Sports

FOOTBALL


Football is definitely the most popular sport in Italy. The championship and the Champions League matches are followed by thousands of fans. In winter, genuine football fans go to the stadium, while in summer they usually choose the mountain as their holiday destination, since football teams choose mountain retreats for their intensive training. It is a passion that smells like fresh cut grass and sounds like a thousand voices singing in unison.

Italians do not give up football even on holidays!

Napoli football team, during its intensive training session in Dimaro, in Trentino, attracts about 6,000 fans, while 3000 fans come to Pinzolo, in Trentino, in the Alta Val Rendena, just to see Francesco Totti, the captain of Rome football team. Milan players go to Milanello, in Carnago, Sampdoria football players go to Ponte di Legno Tonale, between Brescia and Trento, while the training retreat of Atalanta football players is in Val Seriana, in the province of Bergamo.

Groups of friends and families choose mountain holidays also to see their idols playing test matches.

The only thing you have to do is bring a camera with you and maybe a pen, if you want an autograph.

It will also be a unique opportunity to get away from air pollution and enjoy the fresh air of the Italian mountains. You will see the intense training sessions of your favourite team and new players, and you will also have the chance to practice sports outdoors, such as owing, running, hiking, paragliding and mountain biking. Of course, you can also play a five aside football match, if you want.

GOLF


If you love outdoor sports and walking along large expanses of lawn, golf is what you are looking for. Golf courses in Italy have a different number of holes and are surrounded by picturesque landscapes. Among the most famous golf courses there are Verdura Resort in Sicily, Double Tree Acaya in Puglia and Active Hotel Paradiso & Golf in Veneto.

A short distance from the Royal Palace of Venaria in Turin, you can play golf on one of the most beautiful greens of Italy, that of “Royal Park – I Roveri”. However, due to the morphology of the land, you will have to develop a careful game strategy that allows you to overcome water and sand obstacles.

The prestigious Golf Club Monticello is located near Lake Como. This one hundred forty-hectare park offers the chance to practice even to beginners and also to admire the lush vegetation of oak and chestnut trees that characterise the lake.

If you do not want to stray too far from historic centres and monuments, we recommend the many golf courses in Tuscany. On the hills of the Chianti, you will have the “honour” to hit your first shot at Golf Ugolino, one of the oldest golf clubs in Italy.

Along the Appian Way, with stunning views of the arches of the Claudian aqueduct, you can test your swing at Golf Club Acquasanta.

San Domenico Golf is the ideal place if you love the incredible landscapes of Puglia, but watch out for the wind, because the golf course is located near the sea.

On the green of Donnafugata Golf in Sicily, carefully choose your woods and irons.

Take your time to measure distances and your strength if you want to hit an amazing shot.

SKI/SNOWBOARD


Even in winter Italy has a lot to offer. Snow covers the tops of the mountains, to offer ski enthusiasts truly unique slopes. If you are planning a ski vacation on the Alps, we recommend Limone and Sestriere in Piedmont, Livigno in Lombardy and Cortina d’Ampezzo in Veneto.

Italian peaks are also the ideal destination for anyone who wish to practice winter sports such as ice skating, skiing, cross-country skiing, carving, tobogganing and curling, which became pretty popular in Italy after the 2006 Olympics in Turin.

Among the most famous tourist destinations there is Valle d’Aosta, with the prestigious ski resorts of Breuil-Cervinia, Courmayeur and Cogne.

Madonna di Campiglio, in the province of Trento, with its sixty kilometres of ski slopes and twenty ski lifts, is a real paradise, not just for skiers but also for snowboarders, and in Grostè you will have the chance to admire the incredible acrobatic performances of the professionals of this sport.

In the heart of the Julian Alps, there are many tourist resorts including that of Tarvisiano, between Italy, Austria and Slovenia. Here the slopes will give you will give moments of pure adrenaline.

In winter, you will discover snowy landscapes and breath-taking slopes also along the Apennines. Roccaraso, a mountain town in the Abruzzi, is the largest ski resort in central Italy. Within Gran Sasso and Monti della Laga National Park, the beautiful ski resort of Prato Selva at the foot of Monte Corvo is crowded with skiers in winter.

In Italy snow lovers can even ski on the slopes of a volcano. If you want to live this incredible adventure, just go to Sicily, on Mount Etna.

WALKING/HIKING/TREKKING


The Italian peninsula offers hiking lovers some incredible trails surrounded by stunning landscapes. For example, you could go hiking along the trails of Piccole Dolomiti, on the border between Vicenza, Verona and Trento, to discover lush pastures and old trees. In Piedmont you can follow the traces of wolves in the Maritime Alps Park, where there are specialised wolf watching centres.

Among the most amazing trails to discover in Italy we recommend the Via degli Dei which, from Bologna, along the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines, leads to Florence in four or six days. Do not forget the Via Francigena, once a route followed by many pilgrimages, departing from the Gran San Bernardo to reach Rome. During this incredible journey you can also take the chance to visit one of the many cities and towns in Northern and Central Italy.

