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Undiscovered Italy: Hidden Regions

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Undiscovered Italy: Hidden Regions
We cover the lesser explored regions and sides of Italy
Beyond the famous historic cities and world-renowned iconic sights, you’ll find the real Italy tucked away. This is where you can discover spectacular coastlines, romantic towns and medieval hilltop villages that are found just off the beaten track. The more you explore, the more secrets you will reveal. Meet some of Italy’s unsung regions and get to know the real Italy. There’s much to be discovered around every turn from hidden gems to the warmth of locals, delicious dishes to fine wines.
Cilento is Italy’s best kept secret
Located just south of Naples, the walking paths and coastal roads of Cilento will reward you with inspiring sea views, highland backdrops and picturesque harbour towns. The waterside trattorias arguably boast the best buffalo mozzarella in Italy! It’s also a wonderful place to explore Italy’s rich archaeological heritage. Did you know that the Mediterranean diet, declared by UNESCO as a World Intangible Cultural Heritage, was actually born in Cilento? You’ll find many centenarians living here thanks to their healthy diet.
Top tip: Take a trip to Vallo di Diano National Park for its ancient sanctuaries and settlements, including the impressive Certosa di Padula monastery.
Umbria is Italy’s green heart
Landlocked Umbria is a truly authentic corner of Italy and is a feast for the senses with its museums, galleries, Romanesque churches and cathedrals that dot the verdant countryside. Wander through the narrow streets of historic Perugia, take a guided tour of the spectacular Etruscan caves at Orvieto, or admire the frescoes of the Basilica di Francesco and the tomb of St Francis of Assisi.
Top tip: Enhance your Italian escape with a train journey across the rolling Tuscan countryside to Siena, enjoying a glass or two of Orvieto Classico along the way. 
Piedmont is Italy’s foodie haven
While the region is awash with green-gold vineyards with its firm footing in viticulture, Piedmont is also a hotbed of culinary excellence, with its focus on local production and food provenance. The small town of Bra and its parish, Pollenzo, is the birthplace of the international Slow Food movement, and home to the unique and highly acclaimed University of Gastronomic Sciences. 
Top tip: Combine Piedmont with the city of Turin to enjoy its Baroque architecture against the backdrop of the Italian Alps.
Lake Orta is Italy’s untouched lake
Forest-lined Lake Orta is a stunning and serene region of Italy, and it’s a mystery to us why it doesn’t receive the same spotlight as neighbouring Lake Maggiore, despite its mesmerising attractions. Hugging the lake’s shores, the village of Orta San Giulio is filled with narrow cobbled lanes, tiny fishing jetties, and lakeside gardens. It’s topped by the UNESCO World Heritage site of Sacro Monte di San Francesco, where you will find 20 little chapels dedicated to St Francis of Assisi.
Top tip: Combine the romance and tranquillity of Lake Orta with the history and architecture of the city of Genoa, the birthplace of Christopher Columbus. 
lake orta
Basilicata is Italy’s historic hotspot
Sharing a border with Puglia in southern Italy, Basilicata is bursting with historic hilltop towns that look out across the mountainous landscapes of the Lucanian Dolomites. A region that’s remained relatively unexplored it is a fascinating corner off the beaten path that attracts for its historical presence. It’s home to neighbourhoods of prehistoric houses believed by many to be the place where Italy’s first settlers arrived over 9,000 years ago.
Top tip: A visit to the 007 spot of Matera, with its prehistoric stone houses and cave dwellings, is a must.
Discover the real Italy with Citalia
There are so many wonderful places to discover that are off the beaten track and hidden away but Citalia can help you find them. Citalia are the UK’s leading Italy specialist with over 90 years' experience in tailoring holidays to Italy. Did you know that you can combine more than one destination in a single trip with a multi-centre holiday? That way you can discover more of the best that Italy has to offer.
Visit to discover the real Italy on your next adventure.
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