Eco Friendly Hotels

Eco hotels, Italian hospitality marries the “green” revolution

Italy Eco hotels are found in areas such as the Dolomites or the Tuscan hills, but also in the city. A tour of the Peninsula to discover them

Ecological materials, renewable energy, bio products, zero emissions and recycling. More and more structures are adopting eco-sustainable practices.

Without sacrificing comfort. Eco hotels are found in areas such as the Dolomites or the Tuscan hills, but also in the city. A tour of the Peninsula to discover them

Respect for the Planet never goes on vacation. Because even a break from everyday life can turn into a means to safeguard the environment. Managing to be even more fulfilling and relaxing. In fact, more and more hoteliers are adopting the ‘green’ philosophy to offer customers a quality product, adopting practices that try to minimize pollution. Italy is particularly active in this area.

In recent years the so-called Eco-Hotels have been multiplying: structures that have made recycling, the use of ecological materials, organic or zero-kilometer food, alternative mobility and renewable energy their trademark. A phenomenon so rapidly growing as to induce the Tripadvisor platform to create the EcoLeader badge: a green leaf (with various levels of excellence, depending on the degree of eco-sustainability) that stands out on the cards of the hotels that meet certain requirements and follow fair practices.

Italy Eco Hotels

But where are the Italy Eco-Friendly Hotels that are driving this revolution located? Many have tried to select the structures that today best embody this emerging trend in hospitality. EcoFriendlyHotels.org is trying to identify the hotels that could stimulate the tourist’s curiosity the most. The result is a geographical map of eco-hotels, which unites Italy from north to south. The mountain or rural spaces, for obvious reasons, are the reference habitats. But there is no shortage of pleasant surprises in large urban centers. It is easy to imagine that, over time, the ecological approach can ‘infect’ many other entrepreneurs, becoming something ordinary, available to everyone.

The symbol of Italian eco-friendly hotels

Having to identify the standard-bearer of Italian eco-hotels, it is almost mandatory to mention the Lefay Resort & Spa in Gargnano (Brescia). This luxury property on Lake Garda was among the first to believe in the potential of ecology combined with tourist hospitality.

Every aspect here highlights it. Starting from its bio-architecture: this eco-hotel externally integrates perfectly with the morphology of the territory, limiting the visual impact; internally, it uses natural materials from the area. The soul of the Eco-hotel is a semi-transparent structure (to avoid the use of artificial light) from which lateral bodies depart – totally covered by vegetation, so much so as to confuse them with the surrounding woods. While the water and energy resources are guaranteed by an autonomous power station that produces electricity from renewable sources (photovoltaic panels, biomass, cogeneration) and by a rainwater collection system. Only Km-0 products for the kitchen and staff chosen from the locals. There are many environmental quality certifications in its curriculum, such as the prestigious Green Globe. More than an Eco-friendly hotel, a symbol.

Eco friendly hotels in Trentino

In Trentino, in the Ledro Valley (a biosphere reserve protected by Unesco), the Eco Ambient Hotel Elda is making itself known. Here, light pollution is banned: 95% of the lighting (both internal and external) is low consumption. Lights that, often and willingly, remain off to allow you to enjoy the starry skies. The heat of this Eco hotel, on the other hand, is guaranteed by a biomass boiler powered by wood waste. Among the main attractions is a Spa equipped with a bio-sauna.

But the province is full of virtuous examples. Like the Eco Hotel Villa di Campo in Comano Terme, at the foot of the Brenta Dolomites: a nineteenth-century villa Рwhich boasts the European Ecolabel environmental label Рwhere holidaymakers can take care of a small biodynamic vegetable garden or simply observe how it is done ; a place where relaxation is king. Or like the Suite Hotel Castelir in Panchià (in Val di Fiemme), also equipped with the Ecolabel badge.

Eco friendly hotels in South Tyrol

Crossing into South Tyrol, however, there is a real monument to eco-sustainable tourism: the Vigilius Mountain Resort in Lana (Bolzano), one of the first Italian Eco Hotels to obtain ClimaHotel certification. Here the concept of green reaches very high peaks, both geographical and ideal. A five-star hotel located at 1500 meters above sea level, in the middle of nature and reachable from the town of Lana only thanks to a cable car.