In Liguria, from Portovenere to La Spezia, the coast offers stunning views of what is called the “Gulf of Poets”.

Along the Amalfi Coast, from Bomerano to Positano you can follow the ” Path of the Gods”, considered as one of the most beautiful hiking trails in the world.

Within the Cilento National Park, you can admire both the mountains and the sea and, thanks to a dense network of trails you will reach the archaeological site of Paestum, the ancient Velia and the Certosa di Padula.

Between Basilicata and Calabria you can take a break near the springs of fresh water in the Pollino National Park and admire the flight of hawks and eagles.

In Sicily, Mount Etna is the favourite destination of all mountain lovers. From the viewpoint of the Valle del Bove you can enjoy amazing views of the lovely coast.

SAILING


If you want to experience an unforgettable holiday, you have to raise the anchor and hoist the sails to discover the coasts of Italy and its lovely beaches, to find a place where to enjoy moments of pure relaxation. Mistral, Sirocco and Libeccio will be your travelling companions.

In Sardinia, from Alghero to the Gulf of Orosei, through Capo Carbonara and up to Capo Spartivento, you will be sailing crystal clear seas, to discover wild coves and pristine bays that will leave you speechless.

After sunset, Sicily, you can sail along the coast of Stromboli Island to admire from the sea the lava flowing down the Sciara del Fuoco, a real light show in the dark of night. In Salina you can stop at Pollara beach, characterised by rocks and dark pebbles.

Sailing up the coast of the Gulf of Naples, you will reach Capri to stop at the Blue Grotto, a wonderful grotto already appreciated by Emperor Tiberius. In Ischia you will discover Sorgeto bay and its thermal water, while in Procida you will see Corricella beach, with its colorful houses reflected in turquoise waters.

Your boat ride will finally take you to the Tuscan Archipelago, with Ponza and Ventotene.

The Adriatic Sea and the Tremiti Islands, to the north of the Gargano promontory, will be your last stop.

DIVING/SNORKELING


The sea of Italy hides many treasures. Along the coast you can explore the underwater world with a simple mask and a snorkel or, after learning diving techniques, go deep with flippers, a mask, a wetsuit and a regulator.
Studying sea currents will be the best way to be able to find the sea bottom with the best visibility and see a wide variety of fauna and flora species.

Under the sea there is a rich submerged heritage to discover!

Your journey will begin with the blessing of one of the many “Christs of the abyss” lying on the seabed, from Portofino to San Felice Circeo.

In Portofino the most experienced divers can reach the “Altar”. Here the cliffs offer a truly unique show: the walls are covered with precious red coral and inhabited by brown-marbled groupers, lobsters and snappers.

In Ischia, in the stretch of water between the Aragonese castle and the Sant’Anna rocks you can swim among the ruins of an ancient Roman town, known as Aenaria.

In Pozzuoli, at a few metres of depth, divers can reach the archaeological park of Baia and see the mosaic floors of some Roman villas, now submerged.

In Sardinia you can explore the many caves hiding corals, octopus, moray eels and crabs. In Golfo Aranci, at a dozen metres of depth, diving enthusiasts can visit the Cave of Satan, with yellow walls due to the presence of Leptosamnia.

In Lampedusa and Lampione, two of the Pelagie Islands in Sicily, you will meet stingrays, parrot fish and other African and Oceanic species.

CYCLING


Under the Italian sun it is nice to bike, even if you sweat. If you want to take a nice trip outdoors, following the bicycle paths from north to south, just take your bike and run away from the city.

In Liguria one of the most important pedestrian and cycle routes starts and ends in Levanto, through Bonassola and Framura and offers lovely views of the sea.
In Veneto, the cycle path of Montello, through the woods of the Serenissima, is characterised by paved roads with little traffic and a small portion of dirt road. If you want to take a break, just stop at the ruins of the abbey of Saint Eustace, a Benedictine monastery.

In the Maremma of Grosseto, you will ride the bike paths that from Capalbio lead to Monte Argentario, through the towns of Porto Ercole and Porto Santo Stefano.

In Puglia, from Gargano to Salento, there are many “easy” bike paths and the one that goes from Giovinazzo to Trani, along the coastal road, is definitely the easiest one. In Trani, you can bike up to St. Nicholas Cathedral.

If you want to test yourself and challenge your limits, just choose the bike paths of Piedmont and Lombardy. One of the most difficult paths, used by Italian champions Fausto Coppi and Costante Girardengo for their training, is the one that from Pontecurone di Alessandria leads to Garbagna, Borgo Adorno and Giarolo. During this long ride you can admire the castle overlooking the Valle del Besante.

If you want to bike uphill without sweating too much, Ghisallo in Lombardy is the ideal place for you. In Magreglio you can also visit Ghisallo Cycling Museum.