Where is it possible to combine mountains, preserved national parks, wine valleys, volcanoes, beaches and ancient civilisations? Adventure is just around the corner – in Italy!
Abruzzo, biodiversity at its best
Known as the “green region of Europe” for its great biodiversity and its extensive protected territory, the Abruzzo region offers a nature of extraordinary beauty.
The Abruzzo region houses over 75% of the animal and plant species of the European continent. Abruzzo also offers countless opportunities for active holidays where sport helps in appreciating extraordinary environmental resources of the region. There are hundreds of trails to discover by foot, mountain bike or on horse-back, as well as spots for rock climbing, canyoning, canoeing, rafting, windsurfing, gliding or paragliding.
For the most demanding, the Abruzzo mountains are worth the visit. The Gran Sasso range offers typical alpine challenges with rock walls, spires and pinnacles. Other mountains, including the Maiella, are more gentle and suitable for excursions. They form the Apennines’ largest mountain complex with 500 km of slopes.
From spring, the Abruzzo mountains offer activities such as hiking, horse-riding or itineraries for off-road vehicles and motorcycles.
Cycling among the Abruzzo hills and plateaus is extremely pleasant and safe thanks to the large number of secondary and alternative routes and places to stop along the way.
Canoe or kayak fans will enjoy the upper arm of the Vomano, a favourite among Italian canoeists, while adrenaline lovers can practice the only Bungee Jumping Centre in the Maiella National Park. In the province of Pescara, jumping from the 104-metre high brick bridge above the Orta river into into the void is a thrilling experience.
Basilicata: the sky is the limit
Basilicata is a giant “open-air sports hall” for those looking for hiking and walking holidays and excursions, but also for sports enthusiasts and thrill-seekers.
During spring time, mountainous landscapes, stretching from the hills around Matera up to the Ionian coast, are perfect to explore by foot, road bike or mountain bike.
The region is also ideal for horse riding or paragliding. Exhilarating climbing is possible on the rocky peaks of Potenza, along the Lucanian Apennines in the Pollino National Park. Sport fishing enthusiasts are also sure to find some great spots. Exciting adventures and learning opportunities for the little ones are guaranteed in the adventure parks located across the region, such as the Pollino Adventure Park in the village of San Severino Lucano, in the province of Potenza, and Adventure Park in the Lucanian Dolomites (in the province of Potenza).
In the countryside, the region proposes more challenging activities, such as rafting on the Lao river, or canyoning in the Gola del Raganello stream in the Pollino National Park.
Thrill-seekers shouldn’t miss the exhilarating zip-wire flying adventures of the “Flight of the Angel”, in the Lucanian Dolomites, and the “Flight of the Eagle” in the Pollino National Park: two extraordinary opportunities to float in the air and literally touch the sky.
Campania: the broadest choice of adventures
Vespa tours, climbing a volcano, or scuba diving… It is all possible in Campania, a land of unlimited adventures.
Thanks to a mild climate all year round and the variety of its landscapes, travellers in Campania really can enjoy any type of adventure! The region has everything a tourists can dream of doing: scuba diving, climbing Mount Vesuvius after visiting archaeological sites in Pompeii or Herculanum, sailing in the bay of Naples, relaxing in a thermal bath on Ischia island, starting a Vespa tour on the Amalfi coast or rafting in the wonderful landscapes of the National Park of Cilento.
Over 600 hiking routes and over 100 biking and walking itineraries are waiting to be explored. The unique Vesuvius National Park is a world of biodiversity to explore step by step, where visitors can choose to hike or just to admire the majestic volcano’s huge crater. Campania is plenty of options for outdoor enthusiasts.
Friuli Venezia Giulia, an epitome of Italian beauty
Friuli Venezia Giulia is a proof that there are still places to discover in Italy. A hidden village, a last vintage to taste, a mountain path to travel: each trip to Friuli Venezia Giulia is exciting.
Friuli Venezia Giulia encloses all the characteristics that make Italy a place beloved by poets and travellers, from the peaks of the Alps and the Dolomites to the Adriatic sea, passing through the elegant squares of its cities, the old villages and vine-clad hills. At the crossroads of three countries yet at the heart of Europe, this region has turned its geographical position into a strength by mixing Italian, Slavic and Germanic cultures.
Friuli Venezia Giulia gives a chance to explore some of the most beautiful small towns in Italy. It is a whole world of food and wine tours, ancient crafts, medieval hamlets, secret castles and timeless rituals. Creating your own itineraries using the FVG Card would be even more convenient, as it offers a range of discounts and free entries on a lot services and tourist attractions.
The big thrill on Lombardia’s lakes and rivers
Rafting, sailing, canoeing, windsurfing, kitesurfing in Lombardy? Italy’s economic powerhouse is also the place where water sports are exciting and fun.
