

Caldaro (Kaltern)

This vineyard village, with clear views of castles high up in the surrounding mountains, represents the centuries of division that forged the...

La Spezia

La Spezia is sometimes thought of as nothing but a large, industrialized naval port en route to the Cinque Terre and Portovenere; it does possess...

Piazza Armerina

A quick look around the fanciful town of Piazza Armerina is rewarding; it has a provincial warmth, and the crumbling yellow-stone architecture...

Nemi

A bronze statue of Diana the Huntress greets you at the entrance to Nemi, the smallest and prettiest village of the Castelli Romani. It's perched...

Monreale

Only a short drive from Palermo, the sleepy town of Monreale is well worth the effort just to see the spectacular gold mosaics inside the Duomo...

Manarola

The enchanting pastel houses of Manarola spill down a steep hill overlooking a spectacular turquoise swimming cove and a bustling harbor. The...

Faenza

In the Middle Ages, Faenza was the crossroads between Emilia-Romagna and Tuscany, and the 15th century saw many Florentine artists working in...

San Marino

The world's smallest and oldest republic, as San Marino dubs itself, is surrounded entirely by Italy. It consists of three ancient castles perched...

Ariccia

Ariccia is a gem of Baroque town planning. When Fabio Chigi, scion of the superwealthy banking family, became Pope Alexander VII, he commissioned...

Furore

Furore stretches for 8 km (5 miles) along the panoramic winding road climbing the Monti Lattari hills toward Agerola. Its nickname as the paese...

Ceglie Messapica

With its 14th-century Piazza Vecchia, tattered Baroque balconies, and lordly medieval castles, the little whitewashed town of Ceglie Messapica...

Malcesine

Malcesine is one of the loveliest areas along the upper eastern shore of Lake Garda. It's principally known as a summer resort, with sailing...

Riomaggiore

At the eastern end of the Cinque Terre, Riomaggiore is built into a river gorge (thus the name, which means "major river") and is easily accessible...

Ascoli Piceno

Ascoli Piceno sits in a valley ringed by steep hills and cut by the Tronto River. In Roman times it was one of central Italy's best-known market...

Vinci

The small hill town from which Leonardo da Vinci derived his name is a short drive or bus ride north of Empoli. At the church of Santa Croce...

Asciano

Founded by the Etruscans around the 5th century BC, Asciano is now a sleepy little town surrounded by 13th-century walls. The tiny centro storico...

Valnerina

The Valnerina (the valley of the River Nera, to the southeast of Spoleto) is the most beautiful of central Italy's many well-kept secrets. The...

Albenga

Albenga has a medieval core, with narrow streets laid out by the ancient Romans. A network of alleys is punctuated by centuries-old towers...

Chiavari

Chiavari is a fishing town (rather than village) of considerable character, with narrow, twisting streets and a good harbor. Chiavari's citizens...

Levanto

Nestled at the end of a valley of pine forests, olive groves, vineyards, and medieval villages lies this sunny seaside town, an alternative...

Loreto

There's a strong Renaissance feel about this hilltop town, which is home to one of the most important religious sites in Europe, the Santuario...

Corniglia

The buildings, narrow lanes, and stairways of Corniglia are strung together amid vineyards high on the cliffs. On a clear day views of the entire...

Settignano

When Florence is overcrowded and hot, this village, a 20-minute car or bus trip east of Florence, is particularly appealing. It was the birthplace...

Lago di Carezza

This small village borders a scenic lake that demands a stop. ...

Polignano a Mare

This well-preserved, whitewashed old town, perched on limestone cliffs overlooking the Adriatic, makes an atmospheric base for exploring the...

Caprarola

The wealthy and powerful Farnese family took over this sleepy village in the 1500s and had the architect Vignola design a huge palace and gardens...

Cumae

Perhaps the oldest Greek colony on mainland Italy, Cumae overshadowed the Phlegrean Fields and Neapolis in the 7th and 6th centuries BC, because...

Chiusi

Chiusi was once one of the most powerful of the ancient cities of the Etruscan League, and it's now a valuable source of information about that...

Deruta

This 14th-century medieval hill town is most famous for its ceramics. A drive through the countryside to visit the ceramics workshops is a good...

Diamante

A lively and attractive little resort on Calabria's north Tyrrhenian Coast, Diamante styles itself as "the town of murals and peperoncini."...

Sant'Antioco

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Tharros

Spread across a thin tongue of land that dangles off the Sinis Peninsula, the archaeological site of Tharros ranks as one of Sardinia’s most...

Santa Teresa di Gallura

At the northern tip of Sardinia, Santa Teresa Gallura retains the relaxed, carefree air of a former fishing village. Nearby beaches rival those...

Scicli

Overshadowed by its larger neighbors, Modica and Ragusa, Scicli is a Baroque beauty in its own right and one of the eight villages designated...

San Marcello Pistoiese

This small town—small, but still the largest in the area—bustles in summer and winter (when it's one of Tuscany's few ski destinations), but...

Imola

Affluent Imola, with its wide and stately avenues, lies on the border between Emilia and Romagna. It was populated as early as the Bronze Age...

Martina Franca

Martina Franca is a beguiling town with a dazzling mixture of medieval and Baroque architecture in the light-color local stone. Developed as...

Rivoli

The Savoy court was based in Rivoli in the Middle Ages, and the town retains several remnants from that richly dramatic period. ...

La Maddalena

From the port of Palau you can visit the archipelago of La Maddalena, seven granite islands embellished with aromatic scrub and wind-bent pines...

Stromboli

This northernmost of the Aeolians consists entirely of the cone of an active volcano. The view from the sea—especially at night, as an endless...

Alassio

Although Alassio is no longer a sleepy fishing village, the centro still possesses some old-world charm, colorful buildings, a great beachfront...

Costa Verde

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Panarea

Panarea is the second smallest of the islands but has some of the most dramatic scenery, including wild caves carved out of the rock and dazzling...

