Just an hour’s drive south of Turin, you’ll find the sleepy medieval town of Saluzzo—a pretty sweep of red-tiled rooftops, bell towers, and ancient spires backed by the snow-capped Cottian Alps. Highlights include La Castiglia, a 14th Century castle, and the Casa Cavassa, a Renaissance palazzo-turned-museum that’s home to some spectacular gold-leaf paintings and frescoes.
Carved into the side of a hill in Tuscany between Florence and Pisa, you’ll find Collodi: a gorgeous medieval village famous for being the home of Pinocchio (or more accurately, its creator, Carlo Collodi). Don’t leave without stopping by Pinocchio Park, which boasts the tallest wooden Pinocchio statue in the world, and nearby Garzoni Gardens, filled with Renaissance statues, ornate fountains, and lush bamboo groves.
Located on an island of the same name, the town of Monte Isola sits in the middle of one of Italy’s prettiest lakes, Lake Iseo. To get there, you’ll need to drive an hour and a half from Milan, then take a 20-minute ferry ride across the lake from the town of Iseo, but it’s well worth the effort. The quaint town boasts many excellent trattorias, lakeside cafés, cozy B