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Best Small Towns in Italy

Orta San Giulio, Italy (cc)

The 10 Best Small Towns in Italy

[ Pages of interest: Great Cathedrals of Italy and Great Castles of Italy ]


Picturesque old town on Lake Como, significant as the first Italian tourist resort to draw international crowds. A highlight of any visit to Bellagio is the lovely old Villa Melzi d'Eril, a prominent lakeside mansion with lavish, English-style gardens tumbling down to the water's edge. There are several splendid, family-owned hotels here, and good choices for eating out.

Location: Lombardy

Population: 3,000

Orta San Giulio

Delightful lakeside village on Lake Orta, crisscrossed by cobblestone alleys lined with atmospheric old villas. The village is overlooked by the dramatic Sacro Monte, a site of both pilgrimage and tourism, with a tiny island just offshore, Isola San Giulio. Friedrich Nietzsche visited the village in 1882.

Location: Piedmont, 65 miles (100 km) northeast of Turin

Population: 1,200


Small, ancient resort town on Lake Garda, famous for its thermal springs, Roman ruins and a 13th-century castle where you can still see the original medieval port fortifications. There are also a couple of old churches here worth seeing, decorated with frescoes from the 12th through 16th centuries, and an atmospheric old town center.

Location: Lombardy

Population: 7,800


Location: Liguria

Population: 500


Location: Umbria

Population: 21,100


Location: Amalfi Coast, Campania

Population: 2,500


Location: Marche

Population: 15,600

San Quirico d'Orcia

Small, flavorful town in the picturesque Val d’Orcia region of Tuscany.

Location: Tuscany

Population: 2,500


Location: Tuscany

Population: 2,300


Location: Basilicata

Population: 60,400


Walled, pre-Roman-era lakeside town at the foot of the Alps, with well-kept, affluent homes on the stepped hillsides winding around cobbled, pedestrian-only streets. The town sits on the shores of Lake Como and is a hugely popular tourist destination. No dearth of good restaurants, shops, first-class museums and galleries, old churches, palaces and delightful parks.

Location: Lombardy

Population: 85,000

© Indian Chief Travel Guides

Last updated November 11, 2013
Posted in   Italy  |  Great Towns of Italy
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