Salina

The second largest of the Aeolians, Salina is also the most fertile, which accounts for its excellent Malvasia dessert wine. Salina is the...

Segesta

Segesta is the site of one of Sicily's most impressive temples, constructed on the side of a barren windswept hill overlooking a valley of giant...

Fonni

In the heart of the Barbagia region, Fonni is the highest town on the island. This mountainous district, including Monte Spada and the Bruncu...

Bagnaia

The village of Bagnaia is the site of the 16th-century cardinal Alessandro Montalto's summer retreat, which is quite an extravaganza. ...

Filicudi

Just a dot in the sea, Filicudi is famous for its unusual volcanic rock formations, the enchanting Grotta del Bue Marino (Grotto of the Sea...

Oplontis (Torre Annunziata)

Surrounded by the fairly drab 1960s urban landscape of Torre Annunziata, Oplontis justifies its reputation as one of the more mysterious...

Barumini

It's definitely worth a detour to the quiet village of Barumini to visit the extraordinary stone village-fortress of Su Nuraxi. ...

Rende

Rende is a pleasing stop on the way to or from Cosenza. Leave your car in the parking lot at the base of a long and bizarre series of escalators...

Venaria Reale

This immense palace was built in the 16th century as a hunting lodge. ...

Passo dello Stelvio

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Peschici

Peschici is a pleasant resort on Gargano's north shore, a cascade of whitewashed houses and streets with a beautiful view over a sweeping cove...

Parco dell'Orecchiella

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Abbazia di Sant'Antonio di Ranverso

These days this former medieval hospital's main draw is its richly detailed frescoes, from the 15th century. ...

Saluzzo

The russet-brick town of Saluzzo—a flourishing medieval center and later seat of a Renaissance ducal court—is a well-preserved gem with narrow...

Bard

This small medieval town clings to a rocky crag that almost completely blocks the entrance to the Valle d'Aosta from Piedmont. Recognized for...

Sacra di San Michele

Perhaps best known as inspiration for the setting of Umberto Eco's novel The Name of the Rose, this abbey was built on Monte Pirchiriano in...

Castello Fenis

The tiny town of Fénis owes its origins to the presence of the medieval castle that once provided shelter for the local peasants who lived nearby...

Nervi

The identity of this stately late-19th-century resort, famous for its 1½-km-long (1-mile-long) seaside Passeggiata Anita Garibaldi, its palm...

Aliano

This remote village off the SS598 in the center of Basilicata's empty interior was the site of Carlo Levi's internment during 1936 and 1937...

Castrovillari

Stress the first i when you pronounce the name of this provincial Calabrian city, nestled in the deep valley beneath 7,375-foot Mt. Pollino...

Cogne and the Parco Nazionale del Gran Paradiso

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Novara

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Caccamo

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Foggia

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Caltanissetta

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Narni

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Dobbiaco (Toblach)

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Vercelli

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Alicudi

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Golfo Aranci

At the mouth of the Gulf of Olbia, Golfo Aranci is a small-scale resort and arrival point for ferries from the mainland. Tour the town to relax...

Casale Monferrato

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Avigliana

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Bardonecchia

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Locri

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Pizzo

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Grotte di Castellana

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Savona

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Giara di Gesturi

On the 45-square-km (28-square-mile) basalt plateau of Giara di Gesturi live some of the island's more exotic wildlife, including a species...

Chiusa (Klausen)

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Castelsardo

The seaside citadel of Castelsardo is surmounted by an impressive fortress, which now contains a museum highlighting the basketware for which...

St. Vincent

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Cervo

Cervo is the quintessential sleepy Ligurian coastal village, nicely polished for the tourists who come to explore its narrow byways and street...

Stilo

Grandly positioned on the side of the rugged Monte Consolino, the village of Stilo is listed as one of Italy's most beautiful borghi (historic...

San Giovanni Rotondo

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Santo Stefano di Camastra

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Taggia

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Rome

Italy's vibrant capital lives in the present, but no other city on earth evokes its past so powerfully. For over 2,500 years, emperors, popes...

Venice

Venice is a city unlike any other. No matter how often you've seen it in photos and films, the real thing is more dreamlike than you could imagine...

Florence

Florence, the city of the lily, gave birth to the Renaissance and changed the way we see the world. For centuries it has captured the imaginations...

Naples

Located under the shadow of Vesuvius, Naples is the most vibrant city in Italy—a steaming, bubbling, reverberating minestrone in which each...

Milan

Rome may be bigger and wield political power, but Milan and the affluent north are what really make the country go. Leonardo da Vinci's Last...

Sorrento

Sorrento may have become a jumping-off point for visits to Pompeii, Capri, and Amalfi, but you can find countless reasons to love it for itself...

Turin

Turin (Torino, in Italian) is roughly in the center of Piedmont–Valle d'Aosta and 128 km (80 miles) west of Milan; it's on the Po River, on...

Genoa

Genoa (Genova in Italian) was the birthplace of Christopher Columbus, but the city's proud history predates that explorer by hundreds of years...

Lucca

Ramparts built in the 16th and 17th centuries enclose a charming fortress town filled with churches (99 of them), terracotta–roofed buildings...

Positano

When John Steinbeck visited Positano in 1953, he wrote that it was difficult to consider tourism an industry because "there are not enough ...

Bologna

Bologna, a city rich with cultural jewels, has long been one of the best-kept secrets in northern Italy. Tourists in the know bask in the shadow...

Palermo

Once the intellectual capital of southern Europe, Palermo has always been at the crossroads of civilization. Favorably located on a crescent...

Siena

With its narrow streets and steep alleys, a Gothic Duomo, a bounty of early Renaissance art, and the glorious Palazzo Pubblico overlooking its...

Amalfi

At first glance, it's hard to imagine that this resort destination was one of the world's great naval powers, and a sturdy rival of Genoa and...

