10 Charming Small Towns in Italy

Who doesn’t love quaint towns?? If you are in Italy or traveling there anytime soon, this list is a keeper. You will feel blessed to be in a country with so many varied choices of charming towns. Although this list is not exhaustive, it certainly includes many of my favorites. I will keep adding more to this list as and when I can. If you have any favorites, feel free to share more small towns in Italy.

10 Charming Small Towns in Italy

Perugia:
Now I now that Perugia is not really a small town but it isn’t a big city as Rome either. I love the cosiness this town brings with it’s annual chocolate and jazz festivals. Perugia is still quite unknown to a first time Italy traveler so take a chance next time you are in Italy and visit it. This town has a medieval piazza that will give Game of Thrones a run for it’s money. I hope it never gets run down by mass tourism and selfie sellers.

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10 Charming Small Towns in Italy
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10 Charming Small Towns in Italy

Montegiove:
Deep in the green heart of Italy and quite close to Perugia is Montegiove-another small town with an ancient castle, a single Bar and a historic convent of La Scarzuola. Need I say more?? For more details check this. The small towns in Italy list gets more interesting no??

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La Scarzuola
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10 Charming Small Towns in Italy

Gubbio:

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10 Charming Small Towns in Italy

Gubbio is a strange and charming town that belongs to the Pre Roman era. It has gothic architecture and a beautifully preserved Roman theatre at the entrance. Although slightly difficult to access as other towns in Umbria, there are regular buses to reach Gubbio from Perugia and the region of Marche. There is no train station.

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10 Charming Small Towns in Italy

Monteriggioni:
Tuscany has a special magic to it and there are countless towns in the region. Monteriggioni is one such town, off the beaten track from the usual towns of Pisa, Siena, Montepulciano, Volterra that most travelers visit. This Tuscan town is walled and has an old world feel with its small piazza.

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10 Charming Small Towns in Italy
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10 Charming Small Towns in Italy

Portovenere:
Liguria is filled with colored houses and a stunning expanse of the Ligurian sea. Now I know it is getting extremely popular because of the Cinque Terre, but travelers often overlook it’s neighbor Portovenere. This gem of a town is close to easy to reach by bus. It has a stupendous sea view, an old castle and history from the times of Lord Byron. Check here to know more.

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10 Charming Small Towns in Italy

Muggia:
This town deserves attention! Seriously! Only 30 minutes from the under appreciated city of Trieste, Muggia is precious. It has small yatches and Venetian architecture. The boats that clung to the harbor gave me an inkling of an Enid Blyton adventure.

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10 Charming Small Towns in Italy
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10 Charming Small Towns in Italy

Modica:
A town every chocolate lover must visit! Situated in the diverse region of Sicily that puts the rest of the country’s diversity into perspective, Modica is almost tourist free (as of May 2015). The locals are usually home by 8 p.m. so it’s fun to wander the streets by yourself.

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10 Charming Small Towns in Italy
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10 Charming Small Towns in Italy

Scicli:
Another small town in Italy that needs attention from is Scicli. It is so quaint and forlorn that you could cry! It has ancient cave dwellings and crude cliffs and you might not see women at all! Men hang out at the piazza as women stay confined to their homes to gossip and cook (so I am told).

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10 Charming Small Towns in Italy

Burano:
Probably everyone’s favorite because of its colorful vibe, Burano is only half an hour from Venice. It is famous for handmade lace and bussola (a kind of a biscuit). According to legend, the island was colored since many centuries for fishermen to find their way in the fog.

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10 Charming Small Towns in Italy
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10 Charming Small Towns in Italy

Locorotondo:
Perched on a hill top and filled with white lanes and maze like streets, Locorotondo will outsmart every other town you visit in Puglia. Make sure you have its local wine and visit the nearby olive groves and trulli homes in Alberobello. This small town in Italy will charm you!

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10 Charming Small Towns in Italy

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107 thoughts on “10 Charming Small Towns in Italy

  1. Most excellent, I’m saving these recommendations, I haven’t been to any of these yet – that is, any but Muggia which is a big surprise on this list. It lies on Slovenian-Italian border, has a Slovenian name ‘Milje’ and so far I’ve only passed it by. I’m glad that it made such an impression that you included it here!

    1. Wow thank you 🙂 I totally fell in love with the quiet laid back Muggia. I know about the Slovenian name too and am sure you love it too.. hope you can visit these towns someday especially the ones in Umbria and Puglia <3

      1. I hope so as well. And to one day reach Sicily! I can leave here my favourite Italian towns so far, not in specific order: Pitigliano, Sovana, Orvieto, Porto Ercole, Talamone, Lucca, Pienza, Tivoli, Volterra, Capalbio – because it’s my new home town. 🙂 I might make a post with my list. Thank you for the idea!

