This guest post is contributed by Aimee.
Home to some amazing attractions, including the Colosseum, Pompeii, and the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Italy is a popular destination for millions of tourists every year.
But what of those sights set a little further back from the tourist trail? Italy is filled with hidden treasures, many of them not too far from the frequently trodden path, and more travelers than ever are choosing to divert into the seldom-visited corners of this rich country; the corners seldom written about in guidebooks.
Exploring everything that Italy has to offer is now easier than ever, with major airlines such as Lufthansa now operating frequent flights between North America, Canada and Europe.
Avio : Nestled in the spectacular Lagarina Valley, Avio is a municipality in Trentino, Northern Italy. Home to just 4,000 inhabitants, it’s a small town known for a medieval castle and classical architecture.
Avio has a number of interesting sights, many of them free to enter. The Castle of Sabbionara, built between the 12th and 14th centuries, is particularly breathtaking and features the Torre della Picadora Tower, as well as some interesting historical frescoes. Visitors to the town may also be interested in San Carlo Church, San Vigilio Church, and the Pieve of Avio. The town really comes alive during the Palio delle Botti festival, a medieval-style competition between the seven districts of Avellino.
With an abundance of traditional-style bed and breakfasts and hotels, as well as eateries serving local produce, Avio is a great place to stay. For those driving, Avio is easily accessible along the A22 autostrada; there really is no excuse not to explore Avio and the spectacular Lagarina Valley. Avio is also easy to access via public transport. The nearest airport is located in Verona, just 38 kilometers away, and there are regular bus and train services in and out of the province.
Soave : Appearing out of nowhere beside the autostrada, the walled community of Soave is located in the Province of Verona. Known for its wine, Soave has existed since Roman times and many of these influences can still be seen today.
Popular tourist sights include the Castle of Soave, the medieval walls, the Palace of Justice, Palazzo Capitano, and numerous churches, each steeped in history. The region is also known for its wine production; the Street of Soave Wine has undulating fields filled with vineyards, olive groves and cypress tress, reminiscent of Tuscany. Wine tasting is a must, as is a visit during any of the community’s many festivals; the Grape Festival is Italy’s oldest celebration.
Soave is located by the A4 autostrada between Milan and Venice, convenient for anyone traveling through. Those without their own transport will still be able to explore Soave; train and bus services run from Verona and San Bonifacio, while Venice and Brescia aren’t too far away. Soave is served by Verona Airport, which is located within 25 kilometers. There are some beautiful places to stay within Soave, suiting a range of tastes and budgets.
Oria : Located in Southern Italy, in Puglia, Oria is a beautiful town steeped in history. Among Oria’s notable sights are its castle, the Cathedral Basilica, which displays many examples of the town’s artistic heritage, as well as housing a museum and crypt; the Bishop’s Palace, and many other churches dating back to the town’s founding in classical times. As the home of one of Europe’s oldest Jewish communities, Oria has abundant influences still to see, including the Gate of the Jews. The town hosts a yearly tournament, the ‘Tournament of the Districts’, in which men from across Oria compete in medieval contests of skill – definitely one not to be missed.
Oria has a number of places to stay, from quaint bed and breakfasts to impressive hotels built into the shells of medieval buildings. The town is located midway between Brindisi and Taranto, and can be easily accessed by road, and by public transport via Brindisi. For those wishing to fly into Oria, the nearest airport is Brindisi-Salento (formerly Papola Casale Airport), which is within 40 minutes by road.
Of course, these are just some of the undiscovered gems nestled within Italy’s beautiful landscape. There are plenty more just waiting to be explored; start your Italian adventure today.
About The Author: Aimee is an enthusiastic, well-educated freelance writer with big ideas for the future. She is fascinated with exploring new countries and thoroughly enjoys experiencing their culture.
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