What to do in Italy
Visit the beach
In theory beach access is free to all in Italy but as with a lot of things in this country the practice may be somewhat different to the law. Many stretches of beach, particularly those close to urban areas, are let out to private concessions. In the season they cover almost all the beach with rows and rows of sunbeds (lettini) and umbrellas (ombrelloni). You have the right to pass through these establishments without being charged to get to the sea, and should be able to walk along the sea in front of them. More affordable are the beaches in Calabria, most are free, you will only need to pay for the eventual equipment you want to rent.
South of Rome there are 20km of free beach at the Circeo National Park. This is thank to Dr. Mario Valeriani, who was in charge of that area after WWII and never gave permissions to build anything, in spite of the very generous bribes offered by a multitude of would be investors and private millionaires, as he thought this was a natural marvel that was to remain as it was intended. So today we can all enjoy this stretch of nature. You can bring your own chair and sun cover and you will only be charged a parking fee on the main road.
While renting lettini for the day is not particularly expensive at establishments, they can fill up very quickly. There are some free beaches everywhere: they are easily identifiable by the absence of regimented rows of lettini. They can get very crowded: on a Saturday or Sunday in the summer you won’t find an empty stretch of beach anywhere. Most establishments offer full services including entertainment, bar and restaurant, gym classes, kindergarten and much more. Close to urban areas you will never be far from a fish restaurant on the beach or, at the very least, a bar. On the beach, topless women are more or less accepted everywhere but complete nudity is absolutely not accepted anywhere in Italy and it carries a hefty fine and/or arrest.
Visit the vineyards
Italy is famous for its wine. And its vineyards tend to be in the middle of some beautiful scenery. Taking an organized tour is probably your best bet. Day trips can usually be organized through your hotel if you are staying in a major wine area such as Chianti or through the local tourism office. There are several companies offering longer tours that include meals and accommodation. A simple web search for “Italian vineyard tours” or “wine tour Italy” will find them. Note that these longer tours tend to emphasize good food, great wine and a high standard of accommodation and are thus expensive.
Italy has a passion for cycling and there is no better way to explore off the tourist path, than by bicycle. The main hub for the bicycle manufacturing industry has always been in Northern Italy. Each region is varied in the style of riding you will encounter and unique and cultural specialties. There are several companies that offer cycling tours throughout Italy. You can either cycle on your own as a self-guided tour or a supported tour that provides a guide to help you during your program. You can do destination tours changing cities each day or ride two or three days in one location before moving on, also there are various skill levels.
Sailing is one of the best ways to see the Italian islands such as Sardinia and Sicily. Most charter companies offer many options from bareboat to crewed and cabin charter, with all types of the boats.
Charter a yacht to discover Italy‘s numerous islands or to visit hidden coves and beaches that are not accessible otherwise.