My husband and I are planning a trip to

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11/21/2016 - 11:46

My husband and I are planning a trip to Italy in late April or May. We are hoping to rent a house or apartment in a small town  for a month .We are thinking somewhere with a  population of 5000 or less, but are open.  We are also open to regions, but would like to take some 2-3 day trips here and there. I speak a little Italian- although it is pretty rusty.  We are also thinking of going carless (maybe renting one for a few days if needed).  Suggestions?! Thank you! 



No responses yet.It might help if you narrowed things down a bit;-

  • coast or inland?
  • Lakes and mountains?
  • North, South or Central  Italy?
  • Trips to 'cultural centres'?[eg Venice, Florence, Turin, Rome etc]
  • Walking Holidays
  • Wine Tastings
  • Culinary experiences
  • What 'floats your boat'?
  • Shopping Trips?  [eg Milan]
  • etc
  • etc

We live in a medium sized town of 25,000 - Sulmona in Abruzzo.  There's lots to do here and it's well located for day trips and beyond. Car not necesary on a daily basis. Check out the website called welcometosulmona all in English and our own vacation rental called Gramsci 29.  

Hi. We are Australian couple who moved permanently to Italy 5 years ago and we highly reccommend small town living. We live in the town of Polinago, which is in the Apennines and part of the province of Modena (we are about an hour out of the city) in the region of Emilia Romagna of which Bologna is the capital (about 90 minutes from Polinago).We love small town living, but the down side is the lack of frequent public transport, especially over the weekend. If you don't want to hire a car for the period you are in Italy then you are best going to a larger town or city and I would suggest Modena. It is a lovely university town with a population of 160,000 and is on the rail line with reasonably good rail access. However the fast trains which go inter-city all over Italy only depart from Bologna (less than 30 minute train ride from Modena) or Milan, which with a fast train from Bologna is only 1 hour. Also both cities have car hire facilities readily available so you can do short term hire.The city of Bologna is also lovely and a university town (has the oldest university in the world) and is a rail hub for Italy. It also has an international airport with budget flights going to many cities within Italy and Europe. Both these cities, being quite flat, many people of all ages ride bicycles, however you would need a car to go out to many of the outlying hill towns.  But both are great places for food, and cultural activities and are not crammed with tourists, so you will have a truly authentic experience. From Bologna the train to Florence is 30 minutes, to Rome 2 hours, and just over 3 hours to Naples.We are the only foreigners in our town and have been warmly welcomed here. We run a small B&B and have had many Australians come to stay and we also take our visitors on tours for a negotiated price. April - May is a lovely time of year but the down side is that the obvious tourist places are already busy which is why always publicize ourselves as being off the beaten track for interesting walks, food experiences and also for becoming part of the local population.Please feel free to ask as many questions as you want - obligation free, and we will try to answer them if possible.Have lots of fun planning your trip.Warm wishesWinnifred and David

I'll give you several options:In the north, within reach of Florence, Pisa and Venice (for excursions), try Lucca. It is a wonderful town with a walled park/promenade and amazing architecture.In Southern Tuscany, you will love staying in the only truely flat-topped hilltown--Pienza. It's a gem of a renaissance town within driving distance of Florence and Siena and even for excursions into Umbria. Nearby you can find natural hot spring baths (Bagno Filippo is free), walled towns, the clay hills (Crete Sinese), fields of sheep and sunflowers (late in summer) and much more. For the Naples region, stay in a small Amalfi town (with a _small_ car rental) like Minori or Atrani. These are more work-a-day towns on the Amalfi coast within driving range of Naples, Pompei/Herculaneum, the Greek temples of Paestum, and the Mountain cliff towns of Castelmezzano and Pietrapertosa.  For the south I'd recommend renting a harborside apartment in Molfetta, Puglia. You can do day trips to the Gargano peninsula to have amazing beach adventures, eat at a Trebucci (stilt fishing shacks), visit the Trulli town of Alberobello, Lecce--the "Florence of the South", the caverns at Grotte di Castellana and eat the legendary bread at Altamura. Molfetta itself is beautiful!  Have a great trip,--Jerry Finzi

Thank you for all the suggestions! I have a lot to explore. We have thought about Lucca, but I think we'd prefer somewhere smaller.I was wondering if anyone knows anything gabout Spello in Umbria or any other towns about that size. It seems pretty accessible even if we don't have a car for some of our visit.There are too many places to choose from- and every region is so different. Altrani was also on my list if we headed farther south and I hadn't thought about Puglia.Thanks!  

we go every spring to Tuscany and stay just outside of Castellina in Chianti which is a very small town.  There are many places to rent but you will need a car to explore.  There are little towns all around to visit but the only way to do that is to rent a car.  Knowing some Italian will help immensely but we find that people are more than willing and interested in helping with the language barrier.  

Hi!  My husband and I plan on doing the same.  We were in Stresa for a few days this past September and fell in love with this town on Lake Maggiore (population 5000).  We vowed to return.  Came home did my research and managed to rent an apartment for the months of April and May 2017.   We will not be renting a car.  There are many day trips from Stresa .  The train is a ten minute walk from the center of town.  The ferry will take you to the Borromean Islands and you can explore other villages along the lake by ferry.  While we were there we took a wonderful day trip on the Centovalli Railway scenic train to Locarno and the ferry back to Stresa.Have a wonderful adventure and Happy planning!  

I've been to Spello several times on day trips and like it very much. There is a frequent competition for the best flower-dressed house, and the residents always have the old streets and alleys packed with blooms. The town is probably most famous for its "infiorate" when, for one day, the streets are paved with flower petals in fantastic patterns! (Next year it's 17th/18th June).From a practical point of view, I've always had a car when I visited, so I can't advise on public transport. I know there's a railway station, which is a big advantage, although it's a long and steep walk from the centre of town.Quite near, down on the flat plain are the Fonti del Clitunno, a series of limestone pools which are the source of the river Clitunno. It's one of my favourite places. To me there seems to be a great sense of peace next to the water under the trees.

Hi,why don't you try something in Calabria? Scilla is a small town at the toe of the boot with a fascinating history and a good position to take some interesting day trips. From here you can easily  visit Tropea, Reggio Calabria and Messina. You can also try to go to Taormina or to the Eolian island because Scilla stands just in front of Sicily. During the spring the weather is fantastic and probably you may have a summer bath if you want.Have a good experience in Italy.

Since you are not going until spring, I hope I am in time! Twice I have been to Italy to see my son and his wife. They live in Monza, and I found that little city very friendly, quite lovely, and most accommodating! We stayed at a LOVELY bed and breakfast that was immaculate and well taken-care of. "Affittacamerearosio" is located on Via Enrico Arosio. Within fifty steps (or so) and behind the bed and breakfast is the train station! For a few euros, you can ride the train to any other place you need!Monza has many great places to eat, every kind of shopping, gelaterias (amazing ice cream), churches, parks, and incredible architecture to admire! All within walking distance of the B&B. Some of the shops are local craftsmen, and some are chain stores, we did not want for a thing!We took the train to Milan (very quick trip), Bergamo (a bit of a ride), and Venice (quite a ride) all for day trips. I cannot say enough good things about Monza! And if you stay at Affittacamerearosio, you will be treated like family! Check into Monza on the map, look at the B&B on their website. Enjoy your trip! I left a very big part of my heart there! is the B&B site. It is easy to "Google" Monza travel guides too!Buon Viaggio! ❤️