The 26-year-old beauty lives in the tiny village of Petritoli, which has a population of just under 2,500.

She was born in San Severino Marche and grew up in Montegiorgio.

Maggiorana has appeared in films, the first being Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life, and participated in the television program Avanti un altro!.

Second place went to Fiorenza D’Antonio from Naples, in Campania.

The moral winner of this year’s contest was 18-year-old Chiara Bordi, who competed with an artificial leg and rounded out the top three.

Bordi, who was the first disabled contestant in Miss Italy’s history, proved that beauty comes in many forms.

Hailing from the town of Tarquinia, near Rome, Bordi lost her leg in a car accident when she was 13 years old.

The stunning teen was the target of online haters and trolls during the contest, however she said it only spurred her to win even more.

“They’re only gonna vote for you because you’re a cripple,” one troll commented on Facebook.

Bordi replied to the comment: “I feel very sorry for you, because although I might be missing a foot, you’re missing a brain and a heart.”

Her determination was praised by Paralympians, entertainers and politician across the nation.

“Come on Chiara! If you put everything on the scales, compliments will outweigh the insults,” Paralympian and Forza Italia MP Giusy Versace said.

Comedian Fiorello said: “Chiara, you’re beautiful... carry on the way you’re going.”

Bordi has become an inspiration to many since becoming a finalist in Italy’s most prestigious beauty contest.

“I’m doing all this to show insensitive people that a girl without a limb can compete on a par with the others, that diversity is not binding, that life never stops and is always beautiful... that you can be reborn from a drama and you can grow stronger than before,” she said.

“It all depends on how you react.”

Bordi wasn’t the only woman who represented diversity in this year’s Miss Italy.

Merano native Nicole Nietzsch was born to a Cuban mother.

“I am competing to try and combat racism and prejudice, which still exist as I have myself experienced,” she said.

“I want to represent Italy because I’m Italian.”

The event’s organiser, Patrizia Mirigliani, is an advocate for celebrating diversity.

Having run the contest for 15 years, she has witnessed many changes within Miss Italy, including the introduction of the Curvy category and its subsequent demise when fuller figures became “mainstream”, the admission of contestants who are mothers, and the raising of the age limit to 30.

“The Miss Italy contest must reflect the women of our country,” Mirigliani said.

“So far it has succeeded in doing this.”