Cassano allo Ionio, Italy: popular coastal resort and interesting town in Calabria

Cassano allo Ionio: a famous seaside resort with a distinguished Heritage

Cassano allo Ionio is a medium sized town - now best known as a coastal resort - in the Calabria region of southern Italy near the ancient city of Sybaris.

In recent years Cassano Ionio has attracted the attention of historians and scholars. The town has an urban plan that is crossed by roads that intersect at right angles and branch out into narrow alleys, enclosed by walls that are ancient and of which virtually nothing remains.

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Cascia, Italy: highlights and places to visit including the shrine of Saint Rita of Cascia

Cascia is a small town about 20 kilometres from Norcia in the south-east of the Umbria region of central Italy.

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Casale Monferrato, Italy - important town in Piedmont

Casale Monferrato is a substantial town, located on the plain between the extreme eastern slopes of the hills of the Po and the right bank of the river, in the Piedmont region of north-east Italy.

Despite more recent development the historic area of Casale Monferrato has kept the perimeter that was established by the town's ancient fortified walls.

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Carpi, Italy, ancient town with fascinating churches

The origins of Carpi, an important and beautiful town in the Emilia-Romagna region of central Italy and with about 70,000 inhabitants, date back to the 6th century AD.

It is very probable that the name Carpi derives from Carpinus, a type of tree, which suggests that in ancient times, the area was wooded with this type of tree.

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Caserta and the Royal Palace, Italy

The town of Caserta is situated about 25 kilometres north of Naples, in south-western Italy. It is well known for the immense baroque style Royal Palace.

The Royal Palace at Caserta is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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Caronia, Sicily: travel guide to the castle and highlights in Caronia

Caronia is a medieval hill town standing below a Norman castle near the coast of north-eastern Sicily, .

The structure of the medieval town is clearly visible even today in the old town of Caronia which, in spite of the inevitable modernization over the centuries, still retains the original layout in some small alleys and narrow winding streets.

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Capri, Italy is a beautiful island with stunning coastal scenery

Capri is an exceptionally beautiful island best known for its dramatic coastal scenery that has been appreciated for at least 2000 years: Emperor Augustus and Emperor Tiberius both had homes here, Odysseus sailed past in Homer's the Odyssey and Capri has attracted 'modern' tourists for at least 200 years.

Capri's well known attractions mean that most visitors to Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast will also come here, at least for a day trip, so the island can get quite busy, although never to the point that we would suggest you don't bother coming! It is one of those exceptional places that will stay in your memories, and make you wish you could come again, for long after you have returned home and long after you have forgotten the queues or crowds...

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Caprarola, Italy: places to visit including the Palazzo Farnese in Caprarola

Caprarola is a small town in the lazio region of central Italy, north-west of Rome.

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Capolona, Italy and the frescoed parish churches of Casentino

The town of Capolona and the surrounding Casentino region of Tuscany has an ancient history that is very interesting to visitors. Although other historic monuments including castles can be seen here the history is best seen in the parish churches and a small knowledge of the history of these churches makes a visit even more enjoyable.

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Campofelice di Roccella, Sicily: travel guide for the coastal resort at Campofelice

Campofelice di Roccella is on the northern coast of Sicily, between Termini Imerese and Cefalu. Because of its proximity to the sea and a very long beach, it has many amenities for tourists and is a popular summer destination.

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Camerino, Italy: places to visit in the medieval town of Camerino

Camerino is a small town in the centre of the Marche region of central Italy, south-west of San Severino. An extraordinary city of art, Camerino is still surrounded by walls that show the military role of its origins, built by Berengar of Lvrea.

Camerino town layout

The town was originally entered through three gates: Porta Malatestiana, Porta Caterina Cibo and Porta Boncompagni. The city was also divided into three "Terzieri" ("quarters") called Sossanto, Di Mezzo and Muralto.

The first was around the cathedral at Borgo San Venanzio; the second included the centre, and the third was the south and west of the city. Even today, the anniversary of the so-called Corsa della Spada ('Race of the Sword') and 'Palio' recalls the rivalries that once divided the terzieri of  Camerino.

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Caltavuturo, Sicily: places to visit in the small town of Caltavuturo

Caltavuturo is a small town to the north of Sicily. The Old Town of Caltavuturo developed around the end of the 16th century, after the abandonment of the site called Terravecchia, where the medieval town was located.

