MY friend and I will be leaving in September from Aigle and heading to Lucca. We both love the small villages of the Caminos and tend to become overwhelmed when we hit "big" cities, often preferring to stay in a smaller town on one side or the other. Asking for advice though...are there any places we definitely ought to make an exception for? Thinking specifically about Aosta, Pavia, Piacenza and Pontremoli? And if we ought to just "go on"...any best bets near but not IN the cities?