This post originally appeared on Thecrowdedplanet’s :“Unusual Places to visit in Italy” written by thecrowdedplanet and posted on 28 February, 2016.
So, what’s your Italy bucket list? I’m pretty sure it includes Rome, Venice and Florence – and perhaps Cinque Terre, maybe Milan and a couple of Tuscan villages. Well, Italy is amazing anywhere you go – but if you stay on the beaten track, you’ll probably meet more American than Italians. So, how about some unusual places to visit in Italy?
Rome, Venice and Florence are must-sees, but unless you visit off-season, be ready for queues, crowds and a general ‘tourist theme park’ feel. If you want to experience the ‘real’ Italy, you need to get off the beaten track. Here we’ve included our favourite five unusual places to visit in Italy, with tips on what to see and when to visit.
Did you know that Pisa has a lot more to offer than the tower? The whole square where the tower is located is just amazing, with a stunning church and baptistery, and grass instead of paving stones. Get away from the tourist centre and you’ll find a vibrant yet unpretentious town, with lots of young people (it’s one of the main university cities in Italy), a beautiful river and picturesque historic centre. Kind of like Florence, fifty years ago.
Sure, Capri is no secret – but visit outside the summer months and you’ll have the place to yourself. Take a seaside walk to view the famous Faraglioni, giant rocks just off the coast, enjoy an alfresco lunch if you’re visiting in spring or autumn, and tour the Blue Grotto by boat, without having to wait for hours in line. If you want to feel immersed in Capri life, stay in Anacapri, a village located on the highest point of the island with a magnificent view all around.
Turin is often dismissed as a grey, cold, industrial city – in fact, it’s one of Italy’s creative hotspots, it’s located around the corner from the Alps and have plenty of understated historic sites. It was the first capital of the newborn Italian kingdom, after all! If you’re visiting Turin for the weekend don’t miss the Gran Balon market, one of the biggest flea markets in Italy, and have lunch at a family-run restaurant offering Piedmontese cuisine.
Not many people visit Southern Italy, and even fewer do so outside summer. The Amalfi Coast is one of Italy’s favorite photogenic locations, with houses clinging to the rock and turquoise sea all around – and Positano is one of the best places to experience it all. In summer it becomes the abode of the rich and famous; prices soar and crowds become unbearable, but the rest of the year the place is perfectly affordable and it’s a lot more pleasant to move around.
I don’t get why don’t more people visit Bologna. It ticks all the boxes – it’s a busy university town so fun is guaranteed, there are historical monuments, beautiful hills all around and one of the best cuisines in Italy. It’s also a centre of underground culture, with beautiful street art all over town, great music and shows. To get the most of Bologna’s atmosphere, visit during the academic year as it’s very quiet in summer and you might miss out on the fun.
This post is brought to you in collaboration with Hipmunk