The 20 Most Beautiful Villages in Italy in 2021

Tellaro, Liguria
Credit: Davide Papalini -

The “Village of the Villages” review proposed by RAI3 is a well-known Italian TV show, or better said championship. It has been organized by the TV station for several years. And, how can it not be a success when all Italian villages are masterpieces of longevity and flagships of “vintage” charm, each with its own magic and sensibility.

We know travel enthusiasts love seeing and discovering new places, especially those far from their home. That’s why we’ve prepared several posts on the “Village of the Villages” competition, one per each year. In this post, we look at the 20 most beautiful villages in Italy, from the 2017 ranking.

So, let’s go on a journey to discover these marvels and enjoy along the way!

20. Gressan, Valle d’Aosta

Gressan, Valle d'Aosta
Credit: Patafisik –

Just over 3,000 inhabitants live in the small Valdostano center. You need only one day to explore it completely, but a lifetime is not enough to enjoy it as the inhabitants say. Frescoes, Romanesque bell towers, chapels and … of course, castles!

Typical products: Apples from Valle d’Aosta
Typical dish: Roe deer alla Valdostana
Ideal period for a visit: Summer or spring

19. Montegridolfo, Emilia Romagna

Montegridolfo, Emilia Romagna
Credit: Diego Baglieri –

There are 1,200 inhabitants in the municipality and only 40 in the village. Although close to the Adriatic coast, the inhabitants of the village love to enjoy its Gothic and medieval features. The urban layout is medieval, as is the Malatesta castle.

Typical products: Extra virgin olive oil
Typical dish: Tagliatelle with meat sauce and mushrooms
Ideal period for a visit: All year round

18. La Maddalena, Sardinia

La Maddalena, Sardinia
Credit: Gianni Careddu –

We are on the second largest island in Italy, where the sea reigns supremely and marks the contours of a wonderful landscape. And, most of all, it’s an island within an island. La Maddalena is, in fact, the town of the homonymous archipelago in the province of Sassari.

Typical products: Sardinian cheese and fish
Typical dish: Culunzones (ravioli with cheese, spinach, and saffron)
Ideal period for a visit: Summer

17. Tellaro, Liguria

Tellaro, Liguria
Credit: Davide Papalini –

In the province of La Spezia, a small great masterpiece overlooks the sea. It’s the village of Tellaro, with its Castle, Casa Magni, and Villa Marigola.

Typical products: Sciachetrà (liqueur wine) and Cinque Terre DOC wine
Typical dish: Stuffed muscles and Octopus with potatoes
Ideal period for a visit: Spring and summer

16. Orta San Giulio, Piedmont

Orta San Giulio, Piedmont
Credit: Wolfgang Sauber –

We are in the province of Novara, a picture village island that seems to have been painted with a divine watercolor, on the shores of Lake Orta. The lakefront is not only truly delightful but the village of just 1,000 inhabitants is also full of legends and stories to hear and pass on.

Typical products: Mortadella of liver
Typical dish: Risotto with perch
Ideal period for a visit: Spring and summer

15. Rocca San Giovanni, Abruzzo

Rocca San Giovanni, Abruzzo
Credit: Zitumassin –

This small village nestled between the sea and hills is the symbolic place of slow tourism. Squares and alleys to love and live slowly, in harmony with the rhythms of the village.

Typical products: Oil, wine, and oranges from the Costa dei Trabocchi
Typical dish: Palazzole (a specialty based on anchovies or sardines)
Ideal period for a visit: Spring or summer

14. Canale di Tenno, Trentino

Canale di Tenno, Trentino
Credit: DavideDossi –

We are in Trentino, in a village that shows us how time can stop, giving an immortal beauty of this mountain village over the years, from a height of 600 meters. Barns and pastures as far as the eye can see, cycle paths, and absolutely unique food and wine routes.

Typical products: Lake Garda oil and Schiava wine
Typical dish: Carne salada and Polenta
Ideal period for a visit: Spring, autumn, and summer

13. Zavattarello, Lombardy

Zavattarello, Lombardy
Credit: User:Yoruno –

Remaining in the hills, just over 500 meters above sea level, this time we go to the province of Pavia. There are large green spaces for long walks or horseback rides, a fortress overlooking the sandstone village, and an inevitable castle from which you can admire immense expanses of vineyards.

Typical products: Salami and bacon
Typical dish: Risotto with mushrooms, game
Ideal period for a visit: Spring or autumn

12. Suvereto, Tuscany

Suvereto, Tuscany
Credit: sailko –

We are in the Maremma Livornese, in a delightful village that still has original and highly recognizable features with medieval layout and green windows. The 13th-century town hall with its clock tower, Rocca Aldobrandesca, and medieval churches stand out.

