This month for the Italy Blogging Roundtable, my colleagues and I decided we would write about “fall.” Not autumn, but fall. So that left me a little bit of room for interpretation. Without doubt, Italy is a wondrous place to be in the fall: leaves are changing, fall fashion is beckoning from store windows and on the perfectly trim bodies of Italian males and females, and truffles are appearing on menus throughout the country. But I decided to write about “fall” in a different way by highlighting a few interesting activities that take you away from the art and the shopping and the endless indulging of food and wine – all fabulous things but not the end-all-and-be-all of what Italy has to offer for active travelers. The following three activities are focused on “fall” but are not strictly reserved for autumn.
Touring the Cascate delle Marmore
Located in Umbria near Terni at the juncture of the Velino and Nera Rivers, Marmore Falls is the highest man-made waterfalls in the world. First conceived by the ancient Romans in 271 B.C., the falls were adjusted and re-engineered by several subsequent Roman administrations, ranging from the Roman Senate during Cicero’s time (54 B.C.) to a number of popes. What’s cool about Marmore Falls is that, because they are man-made, they can be turned on and off. So, imagine you go to the park and get to watch as the proverbial spigot is turned to the on position. Marmore Falls has paved pathways and several overlooks, making touring of the site simple but no less spectacular.
Skydiving in Casale Monferrato
Roughly halfway between Milan and Turin lies the town of Casale Monferrato known for its rice production and wineries and that is, like almost all Italian towns, a picturesque little village brimming with history. What is not evident on the surface, however, is that Casale Monferrato is Italy’s oldest dropzone for skydiving enthusiasts. If you’re an an adrenaline junkie, hurtling towards earth then floating gently above the terracotta roofs and green fields could give you an even greater appreciation of your trip to Italy. One school to try is the Area Delta 47 Accademia di Paracadutismo, a skydiving and parachuting school that offers tandem and solo jumps.
Paragliding in the Dolomites
If jumping out of a perfectly good airplane isn’t for you, perhaps paragliding over the Dolomites would be of interest. Italy’s Dolomites are part of the Alpine chain and consist of dozens of imposing limestone formations. The beauty and ancient history of the Dolomites have also qualified them as one of Italy’s UNESCO Heritage Sites, making the area among several dozen must-see sites in the country. To get an even better view of the Dolomiti, one of the area’s most respected paragliding operators Fly 2 offers beginning/tandem flights and solo paragliding excursions.
- ArtTrav – Fall in Italy: What to Wear for Midseason Weather
- At Home in Tuscany – The colors of the fall in Tuscany
- Brigolante – The Fall Museum Crawl
- WhyGo Italy – Fall Food Festivals & the Almighty White Truffle