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 £45).

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 Magazine.