Europe is known worldwide as a traveler’s haven because of its sun-soaked islands, majestic mountain towns, and breathtaking beaches. It is a land embellished with glorious monuments from different chapters of the continent’s golden history and is home to some of the most stunning artworks known to man. Although Europe boasts of a multitude of popular destinations, it is also dotted with a number of rustic towns along the coast that exhibit the authentic culture of the region. Here are some of the lesser known cities of Europe that display numerous historical gems and offer a serene environment for a relaxing holiday.
Lecce in Italy
A town replete with fascinating Baroque buildings designed by 17th-century architects, Lecce is considered to be one of the most beautiful cities in Italy. Some of the most enchanting attractions of this mesmerizing city include the Basilica di Santa Croce, that is adorned with the unique stone sculptures, and the Museo Faggiano, an opulent home turned into a museum that displays relics dating back to the Messapian civilization of the 5th century B.C. The Lecce Cathedral is another fine architectural masterpiece while the Castello di Carlo V is the largest castle in Puglia. The best place to enjoy the visual feast of the architecture and to immerse in the local culture is the Piazza del Duomo, the throbbing heart of Lecce.
Cadiz in Spain
One of the oldest continuously inhabited regions in Spain, Cadiz is known for its amazing museums, delectable sea food, and the cacophony of the seagulls at the coast. The most striking landmark of this town is Catedral de Cadiz, a spectacular yellow-domed cathedral that looms over the medieval houses. The Casa del Obispo contains ruins of the Phoenician culture while the Castillo de San Sebastian is a polygonal fort that offers some panoramic views of the city. The Museo Catedralicio exhibits some wonderful artworks and the Puerta de Tierra is an awe-inspiring gate that guards the entrance of the old Cadiz Town. A visit to Cadiz is made memorable by the warm hospitality of the locals and the elegance of the yesteryears that the town possesses.
Makarska in Croatia
A gorgeous bay that is washed by the waves of the Adriatic Sea and a palm fringed promenade lined with restaurants and cafes await you at Makarska, one of the most serene locations on the coast of Croatia. This harbor city has managed to retain its old world charm that is emanated by the medieval churches and the colorful fruit markets of the main square. The Biokovo Mountain that borders this town adds to the grandeur of the landscape and offers an opportunity to indulge in adventure sports. On the other hand, the Franciscan Monastery serves as a peaceful retreat where one can admire the local architecture and explore an intriguing collection of sea shells. Needless to say, Makarska is the perfect place to enjoy the relaxed coastal way of living. And if happens that you’d like to stay there for a bit longer, houses for sale in Croatia are currently widely affordable due to stagnating, or even sinking, the economy of the country.
These are some of the unsung destinations of Europe that display the untarnished architectural splendor of the medieval years. At these locations, you will not find throngs of travelers or tourist attractions, instead, you will find glimpses of the true face of European culture. Therefore, if you wish to experience Europe through the eyes of the locals, do stop by these alluring cities on your next vacation.