The picturesque hilltop village of Filettino near Rome (population 523) hit the headlines recently after declaring independence from Italy following a row about spending cuts.
Inspired by the country’s historical city-states, the mayor
declared himself prince and issued the village with its own currency. Reports
suggest local businesses plan to phase out the euro, so visit Europe’s newest
principality before they set up border controls. Known as ‘Rome’s Alps’, the Monti Simbruini nature park surrounding the
village is a little-visited belt of beech tree forests and karst mountains.
Similarly defiant inhabitants include boar, wolves and the occasional bear.
Ryanair has just
opened flights from Manchester airport to Rome Ciampino (from £80), while British
Airways flies from Gatwick to Rome Fiumicino (from £210). Car hire is available at both airports (from
Monti Simbruini is a little more than an hour’s drive
eastwards from Rome. The park’s website has details of various walking routes.
This article was
published in partnership with Lonely Planet