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.
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
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: Amalfi Coast, Campania
San Quirico d'Orcia
Small, flavorful town in the picturesque Val d’Orcia region of Tuscany.
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.
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