Who doesn’t love quaint Italian villages and towns?? If you are in Italy or traveling there anytime soon, here’s a list of 10 charming and scenic small towns. Although this list is not exhaustive, it certainly includes many of my favorites.
10 Charming Small Towns in Italy
Now I now that Perugia is not really a small town but it isn’t a big city as Rome either. I love the coziness this town brings. Perugia is situated in the central Italian region of Umbria and is famous for it’s annual chocolate and jazz festival. The town is still quite unknown to a first time Italy traveler so take a chance and visit it before it gets crowded!
Perugia has a rustic medieval beautiful with stunning piazze 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.
Deep in the green heart of Italy and quite close to Perugia is another small town in Umbria. Montegiove has an ancient castle, a single Bar and a historic convent of La Scarzuola. Montegiove is peaceful and relaxing because there is literally no one there! It makes a great base to see other towns. The small towns in Italy list gets more interesting, no??
How to reach: Montegiove can be best reached by hiring a car. It is only an hour from Perugia.
Gubbio is a strange little hill top town in Italy. It is also located in the town of Umbria and belongs to the Pre Roman era. Gubbio has a Gothic styled architecture and a beautifully preserved Roman theatre. Although slightly difficult to access compared to the other towns in Umbria, Gubbio can be reached by bus from Perugia and other parts of Umbria and Le Marche.
How to reach: There is no train station in Gubbio. Regular buses run from Perugia.
Another small Italian town to add to your list is Monteriggioni. Located in the region of Tuscany, it has a special magic to it. Most travelers visit Pisa, Siena, Montepulciano, Volterra but this Tuscan town is missed. The walled village has an old world feel with its small piazza and characteristic streets. Monteriggioni also has a medieval castle which is surrounded by the sparkling Tuscan countryside.
The region of Liguria is filled with unlimited colored towns and a stunning expanse of the Ligurian sea. Now I know the Cinque Terre is very popular but travelers often overlook it’s neighbor Portovenere. It has a stupendous sea view, an old castle and history from the times of Lord Byron.
How to reach: Portovenere can be reached by bus or ferry from La Spezia or Cinque Terre.
Located in the North Eastern region of Friuli Venezia Giulia, Muggia is another charming port town. It is only 30 minutes from the capital city of Trieste. Muggia is town is dotted with small yatches on its harbor and several Bars and restaurants. It has a rich Venetian architecture. Muggia reminded me of adventures from an Enid Blyton book. I highly recommend visiting Muggia! Here are 10 exceptional things to do in Muggia
How to reach: Muggia is best reached by taking bus 20 from Trieste.
Coming down south, Modica is a town that should be on every chocolate lover’s list!! Located in Sicily Modica is old and forlorn. The locals are usually home by 8 p.m. so it’s fun to wander the streets by yourself. Furthermore, it is one of the shooting locations of the famous TV series “Inspector Montalbano” based on the books by Andrea Camilleri.
How to reach: Modica can be reached from all major of cities of Sicily by bus. There are buses from Catania airport that take 2 hours.
Another small town to add to your Italian list is Scicli. This town is super old and quaint that you could cry! Scicli has ancient cave dwellings and crude cliffs from centuries ago. You’ll see men hanging out at the piazza while the women stay confined to their homes to gossip and cook (or so I am told).
How to reach: Scicli can be reached by bus. There are buses from Catania airport that take around 4 hours but the service is only thrice a day!
I think if you’re visiting Venice, it’s a shame to miss skipping Burano. This town is everyone’s favorite because of its colorful architecture and vibe. According to legend, the island was colored for the fishermen to find their way in the fog. Only half an hour from Venice, Burano is famous for handmade lace and bussola (a type of a biscuit).
How to reach: Burano can be reached from Venice by ferry.
Finally, the last town that I’d love to share with you is the Puglian town of Locorotondo. Perched on top and filled with white lanes and maze like streets, Locorotondo will outsmart every other town you visit. If you make it there, visit the nearby olive groves and trulli homes in Alberobello. This small town in Italy will enthrall you with its sparkling beauty!
How to reach: Locorotondo can be reached by both train and car from any of the towns in Puglia.
Thank you for reading this post!! Drop a comment to tell me which town you liked best!
- 10 Most Beautiful Places in Le Marche, Italy
- Midnight in the Piazza- an art mystery set in Rome
- 5 Non fiction books to understand Italy better
- A Writer in Italy- a podcast on travel, books and art
- Rome to Florence train- my first scenic journey in Italy