Sightseeing in Italy – what is left to see?
There is so much more to Italy than Venice, Florence, and Rome – with beautiful landscapes, architecture, and tradition there is enough variety to keep you travelling in Italy for a lifetime.
Here are examples of places in Italy that are relatively unknown and slightly ‘off the beaten track’:
Friuli: Pordenone and San Daniele
The Friuli area borders with Austria to the north and Slovenia to the East. It has stunning mountains and criss-cross rivers. The famous artist from this area is Giovanni Antonio Pordenone, whose last name refers obviously to the town. You will see his work in the cathedrals of Pordenone, nearby Spilimbergo, and San Daniele. The historic centre of Pordenone is very quaint with streets covered by archways and lovely cafés serving local cuisine.
On Italy’s Adriatic coast, Ravenna is well-known for its mosaics and eight of its beautiful buildings have been added to the UNESCO World Heritage list. The architecture and decoration of Ravenna’s churches are just stunning and are completely different from anything else you will see in Italy whilst sightseeing.
Urbino is beautiful but not easy to reach as there is no train station, minimal buses, and is served by a small mountain road. However, it is still well worth a visit if only to see the Palazzo Ducale a famous court that sits above the visitor parking lot and is built into the side of the mountain. The Palazzo is now the National Gallery of Urbino and the Marches and is home to some amazing jewels of Renaissance art. There are also paintings by Piero della Francesca, Raphael, and Paolo Uccello.
Grotte di Frasassi
This underground in the Marche region is definitely under the umbrella of ‘what is left to sightsee in Italy ‘. Here you will see the Frasassi caves, which are just amazing. For safety reasons, tourists are taken on group visits that takes 70 minutes. I f you are more adventurous then you can pre-book a two or three hour trail with an experienced guide
Who will explain the history of the grotto.
Maremma is a region of Tuscany and has hardly been touched by tourism. It is full of wild mountains and gorgeous beaches; it makes you feel as if you have just stepped back in time! You will see a 2.5 millennia-old cumulus tomb and the ruins of medieval abbeys. Maremma also has many kilometres of natural reserves; the finest is the Parco Nazionale della Maremma, well-known for bird-watching.
Another quite different sightseeing attraction in Italy is Elba – it is the largest of seven islands in the Tuscan Archipelago. It has pristine waters and amazing cliff views. The beaches are superb and the main sites are the two Napoleonic villas, the Medici Fortress at Portoferraio, Roman ruins, and a mineral museum. You can reach Elba by the ferry that takes one hour from Piombino.
If you are wanting a good place to stop between Tuscany and Southern Italy then Viterbo is the place – it is a beautiful town with an abundance of fountains, The popes resided here in the second half of the thirteenth century and their Duomo is a mix of styles as it took over 400 years to build and then was completely bombed in the second world war, but the original inlaid marble floor makes it well worth a visit. Next to the Duomo, do visit the Palazzo dei Papi (open daily except Monday).