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The Secret Italy Index

A Piazza in ItalyWelcome to the Piazza

Although a few towns and places we feature here are attracting more tourists over recent years not one of them has yet been changed or over-whelmed. 

Few of them depend on tourism and all of them offer a genuine chance to experience the real Italy, an opportunity to feel welcomed and to to be able to return home with stories of connecting with real people, making their stories your own.

It's not about how many sights you can cross of a list so take your time and try to focus on one or two regions only - combining a few of the more famous touristy places with those featured here.

Resources & Discount Offers

From recipes to advice from experts on tax, real estate and much more besides. We will slowly be adding to this section in the future so return every once in a while to see what is new.

Discounts on Accommodation 

  • The idyllic Villa Valentina is offering a 10% discount to all supporters with coupon: 10%VillaValentina/ItalyMammaMia


Cooking Course

    Join a bubbly, passionate Italian chef at his home in the Tuscan countryside and learn the art of Italian cooking from an expert. There's a 12% discount for supporters when you use the coupon ItalyMammaMia23. Contact me for details...

handmade in Italy

Therapy Italy Bag
  • Discounts on all Italian Summers products: your VitaBella voucher will be applied on checkout when you use this link.

Learn Italian

Turin, ItalyTurin


Discounted Italian courses online and in Italy. The options are:

Lucia de Zuani, based in Piedmont, Lucia offers homestay classes or online lessons. Her normal rate is 20 Euros for a single student or 15 Euros for two. You get a 20% discount on that rate using the voucher code MammaMia23. You can read more about Lucia here.

Italia Porticando, one of the mostly highly respected schools in Turin offers a  discount to Secret Italy members, both for online and in person lessons. Use voucher code MammaMia23 to get your 10% discount.   Here's more about Italia Porticando.

Expat Tax & Investments

Now Let's Go Explore A Secret Italy...

Veneto, Lombardy & Trentino-Alto Adige

ChioggiaChioggia - a mini Venice

Near Venice

Lake Garda Vicinity

Lake Iseo

Country Towns

Piedmont & Liguria


Wine Country

Castles & Monasteries

On the Coast

Mountains & Hill Towns

Tuscany, Marche, Umbria & Emilia Romagna


Country Towns


Campania, Molise, Abruzzo & Lazio


Hill Towns

Gardens & Lakes

Calabria, Molise, Basilicata & Puglia


I remember visiting a little town in Italy 25 years ago and returning for the second time recently. Apart from the cars and dress styles not much had changed.  

There aren't many places in the world where you can say that. In a world changing so fast I love that about small-town Italy. 

Whereas so many worship the new, the modern, I long to a return to simple values. Others rave about the Dubai skyline or a rocket heading to space. I am more likely to rave about a little trattoria, run by the same family for four generations and where the pasta sauce hasn't changed since 1951.

It is in these regions that you are most likely to find that Italy of yesteryear.

Italy's Islands

Italian Islands


All these tours are offered at a discount rate for subscribers. They are for small groups, families or even individuals and can be personalized as and how you like. 

If you are travelling alone an idea might be to choose a tour and date and see if any other subscribers would like to join you via the Facebook group.

Exploring Umbria

A Week in Piedmont

A Taste of Sicily

Amalfi Coast

Have a Secret to Share?

Share somewhere in Italy you love, where it is and why you love it so much. The more you can tell us the better :-)

What Other Visitors Have Said

Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...

Noale in Veneto, visiting a small town 
Last fall two friends and I traveled in Italy. It was a girls’ trip. One that promised to be full of fun and some new adventures. We were not disappointed. …

Nervesa della Battiglia 
About 20km north of Treviso (as the crow flies) in the vicinity of the small town of Nervesa della Battaglia there is found the interesting Osteria ai …

Four Experiences in Venice 
I have been going to Venice for the past eight years and, although I don't spend all of my time in La Serenissima, I have had the privilege of having Italian …

Forte Marghera 
Here is something different, I think, from the usual vacation destinations. This is, as you see from the first photograph, Forte Marghera and it is …

Trebbia Valley 
On my first trip to Italy, I focused on the usual; Rome, Florence, Siena - all wonderful. As part of that first trip, I had the opportunity to make a …

Another Smaller Venice 
Following Maria's posting of an article about Chioggia, I thought I would show some of my own photographs made recently and which I hope complements those …

Finding 'secret' Italy Not rated yet
After far too long I finally got to Italy a few weeks ago. Finding 'secret' Italy isn't as difficult as one might think as most, probably, stay around …

Caorle Not rated yet
A very recent piece on a sister site by Andrew and Maria about the lovely little beach resort of Caorle , a little east of Venice, brought to mind my …

Favorite Lakes Not rated yet
Today I thought I would have a look back at some of my Italian lake visits. Now I have to admit that the number I have visited can be counted on the …

Ca'Roman Not rated yet
As I recently began to reminisce about past trips, this lovely wild beach immediately sprang to mind. This is Ca'Roman near Pellestrina. Coming from …

Exploring Piedmont Not rated yet
TORINO - loved the city. Few tourists, we noticed. Not much English but I got to practice my piccolo Italiano. Wonderful city. Could’ve stayed another …

The Villa Pisani Not rated yet
I thought that today I might offer somewhere that I have never seen mentioned on any Italophile page so I guess that makes it part of 'Secret Italy'. …

Le Zercole, a Harley & Barrel of Grappa Not rated yet
I thought today to focus on a restaurant. For me, the story began just before arriving in Italy for my annual visit when my Italian friend said that we …

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  1. A Secret Italy
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