The hidden medieval village in Emilia, Italy
A single tour guide slowly strolls past us, unfathomably waving a flag in the air to direct her three faithful followers into the purple flower framed cafe. The Brisighella Olive Oil tasting we attended turned out to be a private and palatable treat just for two. And, at the castle, one of three structures towering on the trio of hills around Brisighella, the guide paused his lunch break and accompanied us, the only visitors, around the well preserved 13th-century building.
Brisighella might be nearly unknown to foreign visitors, that is unless they happened upon the word on the prized olive oil bottles it produces, but in this dreamy village of pastel-hued houses, rolling vineyards, tower-topped hills and smiling faces behind gelato counters, I found one of my favourite places in the country. Brisighella is a real gem in Italy, and I fear no words can do its wholesome warmth justice.
I’ll admit I knew little of Brisighella before I arrived, it was a suggestion from Silvia at the local tourism board. I’d asked for ideas on delightful villages, the off the beaten path kind that would make the perfect and romantic Hollywood set. Silvia had gushed over Brisighella, and after seeing a few photos I was sold on my first Emilia Romagna destination, and after many more, it remains perhaps my favourite.