We just got home from a fabulous vacation. We landed in Rome, then did a road trip up to Florence. From there we flew to Barcelona then onto some charming small towns of Catalan, Spain. The whole trip took 3 weeks and it was spectacular.
After our 4 days in Rome we grabbed a car from the Rome airport. Here was our itinerary from Rome to Florence exploring some very charming small towns.
First stop was Civita di Bagnoregio. I had seen pictures of this little town and knew I had to visit it. With our first Airbnb being in Orvieto, this became a great stop on the way. Civita di Bagnoregio is a town that you cannot drive into. You must park your car then walk down to the bridge and pay €1.50 and walk on into town. This town is set up on a hill top and it’s crumbling away, so they collect a fee to enter town that goes towards up keep. I have to say the walk into town was much farther than I had thought, but it was so worth it.
I have read that the population is 10 people. The town is so small I don’t doubt that number. There are Bed and Breakfasts there and we even saw a motorized cart bringing up the luggage for the guests, but the guests had to walk in themselves. No free rides.
This is a great place to grab lunch and enjoy the views the city has. There are even about 5 restaurants to choose from. Grab a beer, eat some good food, then wash it down with a coffee. You have nothing but time on your hands since it only takes about 5 minutes to walk from one end to the other.
Pitagliano is like many of the other hilltowns in that it’s perched on a hilltop. But this one is so striking with it’s rugged rock. The town starts out a bit bustling, then the farther you walk in, the smaller the streets get and the quieter it gets. We managed to find many restaurants open for lunch. I wish I could remember where we ate exactly because it was one of my favorite meals of the trip. I could walk you right to it, but I don’t remember the name.
Sorano was an incredible surprise. Again I knew it would be small, but I had no idea it would be that small. I wandered this whole town with my mouth wide open in awe. The dark gray stone, the tiny streets, and about 3 other travelers wandering through made it feel like we stumbled upon a gold mine.
From Orvieto, which is another charming town in Italy, we made our way to San Giminagno. On the way we stopped at Monticchiello. I had labeled this one as pretty much a drive through town and once we arrived I saw why. The rolling Tuscan hills are exactly as you would picture it in this area.
From there was made our way into Montepulciano for some lunch and gelato. I had really wanted to stop by this town last year, so I was glad we finally made it.
San Giminagno was our second stay on our way to Florence. We stayed right inside the city walls at an Airbnb. We had our very own courtyard. Our place was a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom and it was 2 separate places, and one had a kitchen. We had actually planned to take a travel day and visit Volterra while we were staying at San Giminagno, but we loved the city so much we just stayed in the city a whole day and just enjoyed a down day.
Taking 5 days to just explore all these towns was perfect. It allowed time for strolling, sitting and sipping a cappuccino or a beer. We were never in a rush and the country side was so enjoyable. Wine tasting is plentiful. There is never a lack for things to do when you road trip through all the small charming towns in Italy.
I have been asked multiple times how we discovered all these towns. Check out 5 Tips for the Perfect Road Trip in Europe and Beyond.
For those of you that prefer the tried and true places to stop I also used
Lonely Planets Tuscany Road Trips
Frommers 25 Great Drives in Tuscany and Umbria
We stayed at only Airbnb’s. We would use our phones to contact them when we had wifi and stayed in good communication so they knew when to expect us. Not only were the places outstanding, but each host had a list of places to eat and things to see in the town and the area. They offered us so much information is was incredible.