The hilltowns of Italy are like nowhere else. Italians settled in the hills for many reasons, including health and/or military advantage. Therefore, each hilltown has its own traditions and treasures to see and experience. One town is a great example of Roman influence. Another was the Papal base for hundreds of years and has many riches and some of the best art and architecture in Italy.
What it offers travelers is the chance to experience different cultural and culinary traditions. For example, go to Orvieto and see its amazing cathedral. Then venture to the land of porchetta in shops and trattorias all over town. Then go to Siena and have some of the best food Italy offers like risotto with zucchini flowers or stuffed gnocchi. You might like to see the many types of panforte, for which Siena is famous. It is a dense cake with spices and nuts and never fresher than in its native Siena. If you arrive in Siena in July, you can see the Palio, a 600 year traditional reenactment of a medieval horse race in the main campo in town. You can go to Montepulciano, a town known as the center of a wine making region. There, enjoy an enoteca crawl and experience the wines of the region paired with the local food of the region in the perfect way it was intended.
Or visit Spello, and after you study its Roman architecture, you can meet our friends at Vinosofia. Brenda, originally from California, will prepare small bites for you of local flavors, while her husband and sommelier lectures on the wines of the Sagrantino Wine Trail. Norcia, for example, is where you can discover the amazing traditions of cured meats. In Florence, you will see the Duomo and the Pitti Palace and Santa Croce or lose yourself in the leather district. But you can also discover its ribolitta and it bistecca alla fiorentina or eat cinghiale (wild boar) as a salumi or in a pasta ragu or as a steak. The cultural and artistic treasures of Italy’s hilltowns exist side-by-side with it food treasures. Bevagna, another little-known Italian treasure, was recently voted as the most beautiful town in Italy.