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The Best Italian Countryside Escapes

4 min read

The Best Italian Countryside Escapes
The Italian countryside is truly something everyone should experience at least once. Whether you enjoy a good glass of wine, nature trails, history hunting, or exploring untouched hilltop towns with sensational landscapes, the Italian countryside is one of the best ways to harness authentic Italy. 
We’re looking at the best Italian countryside escapes to help you find the ideal spot for your real Italian holiday. From the mammoth peaks of the Alps to tiny towns dating back 9,000 years, here are Italian countryside hotspots you don’t want to miss. 

Basilicata

History buffs, eat your heart out. Located in southern Italy, bordering Puglia, Basilicata holidays are all about terrific hilltop towns with historic architecture and stories of days gone by waiting to be explored. Since this area is relatively unexplored, you’re in for untouched history at your fingertips. 
If you’re looking for a countryside escape off the beaten track, Basilicata offers a stunning mountain landscape with awe-inspiring scenery. Perfect for those who enjoy a good hike and exploring the undiscovered gems that lie within the mammoth mountains. 
Matera holidays offer a spectacular historic exploration with its neighbourhoods of pre-historic stone houses that once homed Italy’s initial settlers about 9,000 years ago. The rock dwellings tell fantastic tales and are now part of the Sassi districts which have developed into small communities with hotels, restaurants, and shops. As part of the UNESCO 2003 World Heritage List, you can form part of the history of this amazing area. 
For one of the most unique accommodations in the world, a stay at Sextantio Le Grotte Della Civita allows you to stay within one of the 18 cave dwellings. Staying here is about as close to Italian history as you can get with the original setting remaining untouched alongside careful furnishings to ensure an authentic stay. 
Image of the hillside town of Basilicata lit up at night

Tuscany Countryside

Tuscany countryside holidays are a once-in-a-lifetime experience. We’ve all seen photos of the rolling hills, vineyards, and hilltop towns, but believe us when we say that nothing prepares you for experiencing the immaculate beauty of the Italian countryside aesthetic in Tuscany firsthand. 
The town of San Gimignano is known for its gorgeous romantic piazzas, where you can stroll along, taking in the historic architecture, including soaring towers and medieval marvels.
If you’re looking for the perfect spot to unwind, San Giuliano Terme is a quiet spa town known for its romantic relaxation escapes. With a population of only 3,000, this is the ideal town for experiencing authentic Italy while indulging in some world-class treatments. 
Whatever you’re looking for on your authentic Italian escape in the beautiful Italian countryside, Tuscany is sure to impress. The rolling hills, exquisite wines, and culinary sensations dotted throughout make this the ultimate romantic getaway. 
Image of the Tuscany countryside with a road surrounded by trees

Umbria Countryside

For a true Italian countryside aesthetic, a visit to Umbria is in order. The historic hill towns date back to the Etruscan era, with many structures remaining untouched and authentic. 
The steep hills buried in cascading colourful wildflowers are like something out of a dream in the spring. Combined with the immaculate walking and biking trails, you’re in for a true Italian countryside getaway. 
The walking trail, Sentiero Fransiscano, invites you to make your way between Nocera and Assisi. Once in Assisi, explore the picturesque piazzas, beautiful churches, and quaint cafes on the narrow lanes between the structures. Visit the famous Basilica of San Francesco d’Assisi and the 12th Century Rocca Maggiore Fortress to get up close and personal with the fascinating history of Umbria. 
Umbria holidays offer smaller towns that hold tradition close to their hearts and long winding roads in between, where the silence of the countryside is unmatched in any other part of Italy. 
In Orvieto, the rustic feel along with historic architecture, including Romanesque cathedrals and churches, will have you feeling part of days gone by. For a more unique take on history, head to the Orvieto Underground. Here, you venture under the town to explore fascinating caves, galleries, cellars, and grottos. 
Image of a church in the countryside of Umbria in Italy

Piedmont Countryside

Situated on the border of Switzerland and France, Piedmont is about as picturesque as the Italian countryside gets. It is surrounded by three sides of the Alps, boasting some of the biggest glaciers and highest peaks in Italy. 
Alongside this, the stunningly vast vineyards and rolling green hills, as well as the luxurious lakes of Orta and Maggiore, Piedmont countryside holidays offer Italian beauty at its finest. 
If you’re on the hunt for some of the best wine in the region, Gavi Village is the place to be with its famous Cortese di Gavi, a DOCG dry white. The town of Pollenzo also takes its winemaking seriously with its very own 19th-century University of Gastronomic Sciences and a Wine Bank.
Foodies, you can’t miss the chance to experience the Michelin-star restaurants in Benevello. This one-road village may look like a quaint little town with not much going on, but trust us, you’re in for a foodie extravaganza, with some of the world’s top chefs curating creative cuisines to share with visitors.  
Image of the countryside in Piedmont in Italy which sits on the edge of Switzerland and France

Calabria 

Romance is in the air, with holidays in Calabria offering sensational beaches that rival some of the best tropical getaways. Located on the toe of Italy, Calabria’s long peninsula borders the Tyrrhenian Sea with waters so clear that diving in is an absolute must. 
While this sounds a little different to the other Italian countrysides, heading inland you’ll find mammoth mountain ranges, including Aspromonte and Pollino. The Sila National Park also offers picturesque pine forests for you to explore and savour the beautiful natural surroundings. 
Calabria is also home to some of the most picturesque vineyards and wineries in Italy. The climate in Calabria makes it the ideal destination for Gaglioppo, an indigenous red grape variety. It is used to make one of the oldest wines in the world, Cirò, which is believed to have been consumed by Greek gods during the Olympic games. That’s quite a feat. 
Image of the hillside town of Calabria in Italy with a sun setting over the mountains

Discover the Real Italy with Citalia 

Are you ready to experience the best Italian countryside escapes? Citalia are the UK’s leading Italy specialist with over 90 years' experience in tailoring holidays to Italy. Experts are on hand every step of the way to ensure you make memories to last a lifetime. It’s never too late to start planning your Italian escape!
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