Rome, Milan, Venice are still tourist magnets, but apart from these well-known destinations, there is still an abundance of smaller art cities in Italy waiting to be discovered. Have you ever heard of Perugia or Lucca, for example? If not, it’s high time you did! In my article today I will introduce you to a few rather unknown art cities that should definitely be on your bucket list!
According to localbusinessexplorer, the small town of Parma in the Emilia Romagna region is not only known for its delicious ham – music lovers will also get their money’s worth here. Parma is namely the heart of the “Terra di Verdi”, as the home region of Giuseppe Verdi is called. The Verdi Festival has been taking place here every October for 100 years – between September 28 and October 22, music fans can visit first-class performances and exhibitions this year too. These take place in various locations such as the Teatro Region or in Verdi’s birthplace.
It is not for nothing that Genoa is considered the largest historical center in Europe – after all, there are numerous cultural assets, fascinating buildings and a total of 22 museums here. Culture lovers can really let off steam in the capital of the Liguria region. You can expect impressive medieval and baroque churches, beautiful squares and a charming old town. Further highlights are the panoramic terraces on the hill of Castelletto, the countless narrow streets and the Porto Antico square right on the water. The best view of the city is high up in the BIGO panoramic elevator at the Old Harbor, which was designed by the Genoese star architect Renzo Piano.
A unique atmosphere awaits you in the capital of Piedmont. Turinimpresses with a skyline that is surrounded by alpine peaks and fascinates its visitors with its unique flair. For example, discover the Mole Antonelliana, the city’s landmark with a brilliant view of the city and the Alps. The world’s best film museum is also located inside the building. Another highlight is the Museo Egizio, which houses the largest collection of ancient Egyptian art outside of Cairo, as well as the famous Turin Shroud, which is kept in a side chapel of the cathedral. The city is also known for numerous culinary delicacies: Turin is home to breadsticks, gianduiotti and martini. Also visit the most beautiful coffee house in the city – the Caffè San Carlo delights with a sumptuous interior and the first-class gelato.
Not far from Pisa in Tuscany you will find the small town of Lucca , which has an enormous cultural and historical heritage. In addition to the more than four kilometers long protective wall, which incidentally also invites you to walk and cycle, there are also many ancient churches, towers, bell towers and magnificent city palaces from the Renaissance. But that’s not all. Lucca is also known for its numerous romantic places. Be it the Piazza dell’Anfiteatro, which was founded on the ruins of the ancient Roman amphitheater, or the Piazza San Martino with the famous cathedral – every place has a special touch. Of course, you shouldn’t miss the culinary highlights in Lucca – you should definitely try the raisin bread buccellato and the chard tart!
Who to Trentotravels, can look forward to a varied cultural program. Numerous museums, art exhibitions and castles await you in the popular holiday town in Trentino. An absolute must-see is the MUSE science museum in the former industrial area on the Adige, which was designed by the star architect Renzo Piano and surprises its visitors with the latest technologies, animations and video installations. On five floors, visitors can marvel at stuffed birds, dinosaur skeletons and deer. Another important sight is the Castello del Buonconsiglio, once the residence of the prince-bishops, shows restored halls with exquisite frescoes and houses the regional history museum. You shouldn’t miss the Christmas atmosphere of the famous Advent market, which takes place every year on the Piazza Fiera.
The beautiful Bresciais located about 30 meters from Lake Garda and is the second largest city in Lombardy. Historical monuments, impressive buildings and places steeped in history await you here. The city is considered one of the most beautiful and oldest in Italy and offers many monuments of great importance that you should definitely visit: the Capitoline Temple, the complex of Santa Giulia, the Old Cathedral, the New Cathedral, the Broletto, the Castle and the Teatro Grande. The Piazza della Loggia with the Venetian Loggia Palace is also beautiful. But Brescia is not only famous for its historic buildings – the city is also the start and finish point of the Mille Miglia automobile race. In the legendary race, around 360 cars drive from Brescia to Rome and back through Tuscany every year.
The small city of Syracuse is located on the east coast of Sicily and has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2005. In the small town you can not only go on a beach holiday, but also go on a discovery tour through history. There are intact historical traces from the time of the Greek civilizations to the Renaissance and Baroque periods. Be it the Greek theater, the legendary Ear of Dionysius or the magnificent cathedral on the beautiful Piazza Duomo – Syracuse attracts with countless interesting sights. An absolute must is a walk through the old town of the island of Ortigia, at the very tip of which rises the Castle of Maniace – a remarkable example of military architecture that Frederick II of Staufen had built in the first half of the 13th century.
In the Marche region you will find the medieval town of Ascoli Piceno , considered one of the most monumental cities in Italy. It is surrounded by the rivers Tronto and Castellano, which converge here. The entire old town consists of historic towers and churches, the center of which is the Piazza del Popolo with the town hall. Absolute highlights are the Franciscan Church and the old Roman bridge with a view of the river. You should definitely try the Olive Ascolane, a specialty of local cuisine. These are stuffed and crispy breaded olives!
The so-called Etruscan metropolis of Perugia offers the perfect mix of modernity and tradition. Funnily enough, the relatively high-altitude old town can be reached via escalator. A somewhat unusual construction, but one that is very popular. Among other things, the Gothic Basilica of San Domenico is waiting there, where the statues and valuable works of local artists are located. Also worth seeing is Piazza IV Novembre, the monumental center of the city and one of the most important squares in all of Italy. Here you will find the Gothic Priors Palace, which also houses the National Gallery of Umbria. Incidentally, Perugia is also considered a student city, because there are two important universities here: the Università degli Studi, which was founded in 1308, and the University for Foreigners, the largest in Italy.