Places to go in Italy and Tours Most Everyone Misses

Everyone knows Rome is amazing.

After all, that’s why you have to wait in line to visit the Colosseum and stand shoulder to shoulder with other tourists in the halls of the Vatican.

But what about the not-so-obvious spots in Italy – the ones not everyone knows about?

The right Italy tours can take you to some enticingly unexpected places. When you step off the beaten track you’ll find charming villages, peaceful lakesides, crumbling ruins and so much more.

There won’t be any Leaning Tower, Sistine Chapel or Spanish Steps… but that’s part of the charm. Instead, you can simply slow down, soak in your surroundings and focus on living la dolce vita.

The following are four underrated destinations in Italy that are absolutely worth adding to your travel plans. Make sure you explore them now… while they are still relatively quiet!

Piemont Italy

Piemonte

This often-overlooked region is incredibly rich in wine and cuisine traditions. It also attracts mountaineers, as it is surrounded by the Alps and has the largest glaciers and highest peaks in Italy.

You can visit the stunning historic city of Asti, where you can browse the food market and find many delicious products grown right there in the area.

Asti is also home to the largest Gothic structure in Piemonte, the dramatic and imposing cathedral. Inside you’ll find a collection of original paintings by Gandolfino da Roreto – the first artist in the town to complete Italian Renaissance influenced artwork.

Wine lovers will be charmed by the small town of Canelli. It’s home to the underground cellars of Contratto, one of the main historic producers of sparkling wines. The wines themselves are dazzling, but the ancient cathedral cellars (now a UNESCO Heritage Site) are an absolute treasure.

Siena Italy in the know traveler

Siena

In Siena you can take a step back in time to Medieval Tuscany. The city feels like an architectural time warp, with pedestrian-sized cobblestone lanes, stunning piazzas and museums packed with Renaissance treasures. It was originally settled by Etruscan tribes and it became a town during the reign of Emperor Augustus. 

The soul of the city is the Duomo – or cathedral. It’s hard to miss – perched on the highest point in Siena and visible almost anywhere in the city. Take your time marveling at the dramatic white and green gothic outside and lavish mosaics and carvings inside. 

Of course, you’ll also want to spend some time in the heart of the city at the Piazza del Campo. This is the main heart of the city and this expansive piazza, ringed on all sides with elegant brick and marble buildings, hums with activity throughout the year. 

Also, don’t miss the Siena National Gallery. This excellent art gallery is located within a former palace dating back to the 15th century. Within the gallery you can see stunning artwork by Sienese Artists from the 12th-16th centuries – as well as learn about the history of the region. 

Lake Garda

Lake Garda

Why do we hear more about the famous celebrity villas of Lake Como than the jagged cliffs and fragrant gardens of Lake Garda? The largest lake in Italy, situated between Venice and Milan, still remains a lesser-known destination. 

Take a stroll along the edge of the azure water, linger in the thermal pools of Sirmione or marvel at the frescos of Mantua’s Palazzo Ducale. Many writers have sung the praises of Garda’s idyllic lakeside, including DH Lawrence, Goethe and Tennyson.

The best time to visit is during spring or late summer, when the weather is still warm and the crowds are smaller. While you’re there, don’t miss the opportunity to take the trenino in the pretty town of Sirmione. It’s a tiny train that will take you up the sloping road to the Catullus Family Villa.

Verona

Fair Verona is where Shakespeare laid the scene for Romeo & Juliet, his tragic tale of star-crossed lovers. (Visitors can even visit the famous balcony of the house where Juliet is said to have lived!)

But this northern Italian city has so much more to explore. It’s one of the most beautiful small cities in the region and it is packed full of awe-inspiring things to do. 

It is often overlooked by travelers who are on their way to Venice or Milan. So, include it on your itinerary and you’ll be able to enjoy exquisite architecture, intriguing history and delicious cuisine – without the major crowds. The city center has one of the best-preserved collections of Roman buildings in Northern Italy – earning it UNESCO World Heritage Site status. 

One of the most impressive things to do in Verona is to see an opera. These performances take place in a stunning ancient Roman amphitheater that lends an aura of grandeur. There’s no better way to appreciate the rich cultural atmosphere and history of this city.

Don’t miss these underrated Italian Destinations

These are just four of the most fascinating, beautiful and underrated destinations in Italy. If you’re looking for Italy tours that will take you off the beaten track and to somewhere different – you’ll want to seek out these relatively unknown spots. 

And these aren’t the only ones! Italy is home to countless unique and fascinating places that may not be famous – but will make for an unforgettable and authentic travel experience.

For even more Italy tours.

Written by Kelly Dunning