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Little Italy & Petite France | The Story
“The bus comes every hour.”
My friend and I checked our phones nervously. We either had one hour or two hours before leaving back to Seoul.
We were at the base of Little Italy and Petite France, two idyllic recreations of Italian and French villages perched on a hillside about two hours outside of Seoul, South Korea.
We made our way up the steep hill to the entrance as soft, vaguely European music floated down. The candy-colored buildings of the villages stood in stark contrast against the surrounding woods.
The music shifted to an operatic melody as we stepped into Little Italy. Everything was just like in an Italian village. Minus the fact that there were almost no people, the fountains were painted blue but held no water, and the streets were pristine.
Little Italy and Petite France were pretty, so immaculate that they had a dystopian feel. A perfect backdrop for an episode of the Netflix show Black Mirror.
Of the many day trips I’ve taken during travels over the years, this was one of the more curious ones. The recreated villages felt so far removed from Seoul that I might as well have actually been in Italy or France.
If you’re searching for novelty, bizarreness, or simply an interesting location for a photoshoot, Little Italy and Petite France may be worth a day trip from Seoul.
Little Italy & Petite France | The Details
You can either drive or use public transportation to reach Little Italy and Petite France.
Whether driving or taking public transportation, keep in mind that GoogleMaps is not widely used in South Korea. Instead, Naver or KakaoMap are more robust alternatives.
It takes roughly 1.5-2 hours to drive to the villages from Seoul.
Public transportation takes approximately 2-2.5 hours from Seoul through a combination of subway and bus. Ride the subway from Seoul to Cheongpyeong Station. Take Exit 2 out of the station to the bus stop for Gapyeong Circle Bus. Ride the bus for about 30-40 minutes to Little Italy and Petite France.
A logistically easier alternative may be to book an organized tour through Klook. With the tour, you can visit several destinations in the area, including Little Italy and Petite France.
The two towns are popular (relatively speaking for a fairly remote day trip) destinations for dates and family outings for South Koreans.
Spend an hour walking through the small streets of Little Italy and Petite France. The villages have a few cafes and souvenir shops open for perusal.
Children may be interested by the large statue of Pinocchio that welcomes visitors to Little Italy and the several statues of The Little Prince in Petite France.