By Leia Sharma
Planning a trip to Italy, but keen on skipping the busy, tourist traps? Read on for some lesser-known gems in the Mediterranean country that are definitely worth a visit. Plus, if you do end up at a crowded place, keep reading to find an insider tip on how to make sure you get those perfect pictures without tons of other tourists in them.
Cinque Terre, Liguria
The beautiful coastline of Italy is definitely a must visit; however, the Amalfi Coast can be busy, crowded, and expensive. Instead, plan a trip to Cinque Terre to enjoy the rocky shores and picturesque villages. Perfect for a walking holiday.
Italy is known for its beautiful lakes, notably Lakes Como, Maggiore and Garda. If you are looking for an off-the-beaten-track lake to visit, consider visiting Lake Iseo in the north of Italy. With a dramatic view of the mountains and stunning scenery, this lake is smaller than the popular ones but still a must-see.
Greek Ruins in Siracusa
To enjoy the incredible Greek ruins, skip the Pantheon and head instead to the island of Sicily where the Greek ruins in Siracusa await. Then, hop on a train to Taormina, where you can visit a Greek theatre. When you have had your fill of history, head to one of Sicily’s incredible beaches and take in the beautiful coastline.
Food-lovers, do you want to visit the birthplace of parmigiana reggiano cheese and prosciutto di parma meat? If so, Parma is the place where you can not only savour the food, but also enjoy a tour of the region’s cheese-makers.
As pretty as a postcard, Portofino is a fishing village on the Italian Riviera coastline. Marked by pastel-hued houses and cobblestone streets, Portofino is often visited by sailors and boaters. Shop at the high-end boutiques, eat at the seafood restaurants, and visit the Castello Brown Fortress for magnificent views.
Duomo du Milano
The Duomo is one of the largest cathedrals in Italy and in Europe. This Gothic cathedral took almost six centuries to complete, and tourists are welcome to visit the roof, renowned for its openwork pinnacles and spires.
Bassano del Grappa
Rent a car and drive north of Venice to the Veneto countryside. Here, you can explore rural towns such as Bassano del Grappa and Asolo. Taste incredible Prosecco at Conegliano. Or, for a magnificent road trip, drive into the Dolomites mountains.
Insider Tip: Trying to take selfies or family photographs at the best tourist locations, but getting frustrated with all the other tourists in them? Try this: Wake up super early and head to all the sights before 6 am. The morning sunlight is perfect for those beautiful photographs, and you will probably have all the monuments to yourself!