The number of Italians choosing green travel options is growing. Nature tourism generated over 10 billion Euros of revenue for Italy in 2010, according to the latest reports from the tourism industry.
Statistics also showed that compared to the past more Italians now want to be in contact with nature and do outdoor sports. A trend which reflects the mood across the globe, not just in Italy.
Farms and nature
Over 300,000 people will be staying in the countryside in agriturismi – country inns – across Italy on the May bank holiday weekend. Despite the crisis and the maddening fuel prices farm holidays are still high in demand. In fact, the number of agriturismi increased last year and the crisis seems to be one of the reasons for the growing interest in green travel, as Italians choose cheaper holidays in their home country.
The most popular nature destinations in Italy are national parks and reserves which attract 52% of green tourists. Following parks is mountain tourism (23%) and then rural tourism (18%). 871 parks, reserves and protected areas cover 10% of the Boot, so green travellers, Italian or otherwise, are spoilt for choice.
The most popular national parks with Italians are the Abruzzo , Lazio e Molise, Gran Paradiso, Cinque Terre and Stelvio national parks (see the links to the parks’ websites at the end of the post).
The best kept secret
Foreign tourists tend to favor the Cinque Terre and the Dolomites.
My beloved beautiful Abruzzo is not high on the list of the popular destinations for non-italians and, I think I know why this is: the national parks here in Abaruzzo are not very active in promoting the region to foreigners. Maybe they want to keep it for Italian nature connoisseurs!
The national trend towards green tourism is evident in Abruzzo : more visitors, more farms open for holidaymakers and higher revenues from the national parks in the past few years.
The most popular national parks in Italy for Italian and foreign tourists are:
What’s your favorite national park in Italy?
Anna Lebedeva has lived in Russia and Ireland for many years. Now she lives and works as a freelance journalist in Italy and runs her Green Holiday in Italy travel blog.
When not researching or writing her next article, Anna is trying to grow organic vegetables in her garden or persuading her lively floppy-eared dog Gogol (named after the Russian writer) not to trample on the seedlings. She loves creating her own vegetarian recipes, cooking, hiking in the Apennines or simply relaxing with a glass of Montepulciano d’Abruzzo wine.
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