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10 Charming Small Towns in Italy

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

1. 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 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.

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Piazza IV Novembre, Perugia

 

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View of Perugia from Ostello di Perugia

 
How to reach: Perugia is well connected by train from all of Italy. From Rome airport, take the Sulga bus that takes you directly to the centre of Perugia! 

2. Montegiove:

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??

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La Scarzuola

 

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Montegiove

How to reach: Montegiove can be best reached by hiring a car. It is only an hour from Perugia.

3. Gubbio:

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.

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Medieval Gubbio

 

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Piazza Grande

How to reach: There is no train station in Gubbio. Regular buses run from Perugia.

4. Monteriggioni:

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.

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Il Pozzo Ristorante in Monteriggioni

5. Portovenere:

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.

 Also read about the town of Lerici near Portovenere

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A view of San Pietro, Portovenere

How to reach: Portovenere can be reached by bus or ferry from La Spezia or Cinque Terre. 

6. Muggia:

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

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View of Muggia

How to reach: Muggia is best reached by taking bus 20 from Trieste.

7. Modica:

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.

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A hair salon in Modica

 

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Church of Saint Peters, Modica

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.

8. Scicli:

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).

Also read: The Inspector Montalbano series of books set in Sicily

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San Bartolomeo, Scicli

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!

9. Burano:

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). 

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An Osteria in Burano

 

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View of Burano

How to reach: Burano can be reached from Venice by ferry.

10. Locorotondo:

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!

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A street in Locorotondo

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!

Read Next:

11 Pictures to make you fall in love with Tellaro

 

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109 Comments

  • […] 10 Charming Towns in Italy […]

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  • The Doors of Rome – Italophilia
    June 25, 2020 at 7:34 pm

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  • […] 10 Charming Small Towns in Italy […]

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  • Tiff
    August 27, 2017 at 8:12 pm

    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* 🙂

    Reply
    • Ishita
      August 27, 2017 at 8:18 pm

      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.

      Reply
      • Tiff
        August 27, 2017 at 8:19 pm

        Ah I see! Please update me with any new ones you find 🙂

        Reply
        • Ishita
          August 27, 2017 at 8:19 pm

          The list is in these posts I am currently writing 😉 But I will. Keep following!! xx

          Reply
  • […] remember vividly reading Ishita’s 10 Charming Small Towns in Italy post on her Italophilia blog. I hadn’t known many of them but Muggia I knew, by signs if not […]

    Reply
  • Debra Kolkka
    July 22, 2017 at 9:07 am

    We must have missed the delights of Muggia. We called in there on our way to Croatia and couldn’t wait to get out.
    I would add Orvieto and Spello.

    Reply
    • Ishita
      July 22, 2017 at 9:42 am

      I haven’t been to Spello yet. In another list I’ve added Orvieto too i think

      Reply
  • ostendnomadography
    March 13, 2017 at 1:10 am

    definititly it are hidden gems! Thanks for sharing

    Reply
    • Ishita
      March 13, 2017 at 9:03 pm

      Welcome 🙂 glad you enjoyed

      Reply
  • Stefania Bufano
    February 12, 2017 at 11:41 pm

    Reblogged this on Make Italy Yours.

    Reply
  • […] couple of months back I wrote this post on 10 Charming Small Towns in Italy. I loved all your suggestions and comments on it and would […]

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  • Eva
    November 23, 2016 at 7:36 pm

    This post is brilliant! There is so much more to Italy than just the main destinations!

    Reply
    • Ishita
      November 24, 2016 at 12:08 pm

      Thanks a lot Eva. Grazie.. any towns from your side to add to the list?

      Reply
      • Eva
        November 25, 2016 at 12:37 am

        Look into Volterra, Venosa and Bardonecchia and let me know what you think 😉

        Reply
        • Ishita
          November 25, 2016 at 2:22 pm

          Volterra is already on the list. I will 😉 grazie!

          Reply
  • Priyanka Mahajan
    November 22, 2016 at 8:58 am

    Beautiful corners of Italy 🙂

    Reply
  • Tanmaya Godbole
    November 22, 2016 at 1:38 am

    Thanks for sharing this list! I’ll definitely use it the next time I travel to Italy. I also found Pienza very charming and lovely, have you been?

    Reply
    • Ishita
      November 22, 2016 at 9:15 am

      Ciao Tanmaya. Unfortunately not yet 😉 I really want to see more of the Northern part of Tuscany such as the area of Lunigiana

      Reply
  • gonetravelling
    November 21, 2016 at 3:09 am

    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! 😉

    Reply
    • Ishita
      November 21, 2016 at 8:33 am

      Thanks so much 🙂 I haven’t yet. I think Tuscany gets its fair share of attention so il probably keep it to the last. Haha. But noted!

      Reply
  • Tony
    November 20, 2016 at 11:11 pm

    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!!

    Reply
    • Ishita
      November 21, 2016 at 8:33 am

      Thanks Tony. Gubbio is such an interesting town really .. Only a few months before you are finally there!

