Discover Italy’s Eden destinations before the crowds

Each year the European Union selects a number of non-mainstream destinations which promote sustainable tourism

These places are awarded an EDEN (European Destinations of Excellence) classification, with the aim of drawing attention to areas – many off the beaten track – and national treasures.

The aim of the Eden project which began in 2006 is to draw  attention to examples of good practice in sustainable tourism and help de-congest over-visited tourist destinations.

And this week the Italian Tourist Board in London unveiled three different destinations which already have Eden project status, with the aim of encouraging tour operators to promote them in the UK.

This is a brief introduction to those places – gems which are relatively undiscovered so and  accommodation and food are a good deal cheaper than in the traditional tourist centres in Italy. There are five star hotels but there are lots of holiday farms and bed & breakfast accommodation, eating at traditional trattorias and inns.

As someone who has travelled all over Italy I was very intrigued to learn about these destinations.

Valli Del Mincio – Lombardia

Valli del Mincio, is in Lombardia, in norther Italy – in the area between Lake Garda going south towards the River Po.  The Mincio is a river which flows from the lake to the Po, which is a national park.  Alongside the river there are nature trails and cycle and pedestrian tracks which take you through historic towns and villages, and the largest city in the Mantova region.

Mincio

I note that the riverside tracks are flat which is great for those of us who want gentle exercise!

It also contains the largest inland wetland in Europe – so a haven for birds (149 species) and other wildlife, including herons and storks.  A few English tourists do travel here (4%) but the majority of visitors are Germans (26%) who enjoy the perch and trout fishing.

Outside of the city of Mantova there are many villages to visit including Grazie, Rivalta sul Mincio and Soave.

To find out more:

www.terredelmincio.it

www.parcodelmincio.it

Specialist travel agency in the park barbara@viaggidiherontour.it

Corciano – Perugia, Umbria

Corciano has the accolade of being one of the most beautiful towns in Italy.  So its a worth a visit just to see it.

But there is a wealth of attractions and activities to enjoy – even if you are only staying for a weekend – its only 22 kms from Perugia airport. There are four museums including a new archeological museum; Etruscan remains and the Necropolis of Strozzacapponi which contains more than 60 tombs.

Corciano

Corciano’s ancient past

And if nature is more your thing, there are two mountains, Tezio  (961m) and Malbe (482m), plus two natural parks where you can mountain bike, wall climb and walk.

Local festivals are always a lively affair and Corciana has several – the Corciano cultural festival in August, the Castello di Vino and Dolce Borgo, both in October

www.commune.corciano.pg.it

Castel del Piano – Grosetto, Tuscany

The commune of Castel del Piano is in a relatively untouristic part of Tuscany.  Yes there is such a thing.  And here you find unspoilt villages where the cost of food and accommodation is cheaper than in the rest of this popular destination.

Castel del Piano

Rooftop vista of Castel del Piano in southern Tuscany

This village is situated in a truly magnificent situation – between two mountains – one covered in beech and chestnuts – one of the largest such forests in Europe.

As well as nature and outdoor activities…each year in September, there is the Palio, a fast and dangerous horse race. The riders represent the four contrade (quarters) of the city and the race has taken place since 1402.

Palio

A palio to rival the famous one in Sienna

This area is also known for its thermal waters so its possible to bathe outdoors in natural hot-springs.

In winter the village is above the snowline and the nearby ski runs are popular with locals but remain relatively undiscovered by UK winter holidaymakers.

The town has museums and as you could expect ancient churches.  There is also a famous artesian biscuit factory www.corsiniibiscotti.com which its possible to visit.  And a cheese factory www.caseificioilfiorino.it

There are plenty of places to stay and eat.  We are recommended the Borgo Tepolini, a country-house hotel on the outskirts of the town. It does have a swimming pool and offers various discounts i.e. stay 3 nights and save 15%/stay 5 nights and save 20%.

These are must visit destinations – so get there before the crowds…

 

Live La Dolce Vita – visit the Viva Italia Festival London

image
image

Ahh Italy, they really do have the best of everything. Fabulous fashion, top designers, fast cars, beautiful weather and of course delicious cuisine The La Dolce Vita with Viva Italia festival, coming to London’s Olympic exhibition centre from the 13th-16th of March is a celebration of all things Italian and will give you an insight into just how inspirational Italy is.

So if you fancy adding some Italian chic to your wardrobe, learning the secrets to the mouth watering Mediterranean diet & how to add a touch of Italian flair to your lifestyle then why not come along to experience the true taste of Italy?

Check out this video featuring Italy’s very own Aldo Zilli to see what’s in store La Dolce Vita

Rejuvenate your life with La Dolce Vita

image
image

Ahh Italy, they really do have the best of everything. Fabulous fashion, top designers, fast cars, beautiful weather and of course delicious cuisine The La Dolce Vita with Viva Italia festival, coming to London’s Olympic exhibition centre from the 13th-16th of March is a celebration of all things Italian and will give you an insight into just how inspirational Italy is.

