Italy-Nontouristy areas

Oct 1st, 2006, 11:58 AM
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Italy-Nontouristy areas

Everyone's talked about or been to the major tour areas of Italy, the cities, Amalfi, Tuscany etc. What are some great areas of Italy, not yet discovered by the tourist hordes, that anyone has discovered and would recommend for experienced travellers? Suggestion on places to go, things to see and places to stay would be apprecited.
We're looking for something off the beaten path.
eyes is offline  
Oct 1st, 2006, 12:23 PM
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Umbria maybe? We stayed in Todi for 4 days. Nearby Orvieto & Assisi are well used but Todi only saw a small number of flag-followers during our stay. Also a good base for driving & exploring - nearby Roman ruins, small villages, pottery etc.

Ian is offline  
Oct 1st, 2006, 01:51 PM
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Le Marche

Of these, I am most familiar with Emilia-Romagna. It is known for having the best food in all of Italy - think Parma ham, balsamic vinegar from Modena, tortellini, fettuccine Bolognese. Also the home of the Ferrari, I believe there is a Ferrari museum near Modena.
metinmadrid is offline  
Oct 1st, 2006, 01:55 PM
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The island of Elba, off Tuscany coast.
Oct 1st, 2006, 02:22 PM
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The Ligurian hilltowns south of Torino to the sea (and between the French border and Genova)) are marvelously atmospheric and nobody goes there, although the seaside resorts of that area used to be extremely popular destinations. The climate and food is terrific.

There is increasing chatter about Le Marche, but it is still a very undertouristed area. I think the hills of Montefeltro, between Urbino and Tuscany, is a truly wonderful part of Italy.

Not many people go to Abruzzo (I've never been) and here's a tip: Not many people go to Lazio except to go to Roma, and yet Lazio is crammed with interesting towns, lakes, churches, villas, etc.

What kind of vaction are you looking for? Art? History? Scenery? Cuisine? Rolling vistas or sunsets over the sea? Isolation or more activity?

nessundorma is offline  
Oct 1st, 2006, 02:27 PM
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Go to Sardinia. Everywhere except the emarald coast and possibly Alghero are off the beaten path. The huge island only has about 1 million inhabitants. We spent two weeks in the north and LOVED it! Castelsardo, La Maddalena, Stintino. Great towns to visit. Stintino more for the gorgeous waters to view and a great place to relax.

The other area that interests me is the "heel" of Italy. You can't seem to get much info on that area. I'd love to hear more about it from any Fodorites with experience.
Pilates is offline  
Oct 1st, 2006, 03:01 PM
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We went to Puglia is 2003 and we loved it ! It has a very different look to it than the rest of Italy. The people were very friendly and were eager to try the little bit of English they knew on us. It's a bit off the beaten track, but if you are looking for areas that most haven't experienced, than this is it.
travel52 is offline  
Oct 1st, 2006, 03:33 PM
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Google the region of Molise eyes and see if that would be of any interest to you. You will need a car however and you don't indicte whether you will be renting one or not. Best regards.
LoveItaly is offline  
Oct 1st, 2006, 04:12 PM
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Another vote for Puglia -- and other surrounding areas. Lecce, Galipoli, Matera, Bari, Brindisi, and my very favorite place Polignano di Mare.
Oct 1st, 2006, 04:17 PM
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I spent 10 days in a wonderful small town of Bonasola, in the Cinque Terra area.. It is more of a European tourist area, but after September is quiet and sleepy.. some great villas can be rented.. several nice restaurants and a large beautiful beach. there is a train station in town and Trains go thru all of the "5 towns" as well as to Pizza and stops in between.
DonaM is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2006, 05:57 AM
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Lake Como, if you avoid Bellagio and Varenna. That and some other lesser-known parts of Italy are on my site,
DeirdreStraughan is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2006, 06:10 AM
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The Veneto close to the Dolomites
Saraho is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2006, 07:54 AM
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Calabria. It's probably as untouristy as it gets in Italy. Tropea is a stunning seaside destination, and there are the hill towns of Stilo & Gerace. I haven't been to Reggio Calabria yet, but the Archaeological Museum is supposed to be great. There is a Greek Influence, there are hill towns where the locals speak ancient Greek (I've heard). The food is DELICIOUS and organic. This are would be for the adventurous traveler, for sure!
AP6380 is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2006, 08:09 AM
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Puglia, Abruzzo, Le Marche make a nice trio if you like a driving holiday. Not to miss in this region, Vieste (on the Gargano), Lecce, Ostuni, Vasto, the Tremiti Islands, Lanciano, Guardiegrelle, Chieti, Pescara, Cocculo, Scanno, Sulmona, Sirolo, San Lorenzo en Campo. (Forgive spelling errors: I have my memories but not my Italian mapbook with me today.)
LJ is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2006, 08:59 AM
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There is an older thread entitled 'small towns'. A lot of people contributed and it may give you some ideas. The majority are in Northern Italy. Hopefully you can get to it this way (otherwise search this site for 'small towns')
Big_Red is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2006, 09:31 AM
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Some of the suggestions posted here sound still quite touristy to me. I would second Sardinia - away from the busy parts of the coast (which is by no means all), you have mountains, shepherds, Bronze Age towers and menhirs, Romanesque churches, and a welcoming people who still honour their own traditions.
SamInLondon is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2006, 09:02 PM
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Piedmont, Liguria (unless its June to August, and avoid Cinque Terre) and Vasl d'Aosta.
Sampaguita is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2006, 09:29 PM
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I would second Nessudorma's comment about Lazio. The few day trips we made we loved and were surprised there were so few other tourists exploring these places.

There was a Globe Trekker episode that focused on the unexplored south. It included various small towns all the way to the toe of Italy, which the host reached with the help of a guide and a donkey (as it was a nature preserve).

I believe this title includes the episode I saw.
Globe Trekker DVD: Italy (format: region 1+2)
Code: 703125_PGD0002
Price: $19.95

5alive is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2006, 10:27 PM
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Try Treviso, Italy. It is a mini Venice and very close to Venice. You could see the Duomo and the Piazza dei Signori be the Piazza is this complex of Medieval churches. It think Treviso means three "visits". If you want to experience living with Italians without tourist this town is for you.

Another town to consider is Vigevano. You could go see the Sforzas castle. I think the Piazza in that town was built by Leonard Da Vinci, but I better look that up again.

Bottom line both of these towns were amazing. Vigevano is close to Lake Lugano if time permits, you should take a drive there.
cafegoddess is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2006, 11:08 PM
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Sorry, I meant behind the Piazza dei Signori is a complex of medieval churches
cafegoddess is offline  

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