Italy is a beautiful and diverse country with incredible landscapes, towns, villages and beaches. Its only drawback is that it tends to be flooded by tourists, so much so that during the summer season you can barely move because the crowds of tourists in many cities.
Although almost every traveler immediately falls in love with Italy, it is a fact that Florence, Rome or Milan can hardly be imagined without the almost surging crowds on the streets and the long snaking lines in front of the famous attractions. The good news is that there are many places in Italy that are just as beautiful and relaxing, and are happily void of crowds.
Italian cities without tourist crowds
If the hustle and bustle scares you away from traveling, we have good news for you: even in the homeland of dolce vita, you can find cities that are not buzzing with enthusiastic groups of tourists, but rather with the temperament of the locals. The Mediterranean feeling of life is also felt in these places, but you can discover the beauties of the area enjoying some peace and quiet.
San Giovanni Valdarno
San Giovanni Valdarno is one of the jewels of Tuscany, where visitors are greeted by a picture of local life fit for a classic movie: in the main square of the town, in the forecourt of the Palazzo d’Arnolfo, children are playing football, while the locals loudly discuss current gossip or relax on the terraces of the cafes.
The city of 17,000 people, hidden in the valley of the Arno river, is the birthplace of the Renaissance painter Masaccio. There are several beautiful spots in San Giovanni Valdarno that must be seen to be believed; the Basilica of Santa Maria delle Grazie is home to a painting by Fra Angelico, which became known as the Annunciation.
The southeastern region, Puglia, abounds in wonderful cities, from which huge crowds are blissfully missing. Lecce, also fondly called the Florence of the South, is a wonderful settlement of the Salento peninsula, where the baroque cityscape mixes with the atmosphere of ancient ruins.
The Piazza Sant’Oronzo amphitheater, which takes you back to ancient times, and the Santa Croce basilica, which tells about the heyday of the Baroque, are some of the most prominent attractions in the settlement with a population of 100,000.
The seat of Puglia, Bari, is somewhat undeservedly ignored by tourists. Although many people believe that the port city is not rich in sights, which is why Bari is on the bucket list of few people, the Mediterranean streets and the endless sea are guaranteed to enchant you at first sight.
It is worth wandering around the town’s harbor, visiting the Basilica of San Nicola and walking through Bari Vecchio, the authentic old town, and you can even observe how the women make Puglia pasta in the open street.
In the Tuscany region, Florence and Pisa are real tourist magnets, but far fewer people make it to the beautiful city of Lucca.
In the charming settlement of 90,000 people, it is not only the picturesque streets of the medieval old town, the city wall or main square, the Piazza dell’Anfiteatro that enchant visitors, but also the famous mini-park built on the tower of Torre Guinigi towering over Lucca.