Italy is probably one of the most visited countries in the world, with 50,000 visitors arriving annually. The country has prime vacation spots from head to toe, from the fashion forward city of Milan in the north to the warm Mediterranean city of Naples in the south. Despite this, most places are overshowed by tourist clichés (e.g. The Coliseum, Leaning tower pizza) which make people forget about Italy’s hidden gems. Here are the best, lesser known Italian cities.
Town of Capri
Located on an island of the same name in the Tyrrhenian Sea, this is as close to a tropical paradise as Italy has (and we mean that in a good way). The town has been a resort since the time of the Roman Republic, and rightfully so considering its beauty, warm weather and the amount of activities that can be done here. The Famous Blue grotto is located here, where sunlight casts into the cave which illuminates it and reflects blue colors onto the walls of the cave. This place is also a hotspot for water sports. In crystal clear water, approach the coast from a boat tour or simply go sailing. There are a lot of expensive, luxury villas to enjoy here, but also some free beaches for guests.
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Those heading to Florence or Rome to experience a romantic Italian evening should head to Verona instead. The play Romeo and Juliet is set in this city, need I say more? Verona is filled with medieval architecture at its best, mainly the Basilica of San Zeno and the Sant’Anastasia which is located in the most ancient part of the city. Amazing artistic entertainment is found in this city, mainly operas and the countless shows and festivals that happen here (perfect for a date). When the night is finished, visit Juliet’s balcony to really entice romance while in Italy.
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Overshadowed by its sister city Milan, Bergamo is a hidden gem of northern Italy and is home to its most detailed architecture including intricately carved statues and churches built in a Renaissance style. Visit the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore to see stunning Veronese marble carved into hunting scenes and miniature towers featuring various historical figures. This city is regarded as one of the most important locations in music history, some churches training musicians for 800 consecutive years in an often Venetian style of music. Visit the Teatro Donizetti which dates back to the seventeen hundreds, for an opera that will give you a taste of Bergamo’s well-earned status in music history.
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This city looks like it was taken straight from a movie, which is meant literally considering that so many filmmakers die to film here (notable films filmed here include Under the Tuscan Sun and Only You). This village is actually located in an enclave which leads down into the ocean. The blueness of the water, and the amount of greenery here (which is not found in other Italian cities) makes this city one of the best paradises in Italy. Explore the beautiful bays, maybe on a cruise along the coast. As this city is not as popular for tourists as other cities, we recommend it for the more savvy travellers. This is well worth it though, since the lack of tourists makes the food super authentic (the city has some of the best food in Italy).
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Written by Kent Austin