4 Small Cities in Italy You Must See

Get Away from the Big Crowds and Enjoy Italy

Author: The Traveling Professor/Sunday, February 24, 2019/Categories: Italy

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Cities like Venice, Rome and Florence are over run with tourists. Who wants to wait in line or battle the crowds while on vacation. Check out these places recommended by The Professor.

On our small group tours, we visit several of these cities.

Vicenza:  In the Veneto region of Italy is Vicenza.  Some say it is the wealthiest city in all of Italy. It is the home of Andrea Palladio, the architect who inspired our love of columns. His influence is seen in buildings like Jefferson's Monticello.  The sublime Teatro Olimpico, in Vicenza is a sight not to be missed.  There are examples of Palladio's work throughout Vicenza.  I love sitting in the Palazzo Chiericati, almost alone, with my coffee, admiring the works of one of the world's most influential architects.

Verona: Of course you know this as the home of Romeo and Juliet.  Verona can be a little crowded at times, but not to the level of some other Italian cities.  The Verona Arena will remind you of the Coliseum in Rome, but it is much better preserved, even to the point where an opera series is hosted each summer.  It also has some of the best food in Italy.

Lucca:  About an hour from Florence, this double-walled city is reputed to have the best food in Italy.  Stroll, or better yet, bike along the ramparts looking into the gardens and backyards of the regal homes. The towers stretch high, to get a view of those who would seek to rob the city of it's hordes of valuables protected during the Crusades.  It is also the home of the famous composer of opera, Puccini.  Don't forget to try the famous Buccellato from my friend, Mr. Taddeucci. It's a sweet bread that is eaten year round in Lucca.

Bassano del Grappa:  For me, this is what Italy is all about.  Set at the foot of the Dolomite mountains, the Brenta River runs through the center of the city.   On the western side of the Brenta, just across Palladio's 13th-century Ponte Vecchio bridge is the Museo degli Alpini displays WWI artifacts. Of course, you can sample the grappa, but I prefer a Negroni, at a third of the price of what it can be purchased for in nearby Venice, with a seat along the river that is priceless.

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