Florence, Rome, and Venice compose the Italian trifecta that most of us include on our Italian travel itinerary, but going off the beaten path on your trip is what will allow you to experience the true local flavour. From the picturesque lakes and seaside beaches to the rural landscapes and scenic hill towns, Italy has something to offer for almost every type of traveller. So if you have enough time to spare, consider renting a car and explore any of the following towns across the countryside of Italy.
Situated in the Tuscan hills, this 13th century town is surrounded by Chianti vineyards and olive groves. Piazza del Campo, the town’s main square, is considered as one of the biggest main squares in the world, and was once hailed as a UNESCO world heritage site.
To make the most out of your visit in Siena, consider spending a night in a local argriturismo – a tradition that allows farmers to have additional income by hosting tourists on their property. Today, these stunning farm houses offer one of the most picturesque accommodations in Italy. Most of these farm houses even serves meats, eggs, and wines that are fresh from the farm.
Orvieto is the perfect definition of an Italian hill town. Just 90 minutes travel time outside of Rome, the town sits over a hill of volcanic stone overlooking the Umbria countryside. The town’s cathedral is a must-see masterpiece for it’s a stunning Gothic structure made with stained glass on the inside, and covered in mosaic tiles on the outside. Seeing it is already worth the visit alone.
If you’re planning to visit during summertime, consider heading to the local favourite coastal Rimini to experience boisterous nightclubs and packed beaches. The town’s nine-mile beachfront is divided into sections, and identified with their own vibe and number. Lungomare Augusto and Marina Centro are two of the most popular beaches in the Adriatic Sea, but do spend some time strolling the coast’s promenade to explore the rest of the area.
- Lampedusa Island
The wild landscapes and white beaches is what made Lampedusa Island a Mediterranean favourite just off of Sicily. Its heart-shaped Rabbit Beach is one of the most popular in the world, and serves as a home to a good number of loggerhead sea turtles.
Unlike the well-known Amalfi Coast, Puglia is a much quieter place and is known for their unique trulli (a cone-shaped stone hut). The seaside region is also known for their burrata, a fresh mozzarella-like rich cheese that’s meant to be paired with crusty bread and locally grown olives. To enjoy a more decadent meal in Puglia, consider booking a table at Grotta Palazzese where you get to dine in a limestone cave while enjoying the breath-taking view of the sea.
Visiting nearby towns is one of the best ways to truly experience and enjoy the Italian way of living. So make sure that you include these places on your next trip to Italy to truly get a closer look at the country’s culture.
Here’s a tip for every Singaporean who visits Bali: Make sure to visit their seven most important temples. Bali is also well-known to be the island of a thousand temples but you don’t have to go to each and every one of them. You will get by with only seven of these temples that date back from centuries. There are myths and some widely held beliefs behind some of these temples so it would be great if you can do a bit of research before going. This will make you appreciate the temples more. Also, observe proper attire when visiting these temples.
This temple in the village of Besakih is also known as the Mother Temple. It dates back from thousand centuries and is also considered to be miraculous. This miraculous belief stemmed from the fact that the Besakih Temple was spared from the lava spurred from Mount Agung’s eruption in 1963 that killed more than a thousand people.
Tanah Lot Temple
This is also called as Land In The Middle Of The Sea because it is found on a rock formation. This 15th century old temple is a perfect setting for catching spectacular sunsets.
Pura Luhur Uluwatu Temple
This is also one of Bali’s most breathtaking temples. This 11th century old temple can be found at the edge of a cliff overlooking the Uluwatu surfing waters. This temple is also another perfect location for catching beautiful sunsets.
Pura Tirta Empul
This temple dates back to 926 AD and was designed to flow spring water that are thought to have healing properties.
This temple that was built in 1926 is considered to be the second most important temple after the Mother Temple. This was built as a dedication to the goddess of lakes and rivers which explains why the temple can be found at the edge of the Lake Bratan.
Goa Lawah Temple
This is another very ancient temple that was built in 1007 AD. It is built around a cave that is filled with bats and so Goa Lawah means Bat Cave.
Taman Ayun Temple
This temple was built in 1634 by one of the rajahs of the Mengwi Empire. Created as a royal family temple, the Taman Ayun Temple means beautiful garden. It is no surprise that this is also considered to be one of the most beautiful temples in Bali.