If you're planning a trip to Italy, chances are you have a bucket list of destinations filled with historic and popular attractions that are an integral part of why you want to go to Italy in the first place. And while people flock to tourist attractions for a reason, overtourism takes a serious toll on the environment, the architecture, and even the economy of the surrounding areas. If you knew some underrated towns in Italy that tourists haven't found out about yet, you'd likely want to spend your time and resources exploring them, wouldn't you?
Traveling to less popular regions in Italy gives you an opportunity to support small businesses that really need your support. Fewer crowds means less stress, and less foot and car traffic means a better preserved environment. If you want to explore Italy like a local and get to know its people, its food, and its spirit, pick a smaller town or city. You know, one that doesn't already have millions of geo tags on Instagram, or overly jacked up tourist prices. Aka, don't you want to visit a town in Italy where you can get a bottle of water for under $5? Bustle talked to travel expert Janice Lintz about where to go in Italy that isn't being eroded with overtourism. According to Lintz, these little cities and towns are just as worthy of your time as Rome and Venice.
The city of Ravenna has it all. Beaches, art, incredible food, and oh-so-many historic attractions. The city has eight different United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization world heritage sights, which are all near each other and easy to get to — and according to Lintz, they can all be seen in one day with only quick transportation needs between each. Despite being such a hub for culture and beauty, it hasn't been taken over by tourism, and can be enjoyed by travelers with ease.
If you're a fan of fast cars, you might know that Modena is the home of the Ferrari factory, but this history city has so much more going on. If you're a foodie with a hankering for traditional Italian fare, you can visit the Balsamico Village, which Lintz suggests, where you'll find traditional vinegar producers, can also head to Parma to try the prosciutto, which Lintz assures is delicious. You'll never run out of markets and cathedrals to visit, and at only about 90 miles from Florence, this haven is easy to find.
The historic village of Sperlonga has palaces, museums, incredible restaurants, overflowing gardens, and picture-perfect alleyways just like Rome, but without any of the crowds. Here, you'll find ruins, perfect beaches, and classic architecture, and you won't have to wait in line to see any of it.
If the rocky shorelines of Italy are hard on your feet, escape to this secret, smooth, sandy beach town that tourists have not yet taken over. Enjoy turquoise waters and a lax beach vacation, or head to the historic town center, tour the Sanctuary of Santa Maria dell’Isola (a literal castle in the sky) and eat some of the freshest seafood in the world — without paying tourist prices.
This historic Renaissance town located in central Italy is an architectural dream. With a stunning combination of ruins and preserved historical landmarks, you'll fall in love with the bones of it. Because it's not a tourist town, you'll get to explore the town at your own pace, taking in the epic 13th-century sites at your supreme leisure. Here you'll also find beautiful beaches, and the Monti Sibillini National Park, which is out-of-this-world beautiful.