      Reply
      • Tony
        November 22, 2016 at 9:39 am

        I cannot wait!

        Reply
  • malberock
    November 20, 2016 at 1:24 am

    My Perugia <3

    Reply
    • Ishita
      November 20, 2016 at 8:43 pm

      I am taking you have stayed in the place ??

      Reply
  • Alesia Piol
    November 19, 2016 at 1:48 am

    I wish I could’ve gone to these places! I did Cinque Terre though and that should be on the list, the villiages were amazing
    https://alesiasaffordableadventures.wordpress.com

    Reply
    • Ishita
      November 20, 2016 at 8:43 pm

      That is a great place indeed, so stunning. I wish I spent more time there. Thanks for the link 🙂

      Reply
  • apollard
    November 18, 2016 at 11:40 am

    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. 🙂

    Reply
    • Ishita
      November 20, 2016 at 8:44 pm

      Oh no 🙁 It is so beautiful maybe it is meant to be at the right time (give it at least 2 nights) 🙂 Thank you!

      Reply
  • mariasantics
    November 18, 2016 at 8:41 am

    Fascinating list! It’s given me some new inspiration 🙂

    Reply
  • voguishlychic
    November 17, 2016 at 8:24 pm

    Wow babe. You know Italy in and out. Perugia attracts me the most or maybe since I heard so much from you 😍😍 Very well written

    Reply
    • Ishita
      November 20, 2016 at 8:44 pm

      <3 thanks babe. I try but not just yet 😉 Thank u!

      Reply
  • cmeans
    November 16, 2016 at 8:56 pm

    These are beautiful pictures. That colorful city is awesome.

    Reply
    • Ishita
      November 16, 2016 at 10:21 pm

      Thanks so much 🙂 Burano is a great little side trip from Venice

      Reply
  • lindaravello
    November 16, 2016 at 4:26 pm

    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

    Reply
    • Ishita
      November 16, 2016 at 10:22 pm

      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 😉

      Reply
  • touristbychance.com
    November 16, 2016 at 3:50 pm

    Awesome list Ishita!!! Gotta agree with all of these but Perugia was a real surprise!

    Reply
    • Ishita
      November 16, 2016 at 10:22 pm

      Thanks a lot 🙂 haha. It is special to me because it is my first town as a solo traveler.

      Reply
  • georgefebish
    November 15, 2016 at 6:27 pm

    Great post! Thanks! We have only been to two of them: Perugia and Locorotondo and loved both of them.

    Reply
    • Ishita
      November 16, 2016 at 9:11 am

      Thanks George 🙂 I know you love Puglia!

      Reply
  • rovingbeaver
    November 15, 2016 at 2:00 pm

    You had me at “Polignano al Mare”! What a beautiful town in the Puglian region. *sigh* I wish I was back there right now! 🙂

    Reply
    • Ishita
      November 15, 2016 at 2:31 pm

      Haha I know what you mean. It is so so lovely.

      Reply
  • Sue
    November 15, 2016 at 1:24 pm

    Ah, lovely! I have been to a number of these, but got some more ideas now!

    Reply
    • Ishita
      November 15, 2016 at 2:31 pm

      I am glad I could give some 😉 any more from your side? I have another list coming up next month.

      Reply
  • Francesca
    November 15, 2016 at 3:37 am

    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.

    Reply
    • Ishita
      November 15, 2016 at 7:13 am

      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!

      Reply
      • Francesca
        November 15, 2016 at 7:46 am

        Perugia also has some great Italian courses for ‘stranieri’.A great city to study in.

        Reply
  • fkasara
    November 15, 2016 at 2:09 am

    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!!

    Reply
    • Ishita
      November 15, 2016 at 7:15 am

      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

      Reply
  • Art We Wonderful
    November 15, 2016 at 12:34 am

    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!

    Reply
    • Ishita
      November 15, 2016 at 7:16 am

      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

      Reply
  • Bill Jones, Jr.
    November 14, 2016 at 11:41 pm

    Thanks for this. So far, I’ve only been to, although we liked Lido almost as much, with it’s beach so close to Venice proper.

    Reply
    • Ishita
      November 15, 2016 at 7:10 am

      I went to lido too but only to the residential side not the beach. Its pretty! Glad you enjoyed it 🙂

      Reply
  • Lyn
    November 14, 2016 at 11:30 pm

    Yes Ishita. I am happiest in the small towns of Italy. I have been to a few on your list. Your photos are beautiful and very enticing

    Reply
    • Ishita
      November 15, 2016 at 7:09 am

      Thank you Lyn.. true… I want to go to several of those Tuscan gems near Lucca next.

      Reply
      • Lyn
        November 15, 2016 at 8:18 am

        If I am there at the same time we can enjoy a prosecco together 😊

        Reply
        • Ishita
          November 15, 2016 at 8:21 am

          That would be lovely!! I keep wondering when Italy will call me next 🙂

          Reply
          • Lyn
            November 15, 2016 at 8:21 am

            Yes me too

            Reply
  • Sheree
    November 14, 2016 at 10:48 pm

    Great list!

