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A trip in spring is the best choice to enjoy the favourable climate and see the charming Italian villages bloom

In Spring, we witness the awakening of nature capable of transforming places and landscapes. One of the simplest pleasures is to explore the area and capture the surrounding sights and sounds. When you choose where to go in spring in Italy, get ready to be amazed by the incredible colours, scents and scenes, fully experience the fresh season of rebirth.
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The Gargano National Park

The Gargano National Park, an island full of biodiversity The Gargano National Park is situated in the spur of Italy, the promontory extending into the Adriatic Sea in the northern part of Apulia. It is a unique area, where 35 per cent of all Italian botanical species can be found, reflecting an equally wide variety of landscapes, from the sea of the Tremiti Islands to important wetlands that lap against dense forests. This is an ancient land, rich in culture, art and spirituality, with a diverse beauty. A surprising microcosm of different habitats The guiding thread of every visit to the Gargano National Park is to observe the variety of its habitats, which is reflected in a mosaic of landscapes. In an area no larger than an average Italian province, you will discover fine sandy beaches interspersed with high cliffs with caves and natural archways, coastal lakes and wetlands, stretches of Mediterranean bush bordering on thousand-year-old forest, karstic plateaus with sinkholes alternating with hills and steppe plains on which there are white villages such as Rodi Garganico, Vieste, Peschici on the coast or Ischitella, Mattina or Monte Sant'Angelo, all with sea views. If we add to this the fact that, from a geological perspective, the promontory was originally an island separated from the rest of the Italian peninsula, the variety is further increased by the presence of endemisms, i.e. species that only exist in this region, for example the campanula garganica or the Tremiti cornflower. This explains why the Gargano promontory astonishes naturalists and will amaze you too. The sculpted landscape of the Gargano The high white cliffs of the Adriatic coast seem sculpted, and the karst valleys that the action of rain makes deeper and deeper also appear sculpted. There are at least 4,000 sinkholes, cavities of karstic origin, to be found in the park: the one at Pozzatina, in the municipality of San Nicandro Garganico, is the most impressive. It is 132 metres deep and looks like a basin covered by a dense wood of holm oaks and oak trees. On the coast are several caves and natural arches formed by the force of the sea, which can be visited by boat from the ports of Vieste and Peschici. The wetlands of the Varano and Lesina lagoons The first person to chronicle the wetlands in the Gargano park was none other than the Swabian emperor Frederick II (1194-1250). In his treatise De arte venandi cum avibus (the art of hunting with birds), he describes falconry and the birdlife he observed mainly in Apulia in the marshy areas of Frattarolo and Lake Salso, today in the municipality of Manfredonia, known as the Swamps of Frederick II, which are rich in reed thickets, ideal places for birdwatching. In the northern area of the park, behind the dunes, are the lakes of Varano and Lesina, basins of brackish water that were created by the accumulation of debris that filled in coastal bays. Today, the lakes are considered important wetlands, as resting stations for migratory birds on their way from northern Europe to Africa. The entire limestone area of the Gargano is also rich in springs and pools of water that are vital for amphibians and reptiles. The animals and plants of the Gargano park Among the animals you can see in their natural habitat in the park is the Italian roe deer, an endemic subspecies that only lives here, as well as numerous wild boars, fallow deer, weasels and wild cats. There are numerous birds nesting in the Gargano, around 170 species, including five different types of woodpeckers, diurnal birds of prey, ospreys, the rare lesser duck eagle, as well as ducks, herons, wild geese and flamingos. There are some centuries-old trees, true monuments of nature, such as the 13-metre carob tree in the park of Pugnochiuso, in the municipality of Vieste, or the two 30-metre high Aleppo pines in Vico Gargano, where there is also a 17-metre high holm oak with a 5-metre diameter trunk, near the Capuchin monastery. As for the beech forests of the Foresta Umbra, these were designated a Unesco Natural World Heritage Site in 2017. And then come the flowers: 85 species of wild orchids of all colours and shapes bloom in the clearings and steppe grasslands. The Tremiti Islands The archipelago of the Tremiti Islands, 12 miles off the Gargano coast, is also part of the park and is one of the most beautiful islands in the Mediterranean. Due to the crystal clear waters, the caves and the wealth of underwater life, they are a paradise for diving enthusiasts. There are five small islands, of which only two (San Domino and San Nicola) are inhabited, two others (Capraia and Cretaccio) are little more than rocks, while Pianosa is inaccessible because it is in the Protected Marine Area nature reserve. San Domino, where the accommodation establishments are located, is covered by a dense forest of Aleppo pines that descend to the sea, shading small sandy coves and rocks: the ideal place for those who love to be surrounded by nature alone for a holiday by the sea.


