Top Ten Luxury
Italian Hill Towns
Most recognisably hill towns are beautiful curly knots of ancient rock and cobbled stone atop the undulating green of Tuscany and Umbria. But whenThe Luxury Travel Bible actually sat down to debate favourites we soon found ourselves, again, twisting tradition. Once we started to feel the pull of other hill towns south towards Rome, we just kept going and couldn't stop until we had reached Sicily. Yes, there are still some green-centre crowd-pleasers we too can't pass up, but we've also included a few off-track loves. Running common through all, of course, is a drink-in-for-the-ages view.
Prue Rushton, 7/6/10
Casperia, Lazio
Casperia, Lazio
Less than an hour's drive from Rome, Casperia barely raises a whisper on the tourist circuit. Set in the Sabina where there are no great museums or cultural artworks to lure the crowds, it is also one of the few traffic-free hill towns in Italy.
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Cortona, Tuscany
Cortona, Tuscany

'Under the Tuscan Sun' (the book, the film, or both) may have cemented (some say ruined) Cortona on the tourist map, The Luxury Travel Bible was captured by the town many years earlier while living in the outskirts of a tiny village nearby called Goiella.

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Erice, Sicily
Erice, Sicily
What to do? Sicily is not your typical hill town location, nevertheless The Luxury Travel Bible has been besieged by Insiders full of suggestions for a favourite.
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Montepulciano, Tuscany
Montepulciano, Tuscany
The Luxury Travel Bible is prepared to drop to its knees in praise of a hill town that combines two of its favourite things - a good red and a view.
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Orvieto, Umbria
Orvieto, Umbria
Can staring at 3,000 year-old sites make one feel eternally young? The Luxury Travel Bible doesn't seriously suggest you waste any time pondering such nonsense, but it does recommend a flit up the funicular to Orvieto where you can marvel at the mix of Etruscan, Medieval and Renaissance masterpieces.
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Ostuni, Puglia
Ostuni, Puglia
Known as 'The White City', Ostuni builds itself like a prettily stacked wedding cake. All tiny, white-washed houses and slippery cobbled alleyways, it's the architecture here that makes The Luxury Travel Bible sigh with delight.
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Pienza, Tuscany
Pienza, Tuscany
Pope Pius II had his birthplace remodelled into a 'Utopian' town by Bernardo Rossellino during the Renaissance and The Luxury Travel Bible rather likes how it turned out.
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San Gimignano, Tuscany
San Gimignano, Tuscany
The Luxury Travel Bible pondered over one too many teeny glasses of Chianti before succumbing to the well-trammelled charm of this Tuscan gem. Hic...there it slips, into our top ten.
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San Leo, Le Marche
San Leo, Le Marche
It doesn't trouble The Luxury Travel Bible one superstitious little snitch that Dante based his description of purgatory on the site of the castle here. Nor, that a few centuries later it became a living hell for Count of Cagliostro who spent his last years here as a prisoner of the Papal States, before playing home to Saint Francis of Asissi.
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Urbino, Le Marche
Urbino, Le Marche
If The Luxury Travel Bible could time travel, it wouldn't mind turning up in 15th century Urbino. Especially, if it could be coddled under the patronage of Duke Federico Ill da Montefeltro who housed some of Italy's great poets, painters and scholars inside one of Italy's most fairytale palaces - The Ducal.
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