When you think of traveling to Europe, Italy is one of the top destinations that people think of. With the country’s history, culture, and delicious food, visitors head to Rome, Florence, and Venice throughout the year. However, before the recent pandemic, certain areas of Italy have had many issues with over-tourism. This has led to more ecotourism initiatives within the country, which work to preserve areas such as Cinque Terre and Venice that were previously subjected to these huge crowds.
For example, in Venice, there are now limits on the number of cruise ships each day and the size of these vessels. Ecotourism caters to tourists who wish to enjoy Italy’s beautiful scenery without disturbing the area they are traveling to. This form of sustainable travel looks after the local people and environment and is becoming more popular with those researching vacations in Italy.
About Ecotourism in Italy
Italy attracts visitors from around the world throughout the year, but some of the smaller areas in the country struggle to cope with the hordes of visitors that travel here. The local governments in many areas of the country have started initiatives to preserve the areas of concern.
For example, in 2009, the Alto Adige province began vacations in Italy which are completely eco-friendly. In the popular Siusi Alps in this province, they limited traffic during the day, and hotels are all eco-sustainable in the area, offering local food and wine. An area that is particularly impacted by over-tourism is Cinque Terre, a collection of five small villages. The government has added many initiatives and regulations here throughout the year to protect the land, including banning hiking in flip-flops and closing certain trails between the villages.
Italy Ecotourism Initiatives
Throughout the country, there are many great sustainable travel options for visitors. One example we particularly like is the alberghi diffusi, which translates to scattered hotels. These are facilities for travelers that avoid new building projects and instead offer accommodation within renovated buildings in historic villages in Italy.
The Italian Association for Responsible Tourism has created a map that offers suggestions for vacations in Italy. Whether you are looking for suitable accommodation or things to do on your trip, they’ll suggest sustainable travel alternatives around the country.
Unique Ecotours in Italy
Sustainable travel projects in Italy primarily encourage visitors to head to quieter regions of the country, such as Lombardy, Tuscany, and Emilia Romagna. Back in 2009, Sicily began an inter-regional project that offers many initiatives connecting the region. One of these was a heritage train, which traveled between natural reserves within the region. Sicily understands the benefits of green travel not only to visitors but also to the local economy.
In Tuscany, you can enjoy an environmentally-friendly vacation exploring by bike. With over 500 km of cycle paths to choose from, a local guide can take you around the area while also ensuring you don’t damage the beautiful countryside you are exploring. This is a much better option than driving or traveling by public transport and reduces your carbon footprint during your trip.
With so many ecotourism options for vacations in Italy, it’s entirely possible to travel responsibly throughout the country. Sustainable travel is continuing to increase in popularity in Italy. You’ll find that many of the smaller, previously unvisited regions are looking to welcome travelers in a more sustainable manner.
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