What are the most beautiful villages in Italy?
A country like Italy, which throughout the millennia of history experienced great divisions during the medieval period, cannot fail to be full of villages and castles. This is because the cities closed within walls and fortresses, resulting in architectural and landscape jewels, historical gems that are among the most important in the world. It is no wonder that Italian villages are “the apple of the eye” in Italy, proof of a not-so-distant past. But what are the most beautiful villages in Italy? Here at Your Travel to Italy with Ana Patricia you make the trip of your dreams!!! ALSO: see our “Accommodation in Italy – Tips for your holidays!”
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Italian villages are no longer just history and culture, but also (and mainly) places full of life and opportunities. Landmarks, unprecedented sceneries, roads, old houses and modern dwellings placed among centuries-old stones, old techniques that are renewed, optimistic and true people, jovial spirit and many more. Details, emotions, curiosities, all of this is part of a program that wants to promote the villages of Italy, not only as a tourist destination, but also as possible places to choose a new lifestyle.
About the Villages
The Italian “village” is perceived as a little-known place, which should be explored, in a dimension linked to the past – usually with a characteristic nature of the region or an element of attraction (a castle, a church, a particular building – like, for example, trulli, which are traditional Apulian dry stone huts with a conical roof, or nuraghe, which is a type of conical tower-fortress). Villages are distinguished from large cities because they start from a different perspective.
They directly involve residents, associations, local businesses and artisans. This is a great resource, because in places like this citizens are very close to traditions – and this implies greater collaboration on the part of the people. That is why, in order to propose a line of development, it is necessary to analyze the historical-cultural context, which means making people participate and enjoying their creativity.
In Italy there are famous villages and unknown villages, equally beautiful. It is a continuous discovery of this fascinating reality, which is gradually revealed. Italy offers big and small surprises (like the centers we present). We made this selection after consulting the opinion of two well-respected organizations: “The most beautiful villages in Italy” and “Bandiere Arancioni”, Italian Tourism club.
We analyzed their choices and then select some more as well, based on our “heart”. This is a random list of the most beautiful and charming places, but little known. Our intention is precisely to incite your curiosity and, why not, convince you to take the car, motorcycle, bus, train, or any means of transport, and come running to visit these villages.
* At the end of our text we are going to talk about the club of the most beautiful villages in Italy.
1) What are the most beautiful villages in Italy? ÉTROUBLES
Étroubles – Aosta Valley. This village in the heart of the Great St Bernard Valley, has only 500 inhabitants. Known since the medieval period, as it was one of the crossing points of the via Francigena (route that at that time united Canterbury to Rome). Napoleon stayed at Éntroubles during the trip to the battle of Marengo. Today Éntroubles is famous among art lovers, as its historic center is a museum with works by international artists, inspired by the theme of travel.
2) What are the most beautiful villages in Italy? CASTELLABATE
Castellabate – Campania. Among the villages of Italy to visit, you cannot miss this pearl of Cilento. Famous, also for having been the film set of the acclaimed Benvenuti al sud (Welcome to the South), one of the greatest successes of Italian cinema in recent years. With a sea approved by the “Blue Flag”, its territory enters the National Park of Cilento and the Diano Valley, region where the Mediterranean Diet was born.
3) What are the most beautiful villages in Italy? SAN LEO
San Leo – Emilia-Romagna. It is not difficult to imagine why San Leo was included among the most visited villages in Italy. Picturesque and quirky, San Leo is definitely the most popular tourist destination in Valmarecchia. Located at the tip of a huge and impassable rock, about 32km from Rimini, it conquers tourists with its imposing fortress (placed right on the peak of the rock). House of Dante, Count Cagliostro and St Francis of Assisi, who got the Alverne Hill from Count Orlando di Chiusi, in the Casentino (1213), as a gift.
