Italy is a magical place filled with lots of historical sites, interesting culture to learn and delicious foods. When most people think of Italy they imagine touring the Colosseum in Rome, or wine tasting through Tuscany. However, many of the smaller, less well-known areas of Italy have just as much to offer and should be on the list of any true traveler and adventurer. When booking your next trip to Italy consider adding some of these smaller cities to your itinerary!

Italy's Best Small Cities To Visit Over Rome

If you love skiing and outdoor adventures check out Cortina d'Ampezzo, Veneto. A resort called “Queen of the Dolomites” offers amazing packages on skiing through this small town in Italy. Because of a small collective group named the Regole, this area has remained undeveloped and untainted with the spoils of over-built cities. The nature and sceneries here are truly something to marvel at! Spend your time scaling the slopes and experiencing the beautiful outdoors!


Tropea, Calabria is right at the toe of Italy’s boot, and further down the toe (on the little knob part) is Capo Vaticano peninsula, some of the best and most beautiful beaches you’ll ever see! If you love spending time in the water, surfing, swimming, or just lounging on the beach getting a tan, and reading a book this is the place for you! These sites are like landscapes out of a perfect dream! Tropea sits on the edge where the cliffs fall down into the sea and the volcano island of Stromboli can be seen smoking in the distance. Enjoy these amazing sites while relaxing on spectacular beaches.

Bosa, Sardinia that most people would recognize even if the name didn’t sound familiar. Aesthetic photos of this beautiful location have been taken for years and passed around all to enjoy. These picture-perfect colorful houses line up along the coast and push right up against the sea. This coastline road will blow most others completely out of the water with gentle swerves around cliffs, intricately designed bridges, and switchbacks with amazing sites through towns and villages that rest delicately along the cliffside.

Treia, Marche is located in central Italy and it’s full of medieval hill towns and farmland. The open landscapes in this area are completely picturesque. This is a very local area and a great opportunity to learn how true Italians spend their days. Learn real Italian culture and potentially learn to cook from locals!

Otranto, Puglia for all you horror fans is the location Horace Walpole based his book The Castle of Otranto. Unlike the book which is filled to the brim with blood and screams, this place is a beautiful paradise escape. There are areas for fishing and enjoying freshly caught fish at delicious seaside restaurants. The beautiful 15th-century castle, that was written about in the book, is there but instead of frightening it’s actually quite charming and truly a sight to see. It has one of the finest mosaic tile floors in all of Italy that include zodiac symbols, the Tower and Babel, and much more. Truly a picture to send your Instagram likes through the roof.

Under 20 people actually live in the very small city of Civita di Bagnoregio, Lazio. During Renaissance times this place was thriving and a hot ticket place to be, however, most of the city is now completely abandoned leaving a perfect, mostly intact view of historical life in Italy.

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  • One-third of the Italian population lives in just 1% of Italy’s communes, another third lives in smaller cities with 10,000-65,000 residents. The remaining third live in over 7,000 very small towns with several hundred to several thousand people.
  • Most of rural life in Italy is declining as many younger residents are choosing to move to other countries or live in more urban areas. Because of this buying homes in rural areas of Italy has never been easier! Maybe you’ll visit these small towns and start your dream life living in one of these Italian villages or towns!
  • The best places to truly learn about Italian culture, food, and wine are to visit and spend time in these smaller and more rural cities where a majority of the locals can actually be found.

One of these amazing small towns with lower prices and opportunities to experience real culture and food is Dozza. This beautiful little town is filled with whimsical art and street murals. It’s located just 40 minutes south of Bologna. It is also home to a spectacular bi-annual event entitled Biennale del Muro Dipinot, where local artists are invited to paint the entire town including streets, buildings, and anything they can get their hands on. This amazing event usually happens in September and then again in March.

There are also amazing and delicious restaurants in this place filled with authentic Italian cooks who would love to teach and pass down their cooking traditions. Take some delicious souvenirs by learning how to cook authentic Italian foods.

Book your experience in these amazing small towns and broaden your horizons and knowledge of this amazing culture!

Vivi la dolce vita! 

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