The Italians, like the Spaniards, love their towns. They are a source of pride and inspiration when choosing a destination to travel to, which is reflected in the success of Borgo dei Borghi, a popular contest organized by the program Kilimanjaro of RAI 3. In it, viewers vote each year for the best locality among 20 candidates from all over the country, previously selected.
The initiative, which this year reaches its ninth edition, has elevated a town in the Veneto region, Soave, which, for a few weeks, can boast of being the most beautiful town in Italy in 2022. Located in the northeast, the brand new winner joins a list clearly dominated by inland towns in the south of the country. Do you want to meet her?
Soave, the most beautiful village of 2022
Soave, a beautiful medieval village surrounded by vineyards at the foot of Monti Lessini, is the first town in Veneto -one of the most visited regions in Italy- to receive recognition. Located 35 kilometers from Verona and a hundred kilometers from Venice, it is famous for the Scaliger Castle and its acclaimed wine, which make it a true jewel and one of the exponents of the area’s landscape heritage. The fortress and the Ghibelline walls, divided into 24 towers, date from the 10th century, although the first human settlements date back to the stone age.
The town, with just over seven thousand inhabitants and bathed by the River Tramigna, has its main pillars in the environment, culture and food and wine. And it is that Soave preserves numerous wineries in its particular Wine Route, the path that leads from the vineyards to the town. The route, between hills, can be done on foot, by bicycle, and even on horseback.
We met her last year and fell in love. Tropea, the winner of the 2021 edition is known as the Pearl of the Tyrrhenian, a Calabrian town in the Coast of the Gods Italian with a privileged situation. A couple of hours from Messina, it stands out especially for its beaches, with turquoise waters and white sands, and a historic center perched on top of a cliff dotted with winding alleys, cobbled streets and squares and historic buildings. Gastronomy is another of its strong points, with simple dishes based on fish and typical products of the region.
Bobbio is a small cobbled town in the province of Piacenza, in the Emilia-Romagna region, located at the foot of Mount Penice and on the banks of the Trebbia River. The town, which barely exceeds 3,500 residents, treasures important Neolithic remains, although its true icon is the Old Bridge, also known as the Devil’s Bridge. The structure, built entirely of stone, dates from Roman times and is characteristic for its undulating and twisted profile, with eleven uneven arches.
2019: Petralia Soprana
Of similar dimensions to those of Bobbio, this little Sicilian corner allows you to travel back in time. About 60 kilometers from Cefalù and 120 kilometers from Palermo, Petralia Soprana is located in the foothills of the Madonia natural park, surrounded by the typical forests of the Sicilian hinterland. Its views are enviable, as they reach the snow-capped peaks of Etna, to the city of Enna and the wide valleys and surrounding watercourses. The center retains its medieval structure with a network of narrow streets, numerous churches and elegant palaces.
Considered one of the most beautiful historic towns in Italy, Gradara won the award for the most beautiful town in the country in 2018. It is not surprising that, despite not reaching five thousand souls, it receives half a million visitors every year, eager to see the imposing fortress of Malatesta, whose walls are kept in perfect condition. The town, which belongs to the Marche region, has passed through history through the hands of important families such as the Borgia, the Della Rovere or the Medici.
Venzone is a small fortified medieval town of two thousand inhabitants in the province of Udine, rebuilt stone by stone after the 1976 earthquake. This has made it an example of observation and protection of historical and cultural heritage. The walls, the duomo, the churches, streets and squares, such as the Town Hall, its fountains and its palaces make foreigners fall in love. However, one of the biggest surprises for those who visit it is in the chapel of San Michele, a small circular building inside which the famous Venzone mummies can be admired.
2016: Sambuca from Sicily
The 2016 reconnaissance flew to Sicily again. Perched on a hill, this unique town of Moorish origin in the province of Agrigento still preserves numerous vestiges of the time, especially in the Arab quarter where its streets remain intact. Located a few kilometers from the sea of Menfi, Sciacca and the temples of the Selinunte Archaeological Park, Sambuca di Sicilia has six thousand inhabitants and thousands of reasons to visit.
2015: Montalbano Elicona
Although traditionally little known and forgotten on the tourist routes of Sicily, Montalbano Elicona received in 2015 its just deserts. The town, with just over two thousand inhabitants, is a labyrinth of medieval alleys that lead to various spectacular panoramic viewpoints. And it is that it is located on top of a hill almost a thousand meters high, on which the castle that King Frederick II of Aragon built in the fourteenth century sits.
A neighbor of Petralia Soprana -they are barely ten kilometers apart-, Gangi was the first winner of the Borgo dei Borghi. Its urban core, crowned by a castle, dates back to the 13th century, although the area has been inhabited since prehistoric times. It is located in Madonia, it has about six thousand inhabitants, it is made up of staggered rows of red-roofed houses and, like Montalbano Elicona, its views over the valley are worth it. In the 18th century, it became a cultural and literary center and 300 years later, it is still renowned for its art, culture and tradition.
Every year, viewers vote for the best locality among 20 candidates from all over the country