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Vagabond Journey

What to Do in Italy Besides the Usual Suspects: Rome, Florence, and Venice

How to find the hidden Italy.

Italy boasts of some of the most vibrant cities in the world. Florence, Rome, and Venice are always present in the itinerary of every traveller to Italy. If you’re tired of visiting the usual trio of Rome, Florence, and Venice and looking to venture out and see some of the lesser-known destinations, you have come to the right place. It’s not just the cities that are stunning in Italy, there is a slew of small, lesser known towns and villages, which are equally exciting and fascinating to visit. Full of vivid art, ancient ruins, and brimming with history at every nook and corner, visiting these regions encompasses a life changing experience! You might want to look at some international holiday packages to some of the less explored parts of this country listed below.

Amalfi Coast

Amalfi Coast is a terrific destination for nature lovers and hiking enthusiasts and has been deemed a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO. The quaint town of Amalfi is located at the mouth of the Valle dei Mulini and was one of the first of the four maritime republics of the country. The two main cities which constitute an entry point to the Amalfi Coast are Salerno and Sorrento. One of the best examples of Mediterranean landscape, Amalfi boasts of some of the best hiking terrains in the country and magically combines the beauty of lush-green mountains with the sparkling turquoise sea dotted with picturesque towns. This city looks like it’s straight out of a fairy-tale and the magnificent landscape with its sweet scent of lemon blossoms, the magnificent majolica domes, along with the beautiful whitewashed houses with their bougainvillea gardens are guaranteed to mesmerize one and all. Besides the pastel, ceramic-tiled towns, this region plays host to the most spectacular stretches of coastline you’ll ever come across.

Pompeii

Situated just couple of hours from Naples, you will come across the ancient town of Pompeii, which was destroyed by the volcanic eruption of Mount Vesuvius. Pompeii is one of the most enthralling archaeological sites of Italy with more than 2.5 million tourists pouring in each year to visit the ruins of this gorgeously well preserved Roman city. Founded in the 7th century BC by the Campanian Oscans, the ruins of Pompeii is a well-preserved site where one can take a walk down the streets of ancient Rome and bask in the glory of the thousand years old houses, shops, and amphitheaters. Pompeii also has several other landmarks notably The Forum Baths, The Villa of the Mysteries, The Brothel, House of the Faun, Palestra Grande, Garden of the Fugitives and of course, The Amphitheatre amongst several others.

Lecce

Situated in the Salento peninsula, in the Puglia region, Lecce attracts an increasing number of visitors and is often dubbed the Florence of South Italy. A historically well preserved & walled city, Lecce is one of the biggest cities in the region of Puglia and has numerous Baroque-styled buildings and monuments. Regarded as one of the country’s poorest regions, Lecce goes back nearly 2,000 years and was founded by the Messapii people from the eastern Adriatic. Lined with old olive trees and stone walls alongside the roads, there are several elegant fountains which are scattered around the many parts of the city that lies as a reminder of its Roman and Renaissance roots. There are several attractions which dot the city such as the Stand in Piazza del Duomo, the golden-stone façade churches like Santa Croce basilica, the Duomo, the 72-meter-tall bell tower, an ancient Roman amphitheater and the vibrant Sant’Oronzo square, right in the center of the city. Don’t leave without getting hold of a Carta Pesta, handcrafted paper-mâché figures unique to Lecce which will surely remind you of the fond memories you had during your time here.

Bologna

Located in the heart of the Emilia Romagna, Bologna is utterly beautiful and home to Europe’s oldest university, founded in 1088. A city made for food lovers, which is reflected in its nickname La Grassa – The Fat, this city is famous amongst food connoisseurs around the world thanks to its products such as Parmigiano-Reggiano, Modena balsamic vinegar, & prosciutto. Bologna is also known as La Rossa or the red, for its terra cotta rooftops and has served as a major cultural and economic hub in Italy throughout its history. A fantastic vibe and atmosphere can be found throughout Bologna thanks to its never-ending archways, the tallest leaning tower in Italy, the Asinelli Towers, the secret canals of Bologna, the Sanctuary of the Madonna di San Luca, the Basilica of San Petronio along with a wonderful array of cultural sights, marvellous architecture and stunning museums. There’s something in this buzzing city for everyone. Buon Appetito!

Pisa

Home to one of Italy’s signature sights and ranked amongst the wonders of the world, the Torre Pendente or the Leaning Tower of Pisa is a sight to behold. This 56m-high bell tower took almost 200 years to build and is an ode to Italy’s archaeological prowess and finesse. Situated on the banks of the serene River Arno, northwest of Tuscany, Pisa was once a fearsome maritime superpower. Regarded as one of the most well-known sites of the Renaissance, this city is also the birthplace of Italian legends such as Galileo Galilei, Leonardo Fibonacci, and Pisanello whose work in literature, art and science are now famous all over the world. Besides the Leaning tower, this city is known to house several other famous tourist attractions such as the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, Baptistery, Museo dell’Opera del Duomo, Campo Santo, anta Maria Della Spina, Museo Nazionale di San Matteo and of course, the Campo dei Miracoli (Field of Miracles).

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