Focusing on issues such as renewable energy, overtourism and lowering the carbon footprint, the New York Times travel list 2022 includes three Italian destinations.
With climate change an important part of the travel agenda nowadays, many are looking for sustainable travel solutions. The New York Times travel list 2022 identifies 52 destinations around the globe where “travellers can be part of the solution.”
Number one on the list is Chioggia in Veneto. In the south of the Venetian lagoon, around 50km from the more famous Venice, is the island town of Chioggia. It may not have the Doge’s palace, gondolas clothed in mourning or the Piazza San Marco, but it is a wonderful place to visit.
Authentic for the region, Chioggia has the romantic bridges and lagoons, wonderful beaches, and pretty cafés and restaurants. If you’re looking for romance with fewer tourists, then Chioggia is for you.
First named in writing in the 5th century, Chioggia received its town charter in the Middle Ages. It became a bishop’s seat in the 12th century. Colourful houses line canals. The Corso del Popolo is a pedestrian zone in the evening, lined with cafés, restaurants and palaces. Nine bridges span the main waterway, Canale Vena.
As Venice continues to fight overtourism with limits on day-trip visitors, travellers may consider giving pretty Chioggia a try.
Naples may seem a surprising entry to the list considering it is densely populated and faces soaring temperatures in the future. However, there are ways to explore the city which tears at the senses. As you tire of the grime, you turn a corner and see beauty. When the noise becomes too much, you happen upon an oasis of calm. And all the while, Vesuvius reminds you it holds your fate in its hands.
Nearby, are the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum whose fate Vesuvius certainly did control. And for a day trip away – preferably by train – is the beautiful palace of Caserta. But within Naples itself there is plenty to see. To keep the carbon footprint down, the New York Times suggests La Pedamentina with its 414 steps. It is a system of descents and stairs dating back to the fourteenth century, with incredible panoramic views.
Another destination where climate change could have a drastic impact is Courmayeur. The town has, however, been taking steps to strike a balance between tourism and conservation for decades. At the foot of Mont Blanc, Courmayeur began limiting access in the summer to its two high valleys, Val Veny and Val Ferret, with a fixed number of private cars.
The cable car which takes passegers to Mont Blanc, runs on renewable energy. However, one of the glaciers, Planpincieux, has been declared in danger of collapse.