Italy is renowned for its captivating sites and historic attractions.

In Rome alone, you’ll find the gilded Vatican City, filled with religious icons and the striking Sistine Chapel. There’s the Colosseum and the Trevi Fountain – both key tourist hotspots to tick off the bucket list. Away from Rome, there’s Pisa with its leaning tower and Venice, with its enchanting waterways.

But if you’re ready to experience another side to the country, you’re in luck. Italy is home to some beautiful hidden gems. If you’re planning your big Italian adventure, read on and get inspired.

Vatican City

Quirky city experiences

Explore Italy’s other cities for something a little different. Although you won’t find the touristy hustle and bustle by avoiding the major spots like Rome, you will uncover another side to the country.

In the north, you’ll find Bologna, the historic capital of the Emilia-Romagna region. Here, there’s an eclectic mix of two worlds. The first is high-tech, high-chic living, with opera goers and city workers dining in some of the most decadent eateries. The second reveals a city with bite, from graffiti-laden piazzas to the world’s oldest university filled with politically driven students.

To the south is Lecce in Puglia, a mesmerising place dotted with baroque buildings and decorative sites. This is a must-see for fans of brash and bawdy architecture.

Lecce, Puglia

Adventures in nature

Italy is replete with stunning, diverse landscapes. There are plenty of ways to indulge in these captivating natural surroundings, from kayaking on the Sardinian coast to cycling through the Tuscan countryside.

You might want to see the country by foot, too. There’s the mountain region of the Dolomites along with the scenic Amalfi coast – the perfect place for a walking holiday in Italy.

There are also lesser-explored natural parks, such as the Gran Paradiso National Park or the Sila National Park, which offer great opportunities for wildlife spotting.

Positano, Amalfi Coast

Fine dining

Italy is known for its cuisine. In fact, the country’s culinary delights consistently top the most-loved lists, with a 2018 YouGov survey revealing that Italian food is the world’s most popular.

Make Pasta and Pizza from Scratch – Like Italian Chefs Do!

It’s easy to see why. Pizza and pasta are both easy, hearty dishes to replicate, plus they feature ingredients that are accessible around many regions. If you want to indulge in a food-themed holiday, it’s easily done here. There are farm-to-table cooking classes in Emilia-Romagna; wine regions like Franciacorta or Umbria; and regional specialties available from local markets.

However, if you do long to sample authentic pizza, you need to head to Naples. The pizza that we know today was born in the city and remains the go-to place for traditionally made pizza dishes.


Where will you go when you take off on your alternative Italian adventure?