A popular tourist destination, SCANNO is reached by passing through the narrow and rocky Gole del Sagittario, a WWF reserve that makes a spectacular drive along galleries of rock and around blind hairpin bends that widen out at the glassy green Lago di Scanno. Perched over the lake is a church, the Madonna del Lago, with the cliff as its back wall, and nearby there are boats and pedaloes for rent in the summer.

A couple of kilometres beyond, Scanno itself is a well-preserved medieval village encircled by mountains. In 1951, Henri Cartier-Bresson photographed the village, in a series of atmospheric shots focusing on the traditional dress worn by Scanno’s women. Some elderly women can still be seen wearing the long, dark, pleated skirts and bodices with a patterned apron that suggest a possible origin in Asia Minor; the annual Costume di Scanno festival in April sees the locals taking to the streets in their finery. Scannese jewellery also has something of the Orient about it – large, delicately filigreed earrings, and a charm in the form of a star, known as a presuntosa, given to fiancées to ward off other men. If you want to see the costume and jewellery at close quarters head for the shops on Strada Roma and Corso Centrale.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

Italy features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

13 striking pictures of Venice Carnival

13 striking pictures of Venice Carnival

With the 2018 carnival season about to kick off, Rough Guides author and photographer, Kiki Deere, revisits one of Europe's most colourful festivals: Venice…

25 Jan 2018 • Kiki Deere insert_drive_file Article
20 picturesque Christmas destinations

20 picturesque Christmas destinations

Dreaming of a trip this Christmas? We're here to help. From glittering cities to a few snowy escapes, here are 20 classic destinations for a festive break. …

12 Dec 2017 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
Discovering Palermo: why you should give Sicily’s capital a chance

Discovering Palermo: why you should give Sicily’s capital a chance

A city of grit and forgotten grandeur, for too long Palermo has resigned itself to being a film set of crumbling palaces, sun-worn facades and pockmarked backst…

08 Dec 2017 • Olivia Rawes insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right