Every country has its not-to-be-missed destinations. And Italy is no exception. And while many travelers restrict themselves to Rome, Venice and Florence – three amazing Italian getaways, the country still boasts many other fascinating hidden gems beckoning. Here is our guide to some of Italy’s best hidden treasures.
Tucked away in the northwestern area of Italy, Porto Venere is a tiny, somewhat austere-looking harbor town dating back to at least the middle of the first century, which is a hidden treasure for daytrippers and even residents of Italy to still discover. Perhaps the most profound scenery of this town is the strip of colorful buildings that lay across the shoreline of the marina. But among Porto Vener’s attractions are also a number of churches, containing several fine works of art, as well as a fortress, the Castello Doria, boasting a superb location high above the waves, from where you can enjoy dramatic views of the surroundings. The waterfront of the town is lined by some pleasant eateries and bars, where you can dine and drink at your heart’s content.
Located right on the Italian-Swiss border, between Lombardy and Piemonte, Lake Maggiore is the second largest lake in Italy with much to offer holidaymakers in terms of scenery and attractions. Its most famous resort which has been mentioned in Hemingway’s ‘Farewell to Arms,’ Stresa is a great place to base your holiday on Lake Maggiore, featuring numerous restaurants, shops, unique island attractions, churches and a wide range of accommodation from simple B&Bs to luxury hotels and everything in between. On Lake Maggiore make sure to stop also in Pavia – the Roman ‘Ticinum’ and from the 6th century, capital of the Lombard Kings; and Vigevano – a nice spot, famous for its majestic ‘Piazza Ducale.’
There are several ways to enjoy being on the lake, with one of the most popular and economical way being public traghetto (ferries), which will stop at many small towns and places of interest. So, if you have already been in the most popular places of interest of Italy and are looking for something truly hidden and magical, make it a special trip to explore the magical beauty of Lake Maggiore. You’ll not regret!
Considered one of the most fertile and productive regions extending from north-central Italy between Milan and Florence to the nook of the Adriatic, Emilia Romagna is a haven for holidaymakers who love the combination of sun, sea and entertainment in a tranquil getaway, far from crowds.
Must-see tourist attractions in this amazing region include: Castello di Montbello – an impressive 13th century structure in the town of Bellinzona, which for its beauty was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site; the kid-friendly Acqaurio di Genova – Italy’s largest aquarium visited by over a million people; and the Alto Garda Bresciano National Park, a nice spot for nature lovers, boasting breathtaking scenery and plenty of wildlife in the area.
Rich in art and culture cities and unique places of interest, Emilia Romagna is a land with a soul and people with a smile.
It’s interesting to note that this wonderful region has given many world-famous artists and professionals; including opera star Luciano Pavarotti, composer Giuseppe Verdi, fashion guru Giorgio Armani and popular singers Vasco Rossi and Zucchero Fornanciari; not to mention Enzo Ferrari and Ferruccio Lamborghini – renowned automobile makers.
The most south-eastern region of Italy, which for centuries has been colonized, invaded and conquered by just about every major power of the country, Puglia is a land of brilliant seas, coastal town and marvelous beaches, most diverse art and architecture, awe-inspiring peasant cuisine and kindest people in all of Italy. Often referred to as ‘the spur of the Italian boot,’ this enchanting region is a real hidden treasure in Italy which will delight every visitor with its magical beauty and the horde of attractions, from museums to parks to islands.