Ravello

Positano may focus on pleasure, and Amalfi on history, but cool, serene Ravello revels in refinement. Thrust over the Bay of Salerno on a mountain...

Bolzano (Bozen)

Bolzano (Bozen), capital of the autonomous province of Alto Adige, is tucked among craggy peaks in a Dolomite valley 77 km (48 miles) from the...

Trento

Trento is a prosperous, cosmopolitan university town that retains an architectural charm befitting its historical importance. It was here, from...

Cagliari

Known in Sardinia as Casteddu, the island's capital has steep streets and impressive Italianate architecture, from modern to medieval. This...

Verona

On the banks of the fast-flowing River Adige, enchanting Verona has timeless monuments, a picturesque town center, and a romantic reputation...

Trieste

Trieste is built along a fringe of coastline where a rugged karst plateau tumbles abruptly into the beautiful Adriatic. It was the only port...

Siracusa

Siracusa, known to English speakers as Syracuse, is a wonder to behold. One of the great ancient capitals of Western civilization, the city...

Taormina

The view of the sea and Mt. Etna from Taormina's jagged, cactus-covered cliffs is as close to perfection as a panorama can get—especially on...

Parma

Parma stands on the banks of a tributary of the Po River. Despite damage during World War II, much of the stately historic center seems untouched...

Pisa

If you can get beyond the kitsch of the stalls hawking cheap souvenirs around the Leaning Tower, you'll find that Pisa has much to offer. Its...

Padua

A romantic warren of arcaded streets, Padua has long been one of the major cultural centers of northern Italy. Its university, founded in 1222...

Catania

The chief wonder of Catania, Sicily's second city, is that it's there at all. Its successive populations were deported by one Greek tyrant,...

San Gimignano

When you're on a hilltop surrounded by soaring medieval towers silhouetted against the sky, it's difficult not to fall under the spell of San...

Perugia

Perugia is a majestic, handsome, wealthy city, and with its trendy boutiques, refined cafés, and grandiose architecture, it doesn't try to hide...

Ferrara

When the legendary Ferrarese filmmaker Michelangelo Antonioni called his beloved hometown "a city that you can see only partly, while the rest...

Elba

Elba is the Tuscan archipelago's largest island, but it resembles nearby verdant Corsica more than it does its rocky Italian sisters, thanks...

Arezzo

Arezzo is best known for the magnificent Piero della Francesca frescoes in the church of San Francesco. It's also the birthplace of the poet...

Volterra

As you approach the town through bleak, rugged terrain, you can see that not all Tuscan hill towns rise above rolling green fields. Volterra...

Merano (Meran)

The second-largest town in Alto Adige, Merano (Meran) was once the capital of the Austrian region of Tyrol. When the town and surrounding area...

Ravenna

A small, quiet, and well-heeled city, Ravenna has brick palaces, cobblestone streets, magnificent monuments, and spectacular Byzantine mosaics...

Procida

Lying barely 3 km (2 miles) from the mainland and 10 km (6 miles) from the nearest port (Pozzuoli), Procida is an island of enormous contrasts...

Alghero

A tourist-friendly town of about 45,000 inhabitants, with a distinctly Spanish flavor, Alghero is also known as "Barcelonetta" (Little Barcelona...

Spoleto

For most of the year, Spoleto is one more in a pleasant succession of sleepy hill towns, resting regally atop a mountain. But for three weeks...

Herculaneum (Ercolano)

A visit to the archaeological site of Herculaneum neatly counterbalances the hustle of its larger neighbor, Pompeii. Although close to the heart...

Treviso

Treviso has been dubbed "Little Venice" because of its meandering, moss-bank canals. They can't really compare with Venice's spectacular waterways...

Greve in Chianti

If there is a capital of Chianti, it is Greve, a friendly market town with no shortage of cafés, enoteche (wine bars), and crafts shops lining...

Matera

This town of unique Sassi (cave dwellings) is one of southern Italy's most intriguing places. The so-called New Town is full of elegant Baroque...

Prato

The wool industry in this city, one of the world's largest producers of cloth, was famous throughout Europe as early as the 13th century. Business...

Bergamo

If you're driving from Milan to Lake Garda, the perfect deviation from your autostrada journey is the lovely medieval town of Bergamo, which...

Montepulciano

Perched on a hilltop, Montepulciano is made up of a pyramid of redbrick buildings set within a circle of cypress trees. At an altitude of almost...

Vicenza

Vicenza bears the distinctive signature of the 16th-century architect Andrea Palladio, whose name has been given to the "Palladian" style of...

Pistoia

Founded in the 2nd century BC as a support post for Roman troops, Pistoia grew over the centuries into an important trading center. In the Middle...

Cremona

Cremona is a classical-music lover's dream. With violin shops on every block along its crooked old streets, it is where the world's best violins...

Assisi

The small town of Assisi is one of the Christian world's most important pilgrimage sites and home of the Basilica di San Francesco—built to...

Modena

Modena is famous for local products: Maserati, Ferrari, and opera star Luciano Pavarotti, born near here and buried in his family plot in Montale...

Cortina d'Ampezzo

The archetypal Dolomite resort, Cortina d'Ampezzo entices those seeking both relaxation and adventure. The town is the western gateway to the...

Cortona

Made popular by Frances Mayes's book Under the Tuscan Sun and film of the same name, Cortona is no longer the destination of just a few specialist...

Pozzuoli

Legendary spirits populate Pozzuoli. St. Paul stepped ashore at the harbor here in AD 61 en route to Rome; his own ship had been wrecked off...

Orvieto

Carved out of an enormous plateau of volcanic rock high above a green valley, Orvieto has natural defenses that made the high walls seen in...

Radda in Chianti

Radda in Chianti sits on a ridge stretching between the Val di Pesa and Val d'Arbia. It is easily reached by following the SR429 from Castellina...

Gubbio

There's something otherworldly about this jewel of a medieval town tucked away in a mountainous corner of Umbria. Even at the height of summer...

