Alternative Italy – holidays that escape the tourist trail

Step away from the beaten track in Italy and you’ll discover extraordinary ancient hill towns surrounded by beautiful scenery, history and culture. Not to mention friendly locals and an abundance of incredible authentic Italian food at very affordable prices.

Explore untouched regions of Umbria, the relatively known region of Abruzzo, uncover Tuscan farmlands, stay in hilltop towns in Lazio… Your holiday in Italy doesn’t have to fit the mould of everybody else’s.

Read on to find your own version of Italy, far from the crowds.

Hunt for truffles in the woods of Tuscany

men and dog hunting for truffles in italy
On this unique holiday near the town of Arezzo, Tuscany, you’ll go truffle hunting with local professionals and their specially trained truffle hunting dogs. When the treasure has been found, head to the kitchen with Chef Fabrizio and learn to create delicious Italian dishes using the truffles. Then, sit down to enjoy the lunch you have created with fine regional wine and great company.

Read more: Guest review – Sheila’s truffle hunting experience

Want to join the next truffle hunt? Get more information about this truffle hunting holiday here.

Cook with the locals in Abruzzo

Adele dishes up pasta for two woman sat at table
Pursue your passion for all things culinary on this foodie adventure across the relatively unknown region of Abruzzo. Nestled on Italy’s Adriatic Coast, it’s probably the country’s best-kept secret. Based in the picturesque town of Vasto, you’ll be guided to wonderful culinary places of interests by local guide Fabrizio. He’ll introduce you to his friends and family – learn to cook classic Italian dishes with his aunts, explore vineyards with his friends and visit local fisherman unique to the region.

Related: Meet cooking holiday guide Fabrizio and his friends in Abruzzo

Read more about this Italian gastronomic adventure here.

Improve your photography skills in Umbria

photographers compare images in Italy
Learn the art of photography while you explore the spectacular landscapes of the region of Umbria. Your base will be the charming historic town of Orvieto but this photography tour will include daily trips to magical places. Your tutor will be professional photographer Patrick, who knows the very best places to get you off the tourist trail and uncover hidden idyllic spots to capture perfect images.

Read more: Louise reveals what her photography holiday was really like

Like your holiday snaps to reach another level? Join Patrick on his photography holiday in Italy.

Get creative on a painting holiday in Emilia Romagna

women in hats painting in Italian garden
Emilia Romagna has all the charm and beauty of Tuscany but with a fraction of the tourists. You will be inspired by the architecture, impressive landscape, rivers and the culture of Italy during this holiday in this wonderful region of Italy. You will stay in artist Pheona’s home, an artistic oasis in the foothills of the Apennine mountains, not far from the medieval town of Bologna. Pheona will always be on hand to ensure you have a great holiday full of painting, good food, wine and fun.

Related: Meet Pheona – our art tutor in Italy

Find out more about this painting holiday in Italy.

Practise yoga in the hills of Lazio

women doing yoga in the Italian hills

Stay in an eco-friendly yoga retreat that bases its holidays around health, fun and relaxation. You will have yoga lessons each morning followed by a healthy breakfast and additional yoga on most afternoons too. You’ll also have the chance to join extra activities run by the retreat, such as horse riding, cooking, cycling or painting. Unwind, relax, and physically, mentally and spiritually recharge during your stay in this magical place.

Related: Meet yoga instructor Lucy & her team in Italy

Find out more about this yoga holiday in Italy.

Which one would you like to try? Let us know by commenting below…

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