hidden gems in italy

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The most underrated hidden gems in Italy that you cannot miss.

Italy is an iconic city that everyone loves. The country’s spectacular cobbled piazzas and breathtaking coastal villages make everyone fall in love with it. Rome, the capital city of Italy, is among the most visited holiday destinations. But this bustling city and many other famous destinations in the country take tourists’ attention away from the unique hidden gems of Italy.

So, it is time to explore Italy’s most underrated destinations for the most unique experience!

This is a guest post contributed by Kenty Ross.

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Italy underrated destinations

Hidden gems in Italy

Italy’s famous destinations usually overshadow the secret spots. By exploring the hidden destinations, you will experience a completely different side of Italy. Many tourists visit Italy yearly, but most explore the same famous tourist destinations. So, if you want your Italy holidays to be unique, you should spend your time in the country by heading towards the underrated destinations!

If you are a UK citizen who wants to explore the underrated side of Italy, book your flight to Italy from the UK and take inspiration from the hidden gems of Italy discussed below!

Hidden gems in Italy that you have to see!

1. Matera

If you want to explore Italy’s hidden gems, start with Matera. This city is a unique destination with a distinct charm that comes with the slow pace of Italy’s Mezzogiorno. The art, culture, and history here make it an intriguing destination.

One of the most significant features of this unique, underrated Italian city is the ancient, yet well-preserved cave dwellings. To this day you can still admire these cave dwellings from up close with this highly rated city tour!

However, history and culture are not the only things this unique destination offers. For the most panoramic views of the city, check out these amazing viewpoints. The spectacular piazzas and churches scattered throughout the region are awe-inspiring and worth checking out!

You should explore the narrow alleyways to get an insight into the region’s history, architecture and culture. I also recommend seeing the stunning stone houses in the famous Sassi district.  While here, savour the most delectable local cuisine in the traditional restaurants and quaint cafes. Don’t forget to taste the delicious homemade goods from local markets!

2. Bologna

Bologna is an excellent destination for tourists who want an authentic Italian experience. The Etruscans founded this city more than 2,500 years ago. This interesting city still has a unique historic atmosphere that excites history buffs.

Bologna’s ancient charm lies in the cobblestone streets, grand churches, and hundreds of years-old palaces. Once here, you must not miss out on the most ancient university in Europe; the University of Bologna. It is truly a historical and cultural testament to the region. 

The city also makes your nights thrilling with vibrant nightlife. Once the sun sets, the pubs, bars, and clubs here get alive with music and entertainment! So, it is the perfect city to dance your nights away with your new Italian friends that you will meet here.

Moreover, your tastebuds and stomach will thank you for feeding on such tasteful food; Bologna has some of the best cafes and restaurants in Italy! You get the most authentic taste of the local Italian cuisine during your time in Bologna. 

3. Ferrara 

Ferrara is one of the most interesting medieval cities in Italy. Although it has a unique charm and some of the most spectacular medieval architecture, tourists often neglect it. So, if you want to explore hidden gems and underrated destinations in Italy, Ferrara is a great choice. The skyline of this fascinating city is lined with churches, towers, and domes representing its ancient history. 

Moreover, beautiful mansions, castles, and palaces adorn the quaint cobbled streets. The ancient walls of Ferrara house untold stories about the Renaissance. The beautiful city also has a vibrant culture and a delectable cuisine that will not disappoint you. Also, don’t forget to observe some of the most remarkable artwork in the world at Palazoo dei Diamanti!

So, if you want to have an authentic Italian experience in one of the most underrated cities of Italy, you will surely love your time in Ferrara! 

4. Trieste

One of the best hidden gems in Italy is surely Trieste! It’s a port city located near the Slovenian Border. Slavic, Austrian, and Italian influences make your trip to Trieste very unique and memorable. You will find the perfect blend of natural beauty, vibrant culture, and a tempting food scene. Plus, you’ll be able to admire the well-loved scenic waterfront of Trieste!

Architecture lovers will also love this region, which features elegant and awe-inspiring architecture. This charming city was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, so you will see spectacular palaces, old fortresses, Baroque architecture, and grand squares scattered around the city. It’s also famous for its exciting cafe culture, that is well worth checking out!