The Eco-hotel concept is inspired by the ‘Theory of 3 zeros’ – zero emissions, zero kilometers, zero waste – the botanical architecture model proposed by Bolzano designer Matteo Thun, mastermind of the project. Built in larch wood, it reflects the colors of the woods in which it is immersed. Nature is respected from A to Z: the large triple-glazed wall windows shelter from the harsh mountain climate while offering a panoramic view of the valley; the walls are mostly clay and the internal fabrics are all natural; the heating is on biomass, with wood supplied by local farmers and with a fume filtering system that drastically reduces emissions; water and paper are used only as necessary, the cuisine is purely organic.

Eco friendly hotels in Northern Italy

Northern Italy has an excellent offer of eco hotels. In Bardolino (province of Verona), on the Venetian shore of Lake Garda, there is another well-known name in the sector: the Aqualux Hotel Spa & Suite. A hotel with a minimalist design that, while reducing energy consumption to the bone, has become a small paradise of well-being: over a thousand square meters of Spa, with seven thermal pools (outdoor and indoor) plus one salt water pool, saunas and baths Turks.

In Piedmont, however, more precisely in Riva Valdobbia (near Alagna, province of Vercelli) there is the Mirtillo Rosso Family Hotel: located on the slopes of the Monte Rosa ski complex, this eco hotel devoted entirely to green building and renewable energy, is famous for being the place where every month is Christmas (the managers organize ad hoc activities and surprises dedicated to families and their children).

Not far away, in Valle d’Aosta, is one of the most recent ‘green hotels’: the CampZero Active & Luxury Resort in Champoluc. Its offer, conceived together with the mountain guides, focuses on sport: a 25-meter indoor swimming pool inside a wooden structure (which recalls the landscape), an internal wall for rock climbing and an external one that, in winter, allows you to try ice climbing on site.

Eco friendly hotels in Tuscany

Going down the peninsula, another region with a strong green vocation is certainly Tuscany.

Among farmhouses, farmhouses, estates and eco-resorts there is only the embarrassment of choice. Among the eco-hotels that have stood out the most there are two linked by one of the leading products of the area: wine.

The Valdonica Winery & Vineyard Residence – in Sassofortino, a fraction of the medieval village of Roccastrada (Grosseto) – is literally immersed in the vineyards of the Maremma; a construction that takes up the style of classic Tuscan farmhouses by combining eco-sustainable technologies, such as the solar-powered underfloor heating and cooling system; with a careful eye also to the furniture (the beds, for example, are made from ancient oak barrels once used for storing wine.

Similar philosophy for Il Paluffo, eco lodge in Certaldo (Val d’Elsa, province of Florence), in the Chianti hills: a bio hotel that adopts all natural techniques (such as the recovery of rainwater to irrigate the gardens); particular is its swimming pond, purified without chlorine or chemicals but using aquatic plants.

Eco friendly hotels in Central Italy

Traveling around central Italy, the Bio B&B Italyke in Viterbo (a few minutes from the center of the ‘city of the popes’) deserves a stop, a country house where the rooms are furnished with natural materials (such as pressed cardboard for furniture and wood untreated for walls and floors); while in the English garden there is an almost unique piece: an eco-sauna powered by a wood stove.

For lovers of Umbria and tranquility, near Todi (Perugia) the Country Chic Resort Roccafiore, of the homonymous organic farm, is waiting for them, among the first wine producers to have chosen the photovoltaic and renewable energy path.

Eco friendly hotels in Southern Italy

There is also glory for the South. And where if not in the region that makes the rediscovery of rural tradition a cornerstone of its tourist offer: Puglia? Right here, in the Andria countryside, is the Lama di Luna bio-farm, a hotel that combines two lifestyles: eco-friendly and oriental feng-shui. The first was inspired by the restructuring, made by reusing the materials already present (bricks, fixtures, wooden boards); to the second the arrangement of the furnishings (the beds are positioned to the north and the edges have all been rounded).

But, as mentioned, eco-hotels are not an exclusive prerogative of places where nature is already predominant. Even in the most populous cities, in fact, the green philosophy can take root.

Eco friendly hotels in Milan

For example, it is difficult to believe that one of them is in the center of Milan, in the Brera district. Yet it is: it is the Milano Scala, a zero-emission boutique hotel (the first in the city). A 19th century building that recalls the typical railing houses but which, in reality, is an eco-sustainability spot: LED lighting, bio-degradable bathroom products, an electric car at the service of customers and an urban garden on the roof of the building – overlooking the Duomo – with flowers, fruit, vegetables and aromatic herbs.

 

 

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