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Cagli, Italy: places to visit in the Marches town of Cagli

Cagli is an interesting historical town to the west of the center of the Marche region of Italy, rebuilt in the Middle Ages, after its earlier destruction in 1286.

The urban layout of Cagli was designed according to the rules of the Roman urban tradition, that is with a rectangular layout.This layout was designed according to a plan by Ascoli Piceno, and in honour of Pope Nicholas IV, a native of the city.

Some scholars believed that Cagli was of Roman origin, but modern research has confirmed the hypothesis of Mochi: "The Roman orthogonal layout of Cagli is due to the fact that it was inspired by the Roman plan of Ascoli Piceno, the town in which Nicholas IV was born".

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Butera, Sicily: places to visit in the small Sicilian town of Butera

Butera is a town with a growing tourism industry and with many points of interest in and around the town, from religious buildings to the Necropolis, from the Castle of Falconara to the “Marina di Butera”. The route here from Gela is also very scenic.

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Buscemi, Sicily - town of baroque churches

Buscemi is a town in the south-east of Sicily to the west of Syracuse - as such it is in the region that was devastated by an earthquake in 1693, and by which the historic town was completely destroyed.

The current town layout at Buscemi is regular and as laid out in the years following the earthquake, with many of the buildings, especially the churches, rebuilt in the Baroque style of the period.

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Brixen, Italy - medieval town center and beautiful surroundings

Brixen (It: Bressanone ) is in the north-east of the Trentino-Alto Adige region of Italy, to the south-east of Vipiteno. The town is in a very attractive setting, in a broad valley beneath the mountains.

The highlight of a visit to the medieval quarter of Brixen is around Piazza del Duomo, particularly the cathedral (duomo) itself - and more specifically the parts of the cathedral that date from the 12th and 15th centuries, rather than the more recent 18th century reconstruction.

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Brenta canal, Italy, a popular destination for an Italian river cruise

The Brenta 'canal' is a scenic waterway inland from Venice towards Padua, best known for its scenery and grand villas and popular with those taking a river cruise in north-west Italy. Although man-made, the Brenta is better described as a river than a canal.

The 'River' Brenta, which is 174 kilometres long, was originally constructed to divert the flow of water that was causing too much silting of the lagoon around Venice, threatening to damage transport links.

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Bolzano, Italy - mountain town in the dolomites

Bolzano, an important regional town in north-east Italy, is in an attractive valley location surrounded by mountains and at the confluence of two rivers, and is a very pleasant town to explore.

While lacking important historical monuments you will find a vibrant atmosphere and you can pass many an hour enjoying the ambiance in the street-side cafes and bars.

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Bevagna, Italy: places to visit in the Umbrian town of Bevagna

Bevagna is a village in the Umbria region of central Italy, close to Spello and in the Vale of Spoleto, that has been a settlement since at least the time of the Ancient Romans.

The highlight of your visit to the pretty village is the medieval square called Piazza Silvestri with its two ancient churches and other 13th century buildings, but there are other sites of interest in the town so be sure to explore.

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Bitonto, Italy: travel guide to the museums, archaeological sites and churches of Bitonto

Bitonto is a town in the Puglia (Apulia) region of south-east Italy, a little way in from the Adriatic coast, and well known for the cultivation of olives and related production of the excellent olive oil from the many olive trees that surround the town.

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Bettona, Italy: highlights of a visit to the Umbrian town of Bettona

The small town of Bettona is situated on a hill in central Umbria, a short distance south-east of Perugia. Elliptical in shape, Bettona is still surrounded by medieval walls and it has also preserved some parts of the ancient Etruscan walls.

Although Bettona seems rather overlooked by most guidebooks we found it to be very pleasant to explore with an interesting historic centre and a pleasant main square where you will find most of the important historic monuments.

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Bastia Umbra, Italy: places of interest in the small Umbrian town of Bastia Umbra

The town of Bastia Umbra is situated in the heart of the Umbria region of central Italy and close to Perugia, the region capital.

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Barletta, Italy: travel guide for the Puglia town of Barletta

On the Adriatic coast in southern Italy, the large town of Barletta has several interesting historic monuments including the largest known bronze statue from Ancient Roman times.

