I can sorta kinda understand the people who decide to “see” Italy via two days apiece in Venice, Florence and Rome — if they know it’s the only time they’ll ever visit the boot-shaped wonderland. But even worse than not being able to do justice to any of those wondrous cities, they’re completely missing out on extraordinary destinations up and down the peninsula.

Like Gubbio.

This jewel of a town in central Umbria could serve as a movie set for a medieval or Renaissance drama or horror movie, with imposing palazzos and steep, winding cobblestone streets that ooze a sense of foreboding around every curve and corner.

There’s even a Fountain of the Mad in the town’s center; running around it three times allegedly bestows it, rather than curing it. The bird-cage-like lift to Monte Ingini is a bit bizarre, too. But the shops selling local Majolica pottery are eminently sane (and spendy, while the fabulous Taverna del Lupo (Via Giovanni Ansidel) serves up fab local fare such as rabbit and what my better half called the best omelet ever.