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Italy: Off the Beaten Path

You have vacationed in the main cities in Italy, but you crave more, now what?

I understand! This country of warm and hospitable people, exquisite food and wine, and spectacular scenery is the most desired travel destination worldwide.


There is so much to experience in Italy. I have visited numerous times and there are still regions I am longing to explore more.


Below are 5 regions in Italy that are still somewhat off the beaten path where you can indulge in the country’s cultural richness, natural beauty, delicious cuisine, and warm hospitality (without fighting the crowds).


The Dolomites

A vacation in the Dolomites is filled with breathtaking and unforgettable experiences for nature lovers, adventure seekers, and anyone looking to escape into the beauty of the mountains. The Dolomites offer some of the most stunning mountain landscapes in the world. Whether visiting in the summer or winter, adventure activities abound.  And the charming Alpine villages nestled in the mountains exude a rustic charm like no others. Learn about how the Dolomites are a surprising culinary destination – The Dolomites – A Culinary Destination

The Dolomites, Italy

Emilia Romagna

The Emilia Romagna region of Italy offers a delightful blend of culinary delights, rich history, vibrant culture and stunning landscapes. This area is known as the gastronomic heart of Italy. Some of its culinary specialties have led to Italy’s worldwide fame: Parmigiano Reggiano, Prosciutto di Parma, tortellini pasta, and lasagna Bolognese are a few. The area is also home to some of the most prestigious automobile brands in the world. The Motor Valley is the birthplace of Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati and others. Imagine a vacation where you can experience the countryside, visit a parmesan dairy farm, a parma ham factory, and watch cars being built by hand at the Lamborghini factory!

Lasagna Bolognese - Bologna, Italy

Italian Riviera – Sanremo

Sanremo may be one of Italy's best kept secrets. It is a lovely coastal city located in the Liguria region in the northwest part of the country. ⁠From the seaside to pedestrian streets and the medieval old town on a hilltop, Sanremo has it all. The local market is filled with seafood, fresh produce, fabulous leather goods and many other local products. And, bonus... Sanremo is a short drive from the French Riviera, making this the ideal base to explore both the Italian and French Rivieras.⁠ See more in my recent Blog – Sanremo – A Hidden Gem in the Italian Riviera

Sanremo, Italy


Nestled at the base of the Alps in the northwest corner of Italy, Piemonte is blessed with stunning natural beauty. This is one of Italy’s most prestigious wine regions where Barolo and Barbaresco wines are produced. White truffles are a gastronomic highlight of this area. You can hunt for them with a private guide and his dogs! Then continue to the kitchen to enjoy a lovely cooking class using your fresh truffles. Outdoor enthusiasts will find plenty to do in Piemonte, from hiking and skiing in the Alps to cycling through vineyards and nature reserves. Piemonte offers an authentic Italian experience filled with natural beauty, culinary delights, and outdoor adventures.

Beautiful countryside in Piemonte, Italy


This region is in the southern part of Italy, known as ‘the boot’. Puglia has a unique blend of natural beauty, cultural heritage, culinary delights, and warm hospitality. The coastline has some of the most beautiful beaches in Italy. The beautiful and historic towns and cities of the region offer a glimpse into Puglia’s rich history. Puglia is well known for its olive trees as the region supplies around 40% of the olive oil production in Italy. A stay in the countryside combined with experiencing the coastline, and some of the baroque cities makes for a wonderful vacation in Puglia. For more see my recent Blog – 5 Unique Things About the Puglia Region

Polignano a Mare, Italy

Which one of these regions will you visit next?


At Distinct Vacations we partner with in-country travel suppliers allowing us to offer out-of-the-ordinary, non-Googleable, local experiences with premium service throughout your vacation.


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