During peak travel season, it can be difficult to avoid crowds in Italy. The Italian peninsula is one of the most visited destinations in Europe. In 2019, Italy ranked as the third-most visited country in Europe with a 58.3 million visitors.
The major travel hubs of Rome, Milan, Florence, and Venice see the lion’s share of travelers throughout the year. Yes, those are some amazing places to visit, but there are other, off the beaten path locations you can explore on a trip to Italy. A little planning and taking a trip off the beaten path can result in a great holiday away from people.
In December 2020, Italy was the fourth-worst hit country in terms of COVID-19 cases. Avoiding crowds has never been more important during a holiday than it is currently. So, where should you go on a trip to Italy to avoid crowds? Let us look at a few great off the beaten path places you can go in 2021.
Located near Bari, you will find the quaint Italian town of Alberobello. If you are looking at a map of Italy, you will find Alberobello in the heel of the Italian boot.
One of the most iconic aspects of the town is the con-shaped, white buildings that dot it. The buildings are known as trulli and look like homes straight out of fairytale stories. When visiting Alberobello, there is nothing more beautiful than booking accommodation in a trulli. The buildings look ancient on the outside but have been made modern on the inside.
Alberobello is a UNESCO World Heritage site and travelers visit the town to walk its small streets. Its gorgeous piazzas are a place for gathering, but there is still plenty of space to get away from the crowds. The town is home to just over 10,000 residents, making it a travel destination with fewer people to come in contact with.
Do you want the Venice experience but want to avoid the crowds and prices? Italy’s gorgeous town of Treviso is a perfect Venice alternative. Treviso is in northern Italy in the Veneto region. Compared to Alberobello, Treviso is a major city. Treviso and area around it are famous for their prosecco production.
Treviso has been labeled by travelers as a smaller version of Venice. It has its own canals, medieval churches, and piazzas. Buildings throughout Treviso are connected via the canals that crisscross the city.
Treviso’s ancient fortifications still stand today. You can explore the wall that surrounds the city center or visit the classic Treviso Cathedral. Chiesa di San Nicolo is one tourist attraction you shouldn’t miss. The religious structure was built in the 13th century.
Florence was the cradle of the Renaissance. It is a brilliant city for art lovers and culture vultures to explore. In summertime, Florence can be insufferable as tourists visit the city in droves. The number of tourists to visit Florence has led many locals to be unhappy as the city is simply overrun.
For a Florence alternative, Parma is an ideal town and is easy to access in northern Italy. Parma is a university town providing it a young atmosphere despite having so many old buildings. Foodies will fall in love with the cuisine in Parma. Parma ham, parmesan cheese, and other famous Italian foods were created in the city.
In 2020, Parma was Italy’s Capital of Culture. For a country filled with ancient buildings, artwork, architecture, and more, it is quite an achievement to earn the title of Capital of Culture. Parma’s location makes it easy to reach other cities in northern Italy and to travel via train.
Located high up in the Apennine Mountains, you will find the Italian town of Castelluccio. It is the highest town in the mountain range at 1,452 meters tall (4,764ft). Spring is the ideal time to visit Castelluccio thanks to its weather warming. The town is very small and accommodation is limited.
Castelluccio has earned the nickname, the Jewel of Umbria, but it is still an under-visited location. The fields and mountainsides around Castelluccio are filled with blankets of snow during winter. When the snow melts in spring, the region’s famous lentil flowers begin to grow. A summer holiday to Castelluccio gives you the chance to see the colorful lentil flowers bloom.
The town is still rebuilding after suffering an earthquake in 2016. In spite of this, it has plenty of amazing charm to behold. Just 30 kilometers away from Castelluccio is Norcia. Norcia is famous for truffles and a visit in late February or early March offers you the chance to visit the Truffle Market Exhibition. The two towns can be visited in the same day.
South of Rome is the Italian seaside town of Sperlonga. It is a destination that allows you to avoid the crowds of the capital and to spend days in the Mediterranean Sea. Sperlonga is home to ancient palaces, fragrant gardens, and beautiful beaches as far as the eye can see.
You can fly into Rome and drive south to Sperlonga to get away from the mass numbers of tourists. Northern Sperlonga has pristine beaches and has been developed for modern-day tourists. Not far from the beach is a World Wildlife Federation protected reserve that can be explored.
The area in and around Sperlonga has been excavated in recent years with ancient artefacts found under the soil. You can see many of these artefacts in the town’s archaeological museum.
Conclusion: Where to go in Italy to avoid crowds
Italy is a country filled with tourists at the best of times and it can be difficult to get around the country’s major tourist destinations during peak seasons. There are alternatives to the top tourist destinations in Italy, however. The great thing about visiting Italy is that there are cities that offer you an alternative choice to the places everyone else goes. The COVID-19 era makes it even more important to avoid crowds in Italy when you book your next trip. The towns on this list prove that it is possible to have a great Italian adventure while still avoiding crowds.