From the Tuscan parks to the Apulian ones, up to the Sicilian oases.
21 Apr 2020
On the occasion of the 50th Earth Day, we would like to take you through a tour made for now only of words and images to discover the lesser known natural pearls of the Bel Paese. These places full of charm have been included in the "Beauty map" drawn up by the Italian Touring Club and deserve a place in the bucket list of destinations to rediscover during a long weekend under the sign of Italian spirit. Obviously when we all will go back to travel.
City break in Tuscany: a green lung of exceptional value.
In addition to the villages and masterpieces of Italian art, the coast of Tuscany holds a naturalistic jewel to be explored during a weekend in Versilia. The Monti Livornesi Park, which extends for 1,300 hectares between the municipalities of Livorno, Collesalvetti and Rosignano Marittimo, is a real green lung in the heart of the region. Its hills represent a naturalistic, historical and environmental heritage of exceptional value, to be discovered thanks to suggestive itineraries immersed in the green of the Mediterranean scrub. The visit of the park can be done with trekking on foot, by mountain bike and on horseback, during which it is possible to spot traces of the civilizations of the past, such as mills, glaciers, furnaces and the splendid structures of the eighteenth-century aqueduct of Colognole.
The address to be pinned on the agenda: Versilia Lido | UNA Esperienze, a paradise of elegance and well-being by the sea.
A weekend in Puglia that you don't expect, between the Mediterranean Sea and boundless horizons.
Although it is the second national park in Puglia, the Alta Murgia National Park, located less than an hour from Bari, is much less known than the Gargano. This extraordinary territory preserves the last example of Mediterranean steppe in Italy and preserves an aura of charm and uniqueness, thanks to its immense spaces that alternate with sinuous hills. Here the bare and suggestive environment, consisting mainly of limestone rocks, tuffs and clay deposits, welcomes one of the most varied fauna in all of Puglia. The pride of the park is the mysterious Castel del Monte, an octagonal manor built by Federico II, which is joined by important sites of historical and archaeological interest. To discover the park there are many itineraries on foot or on two wheels, suitable for all levels.
The address to be noted on the agenda: UNAHOTELS Regina Bari, all the charm of the Apulian atmosphere, a few steps from the sea and the cultural riches of Puglia.
Trip to Campania, immersed in a magical silence.
Located within the Alburni Mountains massif, with an extension of about three thousand meters, the Pertosa-Auletta Caves are one of the natural pearls of the Cilento area, to be explored with a short trip from Naples. The caves are the only ones in Italy where it is possible to navigate an underground river - the Negro - and the only ones in Europe to preserve the remains of a pile-dwelling village dating back to the second millennium BC. As you enter the heart of the mountain, the river offers an unusual boat trip between stalactites and stalagmites with different shapes, colors and sizes. The guided tour promises a small adventure immersed in a magical silence, interrupted only by the roar of the downpours of the underground waterfall.
The address to be noted on the agenda: UNAHOTELS Naples, a historic building a few steps from the most precious locations in the city.
A short trip to Sicily, an oasis of crystal clear sea and poultry fauna.
Baroque architecture, crystal clear sea, rich gastronomic tradition, but not only: few know that in the province of Catania there is also an extraordinary natural reserve that extends for about 2,000 hectares. The "Oasis of Simeto" represents one of the most unique areas of the island for its very rich poultry fauna, which finds here an ideal territory thanks to the union of the sea and the humid environments: during guided excursions with expert guides, it is possible to sight small mammals such as weasels and foxes or birds such as mallards and herons. After a birdwatching session, you can walk to the long white river beach Foce del Simeto, another place of high naturalistic value enclosed within the oasis.
The address to be pinned on the agenda: Palace Catania | UNA Esperienze, a Sicilian idyll in the heart of Catania, with a breathtaking view of Etna.
Trekking overlooking the Aeolian Islands, surrounded by the scents of the Mediterranean scrub.
Between an expanse of prickly pears, olive trees and rows of vines, on the slopes of the Fossa delle Felci and Monte Rivi, the intoxicating scents of the gorse, strawberry trees and capers spread: the island of Salina offers scenarios worthy of a film, which become even more suggestive along one of the many hiking trails available. An address to be pinned for a Sunday in the open air is Valdichiesa on Monte Fossa delle Felci, also called the roof of the Aeolian Islands, an ancient volcano extinguished for centuries covered by a thick Mediterranean scrub. With an undemanding walk of about two hours from the sanctuary of the Madonna del Terzito you reach the summit, where the panorama of the Aeolian and the crater repays the effort. In addition to the excursions, Salina is renowned for its crystal clear sea, which in 2019 earned third place in the Top 5 of the Small Islands of Sicily according to the guide The most beautiful sea 2019 of the Italian Touring Club and Legambiente.
The address to be noted on the agenda: L'Ariana Isole Eolie | UNA Esperienze, a historic villa from the early 1900s overlooking the Sicilian sea.