You’re at a restaurant and want wine, but you’re not sure what to order. A Tuscan Chianti or Piedmontese Barolo is always a solid choice. Or, you’re ready to splurge on new boots, a winter coat or a handbag.
Italian-manufactured clothing and footwear are coveted around the world for their quality and style. The point is, Italians have great taste. Like, Maserati- and Marni-level great taste.
That said, you can trust that Italians’ favorite domestic travel spots are as favoloso as their food and fashion.
Here, we’ve outlined the top destinations in Italy where Italians themselves vacation.
The southeastern part of the country (i.e., the heel of the boot) is less crowded and more affordable than places like Tuscany and the Amalfi Coast. Add sandy beaches with clear waters plus historic significance to the peaceful Puglia countryside, and it becomes very clear why this region is so popular with vacationing Italians. The beautiful and historic city of Lecce (the “Florence of the South”) is one of Italy’s most under-the-radar destinations for food and culture, with restaurants, shops, piazzas and palazzos radiating just about every direction from Basilica di Santa Croce — perhaps the most beautiful church in the city.
Lecce is located in the Salento region, which is famous for its wines. The wine-producing town of Salice Salentino is 30 minutes west from Lecce by car. On the Ionian side of Salento is historic Gallipoli, whose scenic old town is set on a limestone island linked to the mainland by a 16th-century bridge. Other popular places include the resort towns of Torre Dell’Orso and Otranto, a place defined by its ancient stone buildings, plunge-ready rock pools and laid-back beaches like Baia dei Turchi.
Swarms of tourists — even Italians — arrive daily to see one of the world’s most famous coastlines. Yes, there are massive summertime crowds, exorbitant high-season hotel rates and hard-to-navigate roads, but the payoff — taking in vertigo-inducing views of the Mediterranean and exploring unbelievably photogenic villages built into rocky cliffs — is worth the travel hassles. Our Amalfi Coast itinerary is full of pro tips on when and where to go.
Italy is a foodie destination of legendary proportions, and Naples more than pulls its weight on this front. The third-largest city in Italy, Naples is widely thought to be the birthplace of pizza, so many visitors here are on a…