4) What are the most beautiful villages in Italy? SERMONETA
Sermoneta – Lazio. Typically medieval village, belonging to the Church, Sermoneta is guarded by a monumental wall and a castle from the 11th century. We are talking about Caetani Castle, one of the best known examples of defensive architecture in Lazio. The territory of Sermoneta, which extends between the Lepini Mountains and Agro Pontino, in the province of Latina, has about 9,797 inhabitants.
5) What are the most beautiful villages in Italy? GANGI
Gangi – Sicily. Exotic and with a curious atmosphere, Gangi enchants and captivates with its beautiful historic center. With ancient origins, since the Stone Age, this village at the entrance to Palermo is considered one of the most fascinating in the territory of Madonias. With a historic center characterized by several buildings and churches of great historical value, with typical stone houses (which are now for sale). Even the New York Times talked about Gangi, thanks to the city’s initiative to sell houses at paltry prices (practically free), provided they were renovated over four years.
6) What are the most beautiful villages in Italy? BOVA
Bova – Calabria. Considered the capital of Bovesia, the Greek-speaking region of Calabria, this village of 400 inhabitants was a colony of Magna Graecia and an area also conquered by the Normans. Located at the top, it is guarded by an imposing Norman Castle. Former episcopal seat, the life of the village of Bova is inseparably linked to the region. To prove this fact, the city is famous for the production of musical instruments and the Sentiero della Civiltà Contadina (Path of Peasant Civilization – an open-air museum through the streets of the village – an exhibition of everyday life and the main tools used by farmers). LEARN MORE ABOUT BOVA.
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The club of the “most beautiful villages in Italy”
“Open-air museums of the most beautiful country in the world”, here is the brief definition of Associazione Nazionale Comuni Italiani – ANCI (National Association of Italian Municipalities), which thought of forming the club of the “Most Beautiful Villages in Italy”, in order to preserve and enhance the uniqueness of the small centers of our country. The club of the “most beautiful villages in Italy” was born from the need to value the great heritage of history, art, culture, environment and tradition present in the small Italian centers that are largely excluded from the tourist route.
Historical, landscape, cultural and creative heritage
In fact, these places need to develop and deserve to be highlighted for their enormous heritage (historical, landscape, cultural and creative). They are able to satisfy tourist demand in Italy, equally or even more than the big cities. The history of each village, the authenticity, the pleasures and flavors, the events and the museums guide the tourist through the unexpected wealth of the municipality, where the beauty deposited in the history awaits only the opportunity to reveal itself to the curious visitor. All the villages categorized by the Association (together with ANCI) are the result of careful selection throughout the national territory.
Village Conditions for the Club
What aspects should a small municipality have to be part of this prestigious club? There are two conditions:
- The “village” pattern, that is, a population of less than two thousand inhabitants in the Historic Center and fifteen thousand in the entire city.
- Some special feature at the level of urban planning and architecture, proven by the Superintendency of Fine Arts.
Along with these physical aspects, the village must have a series of emotional and rational “gifts” and immaterial qualities that give authenticity and personality to the place. Therefore, “village” means authenticity (handicrafts, local customs), spontaneity (native enogastronomic heritage, typical foods and flavors to be rescued) and tradition (folklore, hitherto lost in large cities). It is the search for these sensations that brings tourists to Italian villages. The visitor wants to understand that it is possible to experience these emotions, whether for an hour, a day, a lifetime.
No city should be rejected, as each one has its own charm. You need to find out these places, where you can confront yourself, with your own ghosts. In the imagination it is possible to absorb the “sense of time”, to smell the scent of life and its phases. Villages are these charming places, whose beauty consolidated over the centuries transcends our lives. That is why we have a duty to save them.
- To see all the villages per region, you can go to the site The most beautiful villages of Italy.
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It is impossible to tell about all the villages, because there are so many! The ones we saw are a small part. However, wherever you choose to go, whatever destination you decide, you will find in all these villages the beauty of the smaller cities that magnify Italy.
And if you feel insecure, have no time, and need help to organize your trip, don’t hesitate to contact me! I will love to help you make your dream trip to Italy come true. And how can I do that? Keep reading this post until the end and you will understand how we make your life and your trip much easier.
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