Discover the Beautiful Villages of Italy
Most visitors to Italy stick to the main cities, but while Rome, Florence, and Venice have much to offer, the best way to truly experience the magic of Italy is to head off the beaten track and discover the country’s many beautiful borghi villages.
Discover Italy’s unknown borghi
The word borgo can be translated in English to ‘village’ or ‘hamlet’ but, in Italian, it means so much more. These small villages usually date from Medieval or Renaissance times, are built around a noble palace or castle and are, more often than not, encircled by walls. Not only are Italy’s borghi quaint, picturesque, places to visit, they also contain much of the cultural heritage of the country.
Italy boasts over 300 official borghi which are located all over the country, from north to south. Each borgo has developed its own individual identity over centuries, reflected in the historic buildings that tell a thousand stories and the evocative streets that echo the footsteps of a time gone by. A wealth of Italy’s artistic and architectural treasures are hidden behind the façades of these tiny towns, with spectacular churches, castles, and palaces just waiting to be discovered, and fabulous artworks found tucked away in remote locations.
The local food, wine, culture and folklore of the borghi
It is also the people of these small enclaves who help to preserve the towns’ time-honored traditions. Local families, producers, farmers and artisans who pass their heritage down the generations through food, wine, crafts, festivals, and folklore, and in doing so allow visitors a glimpse into the real Italian life away from mass tourism and modern influences. In the borghi the pace is slow, and life revolves around family and community; it makes a welcome contrast from the hectic hustle and bustle of city life and helps to gain sharper perspective on the country and its people.
The borghi of Italy are unique; they are small packages of delight that remain largely undiscovered and unspoiled. While it is tempting to stay on the well-followed route of world-famous attractions during your Italy vacation, try to make time to visit at least one of these tiny gems to add an authentic and rewarding experience to your trip and gain a deeper insight into the real essence of Italy.