The most incredible nativity villages in Italy: 16 to visit at Christmas

  • Neive, Piedmont
  • Grezio, Lazio
  • Pretoro, Abruzzo
  • Glurns, South Tyrol
  • Pietrapertosa, Basilicata
  • Casoli, Abruzzo
  • Peaches, Molise
  • Farnese, Lazio
  • Barga, Tuscany
  • Rocca Imperiale, Calabria
  • Sorano, Tuscany
  • San Gregorio Matese, Campania
  • Scanno, Abruzzo
  • Petralia Soprana, Sicily
  • Anghiari, Tuscany
  • Tenno Canal, Trentino
  • Village of Mezzano

Small stone houses stacked on top of each other, atmospheres suspended in time and the whole feeling of being part of a Christmas fairy tale.

There are many Italian villages that look like nativity scenes. If you want to experience atmospheres of the past, just browse these little secret gems of our country.

Here are the enchanted villages that look like real-life nativity scenes in Italy to visit during the Christmas holidays.

Neive, Piedmont

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A group of small houses with red roofs surrounded by vineyards, we are located in Neive, a small Piedmontese jewel of the Langhe in the province of Cuneo.

Although the castle no longer exists, the entire medieval structure has remained almost intact. To visit it is to take a trip back in time.

Among the hills cultivated with vines you can go for walks and tastings, go cycling and horse riding.

Grezio, Lazio

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Cobbled streets, stone houses make Greccio, in Lazio, a small reminder of the Middle Ages.

The small town located on a hill overlooking the plain of Rieti is famous because in 1223, in a cave where a sanctuary was built, Saint Francis of Assisi erected the first living nativity scene.

Even today the village hosts one of the most beautiful scenes of the manger.

Pretoro, Abruzzo

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On the east side of Majella, Pretoro is a village with a perfect rock pattern.

It is characterized by an intricate network of alleys and stone streets and takes the form of a triangular medieval village that narrows as it rises towards the top, having formed around the old castle.

From the village you can reach the beautiful Valle del Foro refuge via paths.

Glurns, South Tyrol

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It is the smallest town in South Tyrol where the saying “Our town is so small that we must go to the mass outside the walls” applies.

This complex of houses with just over 800 inhabitants is a real gem, the perfect starting point to discover Val Venosta.

Pietrapertosa, Basilicata

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Among the rock peaks in the Lucanian Dolomites park, Pietrapertosa is one of the most picturesque villages of Basilicata.

The Route of the Seven Stones starts from the village, an ancient path that will lead you to discover the Lucanian Dolomites and which reaches the village of Castelmezzano.

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Perched on a hill overlooking the Aventine Valley, Casoli is a stunning place where you will feel like you are taking a trip back in time.

The village is dominated by the castle overlooking the river valley and Lake Sant’Angelo.

Peaches, Molise

Stone houses leaning on each other, stone alleys and atmospheres from hundreds of years ago.

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Pesche is a little jewel of Molise perched on the slope of Monte San Marco that looks carved into the rock.

The ruins of the ancient medieval castle dominate the town.

Farnese, Lazio

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In the heart of Tuscia Viterbese, Farnese is a small village hanging on a blind cliff surrounded by an enchanting landscape of hills and forests.

Barga, Tuscany

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Barga, in the heart of Garfagnana, is one of the unmissable villages in Tuscany.

Perched 410 meters above sea level, on Colle Remeggio in the heart of the Middle Serchio Valley, the town is characterized by a maze of narrow streets overlooking buildings and houses that seem to belong to an ancient past.

Rocca Imperiale, Calabria

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Not far from Cosenza, Rocca Imperiale is a village that seems to stretch along the face of a hill and gently slope down into the valley.

Dominated by the castle, it is characterized by cobbled streets, ups and downs and atmospheres frozen in time.

What to see in Sorano

Due to its configuration, Sorano is also known as la Mother of Tuscany, is an ancient Etruscan city founded on a fortress and surrounded by imposing defensive walls.

It is a village of small houses all next to each other and nestled in a volcanic cliff, on which there is a fortress.

San Gregorio Matese, Campania

On the Campania side of the Matese mountains, San Gregorio Matese is a small jewel suspended in time.

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Nestled at 765 meters above sea level and embraced by the mountains of the Matese Regional Park, the town is surrounded by unspoiled nature and enjoys magnificent views.

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Scanno, nestled between the mountains and with its small stone houses, looks like it has come out of a Christmas story.

It is one of the most photogenic villages in Abruzzo, you will notice it as soon as you drive along the hairpin that leads to the town and offers a spectacular view of the Sagittario Reserve.

Petralia Soprana, Sicily

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Narrow streets, courtyards and ancient noble palaces will make you lose your mind in Petralia Soprana, the highest town in Madonie that dominates a magnificent landscape that goes from the snowy peaks of Etna to the mountains of the province of Palermo.

Anghiari, Tuscany

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In Tuscany’s Tiber Valley, in the province of Arezzo, Angiari is a beautiful medieval village nestled on a hill under which, centuries ago, the Tiber flowed.

The village is protected by imposing walls and is dotted with small winding streets that wind up and down from the lovely historic centre.

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On the Trentino side of Lake Garda, immersed in the green hills, Canale di Tenno is an ancient medieval village characterized by perfectly preserved ancient walls hiding stone houses, ancient inns and arcades overlooking the silent streets.

Matchmaker

Mezzano is one of Italy’s most fascinating towns. Apart from the stone houses, narrow alleys, courtyards and galleries, there is one more reason to visit and that is the works of art made with wood.

The village is famous for its artistic architecture made with piles of wood, known as “cataste&canzei”. But that’s not the only reason to get there, the village offers amazing views Dolomites.

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