Essential Travel Experience #46 – Walk the Narrow Streets of a Medieval Village

   Europe is wonderful! All over the continent there are well-preserved villages with narrow, cobblestone streets and a delightful feeling that you have entered a time capsule and emerged in Medieval times. Even though many of Europe’s cities are loaded with tourist attractions, we have found that these small towns and villages are the “true” Europe. We always plan to stop at several during any European trip. No matter what country you are in, these places are enchanting.

     Here is a survey of some of the villages we liked the best in our travels around Europe.

       In Italy, our favorite country, we loved San Gimignano,

San Gimignano

and Siena (which probably stretches the idea of a “village”), in Tuscany.

Piazza del Campo, Siena

 Assisi is lovely

Assisi

 as is San Marino (actually a separate Republic)

San Marino

 Along the Amalfi coast are the villages of Positano (Lee’s favorite)

Positano

 and Ravello

Ravello

 In Germany, we particularly liked Rothenburg ob der Tauber

Rothenburg

 and Mittenwald, with its Painted Houses

Mittenwald

 and Oberammergau, where the Passion Play is performed every ten (10) years

Oberammergau

 France is loaded with Medieval towns as well. Just drive along the Wine Route in the Alsace Region — all the towns are classic medieval villages with cobblestone streets and a castle on the hill above town. We visited Riquewihr

Riquewihr

 and Ribeauville

Ribeauville

 and Kaysersburg

Kaysersburg

Elsewhere in France, there is Mont-St-Michel, site of the famous monastery

Mont-St-Michel

 In the south, near Monaco, is the lovely village of Eze, which clings precariously to steep cliffs.

Eze

 In the Burgundy region, the town of Beaune is charming.

Beaune

 Spain has its share of interesting villages as well. Avila is famous for its medieval walls

Avila

 while Ronda is noteworthy because of its bridge over a deep gorge

Ronda

 Toledo has impressive gates

Bisagra Gate, Toledo

 Salamanca’s buildings are made of an attractive honey-colored stone.

Salamanca

 In Cordoba, everything revolves around La Mezquita.

Avenue of the Flowers, Cordoba

  Portugal has some quaint villages too. One of them is Faro.  

Faro, Portugal

 Bruges is the loveliest town in Belgium, with its narrow streets and peaceful canals.

Bruges

 In England, York is one of the most enchanting medieval towns, with its walls and cobblestone streets.

York

 while the Cotswold region is replete with quaint villages.

A Village in the Cotswolds

   One of my favorite small towns in all of Europe is Cesky Krumlov, in the region of Bohemia, in the Czech Republic.

Cesky Krumlov

 The ambience there is really special.

A Square in Cesky Krumlov

 In the neighboring country of Slovakia, Bratislava, although the Capital, has the feel of a small town.

Bratislava

One of the most beautiful villages in Switzerland is Luzerne.

Luzerne

 and Bern, although the Capital of the country, is a charming town of its own.

Bern

About gmazeman

Retired Science Teacher Currently Athletic Director at Johnston High School Travel is my passion!
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