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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 are so many hidden gems in Italy, that most tourists miss.

You could spend months just traveling around and checking everything out in Italy.

Yes, Rome and Venice are places you can’t miss on your trip, but the crowds can be overwhelming and sometimes you just want some nice escapes without all the tourists.

Even if you only plan on spending 2 days in Venice, the crowds can be too much.

These hidden gems are places where you can enjoy good food, tasty wine and a laid-back lifestyle without overpaying for it.

Off-the-beaten-path places are great because they are off the radar and you tend to save money by staying in them. Not only do you save money, but you also don’t have to deal with 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.

Top 10 Hidden Gems in Italy

Lucca Italys best hidden gem

1. Lucca

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 are 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 that Pisa is the perfect place to make a quick pit stop while on your road trip through Tuscany, take a picture by the tower, and move on. There is not much to see there.

You are far better off staying in Lucca. You will fall in love with this walled city and a hidden gem in Italy.

San Remo, Italy

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.

Bari best hidden gem in Italy

3. Bari

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.

Alba Italy

4. Alba

If you are a wine lover, like me 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. It is the napa valley of Italy. Expect of course better food.

Alba is home to an amazing Truffle Festival every year. And you can pig out on truffle pasta for next to nothing. How can you say no to that.

They also offer truffle tours if you want to go try to find your own. What would be better than finding your own truffles and eating them with some freshly made pasta? YUM!

Apricale

5. Apricale

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. As it is truly a hidden gem in Italy, and not many people know about it.

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.

It is a great spot to come and check out for the day, however, I’m not sure you would want to stay here, as it is very much a local village. Still a great spot to come and check out the sites.

Trento, Italy

6. Trento

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 Italians for it’s beauty, charm and of course great food.

It is still under the radar of foreign tourists, which is why it is one of the best-hidden gems in Italy. Trento is further north, so most tourists avoid it completely. However, if you have the time you will love this spot.

It is home to many ski hubs, and tends to be cheaper than France or Switzerland.

Trento is an amazing place to visit year-round, so whether you are looking for snow, or want to visit in the summer months you won’t be disappointed. It is absolutely stunning year-round.

Limone sul Garda

7. Limone Sul Garda

Most people have heard of Lake Como, it is where the movie stars go and escape to in Italy.

It is beautiful and there are plenty of things to do in Lake Como. 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. All the same beauty with half the price.

DolceAqua best hidden gem in Italy

8. Dolceacqua

Dolceacqua is another favorite village 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 and most Italians will agree.

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 practice your Italian, as you won’t find many people that will speak English here.

A true Italian village where you won’t find many if not any tourists here.

Lampedusa, Italys hidden gem

9. Lampedusa

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.

San Marino in Italy

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.

San Gimignano, Italy

11. San Gimignano

San Gimignano is said to be the heart of Tuscany. This small village is a great unique 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.

Tuscany is a great place to visit, any time of year.

But if you need more reason to book your flight. San Gimignano claims to be home to the best gelato in the world, not just Italy if you still needed another reason to visit it.

Ravello, Italy

12. Ravello

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.

Conclusions 

Well that sums up the best hidden gems in Italy. I hope you enjoyed this article. Do you have a favorite spot in Italy that wasn’t mentioned on this list? Say so in the comments below.

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