Guide to sustainable tourism in Italy
Italy has long occupied a top spot on the list of must-visit destinations in Europe and it’s no surprise what with the bountiful culture, cuisine and history offered. However, the negative effects of over-tourism largely impact smaller, more rural areas and historic cities like Venice. Here are some ways you can still experience the beauty of Italy while giving back to the Italian communities you visit.
So much of Italy can be discovered in environmentally friendly ways such as by foot or on two wheels. Ditch the car and planes and explore the winding cycling paths that pepper the countryside, taking you through lush vineyards, lemon groves and famous cities.
There are also plenty of walking tours available to immerse yourself in the Italian landscape. You can meet like-minded people as you experience the peninsula on foot and take in the sights and sounds of the Mediterranean.
Roughly translating to ‘scattered hotels’, an albergo diffuso are the most sustainable hotels in Italy and work by refurbishing empty or abandoned homes into guest rooms. These are typically no further than 150 metres away from the hotel reception and help drive tourism to Italy’s smaller destinations.
Visitors can experience the most authentic side of Italy, alongside the warmth and charm of Italian hospitality. To qualify as an albergo diffuso, the hotel room must use an existing architecture that safeguards historical structures.
Eco-glamping combines all the advantages of camping with the conveniences and creature comforts of a hotel in an eco-friendly setting. Glamping offers a more comfortable experience than traditional camping and is the perfect green alternative to enjoy the Italian landscape.
Eco-glamping sites often use renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power and help reduce their carbon footprint. Natural, sustainable materials are primarily used for their structures, including recycled wood and bamboo. You’ll find environmentally friendly amenities such as solar showers and dry toilets in European glamping sites.
Community-based tourism is tourism in which local residents in rural or economically marginalised areas invite international tourists to visit their communities to discover local traditions, culture, and landscapes. Locals create opportunities to meet and share with tourists and directly benefit from the interaction while ensuring traditional values are preserved.
There are many opportunities to partake in Italian community-based tourism. Not only will you experience the authenticity of Italian life but you’ll positively benefit the services that the community has to offer.