Top 20 Most Captivating Villages in Italy

Twenty newly crowned Italian villages -- one for each region -- will take your breath away.

Orta San Giulio, a picturesque island village, can be found in the Province of Novara. Photo credit: iStock

This article was published by news staff at The Local. 

Hoping to visit some of the lesser-explored corners of Italy, swapping the crowded city piazzas for idyllic scenery in tiny villages? The newly crowned 20 most beautiful Italian villages — that’s one for each region — are a great place to start.

The short list has been drawn up by the ‘Borghi più belli d’Italia’ organization, which every year selects 20 villages to promote, chosen for their landscape, heritage and culture.

And 2017 has been named as the ‘year of villages’ by Italy’s Culture Ministry, as the country turns the spotlight on its hidden gems and encourages more diverse tourist itineraries. While hotspots such as Venice have been forced to introduce measures aimed at restricting visitor numbers, these villages are comparatively untouched by travelers.

So from north to south and east to west, here are the most beautiful villages to visit across Italy in 2017.

1. Arquà Petrarca, Veneto 

Arquà Petrarca is a medieval village that preserves the charm of the past and is nestled in Veneto’s Euganean Hills. First established in Roman times, the village gained fame after Francesco Petrarch, one of Italy’s greatest poets, chose to spend the last years of his life in this peaceful village. In return, the village added his name to its own, and you can learn more about the poet’s life in the house where he once lived. For the entire Top 20, visit The Local. 

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