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25 Secret European Villages

Viscri, Romania

Cosmin Danila

Viscri, Romania

This Saxon village got a lucky break when it became the beneficiary of the Mihai Eminescu Trust, a nonprofit overseen by Prince Charles that’s devoted to protecting the heritage of Transylvania’s country towns. In Viscri, that means the church and its cemetery (which dates back to the 12th century) is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. Indigenous pear trees were replanted, the lone blacksmith has a new shop, and a new road along the pastel-colored brick houses and farms provides visitors—and the philanthropic elite—a glimpse into the authentic Saxon way of life.

How to Get There: Drive four hours northwest from Bucharest.

Where to Stay and Eat: Try the MET Guesthouse, with a 200-year-old Saxon bed, a cabinet with a pullout mattress. The owner will serve a home-cooked meal of mămăliga (cornmeal porridge).

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