Last Updated on May 15, 2023
Italy has become the go-to travel destination of 2023. Packed full of historical architecture, stunning sea views and, of course, the globe’s favorite food, it has become a no-brainer vacation for those who want to splash their cash. But finding hidden gems in Italy is becoming more and more difficult as the number of tourists visiting the country increases every year.
While the country’s most popular destinations, such as Rome and Venice, are known for their sightseeing, famous gondola rides and popular fashion brands that are made in Italy, their popularity makes them expensive and tourist-heavy during the summer months.
For those of your craving some European sunshine without the crowded extras, make sure you read on. Whether you’re an avid cityscape lover or a seaside enthusiast, we’ve collated four of our favourite Italian hidden gems for you to enjoy this season.
Coming in at number one, we have Locorotondo, a picturesque pocket in the Puglia region of Italy. If you’re looking for a destination with whimsical charm, white-washed buildings and cobbled streets, Locorotondo is your Italian town of dreams.
This Disney-like town is set on a hilltop, finished off with a line of bright purple and pink flowers and quaint side streets.
Situated between Martina Franca and Alberobello, it has been named of the most picturesque towns in all of the country. With only 14,000 inhabitants, you can bet that Locorotondo is small and friendly while still packed with culture and cuisine.
Better still, if you visit during the winter months, the town becomes a festive haven you don’t want to miss. With cobbled streets decked with holly and ivy and ornaments awning the pathways, Locorotondo is stunning in all seasons.
For architecture lovers, Castelmezzano has to be on your list. Situated in southern Italy, this small town looks as if it has been directly carved out of ancient stone. With a rustic charm and staircase-filled streets, you’ll need to be a lover of long strolls and steep hills.
For heights lovers, why not also check out the ‘Angel Flight’? Described as a zipline that allows you to zoom between Castelmezzano to Pietrapertosa, this has become a unique form of travel that will really help you catch the sights from above.
If you’re feeling hungry, this Italian town will not let you down. In fact, Castelmezzano is well known for its sundried tomatoes and peppers and its spicy local sausages.
Coming up next is Taormina. If you’re an island lover, Sicily should be on your Italian destination list. Not only is it surrounded by beautiful beaches and the famous Mount Etna, but it is packed full of small towns that are full of undiscovered culture.
Taormina is one of our favourite destinations for passionate hikers and climbers. With stunning views of an active volcano, Mount Etna and quick access to Sicily’s stunning beach coves, Taormina is one of the best destinations for an active holiday.
One of the best features of this Italian town is the number of excursions that are led daily by the locals. Whether you want to head on a trail to the summit of the volcano or take a trip to the Teatro Antico di Taormina, the town’s Greco-Roman theatre, friendly locals will have you covered.
Last but not least, we have to talk about Portovenere. Hidden within the Liguria region of Italy, this little fishing town is often overlooked as tourists flood the nearby city, Cinque Terre.
However, Portovenere is not to be missed if you want to soak in European beauty. Portovenere is a medieval town that prides itself on its architecture and, of course, its seafood. If you’re a fish lover, why not head to their portside strip of restaurants serving fresh catches all day?
For history lovers, Portovenere also covers your needs. Home to the stunning Doria Castle and Church of San Lorenzo, there are plenty of cultural sightseeing moments to embrace here.
However, the most beautiful view comes from the top of the town’s hill. As you perch on a bench, prepare to take in views of hills and valleys thick with luscious green grass surrounding the town’s famous Bay of Poets and the Ligurian Sea.
Whether you’re staying for a day or seven, every one of these off-the-beaten-track destinations could give you a taste of Italy like never before.
You may also like:
Things To Expect When Dining In Italy
Southern Italy off the beaten path
7 Must-Visit Italian Food Destinations