25 Secret European Villages
In this eastern Umbrian citadel, artisanal culinary traditions endure. Pecorino cheese is aged for two years, trained dogs sniff out black truffles in the woodlands, and honey is sourced from the red wildflowers that bloom in the plains. But it’s the cinghiale that takes pride of place. Throughout the centro storico, the scent of spiced wild-boar salumi carries from the norcineria (delis) into the traffic-free roads. Step past the prosciutti hanging in storefronts to find shopkeepers curing cuts of the pork with methods perfected over the past 800 years. Ask them to slice up fresh ciauscoli, and bring it to the Piazza San Benedetto, where villagers celebrate the Festival of Saint Benedict in the spring.
How to Get There: Norcia is 69 miles northeast of Rome.
Where to Stay: Great Value The 24-room Palazzo Seneca (doubles from $232), set in a 16th-century palace.
Where to Eat: Il Granaro del Monte (dinner for two $70), for plates of black-truffle strangozzi pasta.
Local Take: Fabrizio Marini, director of the food shop Norceria Brancaleone da Norcia, recommends visiting during the Black Truffle Festival, in February and March.