Italy TravelTop Historic Towns In Italy

Top Historic Towns In Italy
Published on Tuesday, April 26, 2016 by

otranto-wikipediaIn the most recent Trivago user survey, the top three of 20 historic towns in Italy are Otranto in Puglia, Sperlonga in Lazio and Cefalù in Sicily.  The users rated these towns not just on their beauty and surroundings, but also on how accommodations compare with other towns in their regions. In Otranto in the southernmost Salento area, an overnight stay in April costs on average 85 euros for a double room. In the same month an equivalent room in Sperlonga costs on average 88 euros and in Cefalù 128 euros.

Otranto, in Puglia’s Lecce area was once famous for its horses—and even more famous for its hundreds of martyrs (buried in the cathedral) who were killed in a 15th-century Ottoman invasion –but today it’s better known for its beautiful beaches, scuba and snorkeling. However, visitors also give top marks to the cathedral’s gorgeous mosaic floor (“rivals Ravenna,” says one guide), the city’s Castello Aragonese (immortalized in the gothic novel The Castle of Otranto) and its striking red-earth bauxite caves.

Most people trek through Lazio en route to Rome, but the coastal town of Sperlonga, halfway between Rome and Naples, is worthy of a side trip. Its whitewashed houses are a delightful pile on cliffs overlooking the very blue Tyrrhenian Sea. After a glimpse at the water from the Torre Truglia (built to ward off the Saracens), you can visit the ruins of Emperor Tiberius’s summer villa, part of the Sperlong Archaeological Museum.

Cefalù, a gem of a beach town on Sicily’s northern coast in the Province of Palermo, is where travelers can find the best parts of hotspots without any of its downsides (crowds, high prices, and did we mention crowds?). Parts of Giuseppe Tornatore’s Cinema Paradiso were filmed here because it’s pretty close to paradise. As you lounge in a caffé gazing at La Rocca, the multilayered battlement that was used by centuries of Sicily’s ruling regimes, you’ll wonder why anyone bothers to frequent Taormina or Amalfi.

Other towns in the Trivago top 10 include Castellabbate in Campania, Lerici in Liguria, respectively in fourth and fifth place. They are followed by Monte Argentario in Tuscany, Vietri sul Mare on the Amalfi Coast, Vipiteno in the Dolomites, Norcia in Umbria and Laigueglia in Liguria.


By Kathy McCabe

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