Y’know, a trip to Italy isn’t just about grand, ancient cities like Rome, Florence and Naples. It’s a country that specialises in the offbeat, the rural: small towns that scream autenticità and will, within a matter of days, make you feel like a decades-long local. The only question is: where to start? There are several thousands of beautiful towns and villages in Italy, and there is such a thing as ‘too much choice’.
Fortunately, every year, the great people at the association ‘I Borghi Più Belli d’Italia’ (‘Italy’s Most Beautiful Towns’) publish an official list of the country’s most special places with fewer than 15,000 inhabitants. The certification process is long and incredibly meticulous, taking into account every town or village’s history, traditions, artistic heritage, tourist infrastructure and attention to sustainability. In other words: if a place is on this list, you know it’s going to be worth a trip.
This year, there were four new entries to the 300-strong club: Bassano in Teverina and Monteleone d’Orvieto in central Italy, and Monte Sant’Angelo and Tropea in the south. Here’s a little more about these now-officially-certified Beautiful Places – plus six other incredibly picturesque villages and towns that were already on the list.