Think of a holiday in Italy and many of the `big-hitters` spring to mind: the Eternal city of Rome, the lure of Venice, Milan and its cathedral. Often though it`s nice to visit a country and not always feel like a tourist, so here`s some alternatives to the check shirt and camera holiday. Let`s call these `Hidden Italy`.
Very warm, amenable and hospitable people, Italians are only too welcome to open up their houses and offer you a place to stay. You can rent rooms in people`s houses and the package can also include board and more often than not they`ll pick you up at the airport. What a great way to begin your trip. Like anywhere in the world, it`s great to get the view the locals have of the place; where they go, what they do. They`ll point you towards places to eat, other sights to see and generally show you an Italy you`d normally never get to see. So go to Rome, Milan, Venice or Turin and find a different view.
FARMHOUSES IN TUSCANY
Generally regarded as the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance, Tuscany will reach your soul. Gorgeous scenery meets high culture, but why not view it from a country perspective? Stay in a farmhouse nestling in the hills of a timeless landscape rich with historic villages and towns. Shop with the local people, prepare your own Italian feasts or as the song says just let time go by. This is an Italy tucked away from the mainstream and happy to let you enjoy one of the finest regions in any country.
A town in Umbria some 90 miles north of Rome, Assisi is the birthplace of St Francis. The town is dominated by two medieval castles as well as several religious buildings that reflect the Franciscan influence on the town. Marvel at the Basilica of St Francis or the beautifully named Basilica of St Mary of the Angels. Reflection is the order of the day here. Walk through medieval streets and piazzas, enjoy its rich tradition of art or just melt into a world richly hidden from the hustle and bustle.
This is the second largest island in the Mediterranean Sea and can boast some 300 days of sunshine every year. High and rocky joins with low and undulating to form a stunning landscape with a coastline to match. This is surely Italy`s hidden gem and the perfect spot for the more active holiday. Jump on a bicycle and head for the hills with a breathtaking view around every corner. Take your time with a walking holiday and find that room to breathe away from everyday life. Or if you want to take to the water, there`s windsurfing, sailing or scuba diving. Throw in a round or two of golf and you won`t be able to take in any more fresh air!
Maybe that trip to Italy is for another day, so in the mean time let Hampshire holiday homes offer you that something special much nearer home.