The full list

Here are links to the 100 Italian Gems located, broken down by region from South to North, and by city. This is not an exhaustive list of Italian hidden gems and stand-out sites, but it is a selection based on travel and research between 2010 and 2016, in which priority was given to southern and central Italian regions. It aims to highlight how much more there is to discover in and about Italy aside from the famous places, and to encourage exploration of lesser-known areas. And also to serve as an example of how greater value can be found in searching out less promoted and less obvious things, as opposed to just focusing on the most well-marketed things, and to encourage this approach as a means of enriching life, knowledge and understanding. For more on the ideas behind the site see here.

Sicily

  1. Villa Palagonia: the enchanted mansion of monsters (Bagheria)
  2. Caltagirone and its yellow and blue ceramic jewels
  3. Donnafugata castle and its magical gardens
  4. Modica and its chocolate, a sweet and unusual delight
  5. Spying on Noto from the cloistered convent of San Salvatore
  6. Palazzina Cinese: a Bourbon King’s Fantasy of China (Palermo)
  7. Rosalia and her festivals (Palermo)
  8. Stanze al Genio: preserving Italy’s majolica tile treasures (Palermo)
  9. Villa Romana del Casale’s mosaics (Piazza Armerina)
  10. Scicli: a baroque jewel in a southern Sicilian valley
  11. Enjoying the festivals of St  Joseph along the Southern Sicilian coast (Scicli)
  12. Sicily’s puppets and the precious role of the storyteller
  13. Stromboli: a lesson in respect, nature and life
  14. Stromboli and Panarea, two very different Aeolian jewels
  15. A glimpse of the precious pearls on Ortygia island, Syracuse
  16. Pause to Ponder: four deities in ancient Syracuse

Calabria

  1. Le Castella: a pearl in the Ionian Sea
  2. Finding the treasures of the goddess Hera at Capo Colonna (Crotone)
  3. Calabria in the footsteps of the poet Edward Lear: Gerace
  4. Pentedattilo: one of the last great myths of the world
  5. Between myth and beauty in the waters of Scilla
  6. Scylletium and its manuscript collector son Cassiodorus (Squillace)
  7. Calabria in the footsteps of the poet Edward Lear: Stilo

Basilicata

  1. Matera: a gem worth travelling for

Puglia

  1. Lecce: gems on every corner
  2. Otranto and diamonds on the heel of Italy

Campania

  1. A glance at signs and symbols in the Abbey of Goleto
  2. A day out in the province of Avellino
  3. A day exploring Benevento’s historical and culinary gems
  4. Benevento’s jewels: The Holy Wisdom Church and its cloister
  5. The spellbinding tales of Benevento’s witches and the walnut tree
  6. Pause to ponder: an Egyptian goddess in Southern Italy (Benevento)
  7. The turquoise and emerald hues of Caserta’s English garden
  8. Pause to ponder: three fountains in Caserta’s Royal Palace
  9. Cumae: an ancient Greek jewel in Italy, seat of the Sibyl priestess
  10. A mystical emerald in Naples: Virgil’s park at Piedigrotta
  11. Naples Pharmacy of the Incurables: merging science, magic, and art
  12. Naples: three diamonds in the rough
  13. A day out on the island of Procida
  14. Exploring the depths of Procida’s Abbey of St. Michael
  15. A tour through Salerno’s Christmas Lights
  16. Salerno’s Minerva Garden: a trove of therapeutic treasures

Lazio

  1. Spotting surprise jewels in the gardens of Villa Lante (Bagnaia)
  2. Palazzo Farnese di Caprarola and its grotesque gems
  3. Cerveteri’s Banditaccia: the Etruscan Kingdom of the Afterlife
  4. Gaeta: a precious pearl on the southern Lazio coast
  5. Gaeta’s cracked diamond: the Split Mountain
  6. Celebrating the artichoke in Ladispoli
  7. Nemi, wild strawberries, and the sacred grove of Diana
  8. On the trail of the Nymphs in the gardens of Ninfa
  9. Sant’Agnese and Santa Costanza: two gems outside Rome’s walls
  10. A walk along the Aurelian Walls, Rome’s ancient ramparts
  11. Watching the bejewelled Bambino bless Rome
  12. Santa Cecilia: a jewel in the back streets of Trastevere, Rome
  13. Centrale Montemartini: a power plant full of classical sculpture (Rome)
  14. Rome’s food markets Part 1
  15. A Glimpse of Christmas Nativity Gems in Rome, Naples, and Salerno
  16. Galleria Colonna: a jewel revealed only on a Saturday morning (Rome)
  17. Rome’s Little Madonnas Part 1
  18. Rome’s Little Madonnas Part 2
  19. Exploring the jewels of Ostia Antica, Rome’s ancient seaport
  20. Stumbling on the fairy cottages in Rome’s Quartiere Coppedè
  21. The ancient houses under Rome’s Church of Saints John and Paul
  22. Praxedis and Pudentiana (Rome)
  23. A secret wander around Rome’s Verano cemetery
  24. Strolling among the surviving gems of Rome’s ancient markets
  25. Tales of Trastevere’s Poets: Giuseppe Gioachino Belli (Rome)
  26. Tale’s of Trastevere’s Poets: Trilussa (Rome)
  27. Villa Farnesina: a small but perfect Renaissance gem (Rome)
  28. Pause to Ponder: Galatea (Rome)
  29. Exploring Villa Giulia and its Etruscan treasures (Rome)
  30. The Villa of Livia: a forgotten Roman treasure
  31. Hidden gems in Rome: Wine bars
  32. Witnessing a miraculous August snowfall in Rome
  33. A medieval jewel in Tarquinia: Santa Maria di Castello
  34. Tarquinia’s Etruscan Gems in the Necropolis of Monterozzi
  35. An English rose in Viterbo, the home of St. Rose
  36. Returning to Viterbo for the Festival of St. Rose

Tuscany

  1. Cortona: Hunting for antique treasures in Cortona and Arezzo
  2. A walk to St. Francis’ retreat outside Cortona
  3. Watching the sun set from Monticchiello in Tuscany
  4. Pieve di Corsignano: a pearl on the outskirts of Pienza
  5. A secret glimpse of the Leaning Tower of Pisa
  6. A stroll around San Quirico d’Orcia and its public gardens
  7. Learning about the life of St. Catherine of Siena
  8. A moment in the oratory of Catherine of the night (Siena)

Umbria

  1. Uncovering gems in Gubbio and its surroundings
  2. San Giovenale, overlooking the hills of Orvieto
  3. Spoleto: a historical jewel in the Umbrian hills
  4. Spoleto: the secret Christian sites of Spoleto’s lower town

Le Marche

  1. Ascoli Piceno: the definition of a hidden jewel
  2. Tasting the culinary gems of Italy’s Marche region
  3. Urbino: a hilltop town full of hidden treasures

Lombardy

  1. Leonardo da Vinci’s vineyard: the revival of a hidden passion (Milan)

Veneto

  1. The walled city of Cittadella: a well-preserved medieval treasure
  2. Padua’s botanical garden: an emerald in the heart of the city
  3. A journey through Valpolicella and Valpantena

Outside Italy

  1. Pause to Ponder: four Italian art jewels in Edinburgh
  2. Pause to Ponder: three Italian jewels in London
  3. Jerash: an ancient Roman gem in Jordan

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