Italy has lots of great places to visit and is one of the most popular vacation destinations in Europe. And it’s no wonder! The reasons for that include art treasures, charming towns, passionate people and top-class cuisine.
It’s a place where you can see some of the most iconic sites in the world – the leaning Tower of Pisa, the Colosseum and the Trevi Fountain, to name but a few.
However, not every Italian getaway needs to be in the hub of Florence or along the Amalfi Coast. Here, we take a look at some of the most beautiful—and under the radar—places in Italy to book your next vacation to.
If you never visited Italy, you’re in for a treat!
Via Krupp, Capri
While the risk of tumbling rocks means you can no longer stroll the elegant switchback bends that make up Via Krupp, that doesn’t stop the view at the top from being any less spectacular. Head up to the Augustus Gardens and gaze out at the best of Capri laid before you.
Nearly destroyed from heavy bombing during WWII, Milan has since reconstructed and now shines as one of the wealthiest cities in Europe.
Widely regarded as a mega fashion center teeming in designer shops, Milan also attracts many to its surviving world famous treasures like Leonardo da Vinci’s painting, The Last Supper, the La Scala Opera House, the Castello Sforzesco and one of the world’s largest Gothic cathedral.
You can’t visit Italy and not spend at least a couple of days in Rome.
Both for its history as the capital of much of Europe and for its present day role as one of Europe’s most vibrant cities, for most tourists traveling to Italy, Rome heads the list of places to visit.
Relics of its ancient glories—the Colosseum, the Forum, the Pantheon, the Appian Way, and the Palatine Hill—vie with the vast riches of the Vatican as the top attractions.
Not only is San Cassiano the epitome of alpine charm (think wooden-clad chalets with castle-like turrets), but it’s also home to a rich Ladin culture and a consequently authentic South Tyrolean experience. Soak it all in from a rustic-luxe loft suite at Rosa Alpina.
Isola Bella, Sicily
Tucked away in a quiet cove and joined onto the mainland by just a narrow strip of land, Isola Bella is a pinprick of an island with more than its fair share of natural beauty. So-called ‘The Pearl of the Ionian Sea’, wait for low tide before heading across the island to discover hidden sea grottoes and pebbled beaches in a place that will feel all your own.
The showcase of the Italian Renaissance, Florence can at times seem like one giant art museum. The Duomo, the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, is a landmark of world architecture, topped by its gravity-defying massive dome. Together with its marble-inlaid bell tower by Giotto and its octagonal Baptistery with its incomparable bronze doors by Ghiberti, this is one of the world’s finest ensembles of Renaissance art.
Located along the Arno River in the northwestern region of Tuscany, the city of Pisa still bears the striking remnants of its former golden days as a commercial empire during the Middle Ages.
While the Leaning Tower is a must see, visiting this city only to take a photograph of it’s most popular landmark is like looking at one tree and missing the whole forest. Pisa is so much more than just the Leaning Tower.
From the south to the note of Italy! Not far from Genova, you can visit Bogliasco, a small fishing village that has managed to maintain its natural charm! It is the ideal destination in Italy for those looking for days of rest, by the sea!
Civita di Bagnoregio
Civita di Bagnoregio is an impressive Italian city, located on a mound of limestone, 443 meters above sea level, in Lazio, between the communes of Tuscany and Umbria. The city is about two hours from Rome.
I know this one is not a suprise. It sounds kinda cliché but trust me on this one.
Who could fail to love a city whose streets are made of water, whose buses are boats, and where the songs of gondoliers linger in the air? It is a magic city, and its major attraction to tourists is the city itself.
The hub of the city is the broad Piazza San Marco, St. Mark’s Square, surrounded by several of its top tourist attractions. The great Basilica of St. Mark stands beside the Doge’s Palace, and overlooking both is the tall Campanile.
Venice is arguably one of Italy’s most visited tourist spots! Too bad that many travelers miss Burano, 7 km from Venice. Also formed in islands, Burano stands out for its colorful buildings, being one of the most colorful destinations in Europe! This is one of the best kept secrets in Italy. Burano is as charming as Venice, without all the tourist vibe.
Italy’s most beautiful lake, Como has been the favorite summer retreat of the rich and famous since ancient Romans fled Milan’s summer heat to cool off in villas along its steep shores. Later villas decorate its tightly clustered towns, especially pretty Bellagio, artfully set on a point where the three narrow arms of the lake meet.
A microclimate makes Como’s western shore temperate even in winter, so the white peaks of the Alps just to the north can be viewed between palm trees and camellias. Don’t overlook the town of Como, on the southern shore, well worth a stop before boarding a steamer to explore the lake.
Unfortunately, Lake Como is one of the most expensive regions in Italy but if you can afford it, you won’t be disappointed.
Let’s go to southern Italy to meet the trulli! The trulli are old stone buildings, with cone-shaped roofs, common in the Italian region of Puglia. Alberobello is the best of Italy’s destinations to appreciate the trulli and the symbols used in its decoration. Many with magical significance, according to the locals!
Also read: How to travel cheap