Move over Florence and Rome, these are Italy's top 13 underrated gems.
Italy like you've never seen it before
Achingly beautiful scenery, a rich cultural heritage and exquisite gastronomy make Italy an unrivalled destination any time of year. From majestic Roman architectural feats to the lofty heights of Florence's Duomo, we're all familiar with the must-see sights.
Although the rolling Tuscan hills and Milan's Łber chic ambiance beckon visitors from far and wide for a reason, there's a lot to be said for lesser-known spots. From otherworldly fishing villages to stunning bucolic hamlets, there's a bounty of little-known hideaways off the beaten track waiting for you to visit. Here are 13 that will have you asking yourself: what Cinque Terre?
Cefalý is downright gorgeous, and just an hour's drive from Palermo. It has served as the setting for multiple films, such as the highly revered "Cinema Paradiso". Explore the town's opulent cathedrals, and embark upon an evening passeggiata along the seafront before catching a terracotta sunset at rocky crag La Rocca.
Crouching in the shadows of nearby Milan, beautiful Bergamo is often overlooked. This beguiling destination steeped in history is a town of dualities; the lofty heights of its hilltop town Citta Alta serving as a fabulous contrast to the more modern Citta Bassa which lies below. Epic architecture, panoramic views and decadent dining await. Fun fact: this is also where San Pellegrino sparkling water comes from.
The pastel hues of the five villages studding the Italian coast, the Cinque Terre, are undeniably beautiful. But to avoid wrestling with the unruly crowds they draw, try Tellaro just one hour south. This quaint fishing village is famed for having inspired Lord Byron, and when you see its winding alleys and hidden beaches, you'll understand why.
Although not as well known as its neighbours Positano and Amalfi, Ravello is an underrated diamond on the Italian coast. The quaint town is entirely walkable, so there's no need to worry about renting a car. Once you've explored Ravello's striking 11th century Duomo, you can head to Amalfi which is just an hour's trek away.