A tour in the Northern Italy usually stops only in two big cities, Milan and Venice. But of many of you have visited its natural wonders and its unspoilt landscapes?
For this reason I would like to share with you my preferred 10 natural wonders to be explored in northern Italy, well-known or still pristine…enjoy it and let’s start discover and Italy off the beaten paths!
You can travel around Northern Italy by train, book your train tickets here.
The pearl of Northern Italy, renowned to be one of the most chic and exclusive vacation spot. It is a lovely village that combines old traditions, art and natural wonders. Indeed, Portofino belongs to a Marine Protected Area so you can image the crystal blue sea, perfect for swimming and sunbathe!
It is also an ideal place for foodies that can taste the typical “pesto” and the local “focaccia” but also for sport lovers: here you can enjoy a variety of sports, from horse riding to sailing and fishing. Indeed Portofino is the perfect starting point for a daily excursion to Cinque Terre, 5 romantic towns perched on the mountains and overlooking the sea…the perfect place for a romantic breaks or for trekking excursions on the amazing trails of Cinque Terre National Park (Pay Attention: actually – on 2014 – the famous Love Trail is closed!)
2. The Gardens of Isola Bella
A whole Island on Lake Maggiore filled with flowers, plants and trees! It is a splendid and amazing baroque Italian garden divided into ten sloping terraces, adorned with fountains and statues dating back to seventeenth century. The Garden-Island is rich in Mediterranean vegetation but also in exotic plants that can be admired during the summer….and surely your kids will love the beautiful white peacocks that live here! Take a boat to the island.
3. Stroppia Waterfalls
Little known but really beautiful, the waterfalls of Stroppia are located in the Maira Valley, near Cuneo. The falls can be admired from the path Icardi, sliding on a vertical drop of 500 meters. The Park offers also a splendid view of wild nature with mountains, meadows, lakes and water slope and it is a paradise for trekking and biking lovers, thanks to the numerous trails.
4. Gran Paradiso Mountain
The only peak over 4000 meters entirely in Italian territory. Actually it forms the Gran Paradiso National Park and it is worth a visit because of its unique natural wonders, like glaciers, forests of fir, mountain goats and royal eagles.
During summer the Gran Paradiso Park is a perfect place for trekking, horse riding and biking and, for the brave, it is also possible to take part at rafting and canyoning activities! Families with kids cannot miss a visit at “Parc Animalier” where you can admire a lot of animals like ibex, chamois, deer, marmots, wild boars and owls. During winter the park becomes the paradise of skiers and it also held the annual competition Marcia Grand Paradiso.
5. The Italian Boldering paradise is the Natural Park of Val di Mello
Fans of bouldering love the vast protected area that extends over the territory of the town of Val Masino and each year here takes place the Melloblocco International Bouldering Meeting, with competitions, prizes and entertainment for adults and children.
6. Lake of Resia
A place with a unique history. In 1950 the construction of a dam led to the union of three lakes that currently form the Lake of Resia. But the most shocking event was the submersion of the nearby small town of Curon Venosta. And nowdays we can admire a charming lake from which emerges the bell tower of the ancient Curon Venosta! The most unusual activities you can do are sailing and diving to discover the architectural remains of the town.
7. Garda Lake
The largest Italian lake settled between Verona, Mantua and Brescia. Together with Como Lake and Maggiore Lake it forms the Lake District of Northern Italy. Garda Lake is also one of the most attractive in the Lake District due to the mild climate, a wide range of vegetation, the grandeur of the landscape, the cultural and historical monuments.
It’s ideal for those who want to spend sports and trendy holidays in Italy: different experiences, from catamaran to paragliding and all kind of water sports, just waiting to be lived!
8. The viewpoint of Sighignola
This viewpoint is renowned as the "balcony of Italy" thanks to the view that spans over Lake Lugano and the Alps, until Rosa Mountain and Mont Blanc. The summit of the viewpoint can be reached starting from the town of Lanzo. Once on the top, you can take a rest in a quite place, surrounded only by natural wonders and a small chapel.
9. National Park of the Belluno Dolomites
This park extends in Veneto to 32,000 hectares. The National Park of Belluno Dolomites offers breathtaking views, high rocky peaks, green valleys and it is crossed by numerous rivers and streams that sink into the valleys. There is wide variety of trees, rocks, animals, and it is easy to plan a trekking or horse-riding excursion thanks to the smooth paths of the Park.
10. Tre cime di Lavaredo
The Big top, the Top of the West, and the Small Top are among the most famous peaks of the Dolomites. The compact and harmoniously aligned peaks vaguely resemble three fingers pointing skyward. They are ideal for trekking and cycling lovers, but also historians will find the Tre Cime di Lavaredo very interesting: indeed they were the scene of many battles during the Second World War, from 1915 to 1917, and still nowadays you can see the remains of trenches.
For nature and sport lovers, these places cannot be missed! And you, have you never been in Northern Italy? What places you enjoyed more?