Off the Beaten Path Italy, Flickr: tesking

Elba Island!

It must be nice to say that you have seen it all in Italy, but actually you have only seen the beginning. Tourists begin with popular cities like Rome, Venice and Florence and call it a day with Italy. If you’re looking for the places in Italy worth visiting, but you’ve probably haven’t heard of, you may want to book some discount airfare to Italy sooner than you think.


Turin: Turin or Torino (It sounds nicer in Italian) may ring a bell because it was the location of the 2006 Winter Olympics. Just like many Italian cities, it is filled with rich history and Roman ruins. What people like most about the city is how inexpensive and easy it is to get around. After all, Turin used to be the capital of Italy many years ago. Spend your time in Turin by enjoying the vistas of the Po River, the villas and the Italian Alps.  Fact: This is also the headquarters of those cute little Fiats.


Bologna:
Bologna- it's more than just a lunchmeat. (You know we had to go for that joke.) This enchanting town in Italy is the place to go if you barely want to hear English. Famous for its cuisine, Bologna is also known for its warm and vivid architecture of terracotta reds, warm oranges and comfortable yellows. History buffs should know this is the home of the oldest university in the Western World, dating back to 1088! Since the cuisine is so famous, make sure to eat like there is no tomorrow- from the savory cured meats to the hearty tortellini, you'll never go hungry in Bologna.


Sardinia: You can't really see it at first, but if you zoom into a Google Map, you'll notice that Italy is surrounded by a few islands. One of these is Sardinia, a large island in the Tyrrhenian Sea. Sardinia is that place where you can get away from it all and still have that Italian fantasy you've always imagined. The island is stunning- the quintessential example of Mediterranean beauty. This quiet and sweet little island is perfect for outdoor folks who love sailing, national parks and nature.


Lucca: Lucca sounds like a typical name for an Italian man and while this may be true, it also is a city in Tuscany. This Renaissance city is known for its city walls of the old town. There are many fascinating plazas and churches to awe- you can spend an entire week photographing them. This is a sleepy little city with limited evening transport and not that big of a nightlife, which is fine because sometimes, you need it that way. After all of the sightseeing here, you just want to kick back, relax and enjoy a nice drink.


Elba Island: Those who really want that off the beaten path experience and want to get away from it all, you will love Elba Island. It's one of the largest islands in the Tuscan Archipelago with gorgeous beaches, jaw dropping cliff views and opportunities to hike. Hiking trips will take you on a trip through time to explore prehistoric caves, ancient villages and old fortresses. The island is especially famous for Napoleon's old homes, (where he was banished at one point in history), which you can tour.


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photo: tesking

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