10 Most Underrated Destinations in Italy

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Explore the 10 most underrated destinations in Italy, hidden gems that deserve more attention. From charming villages to breathtaking landscapes, uncover Italy’s best-kept secrets. Plan your next Italian adventure with this comprehensive guide.


Italy is renowned for its iconic cities like Rome, Venice, and Florence, but beyond these famous tourist spots lies a treasure trove of hidden gems waiting to be discovered. If you’re seeking an off-the-beaten-path adventure, Italy has plenty to offer. In this article, we’ll unveil the 10 most underrated destinations in Italy, captivating places that boast unique culture, stunning landscapes, and unforgettable experiences. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a nature lover, or simply seeking a peaceful retreat, these lesser-known Italian destinations will leave you awe-struck and yearning for more.

The Enchanting South: Calabria and Basilicata

1. Calabria: The Land of Unspoiled Beauty

Situated at the toe of Italy’s boot, Calabria is a region of untamed beauty. From pristine beaches lapped by crystal-clear waters to rugged mountains cloaked in lush forests, Calabria is a paradise for nature enthusiasts. Tropea, a charming cliffside town, offers stunning views of the Tyrrhenian Sea, while Sila National Park provides an escape into the wilderness. Experience the warmth of Calabrian hospitality and savor traditional delicacies that will leave your taste buds craving for more.

2. Basilicata: Where Time Stands Still

With its ancient towns and rocky landscapes, Basilicata exudes an air of timeless beauty. Matera, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is renowned for its cave dwellings and ancient sassi, offering a glimpse into Italy’s past. Discover the allure of Castelmezzano and Pietrapertosa, two medieval villages nestled in the Lucanian Dolomites, where adrenaline junkies can partake in thrilling outdoor activities.

Off-the-Beaten-Path Central Italy: Le Marche and Umbria

3. Le Marche: A Hidden Gem on the Adriatic

Le Marche, often overshadowed by its neighboring regions, is a paradise of rolling hills, medieval towns, and beautiful beaches along the Adriatic coast. Urbino, a UNESCO city, boasts an impressive artistic heritage, while the Frasassi Caves amaze with their underground wonders. Experience the tranquility of rural life in Ascoli Piceno, renowned for its olive all’ascolana and historic Piazza del Popolo.

4. Umbria: The Green Heart of Italy

Known as the green heart of Italy, Umbria captivates with its verdant landscapes and rich cultural heritage. Perugia, the region’s capital, exudes a vibrant atmosphere with its university and annual chocolate festival. Explore Assisi, the birthplace of St. Francis, and be moved by its spiritual ambiance. Delight in the idyllic countryside of Valnerina, dotted with picturesque villages and cascading waterfalls.

The Allure of the Islands: Procida and Pantelleria

5. Procida: A Colorful Mediterranean Gem

Tucked away in the Bay of Naples, Procida enchants visitors with its colorful houses, authentic Italian charm, and stunning seascapes. Stroll through its narrow streets, indulge in fresh seafood, and bask in the laid-back atmosphere of this unspoiled island paradise.

6. Pantelleria: Where Africa Meets Italy

Closer to Africa than Italy, Pantelleria is a volcanic island boasting a unique blend of cultures. Relax in natural thermal springs, admire the dramatic beauty of the Specchio di Venere, a volcanic crater lake, and experience the therapeutic benefits of Pantelleria’s mud baths.

The Hidden North: Piedmont and Friuli-Venezia Giulia

7. Piedmont: A Haven for Foodies and Wine Enthusiasts

Nestled in the foothills of the Alps, Piedmont is a gastronomic delight. Turin, its capital, showcases stunning architecture and a rich cultural heritage. Explore the Langhe region, a UNESCO site famous for its wine production, and savor the exquisite flavors of truffles, cheese, and chocolate.

8. Friuli-Venezia Giulia: A Tapestry of Cultures

Located in Italy’s northeastern corner, Friuli-Venezia Giulia boasts a diverse tapestry of cultures. Trieste, a port city with a charming Viennese flair, invites you to wander its historic streets. Discover the enchanting world of the Carso Plateau, renowned for its karst formations, and explore the beautiful coastline along the Adriatic Sea.

Charming and Less Visited: Abruzzo and Molise

9. Abruzzo: Nature’s Best-Kept Secret

A haven for outdoor enthusiasts, Abruzzo offers a diverse landscape of mountains, national parks, and beautiful beaches along the Adriatic. Hike through the rugged Gran Sasso National Park, spot rare wildlife, and visit enchanting medieval towns like Sulmona and Scanno.

10. Molise: Italy’s Hidden Treasure

The small and serene region of Molise remains off the tourist radar, making it an ideal escape from the crowds. Explore the unspoiled beauty of the Matese Mountains, indulge in delicious local cuisine, and immerse yourself in the tranquil ambiance of this hidden Italian gem.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q: Are these underrated destinations suitable for solo travelers?

Absolutely! These underrated destinations in Italy are perfect for solo travelers seeking authentic experiences and a break from the tourist crowds. You’ll find warm hospitality and plenty of opportunities to connect with locals and fellow travelers.

Q: What is the best time to visit these lesser-known destinations?

The best time to visit these underrated destinations depends on your preferences. Spring and fall offer mild weather and fewer tourists, ideal for exploring without the summer crowds. However, some locations, like the coastal regions, may be more enjoyable during the summer when you can take advantage of the beaches and outdoor activities.

Q: Is English widely spoken in these lesser-known areas?

While English is not as commonly spoken as in major tourist hubs, you can usually find English speakers, especially in tourist-friendly establishments. However, learning a few basic Italian phrases will enhance your experience and show appreciation for the local culture.

Q: Are these destinations suitable for families with children?

Absolutely! Many of these underrated destinations are family-friendly and offer a safe and enriching experience for children. From exploring historic sites to enjoying nature adventures, there’s something for everyone in the family.

Q: Are there any unique festivals or events worth experiencing in these regions?

Yes, these underrated destinations often host unique festivals and events that showcase their cultural heritage. For example, Calabria’s Feast of Madonna di Polsi and Basilicata’s Infiorata di Castelmezzano are events not to be missed.

Q: How can I travel between these off-the-beaten-path destinations?

Italy has an excellent transportation network, making it easy to travel between these lesser-known destinations. Trains, buses, and rental cars are viable options, depending on your preferences and the region you wish to explore.


Italy’s beauty extends far beyond its iconic cities, and these 10 most underrated destinations offer a glimpse into the country’s hidden treasures. From the sun-kissed shores of Calabria to the charming villages of Le Marche and the enchanting islands of Procida and Pantelleria, each destination promises an unforgettable experience. Step off the well-trodden path and immerse yourself in the authentic charm and culture of these lesser-known Italian gems. Your journey to these underrated destinations will be a memorable adventure filled with surprises and discoveries.

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Upendra Yadav is a seasoned Data Analyst with a passion for exploring new places and immersing himself in different cultures. With a curious mind and an eye for detail, Upendra delves deep into the history, people, and cuisine of the places he visits, and brings his experiences to life through his writing.. His work has been featured in various travel blogs, where he shares his insights and recommendations for fellow explorers. Through his writing, Upendra aims to inspire others to venture beyond their comfort zones and discover the hidden gems of the world. When he's not analyzing data or traveling to new destinations, Upendra can be found indulging in his other hobbies, such as photography and trying out new recipes. He is currently working on his next travelogue, where he hopes to take his readers on a journey to even more exciting and lesser-known destinations.