    Reply
    • Ishita
      November 15, 2016 at 7:09 am

      Thanks so much 🙂

      Reply
  • kimberlysullivan
    November 14, 2016 at 9:34 pm

    Wasn’t it tough to whittle it down to ONLY ten? : )

    Reply
    • Ishita
      November 15, 2016 at 7:11 am

      Too tough cara and that’s why there is another list next month 😉

      Reply
  • cwaugh212
    November 14, 2016 at 8:32 pm

    What a wonderful collection of photographs for a wonder grouping of towns to visit. I have followed your blog and will keep these in mind for my next visit.

    Reply
    • Ishita
      November 16, 2016 at 10:41 pm

      Thanks so much 🙂 I hope you enjoy visiting these towns as much as I did!

      Reply
  • Dom
    November 14, 2016 at 7:46 pm

    Reblogged this on The Sleeping Reading Beauty and commented:
    Thank you Ishida for loving my Country so much. I need someone to remind me how beautiful Italy is 😊😊😊
    Enjoy Ishita post and blog ♡♡♡
    Dom

    Reply
    • Ishita
      November 14, 2016 at 7:56 pm

      Aww Dom. Thanks a lot for the appreciation <3 that feels great! You should feel proud of it 🙂

      Reply
    • Ishita
      November 14, 2016 at 7:57 pm

      Thanks for the reblog!

      Reply
  • Stacy di Anna Pollard
    November 14, 2016 at 7:37 pm

    Fantastic post! I have only been to one of those — Monteriggioni. <3 Love that sweet little town. Benfatto, Cara!

    Reply
    • Ishita
      November 14, 2016 at 7:55 pm

      Thanks so much cara :* it is a beautiful town. Grazie!

      Reply
  • Darlene
    November 14, 2016 at 7:33 pm

    A great list, thanks!

    Reply
    • Ishita
      November 14, 2016 at 7:54 pm

      Glad you enjoyed 🙂

      Reply
  • jo Anne Febish
    November 14, 2016 at 6:59 pm

    Thanks for the list! We loved Locorotando! You are correct, this town surprised us with it’s beauty!

    Reply
    • Ishita
      November 14, 2016 at 7:01 pm

      Thanks so much for enjoying it 🙂 Indeed. I too did.

      Reply
  • Tanja
    November 14, 2016 at 6:53 pm

    lovely! oh but there are many many more:)

    Reply
    • Ishita
      November 14, 2016 at 6:54 pm

      Obviously there are. Which is why I also made a comment that this list is not exhaustive

      Reply
  • Vy from VYLYST
    November 14, 2016 at 5:32 pm

    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. 🙂

    Reply
    • Ishita
      November 14, 2016 at 6:40 pm

      I have been to Assisi too and it is definitely very beautiful 🙂 Italy is full of these gems. I hope you can visit Perugia

      Reply
      • Vy from VYLYST
        November 14, 2016 at 7:41 pm

        I was there in October! I hope to come back next year!

        Reply
        • Ishita
          November 14, 2016 at 7:55 pm

          How fun. I miss it <3

          Reply
  • pedrol
    November 14, 2016 at 5:17 pm

    amazing post with so many villages to discover! perfect! PedroL

    Reply
    • Ishita
      November 14, 2016 at 6:40 pm

      Thanks so much Pedrol. Have you been to any of these?

      Reply
      • pedrol
        November 14, 2016 at 10:38 pm

        unfortunatly no… but hope to visit it soon 🙂 cheers PedroL

        Reply
  • europewithanedge
    November 14, 2016 at 4:36 pm

    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.

    Reply
    • Ishita
      November 14, 2016 at 4:40 pm

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

      Reply
  • Steve
    November 14, 2016 at 4:31 pm

    These are indeed beautiful…..I wish I could stay in any of these places……

    Reply
    • Ishita
      November 14, 2016 at 4:40 pm

      Thanks a lot Steve .I hope you can visit there soon if not stay 🙂

      Reply
      • Steve
        November 14, 2016 at 4:43 pm

        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😜😜

        Reply
        • Ishita
          November 14, 2016 at 4:45 pm

          I dont stay in Italy 🙂

          Reply
  • Manja Mexi Movie
    November 14, 2016 at 4:30 pm

    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!

    Reply
    • Ishita
      November 14, 2016 at 4:39 pm

      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

      Reply
      • Manja Mexi Movie
        November 14, 2016 at 4:48 pm

        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!

        Reply
        • Ishita
          November 14, 2016 at 4:49 pm

          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 😉

          Reply
          • Manja Mexi Movie
            November 14, 2016 at 4:54 pm

            And I don’t know Fiesole. 🙂 Everything around and above Firenze is still waiting.

            Reply
        • Ishita
          November 14, 2016 at 4:50 pm

          Lovely list. Checking out Talamone as I have heard of the rest

          Reply

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