If you are planning a vacation to Italy this year, but are hoping to avoid the everyday tourist attractions, there are a wide variety of lesser known places that you can choose to visit. Italy is a country rich in culture and history, which is perfect for travelers of any experience level.
Whether you are an experienced traveler looking for something new or a first-time traveler who wants to go off the beaten path, there are plenty of lesser known destinations in Italy that are sure to be a part of the perfect getaway.
For a traveler looking to stay in the area a while, there is a huge selection of apartments and holiday houses for rent. You can look for these various places to stay with a simple Google search. Renting an apartment in Italy can save you time and money. Here is a list of the best, lesser known destinations to visit in Italy.
Trieste borders Slovenia and is open to the stunning Adriatic Sea. It has been largely neglected by many Italian guidebooks. Because of its location to other regions and countries, it has been largely influenced by a variety of cultures.
While you are here you can visit the vast Piazza Unita Italia, which faces the sea and has a plethora of statues and monuments to admire. If you enjoy adventure, the Grotta Gigante lies just northwest of Trieste by a 20-minute drive. Here you can explore one of the largest tourist caves in the world and learn about the history of the cave.
Sperlonga is one of the most pleasant villages in the country. Along with other Italian cities and villages, Sperlonga offers sightseeing in the form of palaces, gardens, archaeological museums and beautiful beaches. It is a dearly loved summer spot for locals vacationing in Italy because of its sandy beaches and medieval walkways with boutiques, restaurants and cafes.
Along the beach you will find a grotto that the Roman Emperor Tiberius had sculptures of Odysseus constructed around the 1st century AD. If you crave some relaxation, the beaches of Sperlonga are the main attractions. Meet the locals on a sunny beach day.
This small fishing port and resort town on the coast of Italy is directly west of Rome and home to the Leonardo Da Vinci International Airport. This area is primarily frequented by Italians only, which makes it good for practicing your Italian with people who speak little to no English. You can take an evening stroll down the Porto di Traiano or watch the sunset from Via Della Torre Clementina.
There is plenty of shopping and restaurants in the area, including a relaxing spa to revive yourself after a long flight. One of the most historic parts of the area is the Roman ruins of Ostia Antica. This has been called the Pompeii of Fiumicino.
The setting for the tragic Shakespeare love story of Romeo and Juliet, Verona is the most romantic town in Italy. This town is full of history with piazzas, towers and even a well-preserved amphitheater dating from the first century. The theater is built into a hill with outdoor performances still being held there in the summer, accessible by crossing the river on the stone bridge Ponte Pietra.
The corresponding archeological museum houses mosaics, bronzes, and picturesque Roman sculptures. Another great attraction in this ancient city is Castelvecchio, a 14th-century medieval castle built to be used as a fortress. It is now a museum that takes you through 16 rooms in the castle, which has plenty of medieval art to admire.
Along the edge of the Tyrrhenian Sea and with Pisa just to the south, Lucca is circled on all sides by wonderfully preserved Renaissance barricades. You can visit the Piazza dell’Anfiteatro which is one of the main attractions in this area with stucco and fresco to enjoy.
The city of Lucca is surrounded by protective walls that kept the city’s independence until the 19th century. You can visit the historic Lucca Cathedral, climb the Guinigi Tower or visit San Michele in Foro Church. If you are feeling particularly active you can walk around the Piazza dell’Anfiteatro. There are plenty of historic and picturesque spots to visit in this gorgeous Italian city.
Southern Italy is home to Ragusa, known for its bustling squares of center city and gorgeous houses. You can enjoy a wonderful view in Ragusa Superiore and Ragusa Ibla. And if you are staying in the area, some of the country’s best dining can be found in this area, so you can explore the local cuisine. Irminio nature reserve is great for the adventurous traveler, as well as the Garden Ibleo or the Ragusa Cathedral. You are sure to enjoy this personal vacation.
With glorious beaches, splendid olive groves and seemingly endless vineyards, Puglia is one of the best vacation getaways. This is a city where Italians go for vacation and it’s easy to see why.
The town is a maze of piazzas and fabulous views. Alberobello in Puglia has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its history and culture.
Like much of Italy, there are plenty of medieval castles as well as other structures featuring Greek and Turkish architecture. Puglia is also famous for its delicacies. While you are there, visit the Grotta Palazzese Cave Restaurant. This unique restaurant is known for being built into a cliff, with certain dining tables having a seaside view from inside the cliff.
Another UNESCO World Heritage site to add to your bucket list must be the five cliff-top towns of Cinque Terre (“The Five Lands”). Located in the Italian Riviera, the towns have an awe-inspiring view of the Mediterranean Sea. You can only get to this area by train or footpath and the towns of Cinque Terre offer medieval house combined with terraced vineyards.
This gorgeous city boasts various colored buildings, including homes and businesses. Here you can swim the rocky beaches, watch the sunset over the ocean or enjoy your dining with a gorgeous view. There are an unlimited number of things to do in this scenic area.
Various travelers from around the world occasionally want to pick a destination that may be less visited than other tourists. If you want to explore lesser known areas of the beautiful country of Italy, you should definitely check out any of these destinations.