La dolce vita – Sustainability in Bella Italia

How to live a sustainable life in Italy

Italy hosts the most UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the world and even the "cucina italiana" – as one of the most influential kitchens worldwide – was honored with the title world heritage.

Italy is a synonym for pasta, pesto, antipasti, dolce vita, extra-virgin olive-oil, exquisite coffee beverage, cheese products and wine. The slow-food movement was established in Italy already in the 1980s as counterpart to fast-food. Focusing on organic and regional products with respect for dolce vita. Many green and eco-friendly projects in rural and urban areas demonstrate these sustainable ways of thinking and acting. Reasons enough to spend a eco-friendly holiday in Italy and to take a sustainable souvenir back home. 

How to live a sustainable life in Italy
How to live a sustainable life in Italy

Green Tourism in the olive grove

The Agriturismo L’Adagio is an old and lovely restored oil-mill located in the middle of olive groves in Badalucca in Liguria, close to the Ligurian Sea. Since decades the L’Adagio has specialized in the sustainable production of olive-oil products using every single part of the olives. The leftovers of the olive stones are squeezed and used for the production of animal food, after this process the olive stones are being used as heating material for the pellet heating system of the farm house. The L’Adagio teaching farm gives students and children an understanding about the production of olive oil and the origin of local organic food. The luxurious beauty and spa area uses products made of olive oil in-house.

How to live a sustainable life in Italy
How to live a sustainable life in Italy

The scent of history

When traveling to the region Parma in Italy, you should definitely make a stop in the Negrotti Drogheria in Fidenzia. For many years now Negrotti has selected the best sustainable and organic specialties and delicacies from the region. The furniture is still the same as in 1890, the long counter reflects the old history and welcomes guests in a familiar atmosphere – a shopping experience like in grandmother's time. The Drogheria shows how traditions could be preserved and transferred into the modern world. 

How to live a sustainable life in Italy
How to live a sustainable life in Italy

Feeling at home in the Albergo Diffuso

The eco friendly Hotel Relais del Maro is an Albergo Diffuso with a main building located in the middle of the small village Borgomaro and three historic buildings in the village. Every room and suite is unique and designed with maximum attention to detail telling the anecdotes and stories of the former inhabitants. Instead of building a new hotel, the owner family Scalambrin decided to use and restore houses in the small village. Guests staying at Relais del Maro can chose to stay in the main building or in the houses in the small village among the villagers feeling like a local without intervening in nature, environment, culture and local community. Thereby the Albergo Diffuso supports social and economic regeneration of the local community while preserving Italian traditions.

How to live a sustainable life in Italy
How to live a sustainable life in Italy

Ecological land of plenty

Fattoria La Vialla is a family run organic farm located in Tuscany and a must-visit for sustainable connoisseurs. The farm produces and sells original and high-quality organic and biodynamic Italian food and wine. Only recently the farm was honoured with the award "B.A.U.M.", an environmental award for long-term commitment to environmental protection and sustainable development. The production process is resource-friendly and sustainable from planting until harvesting to eco-friendly packaging.

How to live a sustainable life in Italy
How to live a sustainable life in Italy

Pioneers in green and sustainable agriculture

The organic herb farm Pflegerhof in South Tyrol offers Italian herbs – perfect as a souvenir. Since 1982 all products, like herbs, teas, spices and cosmetics, are organically produced from the seed up to the final product. Therefore the farm owners are pioneers in green and sustainable agriculture in South Tyrol. Most of the herbaceous plants can also be bought in the in-house nursery. The care and protection of the environment by applying the rules of organic farming are the fundamental principles of the Pflegerhof. During farm excursions in the summer months the organic farm is offering an insight into the world of herbs for customers.

How to live a sustainable life in Italy
How to live a sustainable life in Italy

Tradition and history in South Tyrol

Surrounded by the picturesque landscape of South Tyrol, the Josephus unites a luxurious alpine lodge with apartments for a relaxing green vacation. During the restoration of the house attention was paid to maintaining but newly interpreting the old and farming style. Old furniture was renovated or modified; existing wood and floors were consciously reused. Today clear structures, minimalistic design and a warm wooden interior result in unrivalled comfort. The owners see themselves as a connection between the inhabitants of the mountain region and the guests offering an insight in the culture, tradition and history of the Schnalstal in South Tyrol while maintaining the untouched nature of the region.

How to live a sustainable life in Italy
How to live a sustainable life in Italy

Sustainable in the fashion capital

The Hotel Milano Scala, located in the centre of Milano, proofs that green and eco-friendly accommodations are not only to be found in rural areas but also in big cities. It was opened in 2010 as first Zero-Emission Hotel in the fashion capital and meets the highest energy efficiency standards. No CO2 emissions will be released into the atmosphere during the guest's stay. The herb garden on the sixth floor with its view over the roofs of the artists’ quarter Brera and the Milan Cathedral is known to be an oasis for relaxation. The air on the terrace is filled with the scent of fresh herbs, summer flowers, fruits and vegetables, which are processed by the kitchen.

Another green city hotel in Milan is Starhotels E.c.ho., the first ecological hotel of the Italian group brings eco-chic to Italy’s fashion capital. The hotel is the best example of the group's effort to reduce its environmental impact while providing an unforgettable and natural experience of eco-responsibility for guests. Highest energy standards are met and water is not only consciously used but also reused. For breakfast and in the in-house restaurant you will find a wide selection of organic food and vegetables. The partnership with Italy ensures furthermore a close working relationship with producers and that all ingredients are regionally sourced. 


