The 20 Most Beautiful Villages in Italy

 

One year after the victory of Venzone (in Friuli Venezia Giulia), which was crowned the most beautiful village in Italy in 2017, the RAI3 “Village of the Villages” review proposed a new exciting challenge across this beautiful country to discover shops and artisans, dialects and gastronomic specialties. The 2018 edition has a bit of “upgrade”: there was a second, autumn edition!

So, are you ready to discover all the participating villages, finalists, and winners?

Let’s look at the 20 most beautiful villages in Italy in 2018!

The Most Beautiful Villages in Italy 2018

As many as 20 villages (one per region) reached the final, 4 of which came to contend for the victory in the final. The other 16 were presented during the episode and are therefore simply reported in order of appearance.

20. Sermoneta, Province of Latina – Lazio

20. Sermoneta, Province of Latina - Lazio

Credit: Itto Ogami – commons.wikimedia.org

Typical products: Fresh pasta
Typical dish: Lacchene with beans, strozzapreti with mortadella sauce
Ideal period for a visit: Summer or spring

19. Vigo di Fassa, Province of Trento – Trentino Alto Adige

Vigo di Fassa

Typical products: Dumplings, cold cuts, and cheeses from Fassa such as fresh Tosella and Puzzone di Moena
Typical dish: Barley soup and apple fritters
Ideal period for a visit: Summer

18. Rodi Garganico, Province of Foggia – Puglia

Rodi Garganico, Province of Foggia

Typical products: Extra virgin olive oil
Typical dish: “Ciambott” (fish soup) and seafood
Ideal period for a visit: Spring and Summer

17. Barolo, Province of Cuneo – Piedmont

Piedmont

Typical products: Barolo wine
Typical dish: Butter ravioli, Langa hazelnuts, sausage ragù
Ideal period for a visit: Spring and Summer

16. Arnad, Valle d’Aosta

Arnad, Valle d'Aosta

Typical products: Lard d’Arnad
Typical dish: Lardo di Arnad
Ideal period for a visit: Spring and Summer

15. Bevagna, Province of Perugia – Umbria

15. Bevagna, Province of Perugia - Umbria

Typical products: Olive oil and Sagrantino Docg wine
Typical dish: Truffle dishes
Ideal period for a visit: Spring

14. Tursi, Province of Matera – Basilicata

14. Tursi, Province of Matera - Basilicata

Credit: commons.wikimedia.org

Typical products: processed and seasoned cured meats, Tursi flour, scamorza podolica, and the “ciambotta”
Typical dish: Orecchiette with strascinati
Ideal period for a visit: Spring, autumn, and summer

13. Chiusdino, Province of Siena – Toscana

Chiusdino

Typical products: Chiusdino ham
Typical dish: Pappardelle all Lepre, Pici with sauce
Ideal period for a visit: All year round

12. Noli, Provincia di Savona – Liguria

Noli, Provincia di Savona

Typical products: Salted anchovies
Typical dish: Cappon magro
Ideal period for a visit: Spring and summer

11. Altomonte, Province of Cosenza – Calabria

Province of Cosenza

Typical products: Wils thistles in oil
Typical dish: Cicerchie soup
Ideal period for a visit: Spring and summer

10. Sesto al Reghena, Province of Pordenone – Friuli-Venezia Giulia

Sesto al Reghena, Province of Pordenone

Credit: Zairon

Typical products: “Bussolà” (biscuits with butter and eggs)
Typical dish: Guinea fowl breast with radicchio, raw ham, and peasant-style potatoes
Ideal period for a visit: Spring and summer

9. Pescocostanzo, Province of L’Aquila – Abruzzo

Province of L'Aquila

Typical products: Filigree lace and goldsmiths
Typical dish: Tacconi con orapi (Maltagliati with wild spinach and anchovies)
Ideal period for a visit: Spring

8. San Giorgio di Valpolicella, Province of Verona – Veneto

San Giorgio di Valpolicella, Province of Verona

Typical products: Black truffle, nadalin (almond cake)
Typical dish: Braised with Amarone, jugged hare
Ideal period for a visit: Spring

7. Stintino, Province of Sassari – Sardinia

Province of Sassari

Typical products: Snails, cheeses, and pastoral products
Typical dish: Cigioni with tomato, “ziminu” (set of entrails and diaphragm of grilled veal)
Ideal period for a visit: Summer

