Visit Italy's Village Of Witches To Explore A Unique Destination

When planning a trip to Italy, the itinerary might begin with the bustling city streets of Rome or Milan, moving onward to the rolling hills of Tuscany, perhaps ending on the picturesque Amalfi Coast. Witchcraft, however, is likely nowhere to be found in the imagery that comes into mind when conjuring up an Italian getaway.

Proving it's a country that really does have it all, there is a part of Italy where tourists can explore a sorcerous side of the Bel Paese. Triora, the so-called Village of Witches, is located in Liguria, a region in the country's northwest best known for the Italian Riviera. Summer yachts and fishing villages aside, Triora takes visitors back in time to the 12th century, where much of the original landscape and architecture, mainly consisting of sand and slate, remains preserved. The village is also sometimes referred to as the City of Bread due to its former production of a particular type of grain. But sand, slate, and grains aside, what's perhaps most fascinating about this historical, untouched village is its ties with witchcraft.

Move over, Romania; This city is witchy!

You might be wondering how a small town in Italy became known as a village of witches, but a look into its dark past will answer that swiftly. From 1587 to 1589, Triora was home of several witch trials. Locals were starving, and there was a food shortage, causing an exorbitant number of deaths. Locals believed this string of bad luck could have only been the work of witches, and thus, the witch trials of Triora ensued. An estimated 30 women were arrested, and out of those 30, four were burned at the stake.

Now, Triora reflects on its witchy history, and visitors from all over can see prominent places in town where the trials took place. La Cabotina is the house in which witches were alleged to have gathered to make their plans. Visitors can also see plenty of witch decor around town and even partake in the festivities of their annual witches' festival, Strigora, held on August 19. 

A great day trip

Triora is small, with a population floating somewhere between 300 and 400 people. Because of this, you might only want to visit for a day trip. Luckily, there are plenty of great places to base yourself before heading off in search of sorcery. One of the best nearby options is the underrated gem Bordighera on the Italian Riviera. Bordighera is a great dupe city for Monaco, as the city is just 40 minutes north of the world's second-smallest sovereign state. From Triora, Bordighera is only a little over an hour by car.

Speaking of neighboring spots, Triora is also quite close to France. Why not country hop a little, which is particularly easy if you travel with a Eurail pass, and head over to La Brigue, France? La Brigue is a charming, quaint village best known for the Notre Dame des Fontaines chapel. La Brigue is about a one-hour drive to or from Triora.