City and little-known countries to visit in Italy

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Joel Fulleda

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Italy is not only Milan, Rome, Florence, Naples, in our beautiful country there are many villages and hamlets to take your breath away, sometimes even more beautiful than the capital cities of the regions. Because these small villages have a unique charm that you can't find anywhere else, even in small realities you can find the precious cultural testimonies of our history.

We recommend some of these beauties still little considered and visited, from north to south, passing through the islands. Here little known cities and towns to visit in Italy!


  1. Northern Italy
  2. Center of Italy
  3. Southern Italy
  4. Islands
  5. User questions and comments

Northern Italy

1 - Viganella, Piedmont

Viganella is a Piedmontese municipality which has only 207 inhabitants, is located in the province of Verbano-Cusio-Ossola and, since 2016, together with the neighboring town of Seppiana, forms the new municipality of Borgomezzavalle. If you are nearby, a detour to visit it is really recommended, both for the particularity we will talk about shortly, and because it is a excellent starting point for wonderful hiking tours in the surrounding mountains ..

This small town owes its notoriety following theinstallation of a large mirror (8x5 meters) which helps to illuminate it, since from 11 November to 2 February of each year Viganella is completely in the absence of sun due to the mountain in front.
There are also numerous chapels and some oratories throughout the territory.

  • Best time: from May to October, when it is easier to reach it both by road and by daylight
  • Hotel and b & b starting from € 35,00 per room -
  • from the city of Domodossola in about 20 minutes by car. By public transport you can take advantage of the local buses that connect the two countries (35 min, € 5,00 each way) - Get directions
  • To see: Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Oratory of Santi Giuseppe and Stefano, Oratory of S. Domenico di Cheggio
  • Ristorante Pizzeria Da Monia (Get directions)

2 - Curon Venosta, Trentino-Alto Adige

Curon Venosta is a town in the province of Bolzano, 100 km from the city. It counts 2.378 inhabitants and is a "submerged" country, one of the symbols is the bell tower that rises from the waters of Lake Resia.

It was right there creation of this artificial lake which caused the disappearance of the ancient town of Curon and the displacement of the town further upstream. It is a truly suggestive country also for its position on the border with Switzerland and Austria. On Piz Lat, a mountain in the Alps, it is possible to meet the borders of Switzerland, Austria and Italy.

  • Best time: between late spring and mid-autumn, to dedicate your time to outdoor activities
  • Hotel and b & b starting from € 50,00 per room -
  • from Bolzano in about 1 hour and 40 minutes by car - Get directions
  • To see: the submerged bell tower, Lake Resia, Sant'Anna church
  • Tower Imbiss (Get Directions); Greinhof (Get directions); Restaurant Gletscherblick (Get directions)

3 - Bussana Vecchia, Liguria

Bussana Vecchia is one hilly fraction of the municipality of Sanremo. The history of this Ligurian village deserves to be known! In the violent earthquake of February 1887 was half destroyed, until then it was simply called Bussana. The earthquake was so disastrous that all the inhabitants evacuated about 3 km further downstream, thus founding Bussana Nuova. It was abandoned for years, it returned to be inhabited in the s by artists attracted by the particularity of the place. They renovated it and made the less damaged buildings habitable again.

Today it hosts an international community of artists with artisan shops and some refreshment points, it has thus become a characteristic "artists' village". It is possible to visit it all within an hour completely on foot.

  • Best time: the summer period, due to mild temperatures and sunny days; on summer evenings there are also many theatrical events, art exhibitions and live music
  • Hotel and b & b starting from € 45,00 per room -
  • from the city of Sanremo in about 20 minutes by car - Get directions
  • To see: Church of S. Egidio, Railway Model
  • Open Sesame - Natural Bio Restaurant (Get directions); Osteria Degli Artisti (Get directions); La Casaccia (Get directions)

4 - Caprino Veronese, Veneto

Caprino Veronese is a town in the Veneto region located in about 36 km from Verona. This locality is a beautiful and unusual destination for a trip to the Veneto region, which absolutely deserves a detour.

