Italy is renowned for being a tourist hotspot, and this is mainly due to the whole countries rich history and awe-inspiring views. With incredible locations such as Florence, Rome and Milan, visitors can often become distracted and forget about places which are off the beaten track. This boot-shaped country has so much more to offer its visitors than its main cities and hotspots which draw so many in year and year.
Italy is overflowing with hidden gems including waterfalls, castles, gardens and much more. So, if you want to travel to Italy, but want to opt for something a little different, I have put together this list of hidden gems which can be found dotted throughout the country.
Lago Trasimeno, Umbria
Situated on the border of Umbria and Tuscany, this seemingly endless lake is Italy’s fourth largest. Lesser known by tourists, it is the perfect place to tiptoe off to if you want to beat the crowds. This beautiful body of water invites you to relax and take in the beautiful landscape around you.
Around the lake, you will find a number of old small towns as well as magnificent isolated castles. Between Monte del Lago and S.Feliciano you will find the old Zocco castle, which is one of the biggest castles of the area and the only one that has an untouched medieval keep.
Grotta Palazzese, Puglia
This is probably one of the most unique locations in Puglia and even Italy! The Grotta Palazzese is a stunning restaurant which has been built in a cave! Not only known for its panoramic views towards the sunset and across the sea, but also for the exquisite fresh seafood and mouth-watering menu. Located in Polignano a Mare, this town in incredibly traditional with its whitewashed buildings and winding streets. This experience is perfect if you are whisking your love done away on a romantic break.
Ponte del Diavolo, Tuscany
Often referred to as “The Devils Bridge” due to an old Tuscan folk tale which says that the mystical powers, the Ponte del Diavolo is a spectacular stone bridge which stretches across the wide river Serchio. The largest arch rises up gracefully and is unusually thin. In 1670 there was a law which stopped people crossing of the bridge with millstones or sacks of flour; it is easy to see why due to the narrowness of the arch!
Marmore Falls, Umbria
Marmore Falls is a large series of waterfalls which were man-made by the Romans and can actually be turned off and on during certain times in the summer. Being Italy’s second largest waterfall, and the largest man-made one in the world, it is a spectacular sight to see and is well worth a visit if you are in the region. The spectacle of the Marmore Falls can be relished from various vantage points, and also makes the perfect picnic spot for couples and families alike.
Located in Puglia, this incredibly picturesque town has also been made a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its unusual districts of Trulli. These characteristic white-washed conical-roofed houses really give it a magical fairytale feel to it. With its narrow streets with small shops selling local produce and a few nice cafes offering al fresco dining, Alberobello serves a great day out for everyone.
Civita di Bagnoregio
Known as “The Dying City” because of the erosion which threatens it, this stunning Medieval village is only reachable by foot, as it sits proudly on top of a cliff. Once you reach the village, you will be able to admire the incredible architecture, walk through the winding lanes, enjoy delicious food at a local restaurant and not forgetting, taking in the endless surrounding views.
There is something wonderful about going off the beaten track, as you are sure to have a unique experience like no other. Whether you are experiencing Italy by staying in a holiday villa in Umbria or somewhere else, by visiting lesser-known attractions you can really get a feel for what traditional Italy is all about!
Have you found any hidden gems when visiting Italy? Let me know in the comments below!