12 Best Hidden Gems in Italy
Italy is an amazing country. The food, the people, and the culture. It pretty much has it all. I have traveled all over Italy, and love every part of that county. There is so much to see and do. You could spend months just traveling around and checking everything out. The better spots are the hidden gems in Italy.
Yes, Rome and Venice are places you can’t miss on your trip to Italy, but the crowds can be overwhelming and sometimes you just want some nice escapes within Italy without all the tourists.
Even if you only plan on spending 2 days in Venice, the crowds can be too much.
Places where you can enjoy the good food, tasty wine and laid-back lifestyle without overpaying for it.
Hidden gems are great because since they are off the radar you tend to save money. Not only do you save money, but you also don’t have to deal with the crowds.
Crowds are my least favorite part about traveling. This is why I tend to look for hidden gems and off-the-beaten-path places when I am traveling.
Lucca is an off-the-beaten-path location in Italy. It is a walled city and has so much to offer. Like all places in Italy, the food here is unreal. It is also centrally located near the Tuscany region of Italy, so right in the heart and center of the wine country.
There is plenty of wine tours to do while you are here, it is also a quick drive to Pisa, where you can see the famous leaning tower of Pisa.
Trust me when I say this that Pisa is the perfect place to make a quick pit stop and take a picture by the tower, but you won’t want to spend too much time there.
2. San Remo
San Remo is the perfect place to escape to on the Italian Rivera. If you thought the French Rivera is where it is at, you are greatly mistaken. By just jumping over the border, you will enjoy the same crystal clear blue waters, warm sunshine for almost half the price.
San Remo is about 20 minutes from the French border and is one of the best hidden gems in Italy. Since it doesn’t attract too many tourists you won’t be overcharged for hotels or waterfront restaurants.
It has an amazing boardwalk that is perfect for bike riding, running or just strolling along. There are plenty of great cafes and restaurants to stop along the way.
It is also a quick drive to Monaco if you are looking for a nice day trip.
Italy’s most southern point and most underrated city. Bari is the heart of the culinary world in Italy. This city is often overlooked and skipped when a trip to Italy is planned.
The city sits on the Adriatic sea and is the capital of Italy’s Puglia region. This region is beautiful and often overlooked. The Puglia region is great for road tripping around Italy.
Once you are in Bari, it is easy to fall in love with the maze-like old town. Get lost in the streets and fall in love with it’s narrow streets.
While you are there visit old castles and cathedrals, enjoy fresh seafood or just kick back and embrace the laidback atmosphere of southern Italy.
Bari is also full of amazing hotels that you will fall in love with and never want to leave.
If you are a wine lover, like myself you will love Alba or the Piedmont region of Italy. Even if you don’t enjoy wine it is a great remote place to go and visit. The countryside is absolutely beautiful.
If you are wanting to escape to Italy and not be in a crowded city, then this is your place. They are also home to an amazing Truffle Festival that they host every year.
You can even go hunting for them if you visit at the right time of year.
This is one of Italy’s most picturesque villages. Apricale sits high above the mountains and overlooks the sea. If you are planning a trip to Northern Italy, it is a must-see.
You won’t find many hotels or fancy restaurants here. This is a true old-school Italian village where the whole village meets in the town square to enjoy an Aperol spritz at the end of the day.
Are you looking for a winter wonderland escape in a beautiful Italian city? Then Trento is your place. Located in the Trentino-Alto region of Italy, Trento is known by the Italian for it’s beauty. It is still under the radar with foreign tourists, which is why it is one of the best-hidden gems in Italy.
It is home to many ski hubs, so those looking to hit the slopes are in luck. Wondering when is the best time to ski in Europe?
Trento is amazing place to visit year-round, so whether you are looking for snow, or wanting to visit in the summer months you won’t be disappointed. It is absolutely stunning year-round.
7. Limone Sul Garda
Most people have heard of Lake Como, it is where the movie stars go and escape to in Italy. Anyone that has been there would know why. It has charm, beauty, but most importantly tranquility.
However, it can also be very expensive and overcrowded. Gucci, Prada, and other expensive stores can be found here, which means not everyone can afford it.
If you are looking for a peaceful lake experience in Italy, why not skip Lake Como and head to Lake Garda just next door. It has everything that you are looking for at a fraction of the price. This is why Limone Sul Garda is one of the best hidden gems in Italy.
Go ahead and skip Lake Como and come here instead.
Dolce another one of my favorite villages in the Italian Riveria. This small village will have you stopping to taking photos just about everywhere you go. It is also home to some of the best pizza I have had in all of Italy.
Dolceaqua is a great place to spend the afternoon, or still stop in for a long lunch as you drive around the Italian Alps. It is off the beaten path and the perfect spot if you want to practise your Italian, as you won’t find many people that will speak English here.
Now let’s head off the mainland of Italy in search for a peaceful island getaway. Lampedusa is one of the pelagic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea in southern Italy. It has some of the best beaches in Italy, and is still off the radar with the tourists, which is why it is a hidden gem in Italy.
Lampedusa beaches have shallow waters with colorful marine life, making it a great place to snorkel or scuba. You are also likely to see turtles and dolphins swimming.
It is a great island to visit if you want to skip the normal tourist traps of Silly or Sardinia.
10. San Marino
Ok, this is technically not a part of Italy, but it is in Italy. That is because San Marino is an independent nation, just like Monaco. However, it is not a principality like Monaco, it is just a small independent nation.
San Marino is located in Northern Italy and only has a population of about 33,000 people.
It still makes the hidden gems in Italy list, because most people have never heard of it and it is often skipped on the tourist’s list. If you have the time it is worth checking out and why not add an extra country to your list while you are in Italy.
There is so much to see and do in San Marino.
11. San Gimignano
San Gimignano is said to be the heart of Tuscany. This small village is a great place to visit if you are wanting to fully soak in the Tuscany experience. It is surrounded by some of Italy’s oldest vineyards.
The scenery is absolutely breathtaking. Most people come to Italy for the big cities and crowded museums, but if you can escape that and get to the heart of Tuscany you won’t be disappointed.
San Gimignano is also home to the best gelato in the world, not just Italy if you still needed another reason to visit it.
Ravello is a small town that sits above the Almalfi cost in Italy. It’s fantastic views and old history scored it a place in the world UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997, which has gained it more popular with the tourists.
However, it is still considered a hidden gem as most tourists will skip Ravello and head for Sorrento. If you prefer a quieter town, which I think you do. Skip Sorrento and head for Ravello.
Well that sums up the best hidden gems in Italy. I hope you enjoyed this article. If you did and would like to read more, be sure to leave a comment below.