In fact, in this municipality, exactly in Spiazzi, it is located splendid Sanctuary Madonna della Corona, built in a hollow dug in Monte Baldo and with terraces overlooking the valley. It can also be reached via an asphalted road, which can only be traveled on foot, after the village of Spiazzi which ends in a tunnel carved into the rock.

  • Best time: in summer, the Montebaldina Fair is also held in early August, an event that combines ancient and modern culture
  • Hotel and b & b starting from € 43,00 per room -
  • from Verona in about 35 minutes by car. By public transport you can reach Domegliara by train (€ 2,75 each way) and here take the ATV bus that arrives in Caprino (40 min) - Get directions
  • To see: Church of S. Giovanni Battista, Parish of Santa Maria Maggiore, Sanctuary of the Madonna della Corona
  • Trattoria La Rama (Get directions); Athena (Get directions); Ristorante Al Vicolo (Get directions)

5 - Dozza, Emilia-Romagna

Dozza is a town in the Emilia-Romagna region which is located about 40 km from Bologna and exactly on the hills south-west of Imola, which is only 8 km away.

This country is considered one of the most characteristic medieval villages of the Tuscan-Romagna Apennines, and is called "of the artists" for the numerous murals that are found in the streets. Walking through its narrow streets you can admire the well-preserved medieval walls and some interesting churches.

  • Best time: from spring to autumn to enjoy the beautiful days, but any time of the year is fine
  • Hotel and b & b starting from € 46,00 per room -
  • one of the closest cities is Imola, which is 15 minutes away by car. From Bologna 40 min. Alternatively, by public transport, you can reach Dozza da Piro Piro in 15 min - Get directions
  • To see: Rocca Sforzesca, parish church dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin, Church of San Lorenzo Diacono e Martire
  • Osteria di Dozza (Get directions); La Bottega Ristorante & Vineria (Get directions); The Scuderia (Get directions)

Center of Italy

1 - Terni, Umbria

Terni is one of the provinces of Umbria and is easily reachableIn fact, it is 80 km from Perugia, 90 km from L'Aquila and 100 km from Rome.

In this Umbrian town there are the famous Marmore Falls, a controlled-flow waterfall among the highest in Europe. Terni is a city with mainly modern features, it is also the city of San Valentino, the protector of lovers. Its basilica, where his remains are kept, is a constant destination for pilgrimages. In the city then you can see many archaeological remains dating back to Roman times, such as sections of walls and the Roman Amphitheater, one of the most evocative places in the city.

  • Best time: events organized throughout the year, including concerts and shows. You can visit the city in February when the "Valentinian events" take place dedicated to the patron saint of the city and to all lovers of the world.
  • Hotel and b & b starting from € 35,00 per room -
  • from Perugia 1 hour by car; from Rome 1 hour by car. The Umbrian city is served by a central railway station where regional and long-distance trains pass - Get directions
  • To see: Fausto Amphitheater, the Cathedral, Marmore Falls, Basilica of San Valentino, Church of Francesco
  • Trattoria La Mora (Get directions); Lillero Trattoria (Get directions); Alfio Trattoria Ternana (Get directions)

2 - Bomarzo, Lazio

Bomarzo is a town in the province of Viterbo, which is 19 km away. It has about 1.700 inhabitants. Is located in the heart of Tuscia between the slopes of the Cimini Mountains and the valley of the Tiber River, therefore its territory offers truly suggestive views and panoramas.

And right here near Bomarzo is the famous Park of the Monsters, a natural park full of sculptures portraying mythological figures, gods and monsters of which you have all seen at least one photo. It is a perfect place to spend a few hours, even if you are traveling with children.

