It’s difficult to escape the popularity of the Six Nations rugby tournament at this time of year, but while the teams duke it out on the field, we asked GO Outdoors blog readers to vote for which if the Six Nation countries was the best for the outdoors person. In sixth place and receiving the wooden spoon we have: Italy.
Is Italy underrated for adventure? We think so.
Six Nations of the Outdoors: 6th Place Italy.
When you think of Italy you might think high fashion, fast cars, great scenery and fantastic history like where the country’s rugby team play in Rome. If you take a step away from the major cities you’ll find a wealth of fantastic opportunities for a variety of different hobbies.
1) Via Ferrata
You may have had chance to catch our recent guest blog ‘An Introduction to Via Ferrata‘ by our friends at Mountain Tracks, well Italy is where the pastime all began. Via Ferrata is a great hobby to pick up if you’re envious of those majestic climbing photos, but don’t feel that climbing is particularly for you. Using rungs and wires you can ascend the huge mounds of rock in the Italian Dolomite mountains and take on mountain climbing from a whole new perspective.
Via Ferrata was actually born out of the first world war where Italian and Austrian troops engaged in battle throughout the Dolomites, creating Via Ferrata routes to get around. Remnants of the war can still be found in this area, adding a great historical side to taking on Via Ferrata in the area.
2) The Italian Alps
We all know how popular the French Alps are for skiiers, well the Italian side of the alps is a little quieter but still offers some fantastic opportunities for fans of the outdoors. Whether mountain biking, climbing, trekking, ice climbing or skiing (Turin held the Winter Olympics after all) the Italian side of the Alps has it all.
The Italian side of the Alps might make for a nice change for anybody who thinks the French Alps might be a little too busy for them.
More of a laid back location than the above, Tuscany offers fantastic scenery and easier walking. With plenty of guided tours available to choose from, it’s ideal for the lowland ramblers among you.
While it may not be mainland Italy, the Italian island of Sardinia is a playground for fans of mountain biking and climbing. Guides recommend waiting until after the hot months of Summer when many of the sunworshipper tourists are gone, then just before winter is a fantastic time to come and take advantage of all that Sardinia has to offer, whether you’re looking for routes to climb up, or routes to bike down – you’ll find what you are after here; simply look up a guide of your choice and make sure you get the best out of your trip.
Sardinia isn’t just for the straight up and down routes; it’s also a popular spot for road biking and kayaking.
5) Horse Riding
If you like to trade two wheels for four legs, then Horse Riding just south of Naples might be what you are looking for. With historic villages, beautiful olive groves, coastal paths and more to take it, whether you’re taking the horse for a run or a relaxing walk – Italy offers up a great location.
So there you have it, just 5 different reasons we think that Italy is great for the outdoors. Join us in the next instalment of Six Nations of the Outdoors where we take a closer look at France.