Related: The 17 Most Surprising Things to Do in Trieste, Italy

5. Lucca

Lucca is the ”City of Art” of Italy. It is a walled city with remarkably preserved Renaissance-era walls. Built in the 16th century, these walls hold lots of history! The city’s small population and charming history will give you the type of unique experience that you might be looking for in Italy’s underrated destinations.

Numerous churches and museums in the city exhibit centuries-old artworks and sculptures, which makes that history and archaeology lovers will love to explore this ancient city. There are many parks here too, so you can relax amidst refreshing scenery after strolling around the city and sightseeing. You can enjoy the local Italian cuisine here, as well.

No matter where you are in Italy, whether you have planned your holidays in Rome or Lucca, the tantalising Italian cuisine will follow you everywhere! So, ensure you are ready to try delicious Italian meals everywhere you go. Italian cuisine is famous worldwide, Don’t miss out on any chance to savour it like a true foodie!

Related: Admire Tuscany’s Greatest Wonders with this Itinerary for 10 Days!

6. Ascoli Piceno

Ascoli Piceno is a small but exciting city in Italy. It is known for its elegant travertine buildings and ancient towers. Moreover, this city provides a culturally immersive experience with its exceptionally unique and vibrant local culture and traditions. It’s located between the hills in the Marche region and is among the most underrated destinations in the country. The city is full of beautiful ancient buildings dating back to the time of the Roman Empire!

Once in the city, you cannot miss out on its historic city centre. Featuring beautiful cobbled streets lined with colourful piazzas with shops and restaurants, Ascoli Piceno is a city like no other! Ascoli Piceno is unmatched in its delicious local cuisine.

The culture and lifestyle here perfectly blend modern culture and old-world charm. Have a full Ascoli Piceno experience by visiting the city’s glorious historical monuments and quaint cafes.

7. Alberobello

Alberobello is another one of Italy’s most underrated destinations. It’s an ancient town with enough things to do and see. The city’s historical charm lies in its whitewashed trulli houses, stone-built architecture, and narrow lanes. Trulli houses are cone-shaped dwellings that date back to prehistoric times. Some of these trulli buildings are also featured as the world heritage sites that fascinate the tourists. 

For a more exciting experience, you can hike around the caves and visit the wineries. Some of the local cuisine’s must-taste meals include delicious homemade pasta and wood-fired pizza cooked in traditional ovens.

Alberobello is definitely worth checking out!

8. Ravenna 

Ravenna is a magical city that holds immense historical treasures. This city is still a neglected destination in Italy, making it a true hidden gem. Hidden between the Adriatic Sea and the Apennine Mountains, the city and its surroundings will blow your mind!

Ravenna is an ancient city that has stood here since the 6th century BC. You will feel like you have stepped back in time while exploring this city’s historical monuments and churches. There are also awe-inspiring mosaics around the region that glimpse the city’s fascinating history. 

Cobbled streets and quaint cafes in the city centre will give you an authentic Italian experience. Some sites you must visit in Ravenna include the medieval castles, the Byzantine fortifications, and the Roman ruins. Head to the San Vitale Church to witness the city’s glorious skyline.

Ravenna is also an ideal destination for outdoorsy people. There are many outdoor activities that you can enjoy while you are here, including cycling and kayaking.

Ravenna, renowned for its stunning Byzantine mosaics, offers a unique blend of history and art, captivating visitors with its ancient churches, vibrant culture, and rich heritage. So, if you want diverse experiences during your Italy holidays, Ravenna is an excellent option. This underrated destination will enable you to make unforgettable memories!

Final thoughts about hidden gems in Italy

You hear about countless people travelling to Italy every year, of which many tourist stories revolve around the same few destinations in the country. But there are many hidden gems in the region waiting to be explored by tourists like you!

Some of Italy’s hidden gems are mentioned above, but the list doesn’t end here… Some other underrated destinations in the country include Mantua, Cremona, Cefalu, Ravello, Orvieto, and many more. So, explore your options and decide which Italian destination you would love to explore this holiday season!

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