  • Best time: in Bomarzo the Palio di Sant'Anselmo is held on 25 April, which takes place between the five districts in which the town is divided, you could visit it precisely on the occasion of this event
  • Hotel and b & b starting from € 60,00 per room -
  • from Viterbo 20 min by car - Get directions
  • To see: Park of the Monsters, Church of Sant'Anselmo, Church of Santa Maria Assunta in Cielo
  • Il Quadrifoglio (Get directions); Tutto N'artro Magnà (Get directions); Piccolo Mondo Restaurant (Get directions)

3 - Montefalco, Umbria

Montefalco is a town of 5.525 inhabitants located in the province of Perugia, in Umbria. It is part of the private association that promotes the most beautiful villages in Italy, also thanks to the strong historical and artistic interest. In 2007 it was indicated by the FAI as the "ideal city of Italy". It is in fact one of the most peaceful places to stay.

The village is rich in historical and artistic memories and is surrounded by olive trees and vineyards. Sagrantino di Montefalco and Montefalco Rosso are produced in the hills of this town. It has also earned the nickname of Railing of Umbria, from the fact that from its viewpoints you can admire the centers of Perugia, Assisi, Spello, Foligno, Trevi, Spoleto, Gualdo Cattaneo and Bevagna.

  • Best time: between May and October. The last Sunday of May is held "Cantine Aperte", with tasting of local wines and typical products. In September, the "Enologica Montefalco" market exhibition, with the presentation of the new vintage for Sagrantino
  • Hotel and b & b starting from € 45,00 per room -
  • from Perugia (49 km) about 45 min by car, from Terni (55 km) 50 min. By public transport it is difficult to reach the town, as there is no connection service with neighboring cities - Get directions
  • To see: city walls with the Porta di Sant'Agostino, museum complex of San Francesco
  • Restaurant at Via di Mezzo da Giorgione (Get directions); Il Postaccio (Get directions); Ristorante Locanda del Teatro Perugia (Get directions)

4 - Sovana, Tuscany

Sovana is a fraction of the municipality of Sorano, in the province of Grosseto, which is about 80 km away. It is known as important Etruscan center, medieval and Renaissance village. It is really worth a visit, it is located in the south of Tuscany, in the Maremma, and is one of the most beautiful villages in the region.

Walking among its wonderful medieval structures will make you feel in times never lived. One of the most popular attractions is the Rocca Aldobrandesca dating back to the th century and which is located right at the entrance to the city.

  • Best time: there are no usual events or holidays in Sovana. We advise you to visit it during a spring day to fully enjoy the typical village atmosphere along its streets
  • Hotel and b & b starting from € 55,00 per room -
  • one of the nearest major Tuscan cities is Grosseto, 1 hour and 15 minutes by car. It is the most comfortable route to follow, since with public transport you would have to change several and it would take hours - Get directions
  • To see: Co-cathedral of San Pietro, Church of Santa Maria Maggiore, Palazzo Pretorio, Rocca Aldobrandesca
  • Pizzeria Trattoria La Tavernetta di Zimei Angela (Get directions); La Taverna Etrusca (Get directions); Pizzeria Il Sileno (Get directions)

5 - Sulmona, Abruzzo

Sulmona is a town in the province of L'Aquila of about 23.000 inhabitants. It is known thanks to centuries-old tradition in the production of sugared almonds, moreover it is among the cities decorated with military valor for the war of liberation, but despite this it is not a renowned tourist destination.

The town is located exactly west of the Majella mountains, and deserves to be visited and known, its streets are lined with religious architecture, civil buildings and very characteristic city gates. History and art blend perfectly and make the town of Sulmona the ideal place for lovers of Italian villages.

