So you’ve made the excellent decision to spend your vacation in Italy, and you’ve decided to enjoy the privacy of an Italian villa, but did you know Italy is home to some wonderful hidden vacations?
Take a look below for more information about these hidden but must-visit destinations:1 Bergamo, Lombardy With streets that wind their way around the walled city, and not far from the Alps, Bergamo is one of Italy’s much-loved destinations, even if it isn’t always on the ‘Top 10 Italian Cities’ list. Divided into two places, Citta Bassa can be found on the lower half of the city, and is quite modern and bustling, although it is a very attractive city at that. Citta Alta seems to be much more historical with bell towers, spires, and domes that seem to fill the sky with ease.
With sloping roofs and stone that has a distinctly Mediterranean feel, all of the buildings seem to have a distinctly charming look. Bergamo is home to some lovely gelato stalls and is the ideal location if you would like to explore more of Lombardy and the magnificent Italian lakes.2 Gabicce Mare, Le Marché Located on the Adriatic Coast, and a great escape from the hustle and bustle of some of Italy’s most popular destinations lies Gabicce Mare, also known as ‘The Jewel of the Adriatic’. A very picturesque area and ideal for anyone who is on vacation with their children, the beach is simply stunning and can be reached by foot. The harbor is also very close by, as are the streets that are lined with restaurants and the occasional bar. Visit some of the local stores before heading back to the beach to partake in one of the many sporting activities that are on offer.
With a charm that separates the town from many others in the area and delicate buildings that are so pretty, if you like to walk around somewhere scenic that’s away from many tourist destinations, Gabicce Mare is the place to be.3 Matera, Basilicata Considered to be on of western Europe’s poorest towns approximately 50 years ago, Matera has seen something of a revival and the town is now glowing with opulence and style. Home to many hotels, galleries, restaurants and cafés, the town has been brought back to life, and we are all very pleased about that.
With cave dwellings something of a tourist attraction along with medieval alleyways and sweeping views, if you would like to vacation somewhere special, this is the place to be. Throw in the cave churches that were hidden around the area, and the glorious Italian weather and Matera is possibly one of the best-hidden vacation destinations in the country.4 Marettimo, Aegadian Islands Located off the coast of Sicily, and the ideal place to visit if you want to explore somewhere that isn’t too touristy, Marettimo could be just what you’re looking for. This part of the world is usually a destination that’s frequented by scuba divers, walkers, and those who would love to indulge in a spot of sun-worshipping. This island is quite unspoilt, making it perfect if you want to stay well away from major tourist attractions and busy streets.
If you have come to Marettimo to enjoy a spot of walking, you’ll need to bring your tough legs with you as there are some challenging walks, but they’re all stunning which will make up for those muscle aches. If you want to enjoy a lot of sun-worshipping, you may want to note that there aren’t any huge beaches on the island. There are a few rocky outcrops and grassy areas that you may wish to sunbathe on, but if you’re a real fan of laying in the sun, you may want to visit another destination. Marettimo is very pretty, and visitors will find they have everything they need for their stay here, so grab your walking boots, traipse around the town and hills and have a quieter vacation that will blow away those cobwebs.5 Portovenere, Liguria A popular destination for those out on a day trip, Portovenere is not as busy as some locations making it a bit of a hidden gem. The town itself is quite small, so you should expect to see most of it within a few hours, but it is worth a visit. The striped church is a must-see, as is the Castello Doria which is simply stunning and full of wonderful stories about its past.
The town is the ideal place to eat if you’re looking for some home-made meals that have been lovingly prepared or some local dishes such as focaccias and pizzas. The area is steeped in history, and it is quite surprising that the town isn’t more popular, but that just means you won’t have to attempt to make your way past throngs of tourists who are all travelling in the same direction. If you do decide to come to Portovenere, make sure you bring a camera as you’ll have many photo opportunities thanks to the colourful houses by the pier, and the amazing views from up high.
Italy is home to some real hidden gems that are far away from any bustling tourist destination. Why not explore those hidden destinations that the country has to offer, and see for yourself what life is like in the towns and cities that you won’t find in many tourist’s guidebooks.