Italy is known for its artistic and historical heritage that is like no other in the world. It has always been a geographical and cultural reference point since ancient times, which has allowed it to accumulate very important historical relics and learn from the civilizations that have dominated it over the years. For example, in the Middle Ages, many towns were rich in buildings and palaces built following the characteristics of the period. Some of them have remained almost intact, acquiring an unimaginable value and can still be admired today. From north to south, there are many wonderful towns full of artistic, historical, and cultural value. Today, we take you on a journey to the five most beautiful medieval cities in Italy.
5. Urbino, the Province of Pesaro and Urbino, Marche
This historic center has been included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The city is universally recognized as one of the most important centers for the Italian Renaissance; however, not many people know that Urbino is also rich in monuments and architectural structures dating back to the Middle Ages, which are still perfectly preserved.
4. Staggia, the Province of Siena, Tuscany
Staggia is a small fraction of the municipality of Poggibonsi, in the province of Siena. This small village, once attributed to the Soarzi family, dates back as far as 900 and was a strategically important point for local trade in the past. Later, the territory passed into the hands of the Florentine Republic, which is when the town walls were restructured taking on the present shape.
Today the historic center, almost completely surrounded by the medieval fortification system, represents one of the most intriguing historical places in Italy. Among the most interesting places, we point out the Franzesi Castle and the Church of Santa Maria Assunta.
3. Soncino, the Province of Cremona, Lombardy
Soncino is part of the association of the most beautiful villages in Italy, the main purpose of which is to revitalize and safeguard the small Italian towns. Undoubtedly, it’s one of the most beautiful medieval cities. Military and civil architectures, churches, and museums… among the many tourist attractions the Rocca Sforzesca, also known as the Castle of Soncino, which was once a fundamental defensive structure, stands out.
2. Assisi, the Province of Perugia, Umbria
From a cultural point of view, this beautiful town is among the most important in Italy. Known for being the homeland of Saint Francis, it’s been awarded the gold medal for Civil Merit for the courageous humanitarian acts of its inhabitants during the Second World War. There are so many characteristics that make Assisi a great city, not least its extraordinary historical beauty, which represents a perfect encounter between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance era.
1. Erice, the Province of Trapani, Sicily
While it’s really difficult to choose one of the many beautiful medieval cities in Italy, Erice seems to be the one that most fascinates tourists. It’s a harmonious synthesis of art, history, and landscape in Western Sicily.
The historic center of the Trapani town of Erice is practically intact even today and is perfectly integrated with the morphology of the mountain on which it’s built; at the same time, it has all the typically medieval features that make it a very important tourist destination.