Italy has no shortage of beautiful countryside and charming villages. Two of my favorite hidden gems in Italy, that most people with limited time probably don’t hit include, San Gimignano & Capri. Each has it’s own unique atmosphere, but similar quaint and peaceful surroundings.San Gimignano
When I first learned I’d be stopping in San Gimignano on my way to Rome, I was indifferent. I was tired and wanted to get to Rome as soon as possible, but I also thought it might be nice to check out a new place. San Gimignano ended up being one of my favorite stops in Italy. San Gimignano is a hilltown in Tuscany, and has a very medieval feel.
The architecture in this town is intricate, old, and breath taking. Everything looks like a castle, and the fact that it sits on top of a hill gives it some of those most beautiful views I’ve seen. You feel like you can see every rolling hill and orange roof top in Italy.
I had the pleasure of venturing off and hiking all over this town. What struck me most was the “local” feel to it. There were a few shops with fresh meats and cheeses and homemade bread and pestos, and many homes. It felt like I was literally just walking through someone’s neighborhood. I picked up one of the freshes salami and cheese sandwiches I’ve ever eaten and a delicious jar of pesto.
I would love to visit San Gimignano again for a very slow paced trip.
The island of Capri is just off the coast of Naples and a short ferry ride from Sorrento. You are able to stay on Capri, but I would not recommend it. A typical evening on the island of Capri can run you 1800.00, for a standard room. You can just as easily stay in Sorrento for much less, and take a 20 minute ferry to Capri for the day.
Be warned, however. The ferry ride is rough, and a lot of people were getting motion sick. If you are prone to motion sickness – absolutely take dramamine or other precautions before getting on this ferry. It will also help to sit near a window where you can keep an eye on the horizon.
Capri is most notable for the Blue Grotto. Which I regrettably did not get to experience. I am super upset about it and will definitely return just to do this. The Blue Grotto is a sea cave that you can explore by boat. The water inside the cave looks electric blue, due to the reflection of light.
Capri was by far one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen, and part of that has to do with the fact that the government is very concerned with keeping the island pristine. So much so in fact, that they even have rules regarding the color of homes on the island. Along with the Blue Grotto, you can take a boat tour around the island, take the funicular to the top for amazing views, frozen lemonade and the best pizza you will ever have in your life.
Capri is also home to Taverna Anema E Core. One of the most exclusive night spots in italy. With a 100 euro cover charge, celebrities come here often and a single bottle of water can run 30 euros. Further more the club is only open from 9pm until 4am. In order to get to the Island of Capri you must take a ferry, and the last ferry leaves capri at 7pm. This ensures that you will be staying on the island (For 1800.00 per night) in order to come to the club. A guide I spoke with told me there is a trash barge that arrives in Capri clean, at 11pm, and people often pay them cash under the table to bring the to the island after the club is open. They will stay all night, get breakfast, and take the first ferry out in the morning.
What are your favorite hidden gems in Italy? have you visited either san Gimignano or Capri? have you toured the Blue Grotto or been inside Taverna Anema E Core? How was it!