If you've been to a few of the top places to go in Italy, consider one of these off the beaten path regions for your 2012 travels. Tourism is on the rise in these three regions, so now is a good time to visit while they aren't yet crowded or touristy and are anxious to attract visitors.
Some things to keep in mind when you travel to less touristy places:
- Not everyone speaks English. If you want to be assured of English assistance, try staying in an agriturismo or Bed and Breakfast owned by native English-speakers. You'll still get a good feel for local life and your hosts are often willing to help with suggestions for where to eat and special places to go.
- English menus may not be available many places. Learn some Italian food words before you go or carry a list of Italain dishes with you. If you have dietary restrictions, write them on a card in Italian and show it to your waiter.
- Museums and sites may not have information available in English. If you'd like an English translator, you can try arranging one through the local tourist office.
- Many places don't accept credit cards. While you'll find banks with an ATM machine where you can get cash in most towns or cities, many restaurants, shops, and family-run accommodations do not yet accept credit cards.
- It's best to rent a car to get out of the main cities and easily explore.
If you don't mind these conditions, you'll often have a rich and rewarding experience traveling in places where you can still experience traditional life outside the tourist areas. Read more about the three places I recommend to visit soon in Italy: