Here are 5 useful tips if you wish to celebrate Christmas and New Year’s Holidays far from consumption routine and near the Nature, in Italy:

1. Amazing Christmas, staying in old villages or in a real castle

Who said you can’t travel in time? Sleeping in an old castle in the heart of Umbria, for instance, as the castle of Botonta: here, among four-poster beds, ancient furniture and charming atmosphere, it will really look like you’re living in a fairy tale. A romantic destination to surprise your beloved one, and even a way to let your children day dream – they will go and search the queen or the frog turning into a prince.

Also, you can even choose to stay in a medieval village: in the inland of Liguria, a historic village nestled among citrus grove and the sea of the Amalfi coast, or else an old, mysterious village in Friuli region… Whatever your destination, it will certainly feel like home to stay at a “albergo diffuso“: a particular, hospitality resort which includes and gives new value to the old villages in Italy.

Therefore, you will be able to live as a real inhabitant of that village (or castle) for a few days. You’ll get away from it all, and follow the slow rhythms in the village routine; you’ll have a talk with their locals, take part in local food production – from wine to cheese – and discover another, possible, way of life.

More info here:10 Must-visit Popular Hotels to feel at home in the nicest villages in Italy

Torre della Botonta, an ancient castle now eco-sustainable, popular hotel, in the heart of Umbria
Torre della Botonta, an ancient castle now eco-sustainable, popular hotel, in the heart of Umbria, Italy

2. Stay warm, as cast-aways in the pure Nature of Cilento

There must be someone, like we, who is running away from their holidays on packed skiing tracks, and is dreaming of some calm destination, staying warm, with many books and few traffic. If you feel like spending your holidays in a warm place, surrounded by pure, luxuriant nature, ready to welcome you and release your senses, then here’s what suits you.
One of the widest National Parks in Italy facing a pure, crystal clear sea, at 30 minutes’ drive from Salerno and less than one hour far from the Amalfi Coast. However you move, on foot or on a donkey’s back, the Nature will always surprise you: its ancient caves, generous, scented greenery, the bitter taste of its olives and the sweet taste of arbutus – which, in fact, you will be able to pick up from trees, walking through one thousand km in the Park. In this corner of California “made in Italy” – you can eve dare to bathe in the sea, in December! – you will discover the ancient charm of its places, histories and Myths which have always inspired artists and writers.

More info here: Discovering Cilento, between Myth and Nature

Cilento
On the traces of Aeneas, along Cilento coast, photo by Emanuele Benigni

 

3. Christmas Holidays in the snow… with or without skiing!

“The snow has this secret to the heart in one breath naive joy as the years have mercilessly ripped him” (Antonine Maillet)
If you though that snow is the necessary magic ingredient for a great Winter holiday, well, be aware that, beside skiing, there are a number of entertainment solutions: more ecological, economical and without stress. Looking closely the stunning, natural ice sculptures, following the wild animals’ steps in the snow, immersed in the complete silence of a moonlight scenery, is definitely much more relaxing than an overcrowded skiing track. Among sleigh rides, tours on snowshoes, sled, excursions on a coach towed by horses or sleigh dogs, there are umpteen possibilities to discover the magic, snowy landscape of the Alps and the Apennines. You’ll be spoilt for choice!
More info here:  3 uniques places for horse sledding in Italy

Chamois, the highest place in Aosta Valley, perfect destination for a holiday in the snow, without using your car.
Chamois, the highest place in Aosta Valley, perfect destination for a holiday in the snow, without using your car.

4. Immersion into – free! – Natural Spa, to relax on New Years’

Immerse yourself into the warm sulfur water of a natural basin carved in the stone, surrounded by snowy meadows and forests… if this looks like your perfect holiday in the sign of relax, you have to know that in Italy there are many thermal pools with completely free access. From Valtellina to Lazio, from Lombardy to Tuscany, hot-water waterfalls, steamy waters and wonderful creeks await you! Perfect wellness oasis to re-establish your harmony with nature, while regenerating both your body and soul!

More info here: Five Natural Spas to spend a weekend in (almost) free, total relax

Natural Spa in Bormio, Italy
Natural Spa in Bormio, Italy

 

5. At Christmas, mulled wine-scented atmosphere

“I wish we could put up some of the Christmas spirit in jars and open a jar of it every month, little by little..”  (Harlan Miller)

If you were looking forward to Christmas, in order to store some Christmas spirit, now is the time to lose yourself among the Advent markets in some tiny village over the Alps, walk past the adorned, wooden houses, deeply breath spicy perfumes, warm up with a glass of mulled wine (in local dialect, vin brulé) and a slice of warm Strudel. Then, if you decide to travel by train and stay at one of the eco-sustainable, hospitality resorts in Trentino-Alto Adige Region , your holiday will be 100% eco-sustainable.

More info here: Christmas Markets: 5 reasons not to miss them

Christmas markets in Merano, photo by SMG A Filz, via Flickr
Christmas markets in Merano, photo by SMG A Filz, via Flickr

 

EN_EN_EN_EN_EN_EN_EN_EN_EN_EN_EN_EN_EN_EN_EN_EN_EN_EN_EN_EN_EN_EN_EN_EN_EN_EN_