Italy is a tiny country, smaller than the state of California! In a small space, Italy has managed be full of HUNDREDS of villages. Italy is also full of major destination cities but in a matter of 10 kilometers in some cases, you can arrive in a tiny village which has a unique landscape, culture, gastronomy and even their own dialect in some cases. Italy is quite possibly one of the most diverse countries in the world.
If you’re the type of traveler interested in the tiny towns, we have found some beautiful villages in Italy we suggest you visit.
Traveling to Piedmont?
1. Ricetto di Candelo- This village is considered a sort of Medieval Pompeii. Ricetto di Candelo is one of the best preserved examples of medieval structures present in several places in Piedmont and in parts of Central Europe. Located in the municipality of Candelo, Biella in Piedmont. Local specialties include salam ‘d l’ula (a type of peppered red wine cured salami) and traditional hand tenderized pork shoulder.
2. Orta San Giulio- This is a lakeshore picturesque village in Piedmont 100 km NE of Turin and is considered to be a watercolor worthy inspiration. Filled with gardens, churches, basilicas, palaces and bell towers- Orta San Giulio is a beautiful lake community to visit full of art and history. Local specialties include liver mortadella and perch risotto.
Traveling to the Veneto?
3. Arqua Petrarca- This village is where the poet Petrarch (Francesco Petrarca) lived the final four years of his life (1370-1374) for all you literature buffs out there. This tiny town, apart from being rich in literary history amidst scenic rolling mountain slopes, has been awarded for excellence in hospitality, tourism and sustainability. Local specialties include Bigoli with ragù: a thick, fresh handmade spaghetti with flour and eggs served with a ragù of beef, veal, pork, porcini mushrooms and tomato sauce.
Traveling to Liguria?
4. Vernazza- Wedged between the sea and the famous Cinque Terre (5 lands), Vernazza is a stunning harbor village on the Ligurian coast. Vernazza is one of the 5 lands of Cinque Terra and in 1997 recieved recognition from UNESCO as a world heritage site. Sites include beach, hiking areas, chapels, churches and ancient castles. Local specialties include fragrant lemons, trofie pasta, rich olive oil and a famous raisin wine made from native vineyards.
Traveling to the Emilia-Romagna?
5. Castell’Arquato- This Italian village is located on the hills of Val D’Arda in the province of Piacenza, in Emilia-Romagna, around 30 km from Piacenza and 35 km from Parma. The town is famous for being home to Opera composers such as Giacomo Puccini and it’s picturesque medieval features which have starred in hollywood films. Castell’Arquato is also in the area of the Colli Piacentini (Piacenza Hills), an important area for wine production. The most important wines produced in the Colli Piacentini are Gutturnio, Ortrugo, Malvasia, and Monterosso Val d’Arda.
Traveling to Lombardy?
6. Tremezzo- Tremezzo is best known as a tourist resort and for its villas, of which the most famous is the Villa Carlotta with its much-admired gardens. It is located on the western coast of Lake Como and is defined as being “in the middle” between the Po Valley and the Grigioni Pass. Local specialties include bay leaf preserved fresh water fish and grilled polenta.
Traveling to Tuscany?
7. Buonconvento- Buonconvento is a small Tuscan village in the Province of Siena in the Italian region Tuscany, located about 70 km south of Florence and about 25 km southeast of Siena in the area known as the Crete Senesi. Local museums, brick structures, ancient fortresses and renaissance castles define this historical Tuscan gem. Local specialties include fabulous local wine, salami, pappardelle pasta with wild hare ragù and more.
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