Italy is rich in history and tradition and, behind every corner, from North to South, lies a small jewel to be discovered.
But which is the most beautiful of all? Difficult to choose, but Petralia Soprana, in the province of Palermo, has been elected as the most beautiful town in Italy 2019. The Madonite municipality beat Subiaco (Lazio) in the sixth edition of the national competition promoted by the “I Borghi Più Belli d’Italia” (the most beautiful villages of Italy) association in collaboration with the “Alle falde del Kilimangiaro” television programme.
This is another triumph for Sicily, which has seen its towns prevail four times in just six editions. In 2014 Gangi won − the place famous for its houses for sale at the symbolic price of €1 in recent years − in 2015 Montalbano Elicona won and in 2016 Sambuca di Sicilia won. After a two-year break that saw the successes of Venzone (Friuli Venezia Giulia) and Gradara (Marche), there came this result that rewarded work done over the years to highlight and enhance the value of small centres in hidden Italy.
Have you ever heard of this little town? Petralia Soprana is characterized by three extraordinary overlooks: the overlook of Loreto, which gazes upon Mount Etna, Enna, Caltanissetta and the valley of the river Imera; the overlook of Carmine with its views of the panorama of Western Sicily towards Palermo; and the overlook of Piazza Duomo, which embraces Gangi and Mount Etna.
What to see in Petralia Soprana? It is obviously splendid in every respect. Its buildings, its narrow streets, its squares, the walking path that leads to the convent of Frati Minori Riformati are splendid, and that Villa Sgadari is one of the most beautiful Baroque villas in the Madonie area. And then there is also the church of Santa Maria di Loreto, rebuilt in late Baroque style with wooden sculptures, statues of saints and marble work by Giandomenico Gagini inside. Moreover, there is the Mother Church dedicated to the Apostles Peter and Paul, with the first crucifix made by Frate Umile da Petralia, and the Church of the Saviour with its elliptical plan.
How can you get there? There are buses running from Palermo but the Madonie are best explored by car. Having a car would allow the exploration and enjoyment of this very beautiful area, and also day trip to attractions in the vicinity, namely Cefalù (01h14), Enna (01h11), Piazza Armerina (01h36) and Agrigento (01h51).
What are you waiting for? Come exploring the beautiful Sicily… and if you’d like to move there, click here and find your dream home in the magnetic island.