Castellina in Chianti

Castellina in Chianti—or simply Castellina—is on a ridge above three valleys: the Val di Pesa, Val d'Arbia, and Val d'Elsa. No matter what direction...

Trapani

On Sicily’s west coast, Trapani is said to have been formed when the goddess Demeter, searching for her kidnapped daughter Persephone, dropped...

Montalcino

Tiny Montalcino, with its commanding view from high on a hill, can claim an Etruscan past. It saw a fair number of travelers, as it was directly...

Como

Como commands the south shore of the lake. In its center, elegant cobblestone pedestrian streets wind their way past parks and bustling cafés...

Courmayeur/Monte Bianco

The main attraction of Courmayeur is a knock-'em-dead view of Europe's highest peak, Monte Bianco. The celebrities and the wealthy who come...

Asolo

Once considered the most romantic and charming of Veneto towns, the hamlet of Asolo has unfortunately lost much of its appeal, now that it's...

Gaiole in Chianti

A market town since 1200, Gaiole is now a central destination for touring southern Chianti. A stream runs through its center, and flowers adorn...

Lecce

Lecce is the crown jewel of the Mezzogiorno. The city is called "the Florence of the south," but that term doesn't do justice to Lecce's uniqueness...

Ortisei (St. Ulrich)

Ortisei (St. Ulrich), the jewel in the crown of Val Gardena's resorts, is a hub of activity in both summer and winter; there are hundreds of...

Udine

Udine, the largest city on the Friuli side of the region, has a provincial, genteel atmosphere and lots of charm. The city sometimes seems completely...

Forte dei Marmi

Forte dei Marmi is a playground for wealthy Italians and equally well-heeled visitors. Its wide, sandy beaches—strands are 6 km (4 miles) long...

Aosta

Aosta stands at the junction of two of the important trade routes that connect France and Italy, the valleys of the Rhône and the Isère. Its...

Acireale

Acireale sits amid a clutter of rocky pinnacles and lush lemon groves. The craggy coast is known as the Riviera dei Ciclopi, after the legend...

San Miniato

San Miniato has a history dating to Etruscan and Roman times; today it's a tiny, pristine hill town of narrow streets lined with austere 13th...

Viterbo

Viterbo's moment of glory was in the 13th century, when it became the seat of the papal court. The medieval core of the city still sits within...

Colle di Val d'Elsa

Most people pass through on their way to and from popular tourist destinations Volterra and San Gimignano—a shame, because Colle di Val d'Elsa...

Madonna di Campiglio

The winter resort of Madonna di Campiglio vies with Cortina d'Ampezzo as the most fashionable place for Italians to ski and be seen in the Dolomites...

Corvara

Corvara is the main town of the Alta Badia, known for its prime skiing and hiking location in the middle of the Sella Ronda. The first chairlift...

Noto

If Siracusa's Baroque beauties whet your appetite for that over-the-top style, head to Noto, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Lying about 40 minutes...

Fiesole

A half-day excursion to Fiesole, in the hills 8 km (5 miles) above Florence, gives you a pleasant respite from museums and a wonderful view...

Portofino

One of the most photographed villages along the coast, with a decidedly romantic and affluent aura, Portofino has long been a popular destination...

Stresa and the Isole Borromee

One of the better-known resorts on the western shore, Stresa is a tourist town, which provided Hemingway with one of the settings in A Farewell...

Alba

This small town has a gracious atmosphere and a compact core, studded with medieval towers and Gothic buildings. In addition to being a wine...

San Remo

Once the crown jewel of the Riviera di Ponente, San Remo is still the area's largest resort, lined with polished hotels, exotic gardens, and...

Bellagio

Sometimes called the prettiest town in Europe, Bellagio always seems perfectly adorned, with geraniums ablaze in every window and bougainvillea...

Saturnia

Saturnia was settled even before the Etruscan period, but nowadays it's best known not for what lies buried beneath the ground but for what...

Vesuvius

Vesuvius may have lost its plume of smoke, but it has lost none of its fascination—especially for those who live in the towns around the cone...

Massa Marittima

Massa Marittima is a charming medieval hill town with a rich mining and industrial heritage—pyrite, iron, and copper were found in these parts...

Panzano

The magnificent views of the valleys of the Pesa and Greve rivers easily make Panzano one of the prettiest stops in Chianti. The triangular...

Conca dei Marini

A longtime favorite of the off-duty rich and famous, Conca dei Marini (the name means "seafarers' basin") hides many of its charms, as any sublime...

Modica

Modica and Ragusa are the two chief cities in Sicily's smallest province, and the centers of a region known as Iblea. The dry, rocky, and gentle...

Brunico (Bruneck)

Located in the heart of the Val Pusteria, this quiet and quaint town is divided by the Rienza River. The modern part of Brunico is on one side...

Pienza

Pienza owes its appearance to Pope Pius II (1405–64), who had grand plans to transform his hometown of Corsignano—its former name—into a compact...

Bormio

At the foot of Stelvio Pass, Bormio is the most famous ski resort on the western side of the Dolomites, with 38 km (24 miles) of long pistes...

Pompeii

Mention Pompeii and most travelers think of ancient Roman villas, prancing bronze fauns, writhing plaster casts of Vesuvius's victims, and the...

Baia

Now largely under the sea, ancient Baia was once the most opulent and fashionable resort area of the Roman Empire, the place where Sulla, Pompey...

Castelnuovo di Garfagnana

Castelnuovo di Garfagnana might be the best base for exploring the Garfagnana, because it's central with respect to the other towns. During...

Riva del Garda

Riva del Garda is set on the northern tip of Lake Garda, against a dramatic backdrop of jagged cliffs and miles of beaches. The old city, surrounding...

Lerici

Lerici, part of the Riviera di Levante, is on the spectacular Bay of La Spezia, otherwise known as the Gulf of Poets, and is famous for its...

Nuoro

The somewhat shabby provincial capital of Nuoro is on the edge of a gorge in the harsh mountainous area that culminates in Gennargentu, the...

