While Italy may be well-known for its art, architecture and fashion, it also holds much allure for the outdoor enthusiast. Compelling reasons to visit Italy include its protected and thriving national parks, its massive mountain ranges and its captivating coastline.
Take in the Italy's striking landscape with a variety of hiking and biking trails. Italy's national parks are well-known and well-stocked outdoor spots where you can find a grand array of native foliage and wildlife. One of the most popular parks is the Parco Nazionale d'Abruzzo, 50 miles east of Rome, which spans 150,000 acres and contains only one paved road. Unpaved trails and roads are ideal for the hikers, backpackers and bicyclists that make up the 2 million visitors this park gets each year.
Italy can easily lure you to great heights with its amazing mountain ranges. Two of the most popular include the Alps and the Dolomites. Visit either range in the winter and enjoy skiing, sledding and snowboarding while lodging at the plentiful ski resorts. Visit in the summer and find a wide array of walking and backpacking trails. Another notable mountain range, which snakes for hundreds of miles through the countryside, is the Apennines. This range offers a potpourri of landscapes dappled with quaint towns and villages that will transport you back to the past.
Anyone who is a fan of the sea will certainly become a fan of Italy. In addition to exploring the country's wide variety of seaside villages, Italy's coast is ideal for hiking, swimming, boating, fishing and diving. One of the most popular locales is the Amalfi coast, which is not for the weary or wary. Amalfi trails feature strenuous heights at high altitudes, but they pay off with some of the most amazing views. Less strenuous walking is found along the Cinque Terre coastline, which is also home to spectacular underwater landscapes for the diving enthusiast.
Article Written By Ryn Gargulinski
Ryn Gargulinski is a writer, artist and performer whose journalism career began in 1991. Credits include two illustrated books, "Bony Yoga" and "Rats Incredible"; fitness, animal, crime, general news and features for various publications; and several awards. She holds a Master of Arts in English literature and folklore and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in creative writing with a French minor from Brooklyn College.