  • Best time: many events throughout the year. In April Sulmona Comics & Games, at the beginning of August the Knightly Joust of the most beautiful villages in Italy and the Knightly Joust of Europe, in November the Sulmona Film Festival, dedicated to young Italian cinema
  • Hotel and b & b starting from € 35,00 per room -
  • from L'Aquila (68 km) 1 h 10 min by car, from Pescara (74 km) 50 min. Traveling by public transport it is possible to reach the town by bus from Pescara - Get directions
  • To see: Piazza Garibaldi, Cathedral of San Panfilo, Basilica of the Santissima Annunziata, Porta Molina, historic shop in the center of the confetti Pelino, Porta Pacentrana
  • Trattoria Don Ciccio (Get directions); Hostaria Dell'Arco Restaurant (Get directions); Locanda Medievale Restaurant (Get directions)

Southern Italy

1 - Sant'Agata de 'Goti, Campania

Sant'Agata de 'Goti is a town of about 10.000 inhabitants located in the province of Benevento. Its landscape integrity has given this location the nickname of "pearl of Sannio", and its historic center since 2012 it is part of the most beautiful villages in Italy.

Sant'Agata de 'Goti is divided into two parts, a modern one built from the end of the XIX century and the other of Roman foundation located on a tuff rock. For the rest, its territory is characterized by districts and hamlets of various sizes. It is impossible to escape its indescribable magic, in this country the domes and bell towers dominate the houses and buildings overlooking the river.

  • Best time: during spring or summer, these are the ideal times to visit all the outdoor places and to stumble upon some local event
  • Hotel and b & b starting from € 32,00 per room -
  • from Caserta 30 min by car. From Benevento about 50 min - Get directions
  • To see: Cathedral of the Assumption, Church of the Annunziata, Church of San Menna
  • Antica Osteria Zi 'Paoluccio (Get directions); Fiore 1985 (Get directions); La Cantina dei Briganti (Get directions)

2 - Rocca Imperiale, Calabria

Rocca Imperiale is located in the province of Cosenza and is a town with 3.350 inhabitants. It is considered one of the most beautiful villages in Italy and is famous in the Calabrian territory for its fine limonsi, Traditional Agri-food Product and since 2011 IGP brand. It is the northernmost inhabited center of Calabria, in fact it borders on Basilicata.

Walking through its historic center offers breathtaking views and just 4 km away there is Marina of Rocca Imperiale, a 7 km long beach bathed by the waters of the Ionian Sea and characterized by the presence of rocks, pebbles and fine golden sand. The town of Rocca Imperiale is perfect for those who love the combination of sea and hilly landscapes.

  • Best time: in summer, gastronomic and even artistic parties and events are organized and you can also relax in the seaside resort of Marina di Rocca Imperiale
  • Hotel and b & b starting from € 37,00 per room -
  • from its province, Cosenza, in about 1 h and 40 minutes by car - Get directions
  • To see: Swabian Castle, Church of Santa Maria in Cielo Assunta, Wax Museum
  • Trattoria dei Poeti (Get directions); La Forgia del Gusto Trattoria Griglieria (Get directions)

3 - Cisternino, Puglia

Cisternino is a town in the province of Brindisi, in Puglia, located exactly on the Itria Valley, in the Murgia dei Trulli, is a village to be discovered.

The characteristic of this locality lies in the architecture, in the fusion between internal and external spaces, between houses, alleys and courtyards. It is a classic example of spontaneous architecture, where there are no architects who follow a pre-established plan but focuses on human relationships to be built. The white of the walls with the colors of nature and the blue of the sky make Cisternino an earthly paradise.

  • Best timeIn addition, numerous events are always organized in summer, in July and August
  • Hotel and b & b starting from € 45,00 per room -
  • from Brindisi in 50 minutes by car. Also from Taranto about 50 min - Get directions
  • To see: Norman-Swabian Tower, Church of San Nicola, Sanctuary of the Madonna d'Ibernia
  • Trattoria Bère Vecchie (Get directions); Osteria Bell'Italia (Get directions); Taverna della Torre (Get Directions)

4 - Muro Lucano, Basilicata

Muro Lucano is a small municipality in province of Potenza, has about 5.200 inhabitants. It is located 48 km north of the regional capital, almost on the border with Campania.

