In the village of Ilaria del Carretto, walking under the medieval porticos in one of the most beautiful villages in Italy

An enchanting place, so unique as to be on the cover of Time magazine in the sixties, the fortified village of Zuccarello founded in 1248 is watched over from above by the remains of the Del Carretto castle. The main street, flanked by low porticos, crosses it, and the Porta Sottana gate to the south, flanked by two medieval towers, leads into the village.

From Zuccarello along Ilaria’s Path you get to Castelvecchio di Rocca Barbena starting from Via del Castello. Outside the gate the late medieval bridge crosses the Neva stream, which gives the name to the valley. This particular village preserves its medieval layout. There are quaint old shops under the porticos with doors flanked by little windows with the support that served as a showcase.

From the main street a network of caruggi goes into the dwelling area. Zuccarello belongs to the circuit of the most beautiful villages in Italy and came into being as a fortified commercial village thanks to its position on a salt road now the main access to the Upper Val Tanaro: it goes down on San Bernardino and then on Garessio to continue in Piedmont territory towards the province of Cuneo.

From here you can enjoy different panoramas from the usual ones. Not to be missed during the summer is the historical evocation of the marriage of Ilaria del Carretto, a figure immortalised by a sculpture by Jacopo della Quercia: it is a historical procession with traditional games and challenges among districts. Good to eat at breakfast are rocche, dry sweetmeats made with hazelnuts.