cities

Italy’s 20 greatest cities, according to our expert

This is Italy's greatest city. Do you recognise it? - getty
This is Italy’s greatest city. Do you recognise it? – getty

With Italy reopening to tourists, which city should be first on your wishlist? Let Tim Jepson be your guide

No list of top-ranked cities is definitive, but what fun to compile one. And not just any list, but a list of cities you’d want to visit, even live in; a list that in Italy, with 20 such cities and counting, sees you spoilt for choice. 

What Italians call a city (una città) we might call a town (un paese), in part a legacy of Italy’s medieval city states – once a city, always a city – even if these “cities” today are not what they were. 

One or two of these former cities I have included; others, such as Lucca, Matera, Urbino and Ravenna – for all that they are superb places to visit – are more up for

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