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Italy Adventure Travel Guide

Rhonda Mix —  August 12, 2011 — Leave a comment

Adventure in Italy is not hard to come by. This may be the land of romance and pasta, but with 7,600 km of coastline, a favorable climate, and two mountain ranges, Italy is an excellent destination for outdoors adventures. Via ferrata in Italy is growing in popularity, especially in the Dolomites. Of course, the mountains are also great for skiing, climbing. Kitesurfing in Italy is hugely popular, and there are lots of schools and rental shops. Sea kayaking in Italy is also a fantastic way to explore the country’s coastline.

Place

Italy

Location

Southern Europe

Major Cities in Italy

Major cities in Italy include Florence, Milan, Naples, Rome, and Venice.

Geography of Italy

Italy is located in the south of Europe on the Mediterranean sea. Italy is bordered by Austria, France, Switzerland, and Slovenia and surrounded by six different seas and includes several islands. Two important islands include Sardinia—off the west coast, and Sicily, at the southernmost point of the peninsula.

Italy is 301,338 square kilometers (116,347 square miles) and has a population of about 60 million people. Its coastline is enormous at 7,600 km.

The country has a diverse landscape. Though home to plains and coastal lowlands, Italy is mostly mountainous, with the Alps and the Apennines running the length of the country. The highest point in Italy is Mont Blanc in the Alps at 4,807m (15,770 ft). There are numerous volcanoes in Italy due to the meeting of the Eurasian and African plates. Three of Italy’s volcanoes are active while the rest remain dormant. The country is home to Mount Etna, the tallest active volcano in Europe and one of the most active in the world.

National parks can be found throughout the country. Though home to many beaches and beautiful coastline, Italy has had problems with air and water pollution. Over the last decade the country has strived to improve the environment and now ranks as one of the world’s largest producers of renewable energy.

Climate of Italy

Though many would assume the country has a Mediterranean climate, the weather varies dramatically throughout the country, especially during winter. Summers in the north tend to be humid with frequent thunderstorms, while in the south the weather is dry and sunny.

Summer temperatures are very similar throughout the country, ranging from 22-27°C. Winters in Italy vary; in the north temperatures are cold and the weather is rainy and snowy, while in the south temperatures are mild. Winter temps in Italy range from −2 °C -8 °C.

Italy Description

Italy is sometimes known as the “birthplace of western culture,” and is famous for its history, art, delicious food, fashion, and luxury vehicles. It is home to number of UNESCO world heritage sites, the most famous including the Almafi Coast, the Church and Dominican Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie with “The Last Supper” by Leonardo da Vinci in Milan, the Piazza del Duomo (where the leaning tower can be found), the Colosseum, and the public buildings of papal Rome (The Holy See) in the Vatican City.

Seeking Italy Adventures? Each unqiue region of Italy offers something different for adventure enthusiasts. Northwest Italy, home to the port of Genoa, is home to the famous Lake Como. Sailing, windsurfing, kiteboarding, kayaking, wakeboarding, waterskiing, and canyoning are all easily accessible here.

In Northeast Italy visitors will find the famous waterways of Venice and world-reknowned ski-resorts in the Italian Alps. In central Italy, those searching for Italian adventures can take up white-water rafting at Marmore Falls or sail in hot air balloon over the beautiful Tuscan landscape. Southern Italy, home to the romantic Amalfi Coast, offers tourists a laid back lifestyle with outdoor activities such as golf, horseback riding, and sailing.

Let’s not forget Italy’s two most famous islands– Sardinia and Sicily. In addition to dining at first class seafood restaurants the islands have amazing diving and windsurfing. One of the best places for windsurfing is Porto Pollo, the windiest part of Sardinia. Fantastic diving spots are prevalent in this area, especially in the nearby volcanic islands of Ustica and Linosa.

Italy Adventure Highlights

  • If you’d like to try something a bit more than the average hike, the rugged Dolomites are an exceptional backdrop for via ferrata in Italy.
  • If you want to get away from the beach crowds, why not kayak Italy’s scenic coastline in a sea kayak?
  • If the kayak is too slow for you, Italy has many kitesurfing shops ready to bring you up to speed.

Outdoors Adventures in Italy

  • Surfing
  • Stand-up paddle boarding
  • Scuba diving (wreck)
  • Snorkeling
  • Surfing (all levels)
  • Sailing
  • Kitesurfing
  • Windsurfing
  • Parasailing
  • Paragliding
  • Canyoning
  • Horseback riding
  • Hot air ballooning
  • Whitewater rafting
  • Kayaking (river and lake)
  • Hydrospeed/riverboarding
  • Canoeing
  • Caving and spelunking
  • Hiking/trekking (all levels)
  • Via Ferrata
  • Rock climbing (all levels)
  • Ice climbing
  • Abseiling/rappelling
  • Mountain Biking (novice to expert)
  • Skiing and snowboarding
  • Cross-country skiing
  • Snowshoeing
  • Volcano trekking

Budget Travel in Italy

Italy is rife with hostels. Check out Country Club Castelfusano in Rome, starting at $19 USD per night. In Venice try the Venice Villa Dori at $26 USD. Ostello del Chianti in Florence is also reasonable with prices starting at $21 USD per night.
You can try this site for more information on  Italy hostels.
Those looking for something more luxury will find luxury villas in Italy to be in ample supply.

On the lower end, meals in Italy can be found for reasonable prices in many local bars and cafes. Expect to pay between $3 – $9 USD.

Italy Photos

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Images (in order) courtesy of MorBCN, NomadicEntrepreneur, féileacán, Aquarius.1973, Swiv, will_cyclist, Alaskan Dude, BlueSunFlower, Stuck in Customs, asibiri, and ShutterRunner on Flickr.

Suggested Reading

Click on the images for more information

Italy Map


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Disclosure: If you purchase insurance, book a hostel, or purchase one of the recommended books on this page using the links provided, I will receive a small commission. I do not, however, recommend these products simply to make money. I recommend World Nomads travel insurance because I use it myself and feel that they offer a good product that suits my needs at a fair price. I recommend Hostelbookers.com because they have the cheapest booking prices that I have seen online and a large selection, and I recommend the selected books from Amazon.com because they have reputations for quality information and were up to date at the time of writing.
If you have found my blog useful I hope that you will consider purchasing some of these products using the links on this page to help me to continue providing free information about adventure travel around the world.

About Rhonda Mix

Rhonda Mix is a freelance writer and regular contributor to Matt-Gibson.org currently living in Asia.  When she's not working on her next story idea or driving her little red scooter through the wilds of Taiwan, you can find her blogging at Bamboo Butterfly and Wanderlust and Lipstick.

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