Portovenere

The colorful facades and pedestrians-only calata (promenade) make Portovenere the quintessential Ligurian seaside village; it's often called...

Montecatini Terme

Immortalized in Fellini's film 8½, Montecatini Terme is one of Italy's premier terme (spas). Known for their curative powers—and, at least...

Chianciano Terme

People from around the world come to the città del fegato sano (city of the healthy liver) to experience the curative waters. The area's...

Gardone Riviera

Now pleasantly faded, this once-fashionable 19th-century resort is best known these days for the hilltop estate of the poet Gabriele D'Annunzio...

Santa Margherita Ligure

A beautiful old resort town favored by well-to-do Italians, Santa Margherita Ligure has everything a Riviera playground should have—plenty of...

Sirmione

Dramatically rising out of Lake Garda is the enchanting town of Sirmione. " Paene insularum, Sirmio, insularumque ocelle, " wrote Catullus in...

Bari

The biggest city in the region, Bari is a major port and a transit point for travelers catching ferries across the Adriatic to Greece, Croatia...

Monte Argentario

Connected to the mainland only by two thin strips of land and a causeway, Monte Argentario feels like an island. The north and south isthmuses...

Todi

As you stand on Piazza del Popolo, looking out onto the Tiber Valley below, it's easy to see why Todi is often described as Umbria's prettiest...

Mantua

Mantua (Mantova in Italian) stands tallest among the ancient walled cities of the Po Plain; it may not be flashy or dramatic, but its beauty...

Vieste

This large whitewashed town jutting off the tip of the spur of Italy's boot is an attractive place to wander around. Although curvy mountain...

Tropea

Ringed by cliffs and wonderful sandy beaches, the Tropea Promontory is still just beginning to be discovered by foreign tourists. The main town...

Asti

Asti is best known outside Italy for its wines—excellent reds as well as the famous sparkling white spumante. The town itself has some impressive...

Trani

Trani has a harbor filled with fishing boats and a quaint old town with cobblestone streets, gleaming medieval churches, and palazzi built from...

Gallipoli

The fishing port of Gallipoli, on the eastern tip of the Golfo di Taranto, is divided between a new town, on the mainland, and the beautiful...

Pula

Resort villages sprawl along the coast southwest of the capital, which has its share of fine scenery and good beaches. On the marshy shoreline...

Mt. Etna

The first time you see Mt. Etna, whether it's trailing clouds of smoke or emitting fiery streaks of lava, is certain to be unforgettable. The...

Agrigento

Agrigento owes its fame almost exclusively to its ancient Greek temples—though it was also the birthplace of playwright Luigi Pirandello (1867...

Ragusa

Ragusa, a modern city with a beautiful historic core, is known for some great local red wines and wonderful cheese—a creamy, doughy, flavorful...

Frascati

It's worth taking a stroll through Frascati's lively old center. Via Battisti, leading from the Belvedere, takes you into Piazza San Pietro...

Porto Cervo

Sardinia's northeastern coast is fringed with low cliffs, inlets, and small bays. This has become an upscale vacationland, with glossy resorts...

Tivoli

In ancient times, just about anybody who was anybody had a villa in Tivoli, including Crassus, Trajan, Hadrian, Horace, and Catullus. Tivoli...

Carrara

Carrara, from which the famous white marble takes its name, lies in a beautiful valley midway up a spectacular mountain in the Apuane Alps....

Misurina

Nestled on the shores of Lake Misurina, among the Dolomites, Misurina's high altitude, low air humidity, and total absence of dust mites and...

Enna

Deep in Sicily's interior, the fortress city of Enna (altitude 2,844 feet) commands exceptional views of the surrounding rolling plains, and...

Empoli

Empoli, roughly halfway between Florence and Pisa, is a small town with a long history. References to the city first appear in documents from...

Praiano

Praiano has less wealth and sophistication than its more famous neighbors and more olive and lemon trees than tourists. From afar, it looks...

Olbia

Amid the resorts of Sardinia's northeastern coast, Olbia, a town of about 60,000, is a lively little seaport and port of call for mainland ferries...

San Quirico d'Orcia

San Quirico d'Orcia, on the modern Via Cassia (SR2) south from Siena toward Rome, has almost-intact 15th-century walls topped with 14 turrets...

Oristano

...

Alberobello

With more than 1,000 trulli along its steep, narrow streets, Alberobello has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is one of the...

Bressanone (Brixen)

Bressanone is an important artistic center and was the seat of prince-bishops for centuries. Like their counterparts in Trento, these medieval...

Bordighera

Bordighera is an attractive seaside resort with panoramas from Genoa (on a clear day) to Monte Carlo. A large English colony, attracted by the...

Rovereto

A 15th-century Venetian castle dominates Rovereto's compact medieval centro storico, with one of Italy's finest contemporary art museums just...

Cividale del Friuli

Cividale is the most important place for taking in the impressive and beautiful art of the Lombards, a Germanic people who entered Italy in...

Marostica

26 km (16 miles) northeast of Vicenza, 93 km (58 miles) northwest of Venice. From the 14th-century Castello Inferiore, where the town council...

Camogli

Camogli, at the edge of the large promontory and nature reserve known as the Portofino Peninsula, has always been a town of sailors. By the...

Breuil-Cervinia/The Matterhorn

Sitting in a huge natural basin at the foot of the Matterhorn, this town, once a high Alpine pasture, grew to become one of Europe's most famous...

Cosenza

A construction boom in the 1950s and '60s encased Cosenza's medieval city—which winds up the hillsides between the Busento and Crati rivers...

Cetara

Tourists tend to take a pass on the village of Cetara. A quiet fishing village below orange groves on Monte Falerzo, it was held in subjugation...

Urbino

Majestic Urbino, atop a steep hill with a skyline of towers and domes, is something of a surprise to come upon. Though quite remote, it was...

