7 Unique Experiences to Enjoy in Italy
These destinations are perfect to discover even while you are in the area for a conference or business meeting, or to combine with well known nearby destinations. Ready? Here are 7 activities to do in Italy that you won’t have thought of.
Get your passport to the Big Benches (Grandi Panchine)
It will make you feel like a kid again, if only because of size. It’s the tour of the Great Benches scattered in Piedmont between the Langhe and Monferrato. They can also be found in other parts of Italy and Europe, but most of them are in the territory of Piedmontese wines, where the initiative was born.
By purchasing the special Big Bench Community Project passport, you can collect the stamps that correspond to each bench, found on the app and on the official website.
Photo: Big Benches
See the desert while in Italy
Not many know that in Italy there is a real desert. It is located in the Sienese area, in the semi-desert area that goes from Asciano to Taverne d'Arbia. It has a hard clay soil, devoid of vegetation.
It is called Deserto di Accona, but the area is also known as “Biancane di Leonina”, and the view is truly impressive. From Siena you can easily reach it in an hour, both by car and by taking advantage of the fast regional trains.
Get lost in Arianna's labyrinth
In Castel di Lucio, in the province of Messina, there is a wonderful labyrinth in which to lose and find yourself.
It is called the Labrinto di Arianna, (Ariadne’s Labyrinth) and is located in the so-called Fiumara d'Arte, an open-air museum along the Tusa river valley, dotted with works by contemporary artists. If you are in Messina for work, it is 2 hours by car: but this unique activity will be worth the trip.
Created in 1990 by the Mantuan artist Italo Lanfredini, it is a journey to the center of oneself, of life. The title of the work refers to the legendary labyrinth wanted by King Minos and designed by Daedalus in which Theseus killed the Minotaur with the help of Ariadne and a ball of wool. The proverbial Ariadne's thread.
Photo: Arianna's labyrinth
Find a secret underground city
About an hour's drive from Turin lies a secret underground city, in Valchiusella, Piedmont.
This town is in fact built underground, in the depths of a mountain, but it is full of light, color and wonder. It's called Damanhur, it was founded in 1977, a small independent community lives there. Among the splendid rooms dedicated to water, earth, mirrors, all connected by corridors, stairs and secret passages, there is also the largest underground temple in the world. Definitely a must see!
Stroll through the village of murals
The walls are painted in the center of the small medieval village of Dozza, in Emilia Romagna: it's like entering a museum without having to pay for a ticket.
This spectacle of color and art is located 35 kilometers from Bologna and deserves to be explored slowly, strolling through the streets and letting yourself be captivated by the murals around every corner. The Biennale del Muro Dipinto is also held here.
Witness the Andromeda Theater
The Andromeda Theater is a breathtaking masterpiece. It is located in the province of Agrigento, in the heart of the Sicani mountains at an altitude of 1000 meters. Lorenzo Reina is the shepherd and sculptor who created this Italian uniqueness inspired by the sheepfolds that guard their flocks.
The 108 seats of this open-air theater ensure an unparalleled view and are arranged according to the constellation of Andromeda, of which they form a reproduction in stone. It is located an hour and a quarter by car from Agrigento and just under two hours from Palermo.
Visit the Ideal City in the heart of Umbria
Near Terni, in the valley where, according to legend, St. Francis would have lived, stands La Scarzuola, the Ideal City designed and built by the architect Tommaso Buzzi in 1956, and completed after his death in 1981, thanks to the sketches left in inheritance, from his nephew Marco Solari.
It is a great architectural work made of stone and inspired by other places in Italy and the world, such as Villa d'Este and Villa Adriana, the Acropolis of Athens, the Colosseum, the Park of Monsters of Bomarzo and the Renaissance palaces. The elements, shapes and subjects represented within it could only enchant you.