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Discover Beautiful Yet Underrated Places in Italy: Travel Guide

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Discover Beautiful Yet Underrated Places in Italy: Travel Guide

Italy is one of the best destinations for tourists to visit, from the classical cities and globally renowned gastronomy scene to the picturesque islands and towns and deep history. Most people go to the popular tourist spots like Rome, Florence, Milan or Venice. But there’s no doubt that visiting some of the hidden gems in the country would make your visit worth it.

If you’ve already seen Italy’s popular attractions or you want to check out the spots recommended by locals, you can always go for the lesser-known spots. Here are some beautiful yet underrated places in Italy that you definitely cannot miss out on.

Umbria

If you’re visiting Italy for the lesser-known spots, Umbria should be at the top of your list. The landlocked region would remind you of Tuscany but without the expensive prices and the tourists. Instead, it’s a quiet and picturesque town that you should check out during autumn.

Umbria offers fun activities like truffle hunting and wine tasting and is especially known for its grapes. The town makes white wines with the local Grechetto grape and tannic red wines with the Sagrantino grape. Aside from enjoying their wines, visitors in Umbria can explore medieval villages on the hills, go cycling, hiking, or rafting, or even take cooking classes.

Sardinia

Although not as hidden as you’d expect, the island of Sardinia is picturesque and offers all you need for an escape. The island is not as packed with tourists as other well-known areas in Italy and comes with sandy white beaches like Costa Smeralda.

When you visit Sardinia, you’re not limited to the island but can take day trips to nearby towns like Alghero, Bosa, and Castelsardo. For the best of Italian culture, visit Cagliari, the capital city of Sardinia. In the capital city, you can explore the Castello district on foot and check out the medieval castle of San Michele and the Duomo di Cagliari.

Ischia and Procida

Another hidden gem on our list is Ischia and Procida, easy to get to through a short ferry ride from Naples and the Amalfi Coast. If you can’t afford Capri and want to avoid loads of tourists, Ischia and Procida are best, widely frequented by Italian visitors instead of international tourists.

The Italian island is best for summer visits, as it comes with different hot springs and thermal pools. Aside from the white-sand beaches, you can also check out the black-sand beaches and the Aragonese Castle towering over other buildings. Procida is a tiny island located nearby and was the first island to win the title of Italy’s Capital of Culture.

Bergamo

Whether you’re taking a day trip from Milan or you want to check out a small region in Italy, Bergamo is a fantastic option. The region’s Citta Alta is a hilltop historic paradise surrounded by fog and Venetian walls. It’s an old city that takes you to the past, with centuries-old churches, cobbled streets, and Piazza Vecchia, a bell tower.

Rather than sticking to an itinerary when you visit Bergamo, you should wander around the city without a plan. Go through the hilly streets, visit the town’s cathedral, and shop at small artisan boutiques. While you’re in Bergamo, you definitely should not miss out on their polenta e osei dessert, a corn-based pastry filled with hazelnut cream and rum.

Ponza

If you’re in Rome but want to explore more seaside and islands in Italy, you can take a visit to Ponza, which is the largest Pontine Island. You can get to Ponza by taking a train from Rome to the port of Anzio. From there, take a hydrofoil boat to Ponza. It would take a few hours to commute.

The best things to do in Ponza include visiting the island’s sea caves and rocky cliffs. Ponza is seen as similar to the Amalfi Coast but does not have as many tourists or expensive prices. The island has clear waters that appeal to divers, but if you want to stay on land, visit the Roman ruins, hike, or explore the beach coves by boat.

Naples

Although Naples is a famous hub for Italian culture, there’s no doubt that it’s not as popular as other big-name spots. For a taste of authentic Italian culture, check out the less explored side of Naples during your trip.

While in Naples, check out the southern Italian cuisine, especially since this city is the birthplace of pizza. You can also visit the vineyards around the volcano Mount Vesuvius and explore cultural attractions like the 400+ churches and seven castles. You can easily visit the island of Capri from Naples.

Bologna

If you’re interested in authentic Italian gastronomy, you should check out the town of Bologna. It’s the best place for fans of Italian food, especially the ragu alla Bolognese, a meat-based tomato sauce that is local to Bologna.

Rather than pairing the sauce with spaghetti, locals enjoy pairing the sauce with tagliatelle, which is a ribbon-style pasta, or lasagna Verdi alla Bolognese, a lasagna made with the sauce and spinach pasta. Aside from eating, Bologna offers a lot to do, including UNESCO-recognized porticoes and canals.

Val di Noto, Sicily

Sicily’s Val di Noto consists of different Baroque towns, including Caltagirone, Catania, Noto, Ragusa, Militello Val di Catania, Modica, Palazzolo, and Scicli. These towns are UNESCO World Heritage Sites and are known as the most charming destinations in Italy.

These towns are worth your visit, but you would need a car to explore. You might not be able to see all the towns, but you can climb the hills of Val di Noto, check out architectural sites, and enjoy the unique flavor of food.

Treviso

Rounding up our list is Treviso, which is a calm and picturesque place to visit if you want to escape from the hot, crowded, and expensive nature of Venice during summer. Consider Treviso, which is located about 40 minutes away from Venice by train, in the Veneto region.

Treviso is a historical city with numerous canals, amazing architecture, and delicious food, and you can escape from the tourist crowds. The Italian city is known for the Fontana delle Tette, a 16th-century fountain that dispenses wine. Also, visit the main site of the Civic Museum, which is the St. Catherine complex that has medieval frescoes.

Visit Italy’s Hidden Gems

Italy has so much to offer, especially if you want to get off the beaten path and visit the places lesser-known by tourists. Some of these small cities are also located close to big cities like Rome, Naples and Milan, and allow you to enjoy delicious cuisines, local Italian culture, monuments, and attractions.