6. Bagnoli del Trigno, Province of Isernia – Molise

Isernia

Typical products: Cheeses, cold cuts
Typical dish: Focaccia with cold cuts and cheeses
Ideal period for a visit: Summer and spring

5. Monte Isola, Province of Brescia – Lombardy

Monte Isola

Credit: ildirettore

Typical products: Coarse-grained salami and dried fish
Typical dish: Perch, alborelli, and agoni
Ideal period for a visit: All year round

4. Furore, Province of Salerno – Campania

Furore, Province of Salerno - Campania

Typical products: Piennolo tomato
Typical dish: Squid and potatoes, migliaccio, and caponata
Ideal period for a visit: Spring or summer

3. Bobbio, Provincie of Piacenza – Emilia Romagna

Piacenza

Typical products: Salami, porcini mushrooms, and truffles
Typical dish: macaroni alla bobbiese with stew sauce
Ideal period for a visit: Spring or summer

2. Castroreale, Province of Messina – Sicily

Province of Messina

With just 2,500 inhabitants, this delightful village in the province of Messina carries a bit of the history of the whole region on its “shoulders”. Actually, the successive dominations have left an indelible trace there too, especially with the Aragonese period. Enchanting are the surrounding views ranging from Capo Milazzo to the Aeolian Islands.

Typical products: Biscuit of the abbess, with aniseed, and “black rice”, a typical Christmas cake.
Typical dish: Durum wheat macaroni with pork ragout or alla norma
Ideal period for a visit: Spring

1. Gradara, Province of Pesaro and Urbino – Marche

Province of Pesaro

Probably made immortal by Dante, who in his Divine Comedy chooses the Castle of Gradara as the theater of Paolo and Francesca’s death. Less than 5,000 inhabitants live in this jewel of the province of Pesaro and Urbino, a worthy successor to Venzone, the winner of 2017, and Sambuca di Sicilia the winner of 2016.

Typical products: Country Herbs, sow-thistle herb (in dialect scarpen ), and sausage
Typical dish: Bigol – hand-made spaghetti served with porcini mushrooms from Montefeltro or with meat sauce from the Marche region.
Ideal period for a visit: Spring and Summer

The Most Beautiful Villages in Italy – Autumn 2018 Edition

In 2018, the “Village of the Villages” review also had an autumn edition. In the episode broadcasted on RAI 3 conducted by Camila Raznovich aired on November 24, 2018, the village of autumn villages was decreed. Once again, after the victories of Gangi (2014), Montalbano Elicona (2015), and Sambuca di Sicilia (2016), Sicily returns to the top step of the podium with the village of Petralia Soprana, in the province of Palermo.

The finalists:

The 20 villages candidates for the final victory of this unprecedented autumn edition were:

Acerenza (Basilicata), Avise (Valle d’Aosta), Bosa (Sardinia), Castel Petroso (Molise), Corinaldo (Marche), Dozza (Emilia Romagna), Garessio (Piedmont), Guardiagrele (Abruzzo), Lovere (Lombardy), Massa Martana (Umbria), Mel (Veneto), Mezzano (Trentino Alto Adige), Moneglia (Liguria), Monteverde (Campania), Morano Calabro (Calabria), Otranto (Apulia), Palmanova (Friuli Venezia Giulia), Petrialia Soprana (Sicily), Poppi (Tuscany), Subiaco (Lazio).

The Final 3:

3. Mel, Veneto

Mel, Veneto

Credit: commons.wikimedia.org

Typical products: Apples
Typical dish: Sponcio corn polenta and Schiz cheese, barley and bean soup
Ideal period for a visit: Summer or spring

2. Subiaco, Lazio

Subiaco, Lazio

Typical products: Frascaregli (white flour gnocchi)
Typical dish: Ju pappaciuccu (boiled and kneaded black cabbage with corn pizza and stale bread)
Ideal period for a visit: Summer or spring

1. Petralia Soprana, Sicily

1. Petralia Soprana, Sicily

Typical products: Cheeses (pecorino, cacio Cavallo, and ricotta), sfuogghiu (sfoglio – cheese cake with chocolate and cinnamon)
Typical dish: Virdura maritata (soup with wild vegetables such as chicory and borage)
Ideal period for a visit: Summer or spring