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When it comes to discovering the true hidden gems of a foreign country, you’re always best asking the locals and that is exactly what Holidu, the search engine for holiday rentals, did when they wanted to discover the most popular Italian small towns to visit.

So, without further ado and to get you in the mood for some dolce vita, here are the top six Italian towns you should definitely be sticking on your bucket list.

1. Sorrento, Campania

Sorrento takes first place as the most searched for Italian town in the past year and there’s little wonder given its stunning location. This tiny town overlooking the Gulf of Naples offers its visitors magnificent views of the Mediterranean and the imposing Vesuvius volcano. Its close proximity to the breathtaking
Amalfi Coast and its cluster of enchanting hill top towns and villages make it a mecca for those seeking a truly romantic getaway.

Thanks to the fertile volcanic land, Sorrento is also well known for its fragrant lemons and the delicious limoncello made from the local harvest.


  • Limoncello tasting at a local distillery
  • Valley of the Mills
  • Marina Piccola

2. Ischia, Campania

The beautiful city of Ischia looks like it belongs in a fairy tale and back in the 50s and 60s it was the destination of choice for the rich and famous. No surprise then to hear the Italians still can’t get enough of this little gem of a place.

Located on the island of the same name in the picturesque Gulf of Naples, Ischia is well-known for its thermal baths and the crystal-clear water that surrounds the island.


  • The iconic castle of Ischia
  • The Nitrodi spring
  • Maronti Beach

3. Capri, Campania

A must-visit is stunning Capri in Campania, which came in third on the bucket list-worthy tiny towns. Located on the beautiful island which shares the same name with its main town, Capri is easy to reach by boat from Naples and is a great day trip during your tour around Italy.

Spas, historical and archaeological buildings and secluded coves await you on this gem in the Gulf of Naples and don’t forget to stop by one of the elegant bars and restaurants with sea views and enjoy the local speciality, Caprese salad.


  • The Blue Grotto
  • Villa Jovis
  • The Piazzetta di Capri

4. Taormina, Sicily

Excellent cuisine, breathtaking views and wonderful beaches make up this exquisite corner of Sicily. Taormina is a quaint town located on top of a hill overlooking the sea and has been a beloved holiday destination for the rich and famous since the 17th century.

Wander along its medieval streets, relax over a leisurely lunch and discover a historical monument behind every corner as you follow in the footsteps of famous visitors like actress Greta Garbo, composers Wagner and Brahms and writers Oscar Wilde and Alexander Dumas.


  • The Greek theatre
  • Corso Umberto I, Taormina’s main street
  • Isola Bella

5. Positano, Campania

One of the pearls of the Amalfi Coast, Positano has long been a beloved destination by many Italians. With the intense blue of the sea and the colours of the flowers that adorn the winding alleys, this colourful hillside town earns fifth place in the ranking and is one place everybody should visit at least once.

Well known for its fashion and especially its shoes, don’t forget to visit one of the many artisan shoemakers and buy yourself a pair of Positano sandals.


  • The Santa Maria Assunta church
  • Sirenuse, three small islands off the coast
  • The Sentiero degli Dei walking trail

6. Sirmione, Lombardy

What can you see and do in Sirmione? Italians have googled these questions more than 2000 times in the past year, earning this town in the north of Italy a well-deserved sixth place in the ranking.

This medieval town on the shore of Lake Garda is located on a tiny peninsula that extends into the lake and which only adds to its charm. Castles, thermal baths and all the history you could ever muster, ensures a visit to Sirmione will feel like you’re travelling back through time.


  • Rocca Scaligera castle
  • The thermal baths Terme di Sirmione
  • The Grotte di Catullo archeological site

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