Enjoy rafting and paddling only an hour from Milan in Valtellina, along the Adda river. It offers quiet streams for paddling but also an adrenaline-filled stretch at Boffetto near Piateda with III and IV degree rapids. For a family experience, the Adda is just right between Piateda to Castione, providing great views over the countryside. Castione Andevenno is also where moonlight paddling is authorised.
Rafting or canoeing offer two great ways to discover Val Brembana, with a series of natural slides and gorges able to give the visitor a unique thrill. With plenty of well-equipped centres and certified guides, safe trips are easy to implement along the Brembo.
Lake Garda is home to numerous regattas due to constant winds providing ideal conditions for day sailing. Every year since 1951, September welcomes the prestigious Centomiglia regatta, the longest race in European inland waters. In recent years, Lake Como built its reputation as a centre for kitesurfing, Intense sports activities are best on the Alto Lario, the shores of Mandello or in Colico, the latter having the strongest breezes.
The Great Outdoors of Piemonte
Piemonte’s territory consists of 43% of mountains, but its variety is exceptional thanks to a the rivers, cristal-clear lakes, hills and peaks of the Western Alps.
From the Torino area to Ossola, from Mount Rosa to Monviso, Biella and the Maritime Alps, Piedmont’s highlands are a gorgeous world of fun -filled activities. All year round leisure seekers, nature lovers and mountaineers can enjoy hiking, climbing, water and air sports, golf. Summer is all about walking and cycling, with 20,000 km of trails, including the 900 km Great Crossing of the Alps.
In the heart of ancient Piemonte, the Via Francigena (Francigena Way) or the Path of San Carlo provide historical sights and local gastronomy. Inside the Gran Paradiso Park, the first natural reserve founded in Italy in 1922, Ceresole Reale is part of the “Alpine Pearls” network, focusing on supporting the environmentally friendly travel. At short distance from Lake Maggiore, the Val Grande National Park is the largest wilderness area in Italy (14,598 hm) with its mountains, valleys canyons and breathtaking views on the Monte Rosa and Lake Maggiore.
The area combines a stunning nature with sites showing 1,000-year presence of humans. Since 2013, Val Grande is a World Network of Geoparks protected by UNESCO. Further, there are 96 protected areas including the 4,559 m high Valsesia Natural Park, the highest protected area in Europe.
Republic of San Marino: an active holiday with a taste for freedom
A San Marino outdoor holiday immerses visitors in unspoiled nature with thousand of active and “green” experiences.
San Marino promotes a unique, exciting and easy way for families to live the great outdoors.
Trekking, climbing, archery and caving are only a few among the wide range of adventure activities that San Marino has to offer.
The Walk of the Titano, a 43-km route rich in beautiful landscapes and breathtaking views, allows visitors to explore the most hidden corners of San Marino and discover its millennial history and culture. Composed of several routes with varying degrees of difficulty, it can be explored on foot or by bike.
Climbing a mountain that is a World Heritage Site is a breathtaking and safe experience for both adults and children. Or if you dream of feeling like an archer for a day, San Marino is for you. The Cerna dei Lunghi Archi of San Marino re-enact the tradition of “cerne”, people chosen, selected and equipped with a bow and arrows, were trained to defend the small Republic of San Marino in case of attack. They now teach visitors how to be fine archers.
Trentino, mountains for everyone
From trekking to via ferratas, visitors live the spectacular Dolomite peaks and picture-perfect sunrises and sunsets by foot or on two wheels.
The mountains of Trentino offer many opportunities for outdoor adventurers, thanks to a network of over 5,800km of trails where visitors can experience spectacular sunrises and fiery sunsets combined with breath-taking panoramas.
Tourists follow in the footsteps of the first mountaineer 150 years ago. Although some ferratas are for experts, some others are open to all. For example, the panoramic itinerary, Ferrata Fausto Susatti to Cima Capi, is a must-do and is suitable for beginners and families. The stretch offers beautiful views over Lake Garda.
The Ferrata dei Laghi – Cermiskyline in Val di Fiemme is ideal for those becoming familiar with climbing. It starts from the Bombasel lakes on Alpe Cermis and reaches the summit of the Castello di Bombasèl with an exceptional panoramic point on the peaks of Val di Fiemme and Val di Fassa. The route unwinds among the folds of the mountain, climbing up steps and ladders along a canyon, between rock ledges. This fascinating route is also suitable for families and beginners.
One experience not to be missed is the famous high-altitude route, the historic Via delle Bocchette. After travelling the narrow and aerial ledges of the Brenta Dolomites, visitors reach the spectacular stretch of Bocchette Centrali.