From its famous Roman ruins to Renaissance masterpieces, there’s no shortage of artistic and cultural sights in Italy. However, finding a major work of art outside of the country’s touristy city centres feels exceptionally special whereby travellers can witness unexpected moments of artistic genius. Below are five off-the-beaten-path towns that make an impression – in more ways than one!
The port city of Bari is found in the Puglia region. There is lots to admire about the city with a fascinating traditional harbour and a charming Old Town to explore. For the art-inclined, Bari is home to the one of the most important opera houses in Italy – the Petruzzeli Theatre. You also can’t miss Castello Svevo which served as a Renaissance residence for Isabella of Aragon and has seen many artists and writers of the time through its doors.
Hidden behind Renaissance walls, Lucca is brimming with charming cafés, cobblestone streets and beauty galore. Lucca is also the birthplace of an extensive list of composers and artists including Giacomo Puccini, Nicalao Dorati, Francesco Geminiani and Bruno Menconi. Opera-lovers can visit Casa di Puccini and the town’s 19th-century opera house – Teatro del Giglio.
Perhaps the oldest city in Northern Italy, Padua is home to the Scrovegni Chapel and Giotto’s fresco cycle which was completed in 1305. Padua is also home to the Orto Botanico di Padova – the world’s oldest academic botanical garden that remains in its original location.
This Tuscan town is not only a stunner on the outside, but it also houses some impressive art on the inside. Specifically, at the Pinacoteca Nazionale where art-lovers can find works from the area’s great 13th- and 14th-century masters: Duccio, Cimabue and Martini.
Standing out against Orvieto’s skyline is its cathedral. Coated with mosaics and sculptures, its Gothic and Romanesque façade is considered one of the great masterpieces of the late Middle Ages. Architects, sculptors, goldsmiths and painters were all heavily involved in its construction and today, it is certainly a symbol of Orvieto.
Globus and Cosmos offer a wide range of tours through Italy, including several Undiscovered holidays that take you off-the-beaten-path. Take a look at the following links: