Viva la bella vita!

La bella Italia has much to offer for eco-friendly holiday destinations. Enjoy the wonders of this nature-rich land, whether on the coast, in a green valley or on an idyllic island.

Italians know how to live well and keep everyday stress levels down by taking time for the good things in life – nutritious, delicious food, fun social activity, family life, relaxing and rejuvenation. We can all learn a lot from la bella vita – by observing and enjoying the experience first-hand in this land of plenty. Take yourself to Italia this summer as a break from your busy routine.

 Rural retreat

The lovely landscapes of Italy comprise many perfect spots to unwind, breathe in clean air and then relax while eating fresh, locally grown, vegan, organic foods. Check out options for agriturismo farm-stays or country retreats in the vineyards and valleys of Tuscany. Get close to nature with eco-friendly glamping among the olive trees of Brescia or the luscious hills of Marche. Another way to ensure you’re vacationing responsibly is to check into a “bio”, “green” or “eco-friendly” hotel where food and toiletries are organic, and resources are used sustainably.

Enjoy the great outdoors in your green setting by hiring bikes to explore an area with the family before stopping for a vegan picnic. Or take a gentle stroll with friends, stop for an espresso along the way or indulge in some local vino.

Coastal break

The sound of lapping waves and the smell of the sea are a tonic for our senses. Why not treat yourself to several days near a beach or harbour? The perimeter of Italy’s boot is exposed to the seaside everywhere, bar the mountainous north, so you have many options.

The Amalfi Coast, for instance, is an ideal spot to hire a cottage or apartment. Gather goodies from the grocery store and whip up some easy culinary delights to munch while looking out to sea from your holiday casa. Alternatives are the port cities of Bari on the Adriatic Sea, Livorno or Genoa in the north-west.

If you need a beach to feel like you’re on holiday, then stunning coastland near Rome, Rimini in the north-east or Calabria in the “foot” of Italy’s boot-shape offers perfect locations for a dip or to gain a subtle golden tan.

Take care to protect yourself from solar rays and be sure to rehydrate by drinking water and using personal care items which help maintain your skin’s moisture. N.A.E. Idratazione cleansing products, for instance, contain organic fig and hibiscus, and provide comfort and balance for your skin.

Island idyll

 Taking time out on an island is perfect for those of us who want to feel like we’ve really managed to get away from it all. Try one of the scenic hiking routes around Sicily before settling down to some delicious vegan food and wine ­– al fresco of course!

Adventurers can enjoy diving near the caves and archaeological remains at Capo Caccia on Sardinia. If you’re seeking a romantic spot, head to one of this island’s secluded beaches looking out to the turquoise water.

Those who love luxury should make a bee line to Capri, hire a boat to explore the perimeter and then indulge in some pampering at a local spa.

From antipasti to Zabaglione

It’s so easy to become a keen mangiatore of Italian food anytime – but even easier when you’re actually in Italy! Dishes that make the mouth water as soon as you smell them cooking or see the complementary colours and textures on your plate.

Whether your vegan starter is antipasti with marinated grilled vegetable strips, like aubergines, paprikas and artichokes, or a pomodoro soup sprinkled with wholesome herbs, the primo course of an Italian meal is always guaranteed to be a pleasant experience for your taste buds.

Traditional main courses comprise so many favourites among vegans or can be adapted for a vegan lifestyle – and many are easy to prepare at home once the holiday is over.

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