Picture Italy. What comes to the mind? Gondolas in Venice and Colosseum at Rome would be topping that list. Ever thought of truffle hunting in Umbria or getting a suntan on a beach that is all yours? We’ll let you in on all those places that are privy to Italians, have a look at the ‘unpackaged side of Italy’ – the lesser explored places of Italy.
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Umbria is the poor man’s Tuscany, but in no way poor in sights and food. It is the green heart and one of the lesser explored places of Italy. Explore medieval towns, lush green forests and great food here. Umbria is also Italy’s truffle country. The hills of Umbria are where you can forage for black and white truffles, a delicacy sought after by the world. This is also where some of the best of Italy’s cold-pressed olive oils come from. The Marmore Falls in Umbria was once described by Lord Byron as ‘Horribly Beautiful’. Long cycling tours or lazy castle explores – this place has it all.
2. The Egadi Islands
In Sicily lie the Egadi Islands, a favourite haunt of the locals, but yet to be discovered by tourists. Proof of this – there are hardly any cars to be found here. Aptly one of the lesser explored places of Italy. How do you get there, you ask? Take a 40-minute boat ride from the Sicily coast and reach the crystal clear waters of the Egadi Islands. The island is a mini marine reserve and the best place to fish for tuna. If you are on the islands in May-June, you might catch the traditional Mattanza or Tuna harvest festival. If not, there always are the golden beaches to get the suntan perfected.
Often called Italy’s heel, Puglia has more than what is seen to the tourists eye. Did you know the Puglia produces more than 80% of Europe’s pasta and more Olive oil than the whole of Italy? The fertile landscapes of this region marked with olive groves and its rugged coasts can make you feel you are in Greece. Puglia even has an UNESCO site – the unique trulli or cone shaped houses. You can even have your own little adventure and stay in one.
Here’s an extraordinary travel story of a woman who travelled Italy for a month!
You guessed it. This town is all about food. Parma is home to the Prosciutto di Parma and the world famous Parmigiano Reggiano. The European Food Safety Agency is headquartered here. Take a train on Bologna-Milan line and get ready for some of the best and most authentic Italian fare. Take a cheese tour of the production centres, try out the different cheeses, but don’t miss the Tortelli or stuffed pasta, it’s excellent too. Between a lot of cheese and food, have a peek at the artistic churches and the historic city centre at Parma.
Interesting Read: Know all about the world’s favourite pizza
5. Civita di Bagnoregio
On the Pliocene hills, in the valley of Tiber River there lies a village with maybe just 20 families living there. Civita di Bagnoregio is a mysterious and beautiful little village, dating back to the 7th century, that can only be reached by a steep bridge. The sides of the bridge is lined with brooms that have bells tied to them. Residents believe that the wind rings the bells, it ushers in good fortune for the village.
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