Which part of Italy would you like to visit?

xoxo, Blair


38 LOVES AND COMMENTS:

  1. I've been dreaming about eating my way through the Italian countryside for years. I have a list of places I want to go, and I've just added Pflegerhof to the list. One entire cabinet in my kitchen is devoted to spices and herbs I've picked up in my travels and I would love to add some from Italy to the collection. Thanks!

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    1. I think when visiting Italy, it is a crime not to experience the local foods and their famous slow food culture.

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  2. Italy is such an amazing place. It's filled with natural beauty. The food is equally good and I am so glad to know that the farmers follow the practice of green and sustainable agriculture in South Tyrol.

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    1. That's true. I wish that my people here in the Philippines should learn a lot from Italian farmers.

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  3. It seems that more and more regions in Europe began developing sustainable ways of thinking and acting. I've heard of some green and eco-friendly projects even in some rural parts of Romania. These organic produce look so appealing! I'd love to visit this part of Italy someday.

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  4. Beautiful photos! Eating across Italy must be such a dream come true. I still regret only dining on pizza and gelato during my stay, hopefully I will visit Parma one day soon!

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  5. Oh I so love Italy. And going through your post has made me crave for all that good slow food once again. This is such a wonderful post about how Italian hotels and restaurants are taking steps towards becoming more sustainable and eco-friendly. And I think with the growing need of sustainable tourism, Italy is definitely making the right choices.

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    1. Many Italian homes and people are still proud of their roots and choose to maintain their food tradition.

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  6. This post was so helpful and it's actually inspired me to visit Italy. In the past couple of years I've started making a more conscious effort to travel responsibly and based on this article I think Italy would definitely be one of those destinations that facilitates that :) Thanks for sharing!

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    1. For some reasons, Italy excels in sustainability tourism.

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  7. Italian countryside looks dreamy. You are so lucky to have experienced these. I would love to experience the slow food there. It is great to know how people in Italy are getting more conscious about the environment and approaching toward sustainable options. Responsible and sustainable tourism is the need of the hour now.

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  8. Love this! And love the fact that more and more people are focusing more efforts on sustainability. I'm a huge foodie and of course Italy's super high up on my list too. This totally makes me wanna visit even more badly!

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    1. That would be great! Share us your Italy adventure soon.
      I hope that many places and cities will adopt sustainable tourism and food.

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  9. I love your photos, they are just gorgeous! The food looks so fresh and I love that they use organic farming methods. Italy is one of my favorite countries, might be time for a revisit soon!

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    1. I think their good climate also affects why they manages to make sustainable tourism well. Ohh how I wish my country will strongly implements their strategies.

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  10. Wao. The organic herb farms of Pflegerhof in South Tyrol are so beautiful. Country sides are the best places to explore rich culture of a place and try some unique dishes with organic substances.

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    1. The reason why I like Italy is because of their beautiful country side, not those touristic destinations.

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  11. Italy has always been on my list of travels. I have heard so much about authentic Italian food and their rich culture. But your article really increases awareness regarding the pioneering work being undertaken in field of sustainability. I hope other countries follow their example.

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    1. I agree, if my country will do this it will be a huge edge to the rest of the neighboring country.

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  12. Negrotti Drogheria is one of my favorites simply for their sustainable and organic specialties. Visiting places holding onto history in the form of old furniture and buildings delights me. The Drogheria has done a wonderful job in reminding us of how beloved history can be.

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  13. I didn't know about this place in Italy. It looks like a fabulous natural beauty. The olive groves are my favorite. I must visit it soon.

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  14. Jane Dempster-SmithMarch 28, 2019 at 7:37 AM

    I love articles like this. Italy is one of my favourite countries and combining it with sustainability products and a way of life - you can't get any better than this. I would love to pay a visit to L'adagio and try their beauty and spa products made from their local olive oil. I learnt something new today - I did not realise you could use leftover olive stones to make animal feed.

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  15. Ah, that cheese and wine! Deliciouso! The place still looks green and "classic" despite its modernity. Italy is a beautiful place, but it's a bit difficult for us to visit there considering our weak visa, exchange rate, etc.

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    1. That is true. Here in the Philippines, it is quite a challenge to apply for Italy travel visa. But hope it will fave way after this good news of Belt and Road agreement between Italy and China.

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  16. Great post! I am all for the slow food movement and in fact relish in that when I entertain friends at home. The olive groves look amazing and the small Ligurian olives are actually my favourite ones to graze on. I reckon I would absolutely love the eco friendly Hotel Relais del Maro, standing so regal in the middle of no where surrounded by that gorgeous scenery. I would love to visit Florence the next time I go back. That is one place I have yet to go!

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    1. Ohh I am excited to read your soon Italy adventures, Amy!

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  17. Italy in indeed a magical country. I could stay there for months together and see the beauty of the country and it's extraordinary cuisine.
    I recently visited Greece and both these countries share this magical yumminess of Olives!

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    1. Have you also read about these empty house for sale in Italy?! I got so excited I am texting my Italian friend for inquiry!

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  18. I can totally imagine staying in an alpine lodge in South Tyrol, among the scent of fresh herbs and flowers, sipping on some red wine and enjoying some organic Italian farm fresh food. Also not a bad idea- staying in an eco friendly resort in an offbeat, small, cosy Italian village. Village Borgomaro looks great!

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    1. I agree Staying at those non-touristic hotels sometimes the better choice.

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  19. Sadly I wouldn't be able to take many of these products home as souveneris. Though a visit to Pflegerhof does sound like fun

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