The first time I went to Italy, for a 10-day backpacking adventure the summer after I graduated high school, I relied on Eurail and confined myself to Venice, Milan, Florence, and Rome. I had no idea what I was doing, but I had a very nice trip. Years later, I returned with someone who actually knew the country and spoke Italian... total gamechanger. If you limit yourself to popular cities and major train routes, you miss out on some of Italy’s best bits.
The most memorable part of My Trip to Italy, Part Two, was driving through the hilly northern regions like Valdobbiadene and Parma, stopping in all the little towns along the way. This road trip is especially dreamy for fans of food; many towns specialize in making one specific thing, and making it incredibly well. You’ll stop at Point A for the best balsamic vinegar, Point B for the best parmigiano reggiano, and onward still for the best prosecco.
Italy is pretty cheap too; you’d be hard-pressed to find a more delightful and delicious time without spending significantly more money. Whether you’re traveling Europe for the first time or you’re a returning visitor looking for a more intimate trip than say, Venice (no disrespect, it’s just super crowded there), here are seven Italian towns you’ll be glad you took the time to see.