Italy Sustainable Travel Guide

 

With surrounding countries like Switzerland, Croatia, Spain, Greece, Albania, Tunisia and others, and wrapped by the Mediterranean Sea, it’s no wonder why Italy is often referred to as ‘The Boot of Europe’. It may also have to do with the fact that the country is shaped like a boot. Regardless, with so many different cultures to absorb from, Italy is certainly one of the most diverse countries in Europe.

This diversity is showcased by its nine different regions, some of which have very distinct dialects, culinary tastes, and standards of living. For example, the culture in Rome, one of the most ancient cities in the world with its focus on history, art and architecture, is very different from the quaint, countryside lifestyle of Tuscany. Venice is renowned as a hotspot for romance with its centuries-old canals and hidden alleys. Indeed, travellers are spoilt for choice when it comes to Italy, and it certainly offers a little bit of something for everyone.

As diverse as the cultures are, so are the landscapes in Italy. From a Mediterranean coastline that wraps the entire country to the alpine mountains of northern Italy, the country provides a bounty of different views to choose from. It’s also one of the most biodiverse as well, with over 57,000 species of flora and fauna. The country offers several national parks, such as the Gran Sasso and Monti della Laga National Park, which is a home to animals such as the wild boar, foxes, wildcats and wolves. In Monti Sibilini National Park you can find the endangered wild goat called the Mufloni. The Dolomite Alps are a must-see for passionate trekkers. If marine wildlife is more your thing, the Arcipelago Toscana National Park (Europe’s largest marine park) is a great spot for divers and other sea-farers interested in seeing bottlenose dolphins, swordfish and even sperm whales.

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Staying in Italy, even in big cities, doesn’t have to mean staying at a multinational hotel chain. If you really want to make your travel dollars count and have a positive impact, you can stay at one of the many independently owned boutique hotels found across the country. Italy has a plethora of them, and most of them are quaint, eco-friendly and very positively reviewed. Some of the owners may even offer to take you on a personal cultural and culinary tour.