What is a Borgo?
by Diana Maiola
A borgo is a small Italian village or hamlet. Often times it is a small grouping of old farmhouses built around a castle. Typically dating back to medieval times, borghi (plural for borgo) are fascinating to discover as they are intensely connected to the local history, culture, and landscape.
Here in Italy, about 20 years ago, an association developed with the focus of discovering and revitalizing the most beautiful borghi (villages) imaginable. This initiative of finding “I Borghi piu Belli d’Italia” (The most beautiful villages of Italy) was the dream of the National Tourism Council. After much time and care they can now boast 308 communities across Italy that have been officially declared a part of this great effort. The goal of the council is to preserve and maintain the quality of the structures within each Borgo, as well as share the rich heritage of each location with those interested in discovering something “off of the typical beaten track.” As well, they saw a need to give value to the great heritage, history, art, culture and traditions that these small Italian centers are known for, but at the same time excluded from the vast flows of tourists and visitors each year to this beautiful country. The association organizes festivals, exhibitions, gatherings, conferences, and concerts that highlight the cultural, historical, gastronomic, and linguistic heritage of each Borgo thereby involving residents, schools, and local artists.
A reality here in Italy is that hundreds of small Italian villages are in danger of rapidly declining population and as a consequence degradation as recent generations move to larger cities which offer more economical stability. A fundamental element involved in the search for these Borghi is to ensure that they are now protected, enhanced, preserved and recognized for the treasures they possess that would have been otherwise lost.
A sample of some of these stunning Borghi piu Belli are pictured below:
Tellaro in the region of Liguria
Monte Castello di Vibio in the region of Umbria
Oratino in the region of Molise
all images from: borghipiubelliditalia.it/
Allow us to take sweep you away to some of these beautiful Borghi. Each region has borghi to visit so a stop can easily be incorporated in any itinerary. Or, we can plan a journey dedicated completely to the most beautiful borghi and concentrate on these tiny hamlets as your destinations. Contact us today to get a customized itinerary started!