So if you fancy adding some Italian chic to your wardrobe, learning the secrets to the mouth watering Mediterranean diet & how to add a touch of Italian flair to your lifestyle then why not come along to experience the true taste of Italy?

Check out this video featuring Italy’s very own Aldo Zilli to see what’s in store
La Dolce Vita

Italy – anti-ageing specialists

Italian Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (Aimaa)
Address: Via Monte Zebio, 28 00195 Rome – Italy; Phone and Fax 0039-06-3202449
Email: info@aimaa.it
webiste – underconstruction www.aimaa.it

Founding Members:

Carlo Alberto Bartoletti, MD
Gastroenterology, Cardiology, gerontology and geriatric specialist
President of the Italian Society of Aesthetic Medicine (SIME)
Professor of Aesthetic Medicine and Cosmetology, Plastic Surgery Post-graduate School, University of Pavia
Head of the International Aesthetic Medicine School, Fatebenefratelli International Foundation, Rome
Email: cabartoletti@libero.it
Address: Studio Associato Bartoletti, Via Monte Zebio, 28 – 00195 Rome, Italy

Emanuele Bartoletti, MD

Plastic and reconstructive surgery specialist
Professor at the International Aesthetic Medicine School, Fatebenfratelli International Foundation, Rome
Email: ebartoletti@libero.it
Address: Studio Associato Bartoletti, Via Monte Zebio, 28 – 00195 Rome, Italy

Gianfranco Palmieri, MD

Cardiology specialist
Head of Cardiology Unit – Ospedale S. Giovanni, Rome, Italy
Email: gianpal45@alice.it
Address: Via Asmara 25 – 00199 Roma, Italy

Giuseppe Riondino, MD

Cardiology, internal medicine, gerontology and geriatric specialist
President of the Italian Geriatric Oncology Society (SIGERO)
Fully established University Lecturer of endocrinology, La Sapienza University in Rome
Emeritus Consultant of endocrinology: INRCA – IRCCS
Professor at the International Aesthetic Medicine School, Fatebenefratelli International Foundation, Rome
Email: griondino@hotmail.com
Address: Via Anton Giulio Barrili, 29, 00152 Roma, Italy

Francesco Romanelli, MD

Endocrinology Specialist
Professor of Endocrinology at Endocrinology and Andrology Unit – Dipartimento di Fisiopatologia Medica – Policlinico Umberto I – University of Rome “La Sapienza”
Viale del Policlinico 155, 00161 Rome – Italy
Email: francesco.romanelli@uniroma1.it
Professor at the International Aesthetic Medicine School, Fatebenefratelli International Foundation, Rome, Italy

Ferdinando Terranova, MD
Professor at the International Aesthetic Medicine School, Fatebenefratelli International Foundation, Rome
Email: feterranova@tiscali.it
Address: via Murri 26, 05100 Terni, Italy

Maria Veraldi, MD
Nutrition and food sciences specialist
Professor at the International Aesthetic Medicine School, Fatebenfratelli International Foundation, Rome
Email: alberto.moccia1@tin.it
Address: Via Germanico, 66 , 00192 Roma, Italy

The members of the first executive council of Aimaa are:
President
Giuseppe Riondino, MD
Vice-president
Francesco Romanelli, MD
Secretary General
Carlo Alberto Bartoletti, MD
Members
Emanuele Bartoletti, MD
Gianfranco Palmieri, MD
Ferdinando Terranova, MD
Maria Veraldi, MD

Capri Beauty Farm – Anacapri

image

Capri Palace Hotel & Spa

Via Capodimonte, 2b 80071 Anacapri
T: +39 081 978 0111; wwwcapri-palace.com

In a hillside position with beautiful views of the Gulf of Naples and the Mediterranean, this spa has doctors who create tailor-made programmes for all kinds of ailments from weight-loss to stress-busting. There is a large pool and a gym. The treatments focus on massages, thalassotherapy and mud cures. Also available are cosmetic treatments and the latest machines to hone the body into shape and refine and tone the skin of the face and body. There are a number of special leg treatments of which Sophia Loren is reputed to be a devotee. The “Leg School” specialises in stimulating circulation using hot and cold water therapy to improve elasticity, skin tone and shape, as well as fighting cellulite. Cuisine is Mediterranean and diet food is available in a choice of three restaurants.

Udai vilas, Udaipur, Rajasthan

image

T:+91 294 243 3300; www.oberoihotels.com

The resort has two large swimming pools which are heated in winter, a gymnasium, boutique and a library with a selection of music and DVDs. Private excursions and cruises on the lake can be organised by the hotel. The spa, managed by Banyan Tree, offers holistic treatments and therapies to pamper and revitalise mind and body using holistic therapies and massages combining the best of East and West. Massages, facials and body beautification methods use ancient Ayurveda and aromatherapy as well as Thai and western techniques designed to relieve stress as well as create a sense of wellbeing. The spa has a private pool and individual therapy suites with views of Lake Pichola, the Aravali mountains and City Palace. Each of the eight suites has its own steam sauna and Victorian style bathtub. The gym and hair salon are located around a central domed foyer with a marble fountain.