Underlooked luxury destinations in Italy for summer 2023: discover some hidden gemsJanuary 19, 2023
Italy is among the most popular travel destinations in the world, and once there, it’s pretty common to want to come back. After all, we’re talking about a country you can visit repeatedly and have a new experience each time, as the cultural impact it provides is simply incredible. Did you know Italy has more UNESCO World Heritage Sites than elsewhere in Europe?
The beginning of the year is one of the best moments to start planning your summer holidays in complete peace and sheer awareness of your destination. When it comes to such a beloved and admired country as Italy, having a little more time to evaluate your options (and there are many!) will allow you to truly get ready for the journey of a lifetime, getting to know the country and its secrets much better.
We all know about the most famous destinations in the boot-shaped country: from Florence to Venice, from Rome to Milan – to name a few. However, Italy is packed with hidden gems made of historical borgos, unspoiled medieval towns, unknown cities with spectacular views of the sea or the mountains and, more generally, more unique destinations that travelers can usually fathom.
Sicily: overwhelmed by the multi-sensory feeling of nature
Sicily is the ideal destination for anyone looking to experience a combination of big cities and fascinating small towns. The island has plenty to offer: just think about the Valley of the Temples and the villages built on lava bedrock!
It also has some of the most stunning beaches in the world, and because of its amazing year-round climate, it's warm enough to go to the beach for half the year. Beautiful summers last from May into October, and the mild winter turns into a warm spring quite rapidly: that means that, if you want, you could be there in just a few weeks from now and fully immerse yourself in the warm Sicilian sun without having to experience the typical summer crowds.
It's challenging to pick a favorite among Sicily's three-hundred breathtaking beaches. They appear in various shapes and hues, with pure white sands, craggy coastal scenery, beautiful azure waters, and hidden inlets and coves.
Here is our advice: the long beach at Cefalu is a well-liked destination with a stunning historic setting. But if you want to avoid the throng, head to Calamosche, where you will find a lovely, pristine beach with excellent snorkeling. Finally, with access to spectacular islands like the island of Favignana and a variety of stunning nature reserves (Stagnone, the Salt Pans of Trapani, and Marsala), the western coast of Sicily is a perfect starting point.
The Giglio island and the Monte Argentario peninsula: two Tuscan areas to fall in love with
We have already mentioned how people worldwide flock to “cultural cities” such as Florence, Pisa, Arezzo and Siena. However, the region also hides some spectacular gems when it comes to natural wonders.
Giglio is an undiscovered island with hand-cultivated wines, beautiful waterways, and scenic walks. It is a place of outstanding natural beauty. Located only eleven miles from the Argentario Promontory and right in the middle of the Tyrrhenian Sea, Giglio is the second-largest island in the Tuscan Archipelago. The island's 90% intact natural environment is home to low Mediterranean vegetation that still dominates with its vibrant colors and fragrant scents.
The Giglio island is a hidden gem that should be explored for its stunning sandy beaches, secluded coves, old roads winding through lush natural scenery, amazing views, gorgeous port, and quaint medieval settlement of Giglio Castello. It is the perfect vacation spot for everyone who enjoys a close connection to nature, a rural country setting made of sea, walks, bird watching, and the amazing undersea world.
If you're considering taking a tour of the Tuscan Maremma, Monte Argentario, a peninsula connected to Tuscany's mainland by quiet roads, is a destination worth seeing. Giglio, Giannutri, and Montecristo, three of the Tuscan Archipelago's islands, are also perfect access to the Monte Argentario peninsula, which is just 35 kilometers south of Grosseto.
Three stretches of land, the Laguna di Ponente and the Laguna di Levante, connect Monte Argentario to the Maremma shore. Punta Telegrafo, the promontory's highest peak, marks its former status as an island (635 m).
Porto Santo Stefano and Porto Ercole are the two largest towns in Monte Argentario. Porto Santo Stefano has a 17th-century stronghold as well as the Lividonia and Argentiera, two Spanish watchtowers. Additionally, Porto Vecchio and Porto del Valle are the town's two harbors.
A little fun fact: famed painter Michelangelo Merisi, also known as Caravaggio, is buried in Porto Ercole.
Positano: discover the magic of Amalfi Coast
Finally, let’s talk about the stunning Amalfi Coast and, more specifically, the town of Positano: it’s picture-perfect, with its brilliantly colored homes cascading down the cliffs around a little harbor and magnificent mountains rising up behind. Under the town's bell tower lies a magnificent Roman mansion known as MAR, the Roman Archeological Museum. In 2018, the area became publicly accessible. Even though only one room has been unearthed, it is worth visiting due to its vibrant frescoes.
There is also so much else to see in Positano. You may fill your days with spectacle and glitz by just strolling the streets and discovering secret lanes home to shops selling beachwear, art, and jewelry. Glitzy celebrities and gorgeously tanned locals coexist in luxury beach clubs beneath a sun-kissed sky down by the shore. If you enjoy spending time in nature, there are various hiking paths to take, historic Roman ruins to find, and opulent homes to discover.
Are you a foodie? Just know that Positano is known for its love and celebration of fine cuisine! In contrast to the traditional Italian food you may be familiar with, you'll discover a whole other side to Italian cuisine in this area: the aroma of Amalfi lemons permeates the town's streets, and the inhabitants of Positano have long known the key to creating enchanted flavor combinations that make seafood the king of cuisine.
A final fun fact: did you know that one of the most beautiful hiking trails in Italy ends in Positano? The Path of the Gods is a leisurely five-hour journey that snakes high above the sea and is hemmed into the mountains above the coast. It connects Nocelle, above Positano, to Bomerano, west of Amalfi.
Have you made you your mind, yet? WeVillas can arrange the perfect accommodation in some of Italy’s most beautiful luxury villas. Take a look at what we have to offer!