Erice

Perched 2,450 feet above sea level, Erice is an enchanting medieval mountaintop aerie of palaces, fountains, and cobblestone streets. Shaped...

Pitigliano

From a distance, the medieval stone houses of Pitigliano look as if they melt into the cliffs upon which they are perched. Etruscan tombs, which...

Atrani

In some respects this stage-set of a medieval town is a secret treasure: set in a narrow valley between two cliffs, this is the smallest municipality...

Sansepolcro

Originally called Borgo San Sepolcro (City of the Holy Sepulchre), this sprawling agricultural town takes its name from relics brought here...

Barga

Barga is a lovely little city (one of Italy’s smallest under that classification) with a finely preserved medieval core. It produced textiles...

Rimini

Rimini is one of the most popular summer resorts on the Adriatic Coast and one of the most popular in Italy. July and August are the most crowded...

Piacenza

Piacenza has always been associated with industry and commerce. Its position on the Po River has made it an important inland port since the...

Giardini Botanici Hanbury

...

Pavia

Pavia was once Milan's chief regional rival. The city dates from at least the Roman era and was the capital of the Lombard kings for two centuries...

Aquileia

This sleepy little town is refreshingly free of the tourists that you might expect at such a culturally historic place. In the time of Emperor...

Paestum

For history buffs, a visit to Campania is not complete without seeing the ancient ruins of Paestum. A visit to the ruins to stroll past the...

Monterosso al Mare

It's the combined draw of beautiful beaches, rugged cliffs, crystal-clear turquoise waters, and plentiful small hotels and restaurants that...

Montelupo

This small town, which straddles the Arno, and its surrounding villages, have been producing ceramics for centuries. A ceramics museum proudly...

Otranto

In one of the first great Gothic novels, Horace Walpole's 1764 The Castle of Otranto, the English writer immortalized this city and its mysterious...

Cernobbio

The legendary resort of Villa d'Este is reason enough to visit this jewel on the lake, but the town itself is worth a stroll. The place still...

Finale Ligure

Lovely Finale Ligure is actually made up of three small villages: Finalmarina, Finalpia, and Finalborgo, and makes a wonderful base for exploring...

Ostuni

This sun-bleached medieval town lies on three hills not far from the coast. From a distance, Ostuni is a jumble of blazing white houses and...

Castelmola

Although many believe that Taormina has the most spectacular views, tiny Castelmola—floating 1,800 feet above sea level—literally takes the...

Gargnano

This small port town was an important Franciscan center in the 13th century. Today, it comes alive in the summer, when German tourists, many...

Abetone

Abetone is one of the most-visited vacation spots in the Apennine Mountains, where Tuscans, Emilia-Romagnans, and others come to ski. Set above...

Naturno (Naturns)

As the name suggests, Naturno is a great location for a nature-based vacation; you can access a number of hiking trails to explore the area...

Tremezzo

The dreamy lakeside town of Tremezzo is close to two outstanding and magical villas, as well as sprawling gardens and one of the lake’s grandest...

Marina del Cantone

As the largest (pebble) beach on the Sorrentine Peninsula, Marina del Cantone attracts weekend sun worshippers and foodies drawn by the seaside...

Spello

Only a few minutes from Assisi by car or train, this hilltop town at the edge of Monte Subasio makes an excellent strategic base for exploring...

Livorno

Livorno is a gritty city with a long and interesting history. In the early Middle Ages it alternately belonged to Pisa and Genoa. In 1421 Florence...

Montefalco

Nicknamed the "balcony over Umbria" for its high vantage point over the valley that runs from Perugia to Spoleto, Montefalco began as an important...

Sant'Agata sui Due Golfi

Because of its panoramic vistas, Sant'Agata was an end-of-the-line pilgrimage site for beauty lovers through the centuries, especially before...

Sovana

This town of Etruscan origin was once the capital of the area in southern Tuscany dominated by the Aldobrandeschi family, whose reign was at...

Castelnuovo Berardenga

The southernmost village in Chianti has a compact center with hilly, curving streets. A plethora of piazzas invite wandering. ...

Viareggio

Tobias Smollett (1721–71), the English novelist, wrote in the 1760s that Viareggio was "a kind of sea-port on the Mediterranean. . . . The roads...

Giglio

...

Abbazia di Monte Oliveto Maggiore

...

Canazei

Of the year-round resort towns in the Val di Fassa, Canazei is the most popular. The mountains around this small town are threaded with hiking...

Ticinese

...

Sestriere

In the early 1930s, before skiing became a more egalitarian sport, the patriarch of the FIAT automobile dynasty had this resort built to cater...

Crotone

One of the most important Magna Graecia colonies in Italy, Crotone was a major cultural center in the 5th century BC, when it was the home of...

Vernazza

With its narrow streets and small squares, Vernazza is arguably the most charming of the five Cinque Terre towns, and therefore, usually the...

Sassari

With a population of about 130,000, Sassari, the island’s second-largest city, is an important university town and administrative center, notable...

Buonconvento

Buonconvento dates back to the 12th century, though it was surrounded by defensive walls in the later Middle Ages. Though the name means "happy...

Passignano

Other than its Romanesque abbey and the few houses clustered around it, there is very little to actually see in this tiny hamlet. But the panoramic...

San Pietro

...

Reggio Calabria

This raw city is one of Italy's busiest ports, where you can find not only container ships and cranes but also a wonderful lungomare (promenade...

Camigliatello

Lined with chalets, Camigliatello is one of the Sila Massif's major resort towns. Most of the Sila isn't mountainous at all; rather, it's an...

Messina

Messina's ancient history recounts a series of disasters, but the city once vied with Palermo in a bid to become the capital, developing a fine...

Sant'Agnello

Back in the 18th and 19th centuries, the tiny hamlet of Sant'Agnello was an address of choice. To escape Sorrento's crowds, Bourbon princes...

