Inevitably, Italophiles have bagged their favourite part of the country and, in peak season, parts of Tuscany, Puglia, much of Capri and the northwestern coast of Sardinia become laden with holidaymakers. All is not lost, and Italy still has some attractive, lesser-known alternatives. Consider Le Marche on the eastern side of the peninsula. It has undulating farmland and ancient hill towns (such as Raphael’s birthplace, Urbino), that easily match any Tuscan counterpart, alongside 100 miles of coastline with plenty of good sandy beaches. It is also significantly more affordable.
If a Venice city break leaves you yearning for breathing space, head for its hinterland. The Veneto is a fascinating region, home to prosecco-producing vineyards and dreamy, less-visited towns. I recommend a stay at Asolo where both Robert Browning and Freya Stark once lived. Alternatively, combine a visit to Venice with a stay on its Lido. Many of the hotels here have bikes, and you can cycle the length of the Lido, hop on a ferry and cycle as far as the island of Chioggia.
The Veneto is a fascinating region, home to prosecco-producing vineyards and dreamy, less-visited towns
Calabria has yet to reach Puglia’s popularity, but it has its attractions. It’s like the Amalfi Coast without the crowds, and charming towns such as Santa Maria di Castellabate retain their authenticity. Popular with Neapolitan families who flock here for its sandy beaches, it is rare to hear an English voice. Stay at the Palazzo Belmonte, the only seaside palazzo in Italy. Here, gorgeous gardens overlook the sea and you’ve a good choice of self-catering apartments within its stone walls. And don’t miss the ancient ruins at Paestum — just a 20-minute bus ride away.
If Portofino is beyond your budget, try neighbouring Camogli. This dreamy Ligurian seaside town comprises colourful houses overlooking a surf-bashed beach. Lively but unpretentious, it has some great little restaurants and bars, and a regular ferry service to take you along the coast.
Source : https://www.thetimes.co.uk/travel/destinations/europe/italy/347