Traveling isn’t the most eco-friendly thing we can do, so it’s a good idea to try to lessen your environmental impact when we do travel. Thankfully, more and more tourist destinations are making it easy to do just that. One way to do it is to support the economies of smaller communities, helping them to maintain more of their traditions without resorting to bigger industries which could damage the environment.
For instance, in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia, eco-travelers can stay in cozy Alpine cabins which were slated to be demolished not so long ago. These rustic chalets were once homes for locals, but as the traditional means of making a living have gone out of fashion (things like farming), there are fewer people left who live in these Alpine villages year-round. While some people keep their chalets for summertime use, many families are abandoning their old homes altogether in search of work in the cities.
Instead of knocking down these cabins and apartments, however, some towns have gotten together to restore them and open them up for tourists. These Alpine chalets in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia are collectively called “Albergo Diffuso,” and visitors who choose to stay in them are not only treated to the peace and quiet of one of Italy’s least-visited and most-forested regions – they are also encouraged to mingle with the locals for a real taste of village life! So while there are plenty of outdoor activities in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia to keep any outdoors enthusiast happy for days, don’t forget to make the rounds at the cafe or restaurant, at the market and the bar – the residents of these Albergo Diffuso towns are pleased to have revitalized their own economy without having to give up the life they cherish, and they look forward to meeting you.
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Photo by: antonio