Italy is an immensely popular tourist destination, which is why it is one of the most sought-after vacation spots in the world today. A center for culture, religion, art, architecture, fashion, and cuisine, the impact of this tiny country cannot be underestimated. With such a rich history, it is no surprise that it attracts so many visitors yearly.
While the Mediterranean coastline is certainly attractive as a destination spot for many tourists, there are other stunning areas in Italy for travelers to see that have a plethora of picturesque views. With popularized tourist destinations and the capital (Rome) aside, the countryside offers one of the best landscapes in Italy.
Travelers of the Italian countryside can discover the attractions that are exclusive to the more rural areas of Italy. The slow pace of the Italian countryside is one of its most appreciated features. Along with the scenic rolling hills, steep valleys and otherworldly sunsets, the serene Italian countryside attracts travelers who want to leisurely explore the enchanting, rural beauty of the country. Check out the best cities in the Italian countryside and their top-tier offerings.
Tuscany is one of the well-known countryside regions renowned for its lush vineyards. It is commonly referred to as the most beautiful area of Italy, so its tourist appeal is clear. With plenty of rustic villages that have welcoming locals and fantastic food, this region is a dream destination. Visitors can take a vineyard tour, explore national parks, or swim in the Lagoon of Orbetello, as well as many other activities while in Tuscany.
The best time to visit Tuscany is either between September and October or between April and May. During these months, there is a more comfortable average temperature so travelers will not be hounded by the sun. With temperatures around the low 70s during the fall season and early spring, travelers can explore freely without breaking a sweat. For visitors who want to indulge in some Italian wine, the fall is when vineyards harvest their grapes.
Umbria is a great place for travelers who want to experience the ancient districts of Italy. The region is home to some of the oldest towns (since it has been inhabited since the Stone Age) and is extremely well preserved. It is called the Green Heart of Italy and has lush forests, lakes, and other beautiful natural features. Travelers should try activities like wine tasting, visiting the Marmore Falls, and river rafting while in Umbria, which keeps them connected to nature and the plentiful land.
Travelers should aim to visit Umbria between April, May, June, September and October. For the most affordable prices, fewer crowds, and more manageable weather, try Umbria in the spring or fall. In late May, the summer crowds start to populate the area but since the countryside is more sparsely populated, it is nothing compared to the crowds of bigger tourist areas.
The eastern district of Abruzzo is called the green lung of Europe for its expansive natural areas. About a third of the land in Abruzzo is protected and the area contains 75 percent of Europe’s flora and fauna. Visitors should take advantage of all the stunning environments in Abruzzo by taking a bus tour, exploring the land on the Italian railway, relaxing on the Teramano Coast, or hiking the Gran Sasso d’Italia massif.
The best times to visit Abruzzo are spring and summer. Opportunities for wildlife sightings increase during these times. The warmer months are also the best time for outdoor activities like swimming and hiking. Travelers can appreciate the natural beauty of the three national parks of Abruzzo when they are at their peak.
This region is south of the Alps and borders France and Switzerland. The northwestern region of Piedmont is well known for its lakes, museums, and renowned white truffle (so much so that it has its own festival). Lake Maggiore is among the best places to visit in Piedmont since it offers travelers stunning villas, breathtaking views, and botanical gardens right off of the water. The area is a paradise for those who have a sensitivity and appreciation for food and wine since much of the food is grown from the land (many varieties of nuts, fruits, veggies, cheeses, and even veal).
Visiting from June to September is a traveler’s best bet for a comfortable stay in Piedmont. For those who find skiing enticing, the winter months will be preferable. However travelers should plan their winter trips well ahead of time since some countryside accommodations close for the cold season (around January to March).
Sicily is a countryside region that is made up of mountainous and rugged terrain. The southern island is surrounded by rural land, beaches, and forests. Geographically, it is recognizable as the tip of the “boot” of Italy, so it is a coastal region. Among the most celebrated things in Sicily are the ruins and archaeological sites that adorn the island. Landmarks like the Valley of Temples (near Agrigento) and the Roman mosaics at Piazza Armerina are the most popular with tourists and justifiably so, since they are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Visit Sicily between May and June or September and October. These months offer cooler temperatures, around the 70s and 80s, that are technically considered mild for the region. These temperatures in the shoulder season will allow travelers to enjoy the great outdoors and maybe even catch some discounts.