6 of Italy’s Lesser Known Treasures

6 of Italy’s Lesser Known Treasures

Find a side to Italy that few people ever get to see.

Everyone knows about Italy’s biggest attractions: Rome, the Vatican, Venice, Pompeii and so on. But there are many lovely spots that are largely passed over by the throngs of tourists which flood into this picturesque country. With an Italy motorhome rental, you have all the freedom in the world to abandon the crowds and explore as you please, so it would be a shame not to stray off the beaten path and discover destinations which are yet to be overrun. While we’d recommend playing it by ear while you’re on the road and following whichever path through Italy takes your fancy, the places below will give you some food for thought, and maybe even a bit of a headstart on your road trip planning.

Treviso

In many ways, Treviso is an even better place to visit than fabled Venice.

The bridges and canals of Venice are packed with tourists pretty much year round, but there’s another city in the area which gets only a fraction of the visitors while still offering that watery medieval charm. Duck into old frescoed churches, wander down narrow cobbled streets and walk alongside scenic canals - Treviso provides an authentic experience that’s missing from many of Italy’s more popular destinations. Booking a Bologna campervan rental will leave you with a two hour journey northeast to reach this lovely spot.

Abruzzo

Abruzzo will charm the hardest of hearts with its understated beauty.

This is a region rather than a specific city, but that’s no problem for a motorhome traveller who’s free to roam at will. It’s a little bit of a mystery why Abruzzo hasn’t yet caught the attention of tourists to swarm to regions like Tuscany and Puglia, but one thing’s for sure: this bucolic rural area is a perfect example of a pristine Italian countryside which has disappeared from most of the rest of the nation. Gently rolling hills, sandy coastlines, abandoned medieval towns and ancient forests are all waiting to be explored, and with a Rome motorhome rental you’ll be less than two hours from the heart of Abruzzo.

Aosta

Aosta Valley is one of the most gorgeous places in Italy.

Nestled high in the Italian Alps, the old Roman settlement of Aosta combines isolation, ancient history and a breathtaking natural setting to give intrepid motorhome travellers an experience that’s hard to find anywhere else. Having been passed from French speaking rulers to Italian and back again many times in the Middle Ages, Aosta has become a bilingual city with a unique cultural heritage. While you’re in the area, it’s well worth heading slightly northwest to see Europe’s highest mountain, Mont Blanc. If you’re not the mountaineering type, you can even catch a ride on the world’s highest cable car to enjoy Mont Blanc’s expansive views. With a Turin motorhome rental, you’ll be only about an hour and a half away from Aosta’s alpine paradise.

Matera

Matera is a startlingly unique destination that no explorer of Italy should miss.

Believed to be the third-longest continuously inhabited settlement on Earth, people have called Matera home for around 9,000 years. While this city was a derelict shell of its former self in the mid-20th century, a massive revitalisation effort has turned Matera into a thriving, fashionable place that tastefully integrates its ancient roots into modern life. The place is honeycombed with prehistoric cave dwellings, which today play host to restaurants, churches and even art galleries, but even the historic parts of Matera which aren’t burrowed into a ravine are still fascinating to gaze at and wander through. You can reach Matera in a little over an hour with a campervan rental from Bari, or make a three hour journey after picking up a Naples motorhome rental.

Siena

Siena is the treasure of Tuscany that far too few people know about.

Florence is the obviously the go-to destination in Tuscany, and for good reason, but that’s also its downfall. To discover the region’s real hidden gem you have to visit Siena. Its medieval streets are a delight to explore, and Gothic architecture rises magnificently on all sides. The visually arresting Duomo (church) is a must-see while you’re in town, and there are plenty of opportunities to find a high vantage point from which to take in the expanse of the city. Often described as Italy’s loveliest city, no trip to Tuscany is complete without calling in to Siena. Picking up a Florence motorhome rental will place you less than an hour and a half north of Siena.

Castelluccio

Castelluccio is the highest town in the Apennines, and a truly astounding place to visit in early summer thanks to its wildflowers.

Set high in the Apennine Mountains at 5,000 feet above sea level, Castelluccio is a little slice of rural heaven. A series of earthquakes devastated the town in 2016 but its inhabitants have rallied valiantly and Castelluccio is making a swift recovery, drawing in visitors with delicious cuisine and magical views. If you can, come to Castelluccio in early summer - this is when the lentil fields around the town explode into a surreal blend of colours, with poppies, crocus, iris and more sprouting up amidst the lentils in a wildly extravagant display. With a Rome campervan rental you can reach Castelluccio in a little under three hours.

Obviously any list like this is only going to highlight a fraction of the wonders that Italy has in store for those willing to explore beyond the major tourist centres, but with one or two great destinations in mind it will be easy to structure the rest of your holiday however you like. Just start by booking an Italy motorhome rental and the rest will fall into place.


Written By: Kristof Haines

It’s funny how motorhome memories stick with you. I can still recall a motorhome vacation my family took when I was five years old and how awesome I thought I was, tucked away in a loft bed above the cab. From revealing unique destinations to providing tips and tricks, it’s my mission to help others build great motorhome memories too.