Now all the rage, digital detox or nature holidays are a much needed feature of modern life. Here in Italy there are numerous options where you can unplug, disconnect and rediscover real life, immersed in beautiful natural surroundings. In this article, I suggest a six places in Italy for your nature holiday.
An old mill in the Marche Region
In the Marche region, at Roccafluvione, you can sleep inside a recently restored 18th-century mill called Mulino Pompili. Totally immersed in its natural surroundings, the only sound is that of the soft waterfall that feeds a clearwater lake in which the braver (or hotter) may take a dip. This is truly a return to nature and olden times!
A dammuso in Sicily
Sicily is ideal for a nature holiday by the sea, where outdoor activities are the order of the day. Answer the calling of the island of Pantelleria, famous for its delicious sweet wine, Passito di Pantelleria (made only here!), there’s plenty to eat including very fresh fish. You’ll need it after days spent kayaking, hiking, mountain biking or horseback riding, taking in the rural environment. The dammuso is the typical lodging of this island: low structures built in massive stone to keep out the heat, with small windows and a domed roof. You’ll feel virtually prehistoric here – enough to turn off the wifi, if there is any.
Trentino in a malga
Mountain lovers may head north to the Trentino-Alto-Adige area, whose picture-postcard-perfect mountains and natural scenes provide a year-round backdrop for your holidays. Activities in touch with nagure range from hiking or snowshoeing to paragliding and biking. One really authentic experience is to visit a malga, the typical mountain hut – some offer lodging, others only delicious local foods (usually alpeggio cheese is made here, as the cows pasture at these altitudes during the summer). All surrounded by some of the most incredible panoramas Italy has to offer.
Glamping in Tuscany
Just the word “Tuscany” is surely generating images of rolling hills in your head. You can enjoy this nature up close with a glamping holiday in Tuscany, maybe sleeping in a wooden treehouse or yurt! In the province of Pisa, Agriturismo Fattoria la Prugnola offers both. Wake up to the sound of birds and go to sleep by the campfire – isn’t that idyllic?
Dievole Natural Path
Dievole’s Natural Path, a hiking and biking path around our winery in the Chianti Classico area, provides 27 km of open-access nature for anyone to enjoy. Whether you’re on horse, foot or mountain bike, discover trickling streams, wildflowers and fauna, take pictures and enjoy nature. If you like nature but don’t want to give up creature comforts, Dievole Wine Resort offers luxurious suites and rooms, and a restaurant that serves refined local foods. A welcome rest after all that regenerating fresh air!
Italian National Parks
Italy offers numerous protected natural areas that are worth visiting… and nothing is more relaxing than a walk in the woods, the view of mountains, green fields and surprising lakes. Perhaps the most important national park is that of Gran Paradiso, between Piedmont and the Aosta Valley – it was also the first to be founded in Italy, in 1922. Other famous ones are the Parco Nazionale dello Stelvio in the Lombard Alps; the Parco Nazionale d’Abruzzo, Lazio e Molise – truly uncontaminated nature where you may also meet the brown marsicano bear (we hope never up close); or Italy’s largest park, the Parco Nazionale del Pollino, between Basilicata and Calabria, habitat of eagles, falcons and appenine wolves. These preserved natural areas serve to protect many species and carry out research projects so that we may forever be able to drop out of regular life and into nature.
We hope this little guide has inspired you take a nature holiday anywhere in Italy – it’s a real boon in this busy world!