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Spain/Italy lesser known places to stay/visit

(74 Posts)
Dolly80 Sat 23-Jul-16 17:42:38

We're planning a 3/4 night break in mid September, without the children (which is a pretty exciting prospect) I was wondering if anyone had any recommendations of lesser known places to stay/visit? Ideally accessible by air/public transport and not so pricey it will break the bank (although we're willing to pay more if somewhere is completely amazing)

marriedapple Sat 23-Jul-16 17:45:56

Would you prefer to do sightseeing in a city or seaside/mountains?

annandale Sat 23-Jul-16 17:48:19

I have always wanted to see Lucca. It's quite close to Pisa and has a station so reasonably easy to get to if you are flying or by train. It's supposed to be beautiful and is also near Florence perhaps for a day trip if you wanted to.

I personally also like Bologna but that's mainly due to the food...

Dolly80 Sat 23-Jul-16 17:52:51

Well when I was suggesting places my partner kept asking 'is it on the coast' so perhaps seaside/mountains. He's from overseas and did most of the 'big' European cities in his early 20's.

He likes historical and religious buildings, I like art. We both like good food and too much red wine

GruffaloPants Sat 23-Jul-16 17:53:14

Umbria is lovely, as is Bologna.

Birdandsparrow Sat 23-Jul-16 17:55:19

Seville from London on ryanair or easyjet.
www.travelocafe.com/2013/03/top-attractions-to-see-in-seville.html

marriedapple Sat 23-Jul-16 18:00:49

Palermo is a great city with nice seaside, awesome food and fantastic architecture. As others said, Bologna is also great (no seaside though). Bergamo is a hidden gem most people don't know about. Verona is very nice and easy to reach by train from Venice, Padova and so on (so you get to visit more than one citiy in a few days).

Mountains-wise I really love the South Tyrol region in the North-East but it is hard to reach without renting a car. But God it is beautiful (pics attached!).

HeyMicky Sat 23-Jul-16 18:02:37

Came on to see Bologna but have been beaten to it (twice!). Great food, opera; visit Modena nearby for balsamic vinegar

midsomermurderess Sat 23-Jul-16 19:09:10

Luca and Bologna are very well know and visited aren't they? For Itlay Perhaps La Marche and Spain, around the Costa de La Luz in the south west might be worth looking at or around Huelva. Northern Spain eg Asturias, Cantabria or Galicia, is lovely and Entramadura which nudges up against Portugal is a particular favourite of mine.

Dolly80 Sat 23-Jul-16 19:19:02

We saw the Asturias region earlier, when searching for ideas ,well worth a bit more investigating I think.

Bologna was a hit with my partner, mainly for the food. Probably not quite 'lesser known' but 'lesser visited' than Rome, Venice and Florence

Birdandsparrow Sat 23-Jul-16 19:19:09

There's nothing particularly tourist-worthy around Huelva, it's all beaches. Huelva is nothing special either. Seville is beautiful and historic with great art but about 90 minutes from the beach.

Birdandsparrow Sat 23-Jul-16 19:19:56

Northern Spain, Galicia and Asturias, the Cantabrian coast, are lovely.

Birdandsparrow Sat 23-Jul-16 19:21:16

How about the Basque country?
tourism.euskadi.eus/en/

weegiemum Sat 23-Jul-16 19:22:44

Having recently been to Seville, came on to say that to see I've been beaten to it!!

Jenijena Sat 23-Jul-16 19:26:54

My sister lives in Imola. About half an hour from Bologna, small but lovely 'city', race track, not at all touristy, great food. From there you could also go into the mountains (try the village of Brisighella) and have a day in Ravenna (fabulous mosaics). Fly into Bologna, then train (good connections) or drive a car.

RitchyBestingFace Sat 23-Jul-16 19:29:01

It's not lesser known but it is lesser visited - Napoli. I prefer it to Rome and the food is amazing. Lots of art, sea, history there. Agree with Palermo for the same reasons.

In Spain Valencia and Girona are good alternatives to Barcelona. Both have a horrid modern bit but the historical old towns are worth visiting - and maybe taking a detour from Girona to Figueres and Dali's house.

I would love to go to Galicia and the whole north coast of Spain.

JimmyGreavesMoustache Sat 23-Jul-16 19:30:01

we stayed in Ostia a couple of years ago. It's a small town between Rome and the coast. It's on a train line so you can travel into Rome in about 40mins, the coast in 15. Locally there's a huge archaeological site (Ostia Antica) that would take a couple of days to do justice.

We also visited Bracciano on the same trip. It's also near Rome - lovely historical town with a medieval castle, and a lake with small beaches that's great for swimming. It would be good base for a break, and you could travel on from there to Viterbo if you fancied.

RitchyBestingFace Sat 23-Jul-16 19:30:19

Siracusa and Catania in Sicily are just beautiful and fit your brief completely.

FelicityLemon Sat 23-Jul-16 20:05:03

San Sebastian in the Basque country. Amazing food and has beaches

QueenofLouisiana Sat 23-Jul-16 20:10:28

I came on to suggest Bergamo- but someone got there first! It's lovely and Milan is 1hr away by train.

We also enjoyed Bilbao and the surrounding area. The 24 hr crossing is good fun- a mini cruise.

FabFiveFreddie Sat 23-Jul-16 20:11:58

Second Siracusa and Catania, also the aeolian islands.

Madbengalmum Sat 23-Jul-16 20:20:43

Siracusa sicily.
Ravenna, italy is also gorgeous.

leadrightfoot Sat 23-Jul-16 20:32:13

San Gimiano
Modena
Brescia
Santander
Ravenna
San Sebastini

But Modena is awesome

TheGirlOnTheLanding Sat 23-Jul-16 20:38:12

Parma is lovely.

And not unknown but the loveliest seaside in the world, IMO, is in the Cinque Terre. Fly to Pisa and get the train down. Manarola is my favourite but all five are pretty much perfect coastal towns.

Dolly80 Sat 23-Jul-16 21:28:19

So many great ideas...I don't know where to start! Thanks for such fab inspiration.

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