If you’ve been to those places, perhaps it’s time to visit the inexhaustible number of small and medium sized cities of Italy, the places where urban sprawl is almost nonexistent and the living is easy(er).
Let’s start with the small ones. In the north there’s Aosta nestled into the little Aosta region, Italy’s smallest. It was a Roman town, so there are numerous sites to visit. Then there’s Bassano del Grappa, named after nearby Monte Grappa, not the booze—although there is a grappa distillery in town you can visit. The Abruzzo’s Sulmona is ringed by mountains, in a setting that is one of the most compelling in Italy. Ascoli Piceno in Le Marche is one of our very favorite towns. An evening in the town’s main square, one of the most evocative in all of Italy, will make you want to stay forever, especially with a plate of stuffed, deep-fried olives, olive ascolane and the beverage of your choice at hand. Don’t miss a special day trip to amazing Offida while you’re at it. Finally, there’s Lecce, a city filled with Baroque monuments in the popular Puglia region. Access information on visiting all of these places by clicking the button below.
Did you know…
One of our favorite tour guys, The Roman Guy is now The Tour Guy. You can still get a 5% discount on most small group tours when you book online.
“Medium” Cities: 5 Of Our Favorites
Ever been to Ferrara? The amazing Romanesque Duomo and castle are close to each other (the historic center of Ferrara has been included on the list of World Cultural Heritage by UNESCO as a great example of a town planned in the Renaissance that has managed to keep the basic design of its historical center intact into the modern period). The landscape of Ferrara is flat and great for cycling—and when you need some energy they have perfected a type of salame that makes a sauce when you cook it, called Salama al Sugo.
Perugia is where Martha and I went to language school at L’Università per Stranieri. That’s not a University for strange people, but for foreigners. The Umbrian capital remains one of our favorite cities.
Cremona is host to yet another amazing Romanesque Duomo and a bell tower you can climb up to get a great view of the city all the way to the river, as shown in the photo above. If you want, you can learn a lot about violins in Cremona.
Ragusa in Sicily is a Baroque wonder you shouldn’t miss. Ragusa Ibla is the old town, and you’ll enjoy walking through it. The Duomo di San Giorgio in the heart of the old town is one of 13 Baroque monuments in Ragusa Ibla that are listed in the UNESCO inscription.
The walled city of Lucca is a favorite of ours in Tuscany. The town was founded by the Etruscans who called it Luca, and became a Roman colony in 180 BC. The Renaissance era walls have kept out the industrial scourge, so wandering the city is quite a nice experience. You can rent a bike to circle the walls, or just walk.
I hope you’ve enjoyed the contents of this newsletter. Please pass it on to folks you might think are interested in planning an independent trip to Italy.