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Avigliana, Italy - well placed for exploring the lakes and scenery of the Susa valley

Avigliana originally developed in the 15th century when several of the Princes of Savoy established their homes here. The town is overlooked by the ruins of a 10th century castle, the ruins of which can be reached by a short walk from Avigliana centre.

Both the town itself and the surrounding countryside - Avigliana is surrounded by lakes and mountains and is part of the scenic Susa Valley - are very pleasant to visit, while the most important monument for visitors is the Abbey Sacra di San Michelle a few kilometres from the town.

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Assisi, Italy: travel guide to the Umbrian town of Assisi

Assisi, in the Umbria region of central Italy, is best known as being the birthplace of Saint Francis of Assisi, but as you will discover there is much else to discover in a visit to the town.

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Ascoli Piceno, Italy: travel guide and highlights of a visit to Ascoli Piceno

Ascoli-Piceno is located at the southern end of the Marches region of Italy, in an attractive setting surrounded by mountains and designated natural parcs.

With origins dating back well before the ancient Romans, the name of the town comes from the Piceni tribe who once occupied this spot.

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Arco, Italy - town in a picturesque setting near Lake Garda

The town of Arco is located to the northern end of Lake Garda in Lombardy (northern Italy), in an attractive setting with sheer cliffs to one side and overlooked by a castle.

It stands at the southern end of the Sarca River valley which flows on into Garda Lake, and the position- protected by the mountains - allows the area to maintain a mild climate, so the city has been a holiday resort for several centuries.

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Anagni, Italy: travel guide for the Lazio town of Anagni

Anagni is an important historical town in central Italy with several interesting buildings to be seen from the period around the 13th century when many popes and important families lived here and constructed their impressive buildings, and an impressive cathedral and crypt.

Anagni was also a favourite residence of Emperor Frederick II of Swabia (1194-1250) and illustrious princely families such as the Borgias, Cajetani, Colonna, Orsini among others.

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Adrano, Sicily: visit the castle and highlights of Adrano

Adrano is a substantial town to the east of Sicily, inland from the coast and north-west of Paterno, immersed in a landscape that winds through mountains and fields of orange groves in the valley of the river Simeto, and to the south of the Regional park of Mount Etna.

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Aidone, Sicily: places, highlights and baroque architecture to visit in Aidone

Aidone is a small town situated in central-southern Sicily a lttle way north-east of Piazza Armerina. Like many towns in the region, the architecture in Aidone was very affected by the earthquake of 1693 and the subsequent baroque style rebuilding of many monuments in the town.

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Alghero, Sardinia is an interesting Italian town with a beach and pleasant town center

A popular coastal and beach resort on Sardini's north coast, Alghero also has a lively harbour, a well preserved old town has a good number of interesting historical monuments and plenty of cafes and shops to distract you. It is also still an active fishing town.

The history of the town, which was settled by people from Spain who 'evicted' most of the local population in the 14th century, means there is a significant Catalan influence to the architecture. See also history of Alghero.

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Altamura, Italy - town in Apulia best known for its cathedral

Altamura is an important historical town situated in the heart of the Puglia (Apulia) region of south-east Italy best known for its cathedral and Museum of Archaeology.

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Alba, Italy: travel guide and places to see in the Piedmont town of Alba

The town of Alba is in the Piedmont region of north-east Italy, south-east of Turin and south-west of Milan. Although the city has its origins in Ancient Roman times, most of the monuments of interest today date from the 13th - 15th centuries.

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Alatri, Italy: travel guide, templars and highlights in Alatri

The town of Alatri is spread across the side of a hill towards the east of the Lazio region of central Italy with an ancient history.

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Amalfi Coast, Italy: travel guide to the exceptionally scenic Amalfi Coast

The Amalfi Coast is a spectacular 50 kilometre long section of coastline that follows the southern edge of the Sorrento Peninsula from Positano in the west to Vietri sul Mare (near Salerno) in the east.

Along the route there are several beautiful towns and villages, typically on steep hills leading down to the sea and divided by dramatic cliffs and rocks plunging into the Mediterranean, and very attractive coastal scenery.

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Alberona is one of the most beautiful villages in Italy

Alberona sits on the slopes of Mount Stylus with commanding views over the Puglia countryside, and, on a clear day, across the sea to the Tremiti islands. It is one of Italy's most beautiful villages. It has also been awarded the Orange Flag (a national tourist award).

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