Orange Flag of the Italian Touring Club Scanno is certainly one of the best known towns in the Abruzzo mountains, and has been portrayed by famous photographers such as Cartier-Bresson, Giacomelli and Berengo Gardin. In the evocative context of the Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise National Park, it is an ideal destination both in summer and winter. The historic centre is unmistakable, with its terraced houses, stairways, arches and views. Don't miss the church of Santa Maria della Valle, with the bell tower of Romanesque forms with a sixteenth-century pinnacle, and the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, with stucco decoration by Pietro Piazzoli. Numerous ancient and elegant buildings (for example, Palazzo Mosca and Palazzo Tanturri) enhance the narrow streets, which converge in Piazza San Rocco. As for the nature aspect, Lake Scanno, the largest natural basin in Abruzzo, is ideal for activities such as canoeing and windsurfing, walks and biking excursions, and is the perfect background for photos, thanks to its heart shape. In winter, the ski area of Monte Rotondo and the Godi Pass is a destination for many sports and ski enthusiasts, while in summer, visitors can explore the dense network of trails in the park on foot, on horseback or by mountain bike. Scanno is rich in traditions: the traditional women's costume is the most famous in Abruzzo and even today the women of the village wear black or turquoise skirts, baggy shirts and colorful jackets closed by rows of silver buttons and the "cappellitto" that protects their heads. At the table, excellence is linked to sheep farming (sheep and lamb meat, sheep cheeses and cured meats) together with some characteristic and tasty desserts, such as Pan dell 'orso and Mostacciuoli.
Cycling tourism

Following the footsteps of the Giro d'Italia 2022: Salò-Aprica

Would you ever say that an itinerary in Lombardy is a triumph of lakes and mountains, archaeological finds and nature reserves? Well, that’s exactly it. Get ready to be surprised, then, as well as to struggle on climbs that have made cycling history The Lombardy you don’t expect The name Riviera dei Limoni (Lemon Riviera) already says it all: the western shore of Lake Garda, with its jagged profile of precipices, panoramic hairpin bends and rocky gorges, has such a mild microclimate that it resembles a fragment of the Mediterranean Sea, where citrus trees, palms and oleanders grow. It is a completely different scenario in Valle Sabbia, with the Pre-Alps, Lake Idro with the backdrop of ever more imposing mountains. The same goes for Valcamonica, a flat green valley between the Central Alps, where the River Oglio flows along its entire length. Finally, Valtellina, a slice of Lombardy that goes from the northern end of Lake Como up to Switzerland. The Stelvio National Park, a natural paradise of larch, pine and fir trees, is part of this area. On the saddle from Lake Garda to the mountains Lake Garda, the largest in Italy, and the Lombardy mountains of Valcamonica and Valtellina, with glaciers peeping out of the peaks, are the features of the cycling itinerary. The route that we tell you about here, taking its cue from stage 16 of the Giro d’Italia 2022, has only one risk: seducing you with a shimmering sheet of water and then abandoning you, forcing you to get off your saddle before some testing climbs. A number confirms this: 4,510. These are the metres of elevation gain. Unless you have the physique of champions, be smart: ride along just one of the three segments we propose here and take advantage of the natural and gastronomic riches encountered on the way. You will not regret it.
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