Italy Today

How Italy revived 12 small hamlets

Host communities where visitors enjoy nature, food and local traditions

How Italy revived 12 small hamlets

Claudia Astarita

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The Authentic Italian Hamlets Association (AIHA) has pointed out 12 hamlets undertaking a process of modernization, aimed at increasing their population and tourism. With this purpose, they have become "host communities" plunging tourists into local life.

A noteworthy example is Pietralunga (Perugia). The village stands out as the biggest Umbrian hamlet, occupying a significant portion of the Apennine. The area is characterized by several hills and valleys, playing with shadows and lights, and it is therefore known as Valley of Colours. Tourists can enjoy suggestive walks in the nature or explore the city-centre where several events take place. Examples are the Truffle and White Potato Festival, along with the sell of typical local products.

Scurola Marsicana (L'Aquila) has kept its Middle Ages atmosphere, far from modernity. The hamlet is popular for its food tradition and its attention to biodiversity. Tourists should not miss the Ciammella Festival in August, characterized by several folkloric parades, along with typical food and wine.

Saluzzo (Cuneo) is another beautiful place up in the mountains. It is popular for its tradition in antiques, with a long history in working wood and iron by skilled and exclusive local craftsmen. 

Pescopennataro (Isernia) is famous to be the "village of stone". In fact, the extraordinary local gouge masters have built the whole hamlet using white rock. The village is also popular for its white firs, located in the big pine grove Empire Wood.

Montesegale (Pavia) has only 300 inhabitants and it was officially recognized by AIHA as the first "host community". Its landmark is the Castle, located on a high ground, where all big events take place.

Montedinove (Ascoli Piceno) occupies a breath-taking portion of Marche territory, whose panorama includes the Adriatic Cost and Conero Mount up to the Gran Sasso. The typical local product is Red Apple, whose growing is performed in an eco-friendly way.

The other mentioned hamlets are Galtelli (Nuoro), Fossato di Vico (Perugia), Fara di San Martino (Chieti), Forni di Sotto (Udine), Civitacampomarano (Campobasso), Aggius (Olbia-Tempio) and Castelfalfi (Florence).

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