Italy might be known for its laidback lifestyle, sipping wine and eating glorious cuisine, but beneath the surface, Italy is far more adventure-filled than you might expect. In fact, Italy is full of fun, wild and memorable activities that will have any thrill-seeker desperate to return to this superb country. Here are five of the best ways to get your adrenaline pumping in Italy.
5 Adventures to Have in Italy
Mount Etna, Taormina
No Italian adventure would be complete without a trip to the sizzling Sicily to see Mount Etna. Named in 2013 as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this volcano towers over the island at more than 10,000 feet (3,329 meters). Etna is the largest volcano in Europe, and is also one of the most active in the world. In fact, Etna has already had eruptions twice this year.
There are various ways to see all of Mount Etna’s glory – from hiking (solo or guided), mountain biking or even a jeep tour. Hiking up Mount Etna is challenging work, but worth it for the views from the top. Expect to see volcanic caves, lava flows and the lush greenery that strives in the nearby volcanic soil. Many tours will also have stops to taste some of the products, such as olive oil and honey that are produced up the mountain.
Most trips – whether you fancy hiking or a tour – can easily be organised from the picturesque hilltop town of Taormina, where you can stay in a traditional house with Mount Etna as your backdrop.
Volo dell’Angelo, Castelmezzano
Known as the ‘angel flight’, Volo dell’Angelo allows you to feel like you are actually flying through the stunning Italian mountains. The flight takes place in Basilcata, above the Lucanian Dolomites. Here you will be harnessed onto a steel cable and travel from the town of Castelmezzano to Pietrapertosa before travelling back by another cable, in what is described as a truly unique experience.
If you have a GoPro or similar, be sure to bring it with you to film your experience – or the organizers do have some for rent and also a photo-taking service. Then, once your flight is over, spend the day in one of the towns you flew over, enjoying some of the cuisine that Italy is so famous for.
Nothing says adventure quite like canyoning; after-all this is an activity that combines jumping, climbing, swimming and abseiling to name a few. And what better place to go canyoning than in the picturesque caves and waterfalls of Umbria?
On your excursion, you’ll discover the hidden realms of Earth in one of the best ways possible – hiking and climbing down waterfalls with ropes! Tickets can be purchased as on open or group tour, based on what you’re looking for and you’ll be able to hire all the equipment you need for the day.
When you think of Venice, gondolas and romance probably spring to mind, but for the adventure-seeker there is more to Venice than meets the eye.
Kayaking through Venice is a totally unique way to explore and discover this beautiful city. Tours range from city tours, where your guide will show you all the hidden gems Venice has to offer, or you can book a full or half day excursion to places like Burano (a small island 6 miles (10 kilometers) from Venice filled with multi-colored homes) and the Venetian Lagoon.
These tours are also a great way to meet new fellow-adventurers while on holiday.
Hot Air-Balloon, Tuscany
Soaring above the clouds of Tuscany in a hot-air balloon seems more like something out a movie, yet there are numerous companies in the area that will take you thousands of feet into the sky and fly you over the Florentine Chianti hills and the many spectacular vineyards in the area.
A camera here is a must, as you will see views and sights that would be impossible from the ground. An experienced pilot and crew will guide you through the history of the area, and some tours offer a prosecco breakfast picnic for their travelers.