Off-the-beat Italy refers to the less explored regions in this extraordinary country. Usually, when you hear the word Italy, your mind automatically flashes images from Venice, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the famous Pompeii, the Colosseum in Rome, and other popular tourist attractions. I am not saying that this is a bad thing; all these regions have their uniqueness and every person should have the chance to visit them at least once.
But off-the-beat Italy is just as charming as the more famous regions. These areas are not really "undiscovered"; they just tend to be more peaceful, less crowded and equally beautiful. Because it would take pages and pages to cover all the incredible attractions of Italy, we have selected only 5 such regions for this article.
Find Your Path in Off-the-Beat Italy
- Sardinia Even though it is the second-largest Italian island and an important element for the overall economy and cultural history, Sardinia seems like a totally different world than everything you have seen in the rest of the country. An important role in this is played by the geographical position and the fact that it is much older than mainland Italy. Thus, Sardinia will surprise you with breathtaking sceneries, but also with the traditional life, vivid festivals and mouthwatering local cuisine.
- Sicily Completely surrounded by the waters of the Mediterranean Sea, the island of Sicily represents an autonomous region of Italy. Although it is hard to say that Sicily can be included under the name off-the-beat Italy (since it attracts many tourists every year), the great attractions on this island are usually ignored because they are harder to reach. But those who want their holidays to include elements like spiritual tranquility, cultural complexity and outstanding architecture should not omit Sicily. This island is also famous for its wonderful food and great wines.
- Marche Region Although it is situated in the central part of Italy, not many tourists choose le Marche as their holiday destination. And this is perfect for the ones who prefer a more culture-oriented site to spend their free time. With its unique combination of historic architecture and dazzling natural scenery, le Marche is one of the most complex regions in our off-the-beat Italy top. The Metauro Valley is popular for its fall truffles and numerous truffle-based foods. Festivals and celebrations are held in this region all summer long. Frassasi Caves, the famous caverns in Italy, are also located in this area.
- Puglia Puglia is located in southern Italy and it's almost entirely surrounded by water. With miles and miles of coastline with white and sparkling sandy shores, Puglia might be the perfect destination for all the sea and beach lovers. If this is not enough to convince you and you prefer to stay close to culture and history, then Lecce – the Baroque city of Southern Italy – or the famous fortress castles, Gallipoli, Bali, Otranto and Brindisi should be part of your must-see list. Puglia is also famous for its large production of olive oil. Click here to shop for Antico Frantoio Muraglia extra virgin olive oil.
- Umbria Situated in the very heart of Italy, Umbria is among the few Italian regions with no coastline and access to the sea. But this fact definitely fades away when it comes to the extraordinary landscapes, unique art and traditions, and the massive influence on Italy's culture. The ancient architecture of the villages surrounded by the umber-like aspect (given by the numerous wildflowers) gives the visitors the impression of living in medieval times. Although it's often called the poor man's Tuscany, Umbria represents an important region in off-the-beat Italy.