Sustainable Tourism in Italy: the 3 best

Today I thought I would share my favourites, 3 representatives of sustainable tourism in Italy. I am an operator. That’s true, but that doesn’t stop me from also being a crazy lover of travel and discovery!

Be sure to read all the way to the end so you don’t miss a single one.

I have chosen not to mention my activities in this context for credibility and variety.

Today I am telling you about :

Category hotels and accommodation
Category tours and experiences
Catering restaurant

SUSTAINABLE TOURISM IN ITALY

HOTELS & ACCOMMODATION

You may already know that my master’s thesis was on a project for an Albergo Diffuso in the territory of the Comunità Montana Valli del Lario e del Ceresio. This experience was beneficial for me, both in terms of getting to know my territory better (and I must admit that you never stop!) and understanding the difficulties and joys of planning.

Unfortunately, my proposal remained theoretical, but I came into contact with several other Albergo Diffuso hotels during the year of preparation for my thesis. A few years later, I was able to travel around Italy with a trained eye on what the Albergo Diffuso is (a particular category of hotel and hospitality) and sometime after graduating, I went to visit a beautiful village in Liguria called Apricale, home to one of the Albergo Diffuso hotels I had the pleasure of discovering during my thesis period.

I’m not mentioning it today because I still haven’t had confirmation from either the Albergo Diffuso or the village itself regarding accessibility.

So what did I do? I didn’t let myself be defeated by this. I found another Albergo Diffuso, called Fra I Sassi Residence. The site has the Ecolabel label, so I am sure that they are working to have a positive impact from an environmental point of view on the area. I also found the Village 4 All certified accessibility.

I have to admit that I searched in reverse, i.e. from the Village for all website, and then I found all the environmental sustainability features. Otherwise, it would have been much more complicated. It seems that Fra I Sassi has many interesting features and a focus not only on the environment but also on accessibility and being in a wonderful location in Matera.

Fra i sassi Residence

TOURS & EXPERIENCES

For the TOUR & EXPERIENCE category, I have been following the online presence of KM Zero Tours for years as Slow Lake Como has a similar approach. I discovered Arianna and Alessio’s activity a few years ago, thanks to Slow Lake Como’s presence on Instagram. Still, I started following them from my profile because they propose interesting activities that I would like to do if I visit the Chianti area (Tuscany). They are Travel Life partners, which means they follow a path towards certification by Travel Life; they have passed the first phase and are in the second. This training course allows them to study and implement improvements in their activities step by step. After the verification of the technicians, they obtain the status of partners.

To the question about accessible tourism, they answer, “unfortunately, we are not specifically equipped for people with disabilities, but we have structures we collaborate with here in Chianti that have a lift to access the rooms, and we can create private itineraries by selecting places and villages that are accessible to everyone without having to climb stairs. We’ve had people in wheelchairs and with reduced mobility on our tours, but unfortunately, we don’t yet have specially made means of transport and the ability to be able to create specialised itineraries around this.”

Km-Zero-Tours-Slow-Travel-Tuscany

RESTAURANT

Giada and family’s Agriturismo Le Ceregne is in Valtiberina, in the municipality of Pieve Santo Stefano. It’s magnificent and in a great location. Unfortunately, I’ve never been there in person. It was recommended to me by my colleague and friend Alessia (whom I trust completely).

In addition to my trust in Alessia, the abundant information on the site and Giada’s willingness to answer all my questions enlightened me!

Today I am mentioning Le Ceregne only for the restaurant because Giada confirmed the restaurant is accessible.

Giada’s family has been running Le Ceregne since 1901 and has owned it since 1923. Giada’s vision of combining tradition and innovation includes photovoltaic solar panels and organic farming, Ipads and free-range chickens, irrigation with rainwater recycling and fresh vegetables from the garden, energy-saving and wild fruit picking, wifi and healthy food.

Le Ceregne won the 2013 Oscar Green, a competition promoted by Coldiretti to highlight the most innovative farms run by young people, and was recognised as one of Italy’s first zero-impact sustainable tourism businesses.

I read from the website the description of Le Ceregne’s kitchen: Tuscan cuisine combines the authenticity of ingredients and the tradition of recipes that have been handed down for generations in the farmhouse. The philosophy is to offer typical and traditional dishes of the Valtiberina Toscana, a borderland between Romagna and Umbria whose culinary traditions, crossing the imaginary border of the maps, characterize some of our dishes, such as passatelli, ravioli and potato tortelli of Romagna origin or sausages with fennel that come from Umbria.

Almost all the ingredients of our cuisine come from our organic farm: vegetables, oil, wine, fruit, chestnuts and meat from animals we raise for the exclusive use of the BIO farm and what we don’t produce comes from local farms that are members of the Campagna Amica circuit promoted by Coldiretti and with which we have always been associated as we stand up every day to protect and guarantee the high quality of local agricultural products and the Made in Italy agri-food industry.

In addition to typical dishes such as “Panzanella”, “minestra di pane”, “sugo finto”, “bruschetta”, “crostini neri” and “la pasta fatta in casa”, our cuisine is distinguished by dishes based on wild boar, porcini mushrooms and truffles gathered exclusively in our woods.

Furthermore, our BIO farmhouse, thanks to the culinary skills of Mamma Antonella, won first prize in 2001 at the peasant cooking competition held during the “I Cento Gusti dell’Appennino” event, with the dish “Cinghiale al Forno con Funghi Porcini” (baked wild boar with porcini mushrooms).

The restaurant’s various dishes include numerous vegetarian and vegan combinations inspired by traditional Tuscan cuisine, such as “pappa al Pomodoro” and “Zuppa di farro”.

I’m already hungry, but before I finish I’d like to share one last thing.

Chatting with Giada to confirm the information before writing this article, she confided in me that she is very sorry that she cannot accommodate people with disabilities.

She has had a project for a few years now to make hospitality accessible as well, but as the costs are very high, she cannot proceed without funding.

She tried once, and she took part in a European call for tenders linked to the Rural Development Plan to carry out the necessary works to guarantee accessibility to the swimming pool or, in general, to the different areas of the estate (Le Ceregne is located in a hilly area). Still, unfortunately, she didn’t win, and for this reason, she can only host people with few motor problems.

agriturismo-in-toscana-con-piscina__Le Ceregne

Did you already know these operators? Who are your favourites? Why?
Let me know by leaving a comment or writing me an email; I’m always happy to exchange opinions!

Sara – Tourism Consultant

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