A train ticket, a suitcase and your wanderlust. Joy wrote us from the UK, as she’s looking for some tips on a no-car holiday in Italy, to discover the beauties of this country not only in cities, but also in the countryside. Here are our suggestions.

Discovering Italy by train
Josh Nezon via unsplash

Dear Ecobnb,

I’ve seen your website, and it’s such a great idea.  My friend and I want to go to Italy for 5 days to a week in the 3rd week of September this year, and we don’t want to rent a car, but we’d rather not spend all our time in a city. We love the idea of an organic farm visit or stay, or gastronomic tour, but we want to ideally take trains for this, as neither of us drive. Could also use busses, but don’t want to be too inconvenienced getting from place to place.

Do you have any suggestions for us, which would be easy to fly into from the UK and then use just public transport, but would also be very special, food-wise and surroundings, and
not just a city break?

Many thanks for your help

Dear Joy,

what a brilliant idea you had! Italy will surely amaze you, every region has its own specialties and picturesque landscapes in the countryside. And if you’d rather travel car-free and take the train, the bus or your bike instead, everything will be even more authentic.

Here you are three destinations in three different regions worth visiting.

1. In Sicily, exploring Catania, Mount Etna and the surroundings by train

Catania and Mount Etna
Catania and Mount Etna, via wikimedia

To get to Sicily, we suggest you fly into Catania: a gem filled with art and culinary specialties, whose historical city center and secret spots will leave you speechless. Do not miss Sant’Agata Cathedral and “O Liotru”, the little elephant made a symbol for the entire city and located in the main square. At the Mercato Centrale you’ll aso find many local and fresh products.

Leaving Catania, you can take the train running on the old railroad “Circumetnea, to discover the Etna Natural Park… the highest volcano in Europe! Following this unique itinerary, which was opened back in 1898, this train will lead you discovering the lava landscapes and the many small towns built on the slopes of the volcano.

Right next to one of the many stops of the Circumetnea, you’ll find the charming eco-farm BagolArea, where you’ll be surrounded by vineyards while staring at the unforgettable crystal-clear waters of the sea. Guests also have the chance to taste the authentic Sicilian food and, most importantly, to learn all of its secrets during specific cooking classes!

2. In Trentino Alto-Adige, traveling by train among farms and mountain huts

Mountains of Trentino, Discovering Italy by train
Trentino Alto-Adige’s Mountains, photo by Cristina Gottardi via unsplash

It’s easy to get to the region of Trentino Alto Adige, especially if you fly into Verona or Trento, and using the train from here to move around in the surroundings is very convenient. The first stop you should visit is Rovereto: with a fascinating historical center, an ancient castle and one of the most important museums of contemporary art in Italy and in Europe, the Mart Museum.

From Rovereto you can take the train and get to Ala and Malga Riondera: an agriturismo in the Lessinia Natural Park, that you can easily reach with the shuttle bus (don’t forget to book it in advance with Alice, the owner). Departing from here, you can go on many different excursions on foot to discover local food, from cheese to milk and many others.
Back on our train, your next stop should definitely be Trento: even this historical town in the heart of the Agìdige Valley is a must. You’ll find the Buoncosiglio Castle overlooking the city, Muse (the Science Museum) and many culinary specialties to try. You can choose among one of these agriturismi you can easily get to without driving a car: from here, don’t miss the chance to pay a visit to the many Alpine Pearls, always encouraging sustainable mobility.

Last stop in your tour of Trentino Alto Adige is Bolzano: while in the city center you can visit the Otzi Museum, in the surroundings you’ll find Vilnoss, another Alpine Pearl promoting bus, train and bike mobility. You should definitely overnight in one of these eco-freindly hospitalities!

3. In Veneto, to discover Venice and the Venetian countryside by bike and train

Discovering Italy by train: Venice
Venice, photo by Luca Bravo via unsplash

Flying to region Veneto is super simple, today we suggest you fly into Venezia. The perfect way to discover the surrounding area is by bike, but you’ll also find many opportunities to travel by train. Local specialties vary from sea to mountain products: remember to try at least one of the typical osterie and everything they have to serve you.

Cycling around in the countryside you’ll also reach the biological farm Settecentoalberi, surrounded by a green and rich vegetation stretching as far as the eye can see. Here you’ll also find some more cooking classes and a renowned restaurant.

If you travel green you’ll be able to fully experience every place you visit: have you already decided where to travel next?

You might also like:

Top 6 italian villages to discover on foot

Carfree cities, where you can enjoy your route!

Top 10 green hotels among the Alpine Pearls