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Gubbio, Gubbio

Umbria, Italy, Europe: The arches of Gubbio's Palazzo dei Consoli
Tourist info: 15 Via della Repubblica
Italy 06024
Tel: 39 075 922 0693's insider take:

A fortified town that rises in terraced splendor up the flank of Monte Ingino, Gubbio is so authentically medieval that you half expect to bump into Dante or Giotto here. It's also relatively remote (the nearest train station is 14 miles away)—which means there are no crowds, even in summer. The crenellated Palazzo dei Consoli, pictured, a towering Gothic palace, houses the Museo Civico—home to the Tavole Eugubine, seven bronze tablets from the second century B.C. that are the only surviving record of Umbrian, the language spoken in these parts before the Romans arrived (Piazza Grande; 39-075-927-4298). The town's Duomo and church of San Francesco (with its 15th-century frescoes) are also lovely. But the best thing to do in Gubbio is simply to wander around the narrow alleys and absorb the stately ancient surroundings. Every May 15, the whole town shuts down for the Corsa dei Ceri, a Christian ritual of decidedly pagan origins that involves processions through the streets with 13-foot-high ceri, or candles.

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