A trip through the Peninsula's best courses
For those who want to spend their vacation golfing - in whole or in part - without sacrificing wellness, good food and art, Italy is undoubtedly a must. In fact, the Bel Paese offers approximately 300 9- and 18-hole courses, notable for their beautiful settings and varying technical landscapes.
Let's begin with the Piedmont Region, location for the Royal Park I Roveri in the Regional Park of La Mandria. Close to the Royal Palace of Venaria, it lies just 9.3 mi from Turin. In Lombardy, in the renowned wine region of Franciacorta near Brescia, is the Franciacorta Golf Club, also referred to as the "wine golf course" for its connection to wine producers - specifically, each hole is named for one of the local wineries. Next, near the lake of Montorfano lies the Villa d'Este Golf Club, located at an altitude of 1,312 ft. in a setting straight out of the Scottish Highlands. The course here is 18 holes - one of the most difficult "par 69" in Europe - winding through chestnut, birch and pine forests, and a beautiful clubhouse overlooking the lake.The prestigious Golf Club Monticello, located next to Lake Como and offering an adjacent luxury resort, covers about 140 hectares of 2, 18-hole greens.
For an enjoyable weekend of golf and culture, numerous golf courses fill the Regions of Tuscany and Lazio. Claiming the title for Italy's oldest golf club is the Ugolino Club in Florence: a magical spot in the hills surrounding Chiantigiana, just 7.5 mi from Florence. Tuscany also hosts the Argentario Golf Club, where, at their best, nature, sports and fitness mingle with the picturesque scenery. Moving towards the countryside of Lazio, near Viterbo, the Golf Club Le Querce is home to the Federal Technical Centre, once host to a very memorable Golf World Cup. Then, the legendary Golf Club Acquasanta, on the Appian Way, features a green of 18 holes that are traversed by meandering rivers. Bordered by centuries-old pine trees, it offers views on the arches of the Claudian Aqueduct, the tomb of Cecilia Metella and St. Peter's Dome.Not only, but the historic Golf Club Olgiata, north of Rome, often holds world-class tournaments.Looking for even more spectacular views? San Domenico Golf in Apulia overlooks the sea. It is 18 holes immersed in 20,670 feet of green running past centuries-old olive trees, and a lovely stretch of Adriatic coast.
If the preferred destination is one of Italy's many islands, try the Costa Smeralda and its exclusive Pevero Golf Club. A rather challenging course, its 18 holes occupy an entire promontory, full of ponds and magnificent undergrowth. Get ready for some fun yet serious golfing amidst breathtaking panoramas.The largest course in Sardinia is that of Is Molas, with 27 holes and a unique landscape overlooking the sea.
Sicily is also chock-full of golf clubs, e.g. the Donnafugata Golf Resort and Spa, set among pristine beaches and areas of great historical interest, including cities such as Ragusa, Modica, Ibla, Noto and Scicli, all declared UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Finally, Verdura Golf Club's courses harmonically blend with the beautiful Sicilian scenery of olive and orange groves, and the Mediterranean Sea.
SALONE DEL GOLF
For all golfers: in February in Verona is the "Italian Exhibition of Golf": il Salone Italiano del Golf.
Other golf courses:
Emilia Romagna Golf: www.emiliaromagnagolf.com
Poggio dei Medici Golf club: http://www.golfpoggiodeimedici.com/ita/home/default.htm
Golf Club CastelConturbia: http://www.castelconturbia.it/
Circolo Golf Venezia: http://www.circologolfvenezia.it/
Acaya Golf Club: http://www.acayagolfclub.it/
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