Bagno Vignoni

Bagno Vignoni has been famous since Roman times for the mildly sulfurous waters that come bubbling up into the large rectangular pool that forms...

Mattinata

The town of Mattinata is a good center for hikes in the Foresta Umbra and for visiting the Santuario di San Michele. It also has attractive...

Taranto

Taranto (stress the first syllable) was an important port even in Greek times, and it's still Italy's largest naval base. It lies toward the...

Bagni di Lucca

Pretty Bagni di Lucca was a fashionable spa town in the early 19th century—in part because of its thermal waters. The Romantic poet Percy Bysshe...

Castelgandolfo

This little town is the pope's summer retreat. It was the Barberini Pope Urban VIII who first headed here, eager to escape the malarial miasmas...

Sestri Levante

Halfway between the Cinque Terre and Portofino lies this lovely seaside resort. The old village is on a peninsula with the beautiful Baia del...

Monteriggioni

Tiny Monteriggioni makes a nice stop on the way north to Colle di Val d'Elsa, San Gimignano, or Volterra. It's hard to imagine that this little...

Busseto

Sleepy Busseto’s greatest claim to fame is local son Giuseppe Verdi (1813–1901), who was not exactly born here—he was born in Le Roncole, a...

Faenza

In the Middle Ages, Faenza was the crossroads between Emilia-Romagna and Tuscany, and the 15th century saw many Florentine artists working in...

Ariccia

Ariccia is a gem of Baroque town planning. When Fabio Chigi, scion of the superwealthy banking family, became Pope Alexander VII, he commissioned...

Ceglie Messapica

With its 14th-century Piazza Vecchia, tattered Baroque balconies, and lordly medieval castles, the little whitewashed town of Ceglie Messapica...

San Marino

The world's smallest and oldest republic, as San Marino dubs itself, is surrounded entirely by Italy. It consists of three ancient castles perched...

Albisola Marina

...

Marsala

Marsala is readily associated with its world-famous, richly colored eponymous fortified wine, and your main reason for stopping will likely...

Caldaro (Kaltern)

This vineyard village, with clear views of castles high up in the surrounding mountains, represents the centuries of division that forged the...

Imperia

Imperia actually consists of two towns: Porto Maurizio, a medieval town built on a promontory, and Oneglia, now an industrial center for oil...

Furore

Furore stretches for 8 km (5 miles) along the panoramic winding road climbing the Monti Lattari hills toward Agerola. Its nickname as the paese...

Palestrina

Except to students of ancient history and music lovers, Palestrina is little known outside Italy. Its most famous native son, Giovanni Pierluigi...

Castel del Monte

The isolated Norman Castel del Monte dominates the surrounding countryside from the top of a 1,778-foot-high hill. The nearest town is Andria...

Marina di Praia

Just east of Praiano, the scenic hamlet of Marina di Praia is nestled by the sea at the bottom of a dramatic chasm. This is the only anchorage...

Cefalu

The coast between Palermo and Messina is dotted with charming villages. Tindari (which dates back to the early-Christian era) and Laghetti di...

Maratea

The high, twisty road into the Maratea region affords breathtaking glimpses of the turquoise sea and a gigantic statue of Cristo Redentore ...

Caltagirone

Built over three hills, this charming Baroque town is a center of Sicily's ceramics industry. Here you can find majolica balustrades, tiled...

La Spezia

La Spezia is sometimes thought of as nothing but a large, industrialized naval port en route to the Cinque Terre and Portovenere; it does possess...

Verbania

The quaint town of Verbania is across the Gulf of Pallanza from its more touristy neighbor, Stresa. It is known for the Villa Taranto, which...

Piazza Armerina

A quick look around the fanciful town of Piazza Armerina is rewarding; it has a provincial warmth, and the crumbling yellow-stone architecture...

Ostia Antica

Founded around the 4th century BC, Ostia served as Rome's port city for several centuries until the Tiber changed course, leaving the town high...

Monreale

Only a short drive from Palermo, the sleepy town of Monreale is well worth the effort just to see the spectacular gold mosaics inside the Duomo...

Nemi

A bronze statue of Diana the Huntress greets you at the entrance to Nemi, the smallest and prettiest village of the Castelli Romani. It's perched...

Manarola

The enchanting pastel houses of Manarola spill down a steep hill overlooking a spectacular turquoise swimming cove and a bustling harbor. The...

Malcesine

Malcesine is one of the loveliest areas along the upper eastern shore of Lake Garda. It's principally known as a summer resort, with sailing...

Selinunte

Numerous Greek temple ruins perch on a plateau overlooking an expanse of the Mediterranean at Selinunte (or Selinus). The town is named after...

Ascoli Piceno

Ascoli Piceno sits in a valley ringed by steep hills and cut by the Tronto River. In Roman times it was one of central Italy's best-known market...

Asciano

Founded by the Etruscans around the 5th century BC, Asciano is now a sleepy little town surrounded by 13th-century walls. The tiny centro storico...

Valnerina

The Valnerina (the valley of the River Nera, to the southeast of Spoleto) is the most beautiful of central Italy's many well-kept secrets. The...

Vinci

The small hill town from which Leonardo da Vinci derived his name is a short drive or bus ride north of Empoli. At the church of Santa Croce...

Riomaggiore

At the eastern end of the Cinque Terre, Riomaggiore is built into a river gorge (thus the name, which means "major river") and is easily accessible...

Lago di Carezza

This small village borders a scenic lake that demands a stop. ...

Albenga

Albenga has a medieval core, with narrow streets laid out by the ancient Romans. A network of alleys is punctuated by centuries-old towers...

Imola

Affluent Imola, with its wide and stately avenues, lies on the border between Emilia and Romagna. It was populated as early as the Bronze Age...

Chiavari

Chiavari is a fishing town (rather than village) of considerable character, with narrow, twisting streets and a good harbor. Chiavari's citizens...

Levanto

Nestled at the end of a valley of pine forests, olive groves, vineyards, and medieval villages lies this sunny seaside town, an alternative...

