If you are planning a trip to Italy, you will no doubt know all about the famous tourist attractions. You may have visited Rome, Venice and all the other major tourist spots that are crowded with visitors. You may have sampled the traditional food, or maybe had some of the international cuisines the big cities offer.
But what if you wanted to see the real Italy? Those places where local culture meets authentic food and picturesque backdrops?
Here are five of the top alternatives that you can visit when you travel to Italy. They are off the beaten track and as such, may not always speak English, so a good translator is a must.
Eremo delle Carceri
Near the beautiful city of Assisi, is the hermitage of Eremo delle Carceri. This collection of wonderful old buildings was once a refuge for St. Francis of Assisi when he wanted to pray.
The place is now home to monks and is quiet and serene. However, for a fee, you can stay there for the night, and gain a really amazing opportunity for those seeking something a little different.
This is a place for the outdoor types who don’t mind a little exercise. If you love walking or cycling, you will love the wide open spaces near this beautiful mountainous town.
Located on the island of Sicily, Marineo has a natural beauty that is even more spectacular from the perspective of a drone for those whose interests run to aerial photography.
If you want to spend more time there, you have a number of bed and breakfast houses around the park to choose from.
This breathtakingly unusual site is also a UNESCO world heritage location. It has numerous underground settlements which have been developed.
You will find not only churches but also cafes and even hotels, all underground. You can also stay in one of the underground caves which make for an experience unlike any other.
A truly beautiful village in Cinque Terre, Riomaggiore is about as authentic as you can get in Italy. Built on a hillside dropping down to the sea, there are many caves and cliffs that you can explore.
The accommodation in the village consists of inns and guesthouses which add to the Italian atmosphere. You can eat local cuisine and mingle with the residents.
If you love food, then you will love the town of Apricena. Located in the south of Italy in the Apulia District, it is known for some of Italy’s best-known food including olives, buffalo mozzarella and grapes. The local restaurants serve authentic Italian cuisine and are very affordable. You can also have a nice time sampling all the local wines.
These are just a few of the alternative places you can visit in Italy. Most of them mix authentic architecture and culture with the quiet, peaceful nature of these remote places.
Therefore, you can get an idea of how rural Italians live and at the same time delve into this amazing country’s history.