        1. Most welcome, I’d love to know of more Tuscan gems as I have been to only 4-5 towns which are more famous and less offbeat. I love Fiesole too. Orveito is another favorite that I will be adding to a new list 😉

      1. I wish I could find some resident and who is single😉😉……then I can have the opportunity to live in such beautiful places….. BTW are you resident and single😜😜

  2. Handy list for future travels. I’d also recommend Feltre, north of Belluno in the foothills of the Alps. One of my aunts married a man from there and I went to visit his family on my first overseas trip as a young backpacker with a Eurail Youthpass and not much of a clue. That was many many years ago but I am sure it is still a lovely town.

    1. Grazie mille 🙂 Noted your suggestion and a great story to it too. love such recommendations from other travelers. Already have a huge Italy list 😉

  3. A great list! Italy is so beautiful! I feel like I have to visit every single town here haha. Perugia is definitely my favourite in Umbria and I highly recommend Assisi too. 🙂

  4. I echo the others – how did you pick just 10! Wow – great discipline! I love that you’ve picked so many off the main tourism tracks. I’d like to add towns that some people may avoid because of the recent earthquake activity but hopefully will not permanently avoid like Norcia, Camerino, Tolentino, Cingoli, Sarnano, Macerata, Ascoli Piceno. The Le Marche region has been my biggest surprise and delight.
    A great resource for visiting small towns that I’ve used when in a new region of Italy is http://www.borghipiubelliditalia.it/en/
    Thanks for the lovely post, Ishita!

    1. Haha! It was quite tough which I why I chose to make another list for next month 😉 thank you! I really want to visit le marche someday soon. Have heard of many gems in that area including the ones you mention. Thank you! Yes this is a great site indeed for off the beaten track

  5. It’s so great that you chose these off-the-beaten-path destinations: in Italy we just have TO MUCH STUFF and lots of beautiful towns are sadly overlooked.
    If you’re into medieval towns, I would suggest the walled cities of Cittadella and Montagnana (near Padua) or San Leo and Urbino (natal town of Raphael and seat of the Montefeltro family, in Le Marche). In the neighborhood there’s also Gradara, which is famous among Dante’s readers for Paolo and Francesca’s love story (they were put in the Inferno, if you’re familiar with La Divina Commedia).
    Too many little jems to see in a lifetime, TOO MANY!!

    1. Thank you Sara. I have so many of the towns you mentioned in my list of places to go too. Great country n So lucky for you to call Italy your country 🙂 I’m familiar with The Divine Comedy and will surely visit Le Marche someday soon. Xo

  6. A great list Ishita, and a few there I haven’t visited so must put them on the list.Lots of lovely towns around Umbria, but Perugia is rather a large town or is it a city? We stayed in Spello last time, a gorgeous little place to add to the list.

    1. Absolutely Francesca. I was a bit confused about Perugia being a town or a city but went ahead and added.. it’s very special to me since it was my first town abroad that I traveled solo. Spello for next time!

  7. Ah you went to La Scarizola – we did not realise that we had to phone in advance, and then it was too late to go back……next time.
    Is the ‘Piazza Grande’ photograph take at Gubbio? If so, I want to go.
    You have me planning my next trip. I am very very busy at the moment, hence not a lot of activity on here.
    Lindy

    1. Yes that was in Gubbio its a great town 🙂 You must visit Scarzuola next time. I understand, I dream of Italy daily. I wish it was easier and less costly to fly 😉

  8. I cancelled Portovenere last trip cos I stupidly had a heavy suitcase that got the better of me and the thought of getting from La Spezia that little bit further was daunting. So lovely to see your picture. I will be back. 🙂

  9. Great post! Amazing towns and beautiful pics, and Gubbio is on the list, it is less than 20km away from Costacciaro where my family (at least on my father’s side) hails from! Very cool!!

  10. Great list and totally agree with the suggestions (love Monteriggioni😍)! 👍🏻 As far as Tuscany I would also add Certaldo (Fi): great little hilltop town, still very quiet, with stunning views of the countryside (including San Gimignano), excellent local restaurants, an amazing summer street art festival (Mercantia – absolutely a must do) and lots of interesting smaller events throughout the year! If you’ve not been, put it on the list for next time! 😉

  11. Little towns are always full of amazing little wonders! I’ll definitely be go to these the next time I’m in Italy *proceeds to like and bookmark this link for future reference* 🙂

    1. Yay!! That is the best part.. Recently a fellow blogger who has been following me since years went to Muggia. It is one of these lists I made.

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