Italy is one of the world's most beautiful countries. Rich with culture, history, architecture, and, yes, delicious cuisine, "the Boot" is an amazing destination for people from all over the world. Travelers seeking the peaceful beauty of the Italian countryside will want to avoid major tourist enclaves like Rome and Florence. If you're more interested in small group tours of Italy that keep you away from the crowds, consider the following five spots, which lay well off the beaten path. |
Perugia, a hilltop town in the country's Umbrian region, boasts beautifully preserved medieval architecture and a rustic atmosphere. Small group tours of Italy should be sure to add this to their itinerary, especially in the summer, when local jazz musicians fill the streets with strains of gorgeous music. The town is famous for three things: food, jazz, and chocolate. Be sure to taste local specialties like wild boar, and peruse the storefronts of world-class chocolate producers like Perugina.
Bolzano is the home of "Iceman," who, at 5,000 years old, is Europe's oldest mummy. Visitors can sneak a peek of this stunning specimen at one of Bolzano's several museums. Like so many places in the country, Bolzano affords breathtaking scenery. The city is wrapped in the Dolomite Mountains, which visitors can explore on foot or by bike. Stop over at one of the city's peerless vineyards to sip a rare vintage as the sun descends behind the mountain peaks and paints the medieval architecture in soft oranges and pinks.
3. Aeolian Islands
Situated in the Mediterranean Sea just north of Sicily, the Aeolian Islands provide travelers a relaxing oasis from the fast pace of the nation's bigger, tourist-heavy cities. Small group tours of Italy can pass a few days snorkeling in the crystal clear Mediterranean and relaxing on the soft white sands. Don't miss the natural wonder of the active volcano on Stromboli, one of the larger islands. You can watch the mountain spew molten lava, which races and curls down the mountainside before spouting into the sea.
A word to the foodies: get to Bologna as soon as humanly possible. With a reputation as the country's food capital, the city boasts tons of strange and tasty delicacies that will expand your palette. Walk down miles of arcade and sample concoctions from local culinary artists that are unlike anything in the rest of the country, or the world. Bologna also boasts stunning architecture and the beautiful University of Bologna, which is the oldest university in Europe. Beyond this, the city's rich history of leftist politics is sure to ensnare the interest of left-brained travelers.
5. Cinque Terre
Standing along the famous Italian Riviera, Cinque Terre - which translates to "the Five Lands" - is composed of five bucolic hilltop towns. These locales are off the beaten path and are only accessible to travelers by way of train or a footpath. The architecture here is quite unique, as the town boasts medieval-era villas that are linked together by terraced vineyards. The atmosphere is both quiet and artistic, and each town affords spectacular views of the blue Mediterranean below.
Italy provides one of the best backdrops in the world for a quiet, small tour. Consider these hidden gems when you start to build your touring itinerary.
When interested in small group tours of Italy, travelers visit Buon Gusto Tours. Learn more about our services at http://www.buongustotours.com/.
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