Discover the most beautiful, smaller towns of Italy
Italy has always been a popular holiday destination for people from all over the world. That is not surprising, given the rich history and beauty that the country offers. This gallery goes a little beyond the famous cities, in search of lesser-known villages or towns that many tourists have yet to discover.
In the southern region of Basilicata lies a city that travelers have recently begun to rediscover: Matera. The main and very particular feature of the city is the set of Cave Houses carved into the mountain. Unmissable.
Take a dip in the Amalfi Coast and visit Ravello, a tourist town in the province of Salerno that, besides incredible landscapes, has many activities to offer. First of all, a visit to Villa Rufolo with its wonderful terraced gardens.
We move to the province of Perugia, in Umbria, to discover a village of just 5,000 inhabitants. Montefalco is known especially for its excellent local wines. The 'railing of Umbria' is a famous spot from which you can admire the beauty of the surrounding towns, such as Foligno, Assisi, Trevi, and Spello.
(In the photo: the Church of Sant'Agostino)
In 1997, Portovenere was included among the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, along with the islands of Palmaria, Tino, Tinetto, and the Cinque Terre. It is the smallest town in the province of La Spezia, in Liguria, characterized by picturesque views and landscapes.
Bergamo also deserves a spot in our itinerary of lesser-visited Italian places. The fourth city in the Lombardy region is simply an enchanting town where you can get lost in the small streets of the center while enjoying delicious ice cream.
We return to the south, this time to discover one of the most delightful places in Calabria: Scilla. It is located just 22 kilometers (13.6 miles) from the better-known city of Reggio Calabria. Scilla's beauty has made it one of the favorite destinations of the Calabrians themselves. It was built on a hill from which it is possible to admire the landscape surrounded by the blue sea.
With its beautiful landscapes to visit especially in the autumn months, the Langhe, an incredible area of Piedmont, will intoxicate you with its aromas and intense flavors. In fact, this is the ideal destination for lovers of gastronomy and life in the countryside.
On the other hand, history and art lovers shouldn't miss a visit to Ravenna, a city in Emilia-Romagna located a few miles from both Ferrara and Mantua. The Emilian city is famous for the incredible Byzantine-era mosaics that decorate many buildings in the historic center of the city.
In Genoa, the capital of Liguria, you can stroll through history and art. Its Via Garibaldi is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Another must-see is the Palazzo Rosso, where you can admire wonderful frescoes by Ligurian painters of the 17th century.
Go beyond Florence and visit Lucca, the Tuscan city with its magnificent Piazza dell'Anfiteatro. It was built in 1830 and incorporates the ancient Roman amphitheater. Another tip: when visiting Lucca, take in the view from high up to appreciate its harmony and architectural style.
For lovers of a crystal clear sea and dreamy beaches, Oristano in central-western Sardinia is the perfect place. Just 9 km (5.5 miles) from the sea, it offers the possibility to easily reach incredible itineraries. Furthermore, the town itself offers visitors a fascinating history: it appears to have been born from the merger of three cities: Tharros, the Phoenician city on the sea, Neapolis, and Othoca.
Between Pesaro and Urbino, in the Marche region, a small town rises on a bay called Baia degli Angeli. Its name is Gabicce Mare and it's the ideal destination for those who want to escape from the bustle of the Adriatic coast and take refuge in an oasis of peace.
Ferrara, another city in Emilia-Romagna, is defined by many as 'The city of bicycles,' a name that reveals the calm vibe of the town. Few cars, an incredible historic center, and people who enjoy life in complete relaxation. Be sure to see the Palazzo Schifanoia and the Palazzo dei Diamanti, as well as the unique Castello d'Este, a symbol of the city.
We return to the south and, once again, the coast. This time we're at the Tyrrhenian coast to see Pisciotta, a small town on a hill. It's a village of just 2,000 inhabitants, about 100 kilometers (62 miles) from Salerno, where time seems to have stood still. A few steps from the town, you can take relaxing walks in the narrow streets of Marina di Pisciotta with its pastel-colored houses.
Almost at the end of our itinerary, we have to mention this Italian jewel: the beautiful Lecce, capital of Salento, in the region of Apulia. It's a city rich in works of art from the Roman, Medieval, and Renaissance periods, but most of all, Lecce is the 'Lady of the Baroque.'
Sicily is one of the regions of Southern Italy most appreciated by visitors. Besides the fantastic climate, you can enjoy good food there. Our advice is to go beyond the most famous places, such as Taormina, and instead visit Ragusa, a small city with one of the most beautiful historical centers in Italy.
The tour of Italy ends with the magnificent town of Ischia, in the province of Naples. It tends to be overshadowed by Capri, a destination for VIPs, but Ischia offers equally incredible landscapes and much more affordable prices. It's a great destination for families or couples looking for the sea and moving sunsets.