Known to be the site of the battle between the troops of Hannibal and Marco Claudio Marcello in 210 BC, it offers many religious and civil attractions, but also natural ones, such as the famous Sentiero delle Ripe, a scary ravine open between steep limestone walls in whose bottom flows the Rescio stream, and again the two parallel karst caves called I Vucculi.

  • Best time: from April to October, the Mountain Potato Festival is held in September
  • Hotel and b & b starting from € 37,00 per room -
  • from its province, Potenza, 50 min by car. The journey by car is the most convenient to follow to get to the town, as there is no train station or connection services from neighboring cities - Get directions
  • To see: the Muro Lucano castle, the Pianello district, the Sentiero delle Ripe
  • Trattoria Pannicaro (Get directions); Signora Pizza (Get directions); Il Casereccio (Get directions)

5 - Scilla, Calabria

Scilla is one of the most beautiful towns in Calabria, indeed of Italy, and for this reason it deserves to be visited and known even by non-Calabrians. It is a municipality in the province of Reggio Calabria, from which it is 22 km away, and has about 4.890 inhabitants. It is located on a promontory at the northern entrance to the Strait of Messina.

E' one of the favorite destinations of the Calabrians themselves, for those who love summer holidays by the sea, its beach has nothing to envy to others. Scilla is built on a hill and therefore from some strategic points of the town it is possible to admire the panorama from above, with the Aspromonte that falls sheer to the sea, you can see the marina surrounded by houses built on the surface of the water. The Chianalea district is the oldest village in the country, and here are concentrated the fishermen's houses and their boats.

  • Best time: during the summer, it boasts a spectacular sea that deserves to be experienced and enjoyed to the fullest, but the end of spring and the beginning of autumn are also good
  • Hotel and b & b starting from € 26,00 per room -
  • 25 minutes by car from Reggio Calabria, or by train in about 25 minutes (each way € 2,40) - Get directions
  • To see: Castello Ruffo, port of Scilla, Piazza San Rocco
  • La Lampara (Get directions); Osteria del Centro (Get directions); Ristorante Alla Pescatora (Get directions)


1 - Erice, Sicily

Erice is located in the province of Trapani and is a town that has about 27 thousand inhabitants, is called U Munti in Sicilian, in fact the city center is placed on the summit of the homonymous Mount Erice. It is only 13 km from its province.

It is difficult to describe the charm of this Sicilian town, here is the Castello di Venere Ericina and the Giardino del Balio, a beautiful English garden from where you can enjoy a wonderful panorama which includes the Tyrrhenian coast of the Gulf of Trapani and Mount Cofano, behind which you can see the tip of San Vito lo Capo. On the other side you can still admire the port of Trapani with its salt pans, the Egadi islands and the island of Mozia up to Mazara del Vallo. On the brightest days you can see Cape Bon and even the African coast. During your visit to this town you must absolutely try the typical sweets of the place, such as the almond sweets of Mrs. Grammatico or the bocconcini di Erice, real pasta sweets with the heart of cedar jam with liqueur, and the "mustazzoli", also typical biscuits of Salento and Calabria.

  • Best time: from April to October. In summer, every corner of Sicily offers a truly unforgettable and evocative air, even among the mountains as in this case
  • Hotel and b & b starting from € 25,00 per room -
  • from Trapani 25 minutes by car or 10 minutes by cable car (€ 5,50 one way, € 9,00 return) - Get directions
  • To see: Cyclopean walls, Castle of Venus, Cathedral of the Assumption, Pepoli Tower, Balio Garden
  • Trattoria La Bomba (Get directions); Trattoria Pizzeria La Vetta (Get directions); Osteria di Venere (Get directions)

2 - Sperlinga, Sicily

Sperlinga is a town in the province of Enna located in the heart of central Sicily. It is defined as a "royal cave dwelling" dug out of a gigantic mass of sandstone. The name Sperlinga derives from the Greek and means "Spelonca", which means "cave", its territory is in fact rich in caves.