Loreto

There's a strong Renaissance feel about this hilltop town, which is home to one of the most important religious sites in Europe, the Santuario...

Diamante

A lively and attractive little resort on Calabria's north Tyrrhenian Coast, Diamante styles itself as "the town of murals and peperoncini."...

Caprarola

The wealthy and powerful Farnese family took over this sleepy village in the 1500s and had the architect Vignola design a huge palace and gardens...

Cumae

Perhaps the oldest Greek colony on mainland Italy, Cumae overshadowed the Phlegrean Fields and Neapolis in the 7th and 6th centuries BC, because...

Tharros

Spread across a thin tongue of land that dangles off the Sinis Peninsula, the archaeological site of Tharros ranks as one of Sardinia’s most...

Chiusi

Chiusi was once one of the most powerful of the ancient cities of the Etruscan League, and it's now a valuable source of information about that...

Scicli

Overshadowed by its larger neighbors, Modica and Ragusa, Scicli is a Baroque beauty in its own right and one of the eight villages designated...

Polignano a Mare

This well-preserved, whitewashed old town, perched on limestone cliffs overlooking the Adriatic, makes an atmospheric base for exploring the...

Santa Teresa di Gallura

At the northern tip of Sardinia, Santa Teresa Gallura retains the relaxed, carefree air of a former fishing village. Nearby beaches rival those...

Sant'Antioco

...

Deruta

This 14th-century medieval hill town is most famous for its ceramics. A drive through the countryside to visit the ceramics workshops is a good...

Rivoli

The Savoy court was based in Rivoli in the Middle Ages, and the town retains several remnants from that richly dramatic period. ...

Martina Franca

Martina Franca is a beguiling town with a dazzling mixture of medieval and Baroque architecture in the light-color local stone. Developed as...

San Marcello Pistoiese

This small town—small, but still the largest in the area—bustles in summer and winter (when it's one of Tuscany's few ski destinations), but...

Corniglia

The buildings, narrow lanes, and stairways of Corniglia are strung together amid vineyards high on the cliffs. On a clear day views of the entire...

Settignano

When Florence is overcrowded and hot, this village, a 20-minute car or bus trip east of Florence, is particularly appealing. It was the birthplace...

Barumini

It's definitely worth a detour to the quiet village of Barumini to visit the extraordinary stone village-fortress of Su Nuraxi. ...

Nervi

The identity of this stately late-19th-century resort, famous for its 1½-km-long (1-mile-long) seaside Passeggiata Anita Garibaldi, its palm...

Costa Verde

...

Fonni

In the heart of the Barbagia region, Fonni is the highest town on the island. This mountainous district, including Monte Spada and the Bruncu...

La Maddalena

From the port of Palau you can visit the archipelago of La Maddalena, seven granite islands embellished with aromatic scrub and wind-bent pines...

Oplontis (Torre Annunziata)

Surrounded by the fairly drab 1960s urban landscape of Torre Annunziata, Oplontis justifies its reputation as one of the more mysterious...

Alassio

Although Alassio is no longer a sleepy fishing village, the centro still possesses some old-world charm, colorful buildings, a great beachfront...

Passo dello Stelvio

...

Bagnaia

The village of Bagnaia is the site of the 16th-century cardinal Alessandro Montalto's summer retreat, which is quite an extravaganza. ...

Parco dell'Orecchiella

...

Segesta

Segesta is the site of one of Sicily's most impressive temples, constructed on the side of a barren windswept hill overlooking a valley of giant...

Rende

Rende is a pleasing stop on the way to or from Cosenza. Leave your car in the parking lot at the base of a long and bizarre series of escalators...

Saluzzo

The russet-brick town of Saluzzo—a flourishing medieval center and later seat of a Renaissance ducal court—is a well-preserved gem with narrow...

Sacra di San Michele

Perhaps best known as inspiration for the setting of Umberto Eco's novel The Name of the Rose, this abbey was built on Monte Pirchiriano in...

Aliano

This remote village off the SS598 in the center of Basilicata's empty interior was the site of Carlo Levi's internment during 1936 and 1937...

Peschici

Peschici is a pleasant resort on Gargano's north shore, a cascade of whitewashed houses and streets with a beautiful view over a sweeping cove...

Bard

This small medieval town clings to a rocky crag that almost completely blocks the entrance to the Valle d'Aosta from Piedmont. Recognized for...

Castello Fenis

The tiny town of Fénis owes its origins to the presence of the medieval castle that once provided shelter for the local peasants who lived nearby...

Castrovillari

Stress the first i when you pronounce the name of this provincial Calabrian city, nestled in the deep valley beneath 7,375-foot Mt. Pollino...

Venaria Reale

This immense palace was built in the 16th century as a hunting lodge. ...

Novara

...

Cervo

Cervo is the quintessential sleepy Ligurian coastal village, nicely polished for the tourists who come to explore its narrow byways and street...

Locri

...

Narni

...

Golfo Aranci

At the mouth of the Gulf of Olbia, Golfo Aranci is a small-scale resort and arrival point for ferries from the mainland. Tour the town to relax...

Vercelli

...

Stilo

Grandly positioned on the side of the rugged Monte Consolino, the village of Stilo is listed as one of Italy's most beautiful borghi (historic...

San Giovanni Rotondo

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Foggia

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Grotte di Castellana

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Casale Monferrato

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St. Vincent

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Bardonecchia

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Caltanissetta

...

Avigliana

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Chiusa (Klausen)

...

Caccamo

...

Savona

...

Santo Stefano di Camastra

...

Castelsardo

The seaside citadel of Castelsardo is surmounted by an impressive fortress, which now contains a museum highlighting the basketware for which...

Dobbiaco (Toblach)

...

Giara di Gesturi

On the 45-square-km (28-square-mile) basalt plateau of Giara di Gesturi live some of the island's more exotic wildlife, including a species...

Taggia

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Pizzo

...