Travel: An invitation to all things Italian

Lake Molveno
Lake Molveno
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According to Legambiente – that’s Italy’s environmental organisation the environment – and the Touring Club Italiano, Lake Molveno is the most picturesque lake in the whole country.

The beautiful body of water in Western Trentino is framed by the Brenta Dolomites and Mount Paganella at the Eastern end of the Adamello-Brenta Nature Reserve and famed Italian poet Fogazzaro declared it: “A precious pearl in an even more precious treasure chest.”

Ragusa Superiore - World Heritage Site

Ragusa Superiore - World Heritage Site

More than a hundred years later, the area has proven that not only has it managed to preserve that charm, but it has even increased it to unrivalled levels.

Every year, Legambiente create a guide called “Il mare più bello” (the most beautiful sea) – a useful and authoritative publication that selects the locations that are most aware of environmental sustainability, quality of life and respect for the territory. The guide describes the best locations on offer for tourists in Italy and the most beautiful high-quality holiday locations.

As for lake destinations, for the seventh year in a row, Lake Molveno has obtained the acknowledgement of “5 vele” [5 sails] and, above all, for the third year in a row it has been confirmed the winner of the special ranking of the peninsula’s most beautiful bodies of water.

Still on an Italian theme, Ramblers Worldwide Holidays – www.ramblersholidays.co.uk – has come up with an 11-day Southern Campania two-centre holiday exploring the UNESCO World Heritage site of Cilento and the Vallo di Diano National Park in Southern Italy.

Assisi

Assisi

The first centre is Agropoli close to Paestum with rugged coastal walking into the Cilento National Park. Other highlights include, Punta Tresino and Monte Tresino.The second centre is at Palinuro – a small town in the south of Cilento which offers stunning walks.

Other highlights include, the protected marine area of Infreschi; remote beaches perfect for a swim; beautiful countryside with ridges, hillsides, olive groves and Aleppo pine; Palinuro with examples of Karst scenery – rugged limestone pavements, caves and sea arches and many other fascinating archaeological sites.

Price from £940 per person includes return flights, transfers, half board accommodation and the services of a dedicated tour leader, departures are from 19 September 2016.

Alternatively the Welwyn Garden City-based company also have a one-week walking holiday in some of the most rustic and historical parts of Sicily – the largest island in the Mediterranean.

The base for their Mount Etna and Northeast Sicily holiday is Giardini Naxos with glorious views over the Ionian Sea and overlooked by Mount Etna.

Highlights include the archaeological park and museum in Giardini Naxos; an excursion to Etna and a visit to Taormina or ancient Syracuse (home to Archimedes and Plato) on a free day.

Price from £925 per person includes return flights, transfers, half board accommodation and the services of a dedicated tour leader. Departures are from 10 September 2016.

If you find those planned rambles a little too strenuous, then maybe there’s a better option with Adagio – www.adagio.co.uk – who are the experts in gentle guided walking adventures across the globe.

They are offering two glorious holidays to Umbria in the green heart of Italy and to Montalbano’s Sicily – both with extra Christmas departures.

The first adventure in this ‘Tantalising Duo of Italian Treats’ is entitled ‘Stylish Umbria’ set amongst olive groves and vineyards and beautifully preserved Renaissance towns dotting a sun-infused landscape.

Highlights include, Trevi; Spoleto; a visit to Perugia, the chocolate capital of Italy and the treasures of Assisi and Spello with prices from £975 per person includes return flights, transfers, half board accommodation at the four star Hotel Antica Dimora alla Rocca in the centre of old Trevi and the services of an Adagio tour specialist. It departs on 22 December.

Their next adventure requires a little detective work in discovering ‘Montalbano’s Sicily’ as there’s the opportunity to amble through the South East of this fascinating island. Architecture, archaeology, ancient hillside villages, dramatic coastlines and fabulous cuisine all contribute to the enjoyment.

Highlights include sightseeing in Ragusa Superiore and Ragusa Ibla – now a ‘World Heritage Site; Modica with a private tour of the Bonajuto chocolate kitchens; Scicli for sightseeing with a local guide and a walk in the Cava Ispica Gorge.

There also an afternoon in which you will visit Donnalucata and Punta Secca – the home of television’s Inspector Montalbano – and the Baroque town of Noto and a vineyard visit with wine tasting. You also go to Syracuse with its famous archaeological sites; the mysterious island of Ortygia and a morning out in the countryside to visit a local village.

Price are from £1,345 per person includes return flights, transfers, half board accommodation, all entrance fees and local transport and the services of an Adagio tour specialist. This trip departs on 22 October but for more details, you can call Adagio on 01707 386700.