Between the North and the South of Italy rests a hilly territory with ample sunny days and a verdant landscape.
In addition to Rome, in fact, the diamond with the most carats, Central Italy is made up of a multitude of villages, medieval and Renaissance cities, inside which an artistic and cultural heritage of inestimable value is kept.
And they have one big plus: it’s about urban centers rather small and not very distant, ideal for a weekend or a short itinerary. In this article we offer you one list of 8 cities to see in one day.
8 cities in central Italy to see in one day
Center of the world during the Renaissancethe Florentine merchants of the time were among the richest in Europe and had invented banks, and all the great artists they flocked to make it even more magnificent. Compared to its golden age, the heart of Florence has not expanded too much, and all the most important buildings, monuments and places are concentrated in the historic center.
Unmissable stops are: Piazza della Signoria, Old Bridge, Michelangelo square for the panoramic view, Piazza del Duomo to admire the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fioreand the obligatory visit to the Uffizi Gallerywhich house one of the largest collections of artistic works in the world.
Florence’s direct rival is definitely Siena, smaller city but no less rich in artistic heritage. Mostly famous for the Palioits symbolic place is Field Squarewhose circular shape was designed for the equestrian competition between the different districts, and where the Mangia Tower of the Palazzo Pubblico, still today the seat of the Municipality. Also not to be missed are the Cathedral and the Basilica of San Domenico.
The word itself says it: the Piazza dei Miracoli of Pisa is a real prodigy of human ingenuity, which rightfully became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987. The cathedral and baptistery they occupy the central part of the square, and on a sunny day they radiate a candid light thanks to the white and polychrome marbles with which they were made.
The attention of tourists, however, is mainly concentrated by leaning Towerwhich has made of its design flaws (due to a land that was not very suitable for building in the past) an iconic and unique monument in the world.
Probably in the past it was the equivalent of modern skyscrapers, today climbing the stairs of the Tower of Pisa it gives a feeling of skidding, as you go up the stairs but you have the sensation of falling backwards. Luckily foreign tourists take care of it, who don’t deny themselves the ritual photos in which they exploit perspective giving the impression of supporting the crumbling tower.
Known as one of the most important university cities in Central Italy, Perugia it appears as a secluded city, which guards a historic center inside the walls that abounds in narrow cobbled streets on the sides of which are erected buildings with purely medieval architecture.
In addition to Piazza Maggiore and the aqueduct, the underground part of the village, dating back to Etruscan and Roman times, is also worth a visit. There are also gastronomic and cultural attractions. Perugia, in fact, is known to gourmets for its chocolate, while theUmbria Jazz Festival which is held in the summer months attracts fans of the musical genre from all over Italy.
Remaining in Umbria, Terni also deserves a mention, city of steel that gave birth to Valentine’s Day. The remains of the protector of lovers are kept in the Basilica dedicated to him, while just outside the historic center there is a Roman amphitheater that has survived the centuries and is still partially intact and visible today.
For those who want to go outside the village, then, it is not far away waterfall marmorewhose height difference is 165 meters and is among the highest (and most beautiful) waterfalls in Europe
Let’s move now to the Marches and reach Urbino, another Renaissance city which experienced rapid expansion in that period and the Palace that dominates the town hall it hosted the greatest artists and thinkers of the time.
The residence of the local lords, the Montefeltro dynasty, is an architectural masterpiece that amazes as much for its external magnificence as for its internal rooms, which house numerous works of art and marvelous ceilings and corridors. A real jewel set in the heart of the Belpaese.
City of art that extends from the sea to the hills, Ancona it is enclosed in an elbow-shaped promontory, and not by chance. In fact, the origin of the name of the capital of the Marche region derives from the ankòn, which means elbow.
A perfect destination to enjoy the salty air that offers different a beautiful Old Town, as well as activities and external trips to do in the surrounding landscape and nature. The flagship is definitely the Cardetto Parklocated on a raised hill that offers a breathtaking view of the sea.
Located in Lazio north of the capital, Viterbo it is the city that boasts the largest medieval historic center in Europe. It is in fact the seat of the Palace of the Popeswhere Pope Alexander IV moved the papal curia in 1257 to escape the popular revolt that broke out in the city led by Senator Brancaleone degli Andalò.
The complex is very large and also includes the Cathedral of San Lorenzo. Not even twenty minutes by car can be reached Bomarzoa raised village in which the Monster Parkto come across a surreal place that contains gigantic sculptures that seem to be the work of nature itself and not the hands of a human being.
Read also: The most beautiful villages in Italy: all the secrets to discover for a perfect day trip
Ideas for short trips? Here are 8 cities in central Italy to see in one day