Italy occupies only 0.05% of the earth and has only 0.83% of the world’s population, yet it has 70% of humanity’s artistic and cultural heritage sites! With its 50 sites, in fact, it tops the UNESCO World Heritage list. Followed by China with 47 sites and Spain with 44.
But Italy’s natural beauty, other than its beaches, often gets overlooked. Even though Italy’s unique biological and climatic conditions make our peninsula one the richest European nations for biodiversity. Italy, in fact, has:
- Nearly 7,000 different plant species, making it home to one-half of European flora.
- 58,000 animal species, meaning it has more than one-third of all European fauna.
- Virtually every marine species found in the Mediterranean Sea.
- Nearly 800 hectares of vineyards. Which ties it as one of Europe’s top two wine-producing nations. France and Italy have long competed for this fame.
- A coastline of 7400 km (4600 miles), giving it the highest number of beaches in Europe.
But many never visit the majestic beauty of Italy’s Alps and other natural areas.
Which is odd considering that Mont Blanc, Europe’s highest mountain, is in Italy. And that Italy also boasts many nature parks. Including 24 national parks, 145 regional parks, 147 national nature reserves, 424 regional nature reserves, and 30 marine protected areas, among others.
So if you’re looking for a natural, relaxing get-away, consider Italy. It’s both a hiker’s dream-come-true, and a skier’s paradise!
And how’s this for some fun and unique slow travel holiday ideas?
During your stay at the Casa Natura (in a beautifully renovated country home), you’ll enjoy local cuisine and learn about milk production and honey-making!
In this annual excursion, visitors can follow the wolf trails, right here in our own beautiful Abruzzo! From January 3-6, 2015, you can come learn more about this amazing predator, recently returned to Italy.
An interesting mountain hike, in snowshoes. With lunch in a mountain hut on Lake Santo! And who knows? Maybe the Befana will bring you some gifts? After all, this hike is on her day – the Epiphany!
And finally, on January 23 in Cuneo (Piemonte) enjoy Music Night with Snowshoes!
This night-time snow hike, accompanied by an Occitan musician, winds up at the Smiling Inn, with a taste of local specialties!
Or, if you’d rather just spend time relaxing, Italy’s natural areas have much to offer in the way of accommodations, campgrounds, and restaurants. Visit Parks.it to learn more!
If fact, if you’re interested in Alpine camping, leave a message in the comments and we’ll clue you in as to our favorite campground, in the beautiful Alps of Trentino!
But in the meantime, we hope you enjoyed this little virtual visit!!
Italy isn’t just for those who love slow travel, but for Nature Lovers too!
IMAGES: alpine lake on pin-it by Julius_Silver on Pixabay. All others are mine.