Ronciglione, Italy

Ronciglione, about an hour’s drive north from Rome’s Fiumicino Airport, is near Lake Vico, a summer playground for Italians from Rome. It was early November when we visited, and the town was bustling during the day and quiet at night. Some of the restaurants were closed for the season.

We rented an apartment and based our stay in this medieval hill town where “real people” live. Ronciglione was not touristy or overimpressed with itself, it seemed to me. People were pleasant and helpful. Out early each morning for fresh bread, we watched shopkeepers sweeping their portions of the sidewalk, the flower lady setting out fresh bouquets, residents bustling off to work and children being accompanied to school.

One day we strolled the ancient quarter. Another day we walked over the old bridge, Vecchio Borgo, to the cemetery with its stirring monuments to the 186 citizens of the town killed in the American bombardment during WWII.