Friday, 10 July 2015



Italy's Hidden Gems

Rome, Milan and Florence are often the most sought out places in Italy, but the boot-shaped 
country has so much more to offer. Italy is overflowing with hidden gems of all sorts – from
 castles and forests to waterfalls and botanical gardens, rich in exotic plants. These 15 places are
 just such gems, with the added benefit of not being very well known, so they're not riddled with
 tourists. They are, however, a true representation of Italy's rich and magnificent history.

Click on the name of the site to see its location on the map
1. Ponte del Diavolo

The "Devil's Bridge" got its name from an old Tuscan folk tale that describes it as
 having rare mystical powers. This beautiful stone bridge was constructed in the beautiful 
town of Cividale del Friuli during medieval times and spans a gorgeous river that crosses 
the town. This spectacular piece of masonry only shines brighter
 amongst the fantastic natural beauty of the surrounding area.
2. Castello di Petoria
Built during the Middle Ages, this castle can be found near the city of Gubbio in the center of Italy. 
The castle has changed many hands throughout the ages until 1909 when it was finally turned into
 a prestigious hotel. Visitors will get to enjoy a unique experience of isolation from the outside 
world, making this a perfect place where you can take a "time out" and relax.
3. Grotte di Castellana
One of the world's most captivating caves is located in Italy's "heel". Many people believe
 that the Castellana Caves, with their 2 miles of breathtaking hiking trails, are over 90 
million years old. Be sure to tour the "White Cave" – it is one of Italy's most powerful experiences.
4. Bosco Monumentale del Sasseto
At the foot of the Torre Alfina castle, there is magical forest, filled with trees whose 
twisted, moss-covered branches seem to come out of a fairytale book. The rare and colorful 
flowers, along with birds chirping and the cool breeze make walking here a surreal experience.

5. Isola di Loreto
One hundred years ago, on a small, secluded island in the Lombardia district of 
northern Italy, a huge castle was built between two lighthouses and a large marina. The
 place is surrounded by lush, green gardens that give it the feel of a medieval royal palace.

6. Civita di Bagnoregio
 "A Jewel on the Hill" is the nickname given to this magical town, whose name loosely
 translates to "the dying town." The town has been on this hill for nearly 2,500 years and 
overlooks a stunning valley. Due to weather conditions the town is closed off to visitors for
 most of the year, but if you're there in the summertime – you mustn't miss it.
7. Cascate del Varone
North of Lake Grada, nestled between green mountains, hides the magical Varone 
waterfall. The breathtaking beauty of this place is synonymous with Italy's natural wilderness. 
The fall's uniqueness is partially the result of the rich vegetation that envelops it. 
This area is one-of-a-kind, and tourists are urged to see it.

8. Ca'Sagredo Hotel
Venice's Ca'Sagredo Hotel offers an experience one will struggle to find in other places. Built
 in the 15th century, the hotel is considered to be a work of art and can make patrons feel like royalty. 
The hotel overlooks the largest canal in Venice and its rooms contain genuine and rare works of art.
9. Campo Imperatore
If you visit this area in different parts of the year, you'll have a hard time recognizing it. 
Nicknamed "Little Tibet", this area transforms with the seasons. In wintertime, the whole 
region is painted white with snow and becomes a popular ski resort. In the spring, the hills
 wear dresses of green. In the summer they envelope themselves in yellows and 
browns, and in autumn the area turns to a mysterious gray version.

10. Castel Savoia
During the 9th century, Queen Margarita made Savonia her royal home, thanks to the 
magnificent gardens, filled with many species of beautiful plants. The castle has five towers 
that offer stunning views of the surrounding Aosta Valley, at the north-western part of Italy.
11. Lago di Como
Lake Como is the third largest lake in Italy, but arugably the most beautiful. Located in the Lombardia
 district, Lake Como's beauty is partially dependent on the tall mountains that surround it. On the
 lakeside village of Brunate, tourists will enjoy a stunning view of the whole area, 
which gave the spot the nickname "The Alps' Balcony".
12. Erice Castle  
Some claim that this castle matches the one in the story of Rapunzel, while others claim 
its construction was influenced by the story of Venus, the Roman goddess of beauty. Regardless
 of the hows and whys, this castle is quite unique. Built in the 12th century, it is 
considered to be one of the most prestigious forts built at that time.
13. Cascate delle Marmore
Nature lovers will have a field day when visiting the Marmore waterfalls. The falls are located between
 lush grasslands and a thick forest and enjoy a powerful flow throughout the year. It is said that 
these falls were a muse to many of Italy's greatest poets and artisans.

14. Isola Bella
The direct translation of this site's name is "Beautiful Island", and boy does it fit its name. This small
 island is home to incredible gardens, designed in the classical Italian fashion, as well as the Borromeo castle. 
The planning and care are evident in every part of this island and is indeed a rare sight to behold.
15. Giardino di Ninf
In central Italy hides a garden that incorporates the beauty of nature with the elegance of
 medieval buildings. Walking in this botanical garden, travelers will enjoy beautiful, sweet-smelling flowers, 
sprawling vegetation and delightful stillness and tranquility.


Posted by: Fereshteh Jamshidi <>
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