Typical products: Cork and Extra virgin olive oil
Typical dish: Wild boar
Ideal period for a visit: Spring or summer

11. Panicale, Umbria

Panicale, Umbria
Credit: LigaDue –

A medieval castle, with a lot of moat around, can still be seen and visited here in Panicale, in the province of Perugia. There is also the octagonal fountain of desires made in travertine, the Collegiate Church of San Michele Arcangelo (St. Michael Archangel) and, at the highest point of the town, the Palazzo del Podestà, from which you can see landscapes reaching Lake Trasimeno and the borders separating Umbria from Tuscany.

Typical products: Extra virgin olive oil
Typical dish: Umbricelli with sauce
Ideal period for a visit: Spring or autumn

10. Castel Gandolfo, Lazio

Castel Gandolfo, Lazio
Credit: Mac –

Typical products: Canonico’s cheeks (Peaches)
Typical dish: Bucatini all’amatriciana and fried lattarini
Ideal period for a visit: All year round

9. Vastogirardi, Molise

Vastogirardi, Molise
Credit: iLMeteo –

Typical products: Cheeses, in particular ricotta, scamorza, and manteca
Typical dish: Cazatielli with pork sauce
Ideal period for a visit: Spring or summer

8. Montecassiano, Marche

Montecassiano, Marche
Credit: Sirleonidas –

Typical products: Sughitti, sweet polenta with must, cornflour, and walnuts
Typical dish: Beans and duck sauce
Ideal period for a visit: Spring and autumn

7. Castelmezzano, Basilicata

Castelmezzano, Basilicata

Typical products: Sausage
Typical dish: Lamb with herbs and grilled kid with potatoes
Ideal period for a visit: Spring and summer

6. Fiumefreddo Bruzio, Calabria

Fiumefreddo Bruzio, Calabria
Credit: SerenaCri88 –

Typical products: Cheeses, oil and wine
Typical dish: Filiciata, a dish made with fresh cheese
Ideal period for a visit: Summer, spring, and autumn

5. Castiglione di Sicilia

Castiglione di Sicilia
Credit: Enrico Pighetti –

Typical products: Etna Doc wine
Typical dish: Fave a maccu and macaroni with pork ragout
Ideal period for a visit: All year round

4. Otranto, Puglia

Otranto, Puglia
Credit: Sciurti Luca –

Typical products: Extra virgin olive oil from Salento and Salice Salentino Doc wine
Typical dish: Orecchiette with sauce and fish soup
Ideal period for a visit: All year round

3. Conca dei Marini, Campania

Conca dei Marini, Campania
Credit: Mess –

Typical products: Piennolo tomatoes
Typical dish: Sfogliatella Santa Rosa, Pennette with Piennolo tomatoes, and spaghetti with Gambero Rosso sauce
Ideal period for a visit: Spring or summer

2. Arquà Petrarca, Veneto

Arquà Petrarca, Veneto
Credit: Alain Rouiller –

Typical products: Jujube broth
Typical dish: Bigoli with meat sauce and porcini mushrooms
Ideal period for a visit: Spring

1. Venzone, Friuli Venezia Giulia

Venzone, Friuli Venezia Giulia
Credit: Joadl –

Typical products: Caciotte and fresh ricotta
Typical dish: Tagliatelle with fresh mushrooms from the Julian Pre-Alps and Frico with pumpkin
Ideal period for a visit: All year round
Where to sleep: Hotels and b&b from €40 per room

Past Editions Winners

Sambuca di Sicilia.
Credit: Davide Mauro –

The winners of the 2015 and 2016 editions of the “The Village of the Villages” competition also deserve to be mentioned. For 3 years, Sicily has been collecting prizes, therefore, we present the winner of the 2015 edition – Montalbano Elicona and the winner of the 2016 edition – Sambuca di Sicilia.

Sambuca di Sicilia (Winner 2016)


Sambuca di Sicilia
Credit: Mboesch –

We are in Sicily, a land of myths, stories, legends like that of Sambuca, the village built by an Arab emir from which it takes its name. This village develops with multiple facades, such as the Arab one “inside the walls” and the 18th-century one outside the walls. Its heart is an irregular, messy, but fascinating jumble of narrow alleys, squares, and squares. The smell of elderberry accompanies the visit: welcome to Borgo dei Borghi 2016!

Typical products: Oil, ricotta, and cheeses
Typical dish: Minni di virgini (typical dessert)
Ideal period for a visit: All year round

Montalbano Elicona, Province of Messina (Winner 2015)

Montalbano Elicona

It develops on a small promontory with all the urban fabric stretching towards its top, dominated… by a castle! It’s a fortress that immediately opens to the eyes with the walls bordered by towers, an extraordinary example of medieval architecture. Inside, there is a Byzantine royal chapel. From the top of the village, the view sweeps over the Nebrodi Mountains on one side and the Aeolian Islands on the other.

Typical products: Cheeses and cured meats
Typical dish: Fave a maccu
Ideal period for a visit: Any season