La dolce vita: Sustainability in Bella Italia
AN ESTIMATED 52 million foreign tourists travelled to Italy in 2016.
Italy hosts the most UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the world and even the "cucina italiana" - as one of the most influential kitchens worldwide - was honoured with the title world heritage. Italy is a synonym for pasta, pesto, antipasti, dolce vita, extra-virgin olive-oil, exquisite coffee beverage, cheese products and wine.
The slow-food movement was established in Italy already in the 1980s as counterpart to fast-food. Focussing on organic and regional products with respect for dolce vita. Many green and eco-friendly projects in rural and urban areas demonstrate these sustainable ways of thinking and acting. Reasons enough to spend a eco-friendly holiday in Italy and to take a sustainable souvenir back home.
Green Tourism in the olive grove
The Agriturismo L'Adagio is an old and lovely restored oil-mill located in the middle of olive groves in Badalucca in Liguria, close to the Ligurian Sea. Since decades the L'Adagio has specialised in the sustainable production of olive-oil products using every single part of the olives. The leftovers of the olive stones are squeezed and used for the production of animal food, after this process the olive stones are being used as heating material for the pellet heating system of the farm house. The L'Adagio teaching farm gives students and children an understanding about the production of olive oil and the origin of local organic food. The luxurious beauty and spa area uses products made of olive oil in-house.
The scent of history
When travelling to the region Parma in Italy, you should definitely make a stop in the Negrotti Drogheria in Fidenzia. For many years now Negrotti has selected the best sustainable and organic specialties and delicacies from the region. The furniture is still the same as in 1890, the long counter reflects the old history and welcomes guests in a familiar atmosphere - a shopping experience like in grandmother's time. The Drogheria shows how traditions could be preserved and transferred into the modern world.
Feeling at home in the Albergo Diffuso
The eco friendly Hotel Relais del Maro is an Albergo Diffuso with a main building located in the middle of the small village Borgomaro and three historic buildings in the village. Every room and suite is unique and designed with maximum attention to detail telling the anecdotes and stories of the former inhabitants. Instead of building a new hotel, the owner family Scalambrin decided to use and restore houses in the small village. Guests staying at Relais del Maro can chose to stay in the main building or in the houses in the small village among the villagers feeling like a local without intervening in nature, environment, culture and local community. Thereby the Albergo Diffuso supports social and economic regeneration of the local community while preserving Italian traditions.
Ecological land of plenty
Fattoria La Vialla is a family run organic farm located in Tuscany and a must-visit for sustainable connoisseurs. The farm produces and sells original and high-quality organic and biodynamic Italian food and wine. Only recently the farm was honoured with the award "B.A.U.M.", an environmental award for long-term commitment to environmental protection and sustainable development. The production process is resource-friendly and sustainable from planting until harvesting to eco-friendly packaging.
Pioneers in green and sustainable agriculture
The organic herb farm Pflegerhof in South Tyrol offers Italian herbs - perfect as a souvenir. Since 1982 all products, like herbs, teas, spices and cosmetics, are organically produced from the seed up to the final product. Therefore the farm owners are pioneers in green and sustainable agriculture in South Tyrol. Most of the herbaceous plants can also be bought in the in-house nursery. The care and protection of the environment by applying the rules of organic farming are the fundamental principles of the Pflegerhof. During farm excursions in the summer months the organic farm is offering an insight into the world of herbs for customers.
Tradition and history in South Tyrol
Surrounded by the picturesque landscape of South Tyrol, the Josephus unites a luxurious alpine lodge with apartments for a relaxing green vacation. During the restoration of the house attention was paid to maintaining but newly interpreting the old and farming style. Old furniture was renovated or modified; existing wood and floors were consciously reused. Today clear structures, minimalistic design and a warm wooden interior result in unrivalled comfort. The owners see themselves as a connection between the inhabitants of the mountain region and the guests offering an insight in the culture, tradition and history of the Schnalstal in South Tyrol while maintaining the untouched nature of the region.
Sustainable in the fashion capital
The Hotel Milano Scala, located in the centre of Milano, proofs that green and eco-friendly accommodations are not only to be found in rural areas but also in big cities. It was opened in 2010 as first Zero-Emission Hotel in the fashion capital and meets the highest energy efficiency standards. No CO2 emissions will be released into the atmosphere during the guest's stay. The herb garden on the sixth floor with its view over the roofs of the artists' quarter Brera and the Milan Cathedral is known to be an oasis for relaxation. The air on the terrace is filled with the scent of fresh herbs, summer flowers, fruits and vegetables, which are processed by the kitchen.
Another green city hotel in Milan is Starhotels E.c.ho., the first ecological hotel of the Italian group brings eco-chic to Italy's fashion capital. The hotel is the best example of the group's effort to reduce its environmental impact while providing an unforgettable and natural experience of eco-responsibility for guests. Highest energy standards are met and water is not only consciously used but also reused. For breakfast and in the in-house restaurant you will find a wide selection of organic food and vegetables. The partnership with Eataly ensures furthermore a close working relationship with producers and that all ingredients are regionally sourced. ¬