In this country it is located one of the most beautiful rock castles in Sicily, its entire side, which flows over the town, is entirely perforated by about fifty artificial caves, dug by man in ancient times. Sperlinga is also part of the club of the most beautiful villages in Italy.

  • Best time: in the summer, both for the summer air that you breathe in Sicily, and for the events in the country, on August 16 for example the Historical Parade of the Ladies of the Castles of Sicily is held
  • Hotel and b & b starting from € 20,00 per room -
  • from Enna in 1 h by car, they are about 40 km away and it is the most ideal way to use as there are no railway stations - Get directions
  • To see: the medieval castle of Sperlinga, the artificial caves
  • La Nuova Perciata (Get directions); La Cirata (Get directions)

3 - Castelsardo, Sardinia

Castelsardo is a town located 35 km from Sassari. This village, with its Citadel district, offers a vision of immense beauty, in fact from any perspective you look at the promontory of Castelsardo offers sweeping views that range over all the coasts of the Gulf of Asinara, including those of Corsica.

Sitting on the stairs of the alleys of the ancient village, it is then possible to see the women working and weaving baskets in dwarf palm, following a tradition that seems to date back to the Benedictine era, that is to the XIV century. Even the oldest fishermen build their own pots, a sort of conical baskets used to fish for lobster, the product at the base of the typical dishes of the place.

  • Best time: in summer it is ideal as it is a seaside resort
  • Hotel and b & b starting from € 30,00 per room -
  • from Sassari in 40 minutes by car. ARST local buses are also available which connect the two locations in just over an hour - Get directions
  • To see: Cathedral of Sant'Antonio Abate, Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, the Tower of Frigiano
  • Trattoria da Edoardo (Get directions); La Trattoria da Maria Giuseppa (Get directions); Trattoria Imperfetto (Get directions)

4 - Salemi, Sicily

Salemi is a town in the province of Trapani, located in the heart of the Belice Valley. It is 38 km from Trapani and 35 km from Marsala. It is located among the hills of vineyards and olive groves and rises around the Norman Castle, from whose terrace of the circular tower it is possible to see a vast panorama of western Sicily. And yet the historic center is a set of architectural treasures which deserve a visit, from the historic buildings made with the local bell stone, to the churches, the Jewish quarter of Giudecca and the Islamic quarter of Rabato.

Salemi is also the "city of loaves", and today there are events celebrating the processing of devotional breads, like the feast of Sant'Antonio Abate with the "cudduri" and the Feast of San Biagio with the "cavadduzzi" and "cuddureddi".

  • Best time: from April to October, but also in the rest of the year
  • Hotel and b & b starting from € 30,00 per room -
  • from Trapani in 50 minutes by car - Get directions
  • To see: Norman Swabian Castle, Mafia Museum, Former Mother Church, Bread Museum, Jewish Quarter, Islamic Quarter
  • U Touch (Get directions); La Giummara (Get directions); Burger House (Get Directions)

5 - Sadali, Sardinia

Sadali is a town of just over 900 inhabitants in the province of Southern Sardinia, ago part of the most beautiful villages in Italy. It rises exactly in the Barbagia di Seulo, at about 750 meters above sea level, on the edge of the plateau of the same name. This area is called "island within the island" due to the peculiarity of its landscapes.

Inside the village, from the narrow cobbled streets overlooked by the ancient houses, yes admire sweeping views over the valley. Furthermore, in this town of Sardinia there is the San Valentino Waterfall, which is characterized by the fact that it is located right in the center of the town and has a seventeenth-century water mill next to it, used for over two hundred years for grinding wheat. .

  • Best time: from May to October, every first week of August there is an important village festival dedicated to one of its typical dishes, the Culurgionis
  • Hotel and b & b starting from € 40,00 per room -
  • from Cagliari 2 h by car - Get directions
  • To see: San Valentino waterfall, San Valentino church, Sa Ucca Manna cave
  • Trattoria Caffe Centrale (Get directions); Da Corrado Restaurant (Get directions); Ristorante Pizzorante Da Carrabusu (Get directions)

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