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Small towns with more than churches

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Small towns with more than churches

During our month in Europe (23 nights in Italy), we visited, by design and because of strong personal preference, exactly zero churches. If we get to return next year, we will aim to visit twice that many.

We would love to spend a couple of nights in a smaller centre, somewhere like Arezzo, Urbino etc. Because of our somewhat idiosyncratic preferences, if a town's ONLY attraction(s) is/are churches, then the appeal is much diminished for us. We'd love suggestions of any smaller towns in sort of "trans-appenine heartland" that would be worth staying 2-3 nights in with more to offer than churches. Thanks in advance!

Edited: 11:53 pm, June 06, 2018
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San Clemente...
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for Buenos Aires, Argentina
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1. Re: Small towns with more than churches

Orvieto is nice with the Etruscan caves.

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Orvieto
Orvieto
Province of Terni, Italy
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2. Re: Small towns with more than churches

Thanks ! That's a second vote for Orvieto, a friend has stayed there a few times and raved about it.

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Orvieto
Orvieto
Province of Terni, Italy
Eagle River, Alaska
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3. Re: Small towns with more than churches

What exactly are the attractions you looking to see/experience in small towns? The Catholic church was/is the heartbeat of most towns in Italy for close to 2000 years. The art and architecture in even a very small church can be absolutely breathtaking. If you are lucky enough to be in one where the annual festa is being held it is a uniquely Italian experience. You are certainly missing out on some amazing historical and cultural experiences. If you are more specific with your preferences than it will be easier to make suggestions. A town whose only "attraction" is some amazing art in a church might also be a really wonderful town to visit because of it's location, local food dishes, etc. but we have no idea what it is you are looking for.

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Italy
Italy
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4. Re: Small towns with more than churches

"What exactly are the attractions you looking to see/experience in small towns?" "we have no idea what it is you are looking for." The question was actually quite clear, asking about attractions other than churches. Any attractions other than churches.

I am very well aware of the extent to which The Church is part of of Italian history, heritage and culture, and thus well aware that ours is undoubtedly a highly unusual preference, or rather, aversion. As hard as it may well be for many here to grasp, we have absolutely no desire AT ALL to enter ANY churches. We We had a wonderful time last month on our church-free visit and know for a fact that we missed out on nothing we wanted to see because of our aversion.

If there is any online resource where such an unusual and potentially challenging question might find an answer, it's here. Any suggestions at all will give us things we can consider while we plan our (still speculative) return trip.

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The Church
The Church
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Naples, Italy
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5. Re: Small towns with more than churches

If wineries and sights appeal to you, you may go to the Chianti area.

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6. Re: Small towns with more than churches

Thank you, we visited two wineries last month, one on Vesuvius, one near Noto, enjoyed them both.

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Noto
Noto
Sicily, Italy
Eagle River, Alaska
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7. Re: Small towns with more than churches

Stuart, you haven't said what types of activities you enjoy/are looking to do. Simply saying "anything that doesn't involve walking into a church" is a really broad request. Perhaps you can be a little more specific and then suggestions for towns would be easier to come up with.

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8. Re: Small towns with more than churches

I'm sorry if my query seems frustratingly unspecific Bonnie, but it means what it says - ANY "attractions" outside of churches. Palazzi, musei, forni, osterie, trattorie, ruins, parks, scenic walking routes, vineyards, some niche agriturismo, anything.

We are just in the hypothetical planning stage, and while we know for a fact that we have no interest in visiting churches, we don't know with the same certainty what we DO want to see and/or do. It could be somewhere where the town itself is the attraction, like Siena - which we fell in love with and where we will spend at least 3 nights if this hoped-for trip happens. Or it might be that the WAY THERE, whether by road or rail, is the main attraction. Or it could be something else that has not even occurred to me, that someone says "what about X?" or "maybe you'd find Y interesting".

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Siena
Siena
Province of Siena, Italy
Tauranga, New...
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9. Re: Small towns with more than churches

Civita di Bagnoregio .. very tiny and the village is an attraction in itself . If you go though stay over as it's so much better when day trippers are not there and there's a couple of good restaurants . We loved it

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Civita
Civita
Province of Cosenza, Italy
Bagnoregio
Bagnoregio
Province of Viterbo, Italy
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10. Re: Small towns with more than churches

Thank you Flossy!

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