Let us be lulled and carried away by the sound of water, let’s discover the natural habitats of some of Italy’s most beautiful waterways, discover the places that have often shaped the history of our cities and dive right into pristine nature and enjoy the silence and sun: let’s rediscover the pleasure of a holiday on the banks of a river.

Living special moments in contact with fresh water often represents a sustainable choice: you do not need to go far to get to a river. In addition, it is the perfect place for many outdoor activities such as walking tours, biking, or canoeing. This is why we have selected 10 experiences of living long or in a river for you, with 10 tips for sleeping in beautiful, original, and eco-friendly accommodations.

Biking along the Adige

Verona and Adige river
Photo by Kosala Bandara via Flickr

Between the Trentino-Alto Adige and Veneto, Adige is the second river in Italy in terms of length, after Po. The stream flows through the plains and mountain areas and passes from alpine to continental climates. For almost its entirety, there’s a bike path that allows you to explore the surrounding nature and the tows that were born along its waters. The routes that we suggest you to make riding your bike are two: from Garda to Verona, and along the meanders in the territory of Pescantina.

Where to stay: Tirtha Farm is surrounded by greenery and has direct access to the river Adige. Built according to green architecture’s principles, it uses clean energy sources and produces eggs, milk, jams and organic biscuits. It also offers beautiful rooms suitable for yoga and meditation.

A romantic mini-cruise on the Arno river

Arno river in Florence
Photo by Rodrigo Soldon via Flickr

One of the best ways to discover Arno and the wonderful towns and cities that it crosses (including the inevitable Firenze) is aboard the traditional wooden small boats. The main stream of Tuscany is wrapped in a fabulously romantic atmosphere and it’s perfect for a weekend in two.

Where to stay: only 5 kilometers from Florence, in the hills of Fiesole there is the B&B La Martellina, housed in a charming old mill on the banks of Arno.

Itinerary on foot to discover the freezing Orfento river

Orfento river

We move to Abruzzo, to immerse ourselves in the heart of the spectacular Majella National Park. Here flows the river Orfento that you can explore through an easy route of 14 kilometers through woods and bridges. The itinerary begins in Caramanico Terme, beautiful village at 613 meters above sea level.

Where to stay: a few steps from the starting point of our route Pietrantica Farm awaits us, where the rooms have been converted from old barns and the food is exclusively organic.

In the heart of Adda Park

Adda river, Italy
Photo by Demis Gallisto via Flickr

We take back our bikes to discover the show that offers us the Adda River: wonderful views of lush vegetation, deep gorges, and small churches overlooking the river await us in this 75-km route from Milan that goes up to the romantic Lecco.

Where to stay: in the river park, not far from Lecco, you can stay at the Fattoria Amici Cavalli, farm that specializes in horse breeding.

The Pollina River and Tiberio Gorges

Tiberio Gorges, Sicily
Photo by Maria Izzo via Flickr

Among the Nebrodi and the Madonie in Sicily, there’s Pollina river that gives rise to one of nature’s most fascinating shows of the island, the Tiberio Gorges. 450 steps separate us from the river and from the gorges, which can be visited exclusively by dinghy. The scenarios that await us are indescribable and find yourself amidst the smooth cliffs, on the surface of deep water is an unforgettable experience.

Where to stay: La Manna di Zabra is a comfortable organic farm located in the green of the Pollina river valley, only 10 km from Cefalu.

The mouth of Belice river

The mouth of Belice river

We remain on the island of Sicily to discover a landscape of rare beauty. We are now in the province of Trapani, in the Orientata Natural Reserve. Here dunes, sand, and vegetation create amazing scenery, that becomes even more magical at sunset.

Where to stay: in the countryside of Trapani, in a typical rural village, we can sleep at the B&B Baglio Case Colomba which offers spacious rooms and a beautiful Arabian garden, perfect for relaxing on summer evenings.

A dip in Fiora river


When temperatures allow it, the rivers also become the perfect place to cool off! For those who are in Tuscany, a dip in the waters of the Fiora River is a must! This watercourse is born on Mount Amiata, before moving into the territories of Sorano, Manciano, and Pitigliano, incredible pearls of this region.

Where to stay: a few minutes from the source of the Fiora River, on the side of the mountain, there is the B&B Podere di Maggio, eco-friendly accommodation that offers a pristine environment and a friendly welcome.

Navigating an underground river

Pertosa Caves

At 40 minutes from Salerno, near the border with Basilicata, we find the only  caving site in Europe where you can navigate an underground river that goes into the heart of the mountain. These are the Pertosa Caves, which stretch for about three thousand meters in an exciting path. A few hours are enough to visit them, for a fascinating boat trip along the Negro River.

Where to stay: in the heart of the medieval village of Brienza, less than 30 km from the caves, you can stay in a beautiful historic house built in stone. Upon your arrival a welcome drink and a view that will speak for itself.

Weekend at Chiani river, fishing and diving


If you need a rural getaway, made of small things, the Orvieto countryside seems to be the perfect place. Here Chiani creek runs for 42 kilometers, creating a perfect oasis for relaxation and where you can also fish.

Where to stay: A vegetable garden, an orchard, a country house, and a chicken coop have become the new home of four young adults who have decided to leave the city life and share their choice with travelers from around the world.

Canoeing on the Vara river

river in Liguria

Our last tip is the longest river of Liguria, Vara river. It born from the slopes of Mount Zatta and flows for 58 kilometers through lush forests and rocky cliffs. From Verese Ligure until the confluence with Magra stream, there are several fairways in canoe that allow you to live moments of adventure among pristine landscapes.

Where to stay: surrounded by forests of pines and oaks, Il Filo di Paglia is a farm in Pavareto, a small village in the Ligurian hinterland, and is the first thatched house of the region.