Rome, Florence, Venice and the Amalfi Coast are at the top of the list for most tourists, and every year millions of visitors take over these popular destinations. But are these cities in fact the best destinations in Italy? No doubt these locations are the most popular among foreign visitors, but locals have a different opinion and chose a different path in the summer of 2016. Select Italy (http://selectitaly.com), a boutique travel company specialized in travel to Italy, shares this exclusive list of still relatively unknown destinations within Italy that locals preferred over those most popular with international travelers. Following Italians to their favorite spots is a great way to experience the country more authentically.
This past year close to 75% of Italian vacationers — approximately 25 million people — who responded to the Info Data/Sole 24 Ore survey in October of 2016 remained in the Bel Paese for the summer, with a remarkable preference for beach and coastal locations. It appears that most natives steered towards their national beaches to make the most of their time off work and avoiding long distance travel, which requires more time and more funds.
The island of Sicily appears to be Italians’ preferred destination for the summer, probably due to the fact that it is culturally and geographically separate from the rest of the peninsula. It sets itself apart from the other regions, making most feel like they are actually in another country all of its own. In particular, San Vito Lo Capo, with its dramatic mountain drop into the crystal-clear sea water, won third place of the top 10 summer destinations in the world for Italians, according to Sole 24 Ore. While the city is very well-known among Italians and the town offers an array of activities and accommodations to its visitors, foreign tourists still have their eye on the major cities, such as Taormina and Palermo.
2) Sardinia and Apulia
Two other southern regions which maintain their status as local favorites are Apulia and the island of Sardinia. These have long been a favorite for Italians in search of beautiful yet less crowded beaches. According to the 2016 TCI study, 10% of the interviewed picked Apulia and 8% Sardinia, and this is not as surprising if one knows that these regions house the most beautiful beaches in Italy such as the Emerald Coast, as well as unique destinations like Alberobello, in the Province of Bari, known for its conical-roofed trulli.
3) Trentino and Tuscany
Although beaches won by a landslide, the northern regions have not been left out, as Trentino-Alto Adige and Tuscany attracted a respectable number of local visitors interested in hiking in the Dolomites or relaxing and exploring the countryside (13% and 10% respectively of the 4,500 who took part in the TCI study).
As the Director of Custom Travel Planning, Michaelanne Chapel, puts it, “Most of our clients who are traveling to Italy for the first time are understandably interested in visiting the country’s highlights such as the Sistine Chapel and Michelangelo’s David, and we are always prepared to assist and advise on how to get to these popular attractions. But we also like to give recommendations on lesser-known sites, where the locals retreat and where you can find a more authentic experience.”
Select Italy helps travelers with information and useful tips on locals’ favorite destinations, restaurants, markets and hidden gems, and a complete portfolio of services in Italy can be found on the company’s website. For more information about Select Italy travel services visit selectitaly.com or send an email to email@example.com
About Select Italy
Select Italy is The Ultimate Source for Travel to Italy and offers a wide array of superior Italian travel products and services, including customized itineraries, state-of-the-art tours and packages, wedding/honeymoon trips, unique culinary classes, a complete pre-departure ticketing service for museums and musical events, private guided services, yacht charters, transportation, hotel reservations, villa bookings and more. Through a vast network of suppliers and cultural contacts, anything and everything you need for optimum travel to Italy is possible with Select Italy. Based in Chicago with an office in New York and Shanghai and support staff in Italy, the company has expanded its offerings and travel services to the Balkans with the launch of Select Croatia.