While Italy’s most iconic and classic destinations, like Rome, Florence, Venice, Portofino, and the Amalfi Coast, remain high in demand, more must-go destinations like Apulia, Matera, Turin, and Bologna have emerged through the years.
Still, many smaller Italian cities remain uncovered or receive little attention, often because they cannot offer adequate accommodation for high-end tourism.
Whether you are a discerned traveler who is returning to Italy and wants to explore new areas, or a luxury travel advisor looking for ideas to craft bespoke Italy tours or to refresh your signature luxury private tours of Italy, here are a few ideas on alternative destinations to inspire you.
You can also browse our pages dedicated to custom luxury travel in Italy for more inspiration tailored to your personal preferences. You can also delve deeper into our suggestions dedicated to solo travelers, romantic getaways for couples, and unforgettable family journeys in our dedicated sections
Consider exploring Northern Italy through some of its smaller cities while staying in the best-renowned destinations where it is easier to find the comforts needed for a luxury journey.
For example, land in Milan and stay in Verona to tour the rich area around the city.
– On the way from Milan to Verona, visit the well-preserved historic center of Bergamo, with its Venetian walls designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site. The city also offers captivating panoramic views over the lower part of the city and the hills around it.
– Reach the quaint town of Lazise, and embark on a private boat tour of Lake Garda, Italy’s largest lake, straddling the Lombardia and Veneto regions. The lake’s unique microclimate fosters the growth of lemon and olive trees as if you were in the heart of the Mediterranean.
– Visit Valpolicella’s renowned vineyards that produce the famous Amarone wine.
– Dedicate a day to Padua, a city with many jewels in its crown: the impressive Scrovegni Chapel, adorned with Giotto’s masterpiece frescoes, the 13th-century Basilica of Saint Anthony, and the ancient Palazzo della Ragione, the ancient seat of the city courts and the covered market, which offers a fascinating glimpse into medieval life of the city. The Astronomical Observatory, ‘La Specola,’ offers insights into the city’s scientific heritage. And do not miss tasting the internationally renowned Spritz aperitivo which was born here in Padua.
– Visit Mantua, a UNESCO World Heritage city renowned for its Renaissance architecture. Tour the historic center, then head just outside the city walls to admire the Palazzo Te, a masterpiece of mannerist architecture.
– When leaving for Milan, stop in Cremona, globally recognized as the cradle of violin-making, thanks to the legacy of the luthier Antonio Stradivari, born and raised in this town. Here, he crafted his remarkable Stradivarius instruments, valued up to several millions today. Cremona’s luthier tradition continues through the numerous workshops that line the city’s streets.
Central Italy also holds a treasure trove of experiences for the discerning traveler. Umbria, for example, is characterized by lovely medieval towns where you can live the village life. It is considered the green heart of Italy for its central geographical position and its hills and forests.
To explore the region, you can land in Rome and stay in the region’s capital city, Perugia.
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