Top 3 Awe-inspiring Medieval Villages in Central Italy
Wherever you look you will be greeted by hilltop medieval villages in Central Italy. It’s hard to imagine being able to stand in the middle of these villages built as early the 5th century. And it’s even harder to imagine being able to visit multiple villages in a span of five days. But that’s exactly what we did as we drove around the countryside of Central Italy.
These villages might not be as well known as the rest of Italy’s famed destinations like Rome, Cinque Terre, Milan and so much more. But if you’re like us and want to explore places that are almost completely untouched by tourism then I suggest you keep reading. As a part of the Road Less Traveled Series where I list down some of the most underrated tourist destinations I’ve visited, I give you my top three favorite medieval villages in Central Italy:
Visiting Volterra was like hitting three birds with one stone. The mountaintop town dates back even before the 7th century BC. Here, you’ll be able to view structures from the Etruscan, Roman, and Medieval periods. Just outside its medieval walls lies a Roman theatre that goes way back to the 1st century BC and if that’s not enough to wow you, a Roman bath lies within its walls. Although bathing in it isn’t advisable it’s still really well preserved and considered a great insight into the Roman culture. Walk a bit further into the town and you will be greeted by the ruins of two Etruscan buildings dedicated to religious activities.
This tiny village is relatively a hidden gem, but it is the most charming medieval village I’ve been to. The effects of tourism have barely touched it and so the locals proudly dub Montemerano as “the real Tuscany”. The houses and buildings are so well preserved, you’ll begin to think you’ve been transported back in time. It is hailed as one of the most beautiful hamlets in Italy. With its official ranking called “Borghi piu belli d’Itaia“. A visit to Montemerano is never complete without taking a dip at the Saturnia hot springs, which is merely a few minutes away.
Oh, how I fell hard of Pitigliano, so hard that we decided to spend the night here. Its picturesque skyline literally made my jaw drop. Perched atop a volcanic tufa ridge it is fondly called as Little Jerusalem. The long-standing Jewish community presence in this town has earned it the name. The town dates back to the Etruscan times with tombs from this period within its walls. It is also home to antique Gens Pitilia from the Roman period thus the name Pitigliano. The delicious food is icing on the cake making this particular town one my favorite medieval villages in Central Italy.
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