Thousands of people flood the world-famous Italian cities of Milan, Rome, and Venice every year, but you can still have a lovely vacation in Italy if you’d rather steer clear of the crowds. Visitors don’t necessarily need to visit these tourist-filled destinations to experience the culture, cuisine, and charm of Italy! For instance, consider these calmer Italian destinations where you can relax, explore, and unwind—away from the cacophony of busy cities:

Bergamo, Lombardy

Bergamo is surrounded by 16th-century Venetian walls, and the city is full of antique cathedrals and palaces that have helped it maintain its Medieval look. Within the city walls, tourists can explore well-preserved marvels and sites, such as the company town of Crespi d’Adda, the Duomo, the Colleoni Chapel, and the Castle of Cavernago. Art enthusiasts can enjoy the Italian art gallery of Accademia Carrara, while outdoor lovers can get their hearts pumping by biking on over 120 miles of gorgeous trails and doing watersports in Lombardy’s lovely lake region. In the winter, Bergamo is also an ideal spot for skiing!

Camogli, Liguria

This enchanting fishing village may not be as popular as its neighboring cities, Cinque Terre and Portofino, but Camogli has its own unique charms that shouldn’t be missed. The coastal homes and buildings are painted in bright, cheerful shades, so that sailors can easily recognize the town from a distance. You can even experience this yourself if you choose to go on a guided or solo boating excursion. Camogli has plenty of incredible restaurants along the coastline, offering numerous pasta dishes, Ligurian delicacies, focaccia, and fresh seafood options. For a relaxing small-town feeling, picturesque beach views, and wonderful local foods, Camogli is an excellent place to visit.

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Castelmezzano, Basilicata

The stunning town of Castelmezzano dates back to the 10th century, nestled into the rocks of a mountain range. It’s known as one of the prettiest villages in Italy because of its breathtaking views and its charming streets, which are lined with small shops and restaurants. Visitors can hike through the mountains, enjoy a quiet picnic on a beautiful summer afternoon, and adventurous guests can visit the neighboring stone village of Pietrapertosa by taking a zipline across the gorge between the towns.

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Trento, Trentino

Trento is the capital of the Trentino region, offering all the modern-day attractions of cities like Rome and Milan without the hordes of tourists. Visitors can enjoy a far more relaxed atmosphere here as they stroll the cobbled streets, sample delicious Italian cuisine, admire fantastic artwork, and experience the true culture of the locals. You can settle in for a night of orchestra or opera performances, explore the region’s many lakes and mountain trails, or take a train to visit the castles of Trentino. It’s also highly recommended to try some of the local wines and gelato while you’re in the Trentino region!

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