A mini guide to golf on Italy’s islands

After exploring golf courses in north, the center and the south of Italy, our Italian golf tour ends on the beautiful islands of Sicily and Sardinia.

Surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea, both regions feature breathtaking sea and countryside landscapes, delicious gastronomy and lots of cultural and historic sights. Dotting the islands are some fun golf courses, where you can play all year round thanks to the mild temperatures. Let’s have a look at the main ones…

SICILY

Il Picciolo golf course in Sicily, Italy

Il Picciolo in Sicily, next to the Etna Volcano

At Verdura Golf Resort you will find three links-style golf courses designed by Kype Phillips. Two of these are 18-hole championship courses, while the other has 9 holes. They all sit on 1,8 km of panoramic coastline. Il Picciolo Golf Club offers 18 holes with a unique backdrop: Mount Etna, Europe’s most active volcano! Finally, Donnafugata offers two 18-hole golf courses in the Sicilian countryside: a Parkland signature course by Gary Player, and a Links course by Italian architect Franco Piras.

SARDINIA

Pevero golf course in Sardinia

Pevero golf course in Sardinia

Pevero Golf Club has the signature of legendary architect Robert Trent Jones. It enjoys a magical location on the Costa Smeralda, surrounded by rock formations, natural lakes, the Mediterranean vegetation and the emerald sea. Sardinia’s largest course is Is Molas Golf Club with 27 holes. Its championship course is considered as one of the most technically satisfying and spectacular courses of the Mediterranean. Is Arenas Golf Club was designed by Von Hagge, Smelek and Baril, and includes 18 holes plus 3 executive ones.

 

A mini guide to golf in southern Italy

San Domenico Golf, Italy

Volturno Golf, Italy

It is time for the third instalment in IGolfTuscany’s mini guide on Golf in Italy. Following the articles on Golf in the North  and Golf in the Center of the boot, here is a brief presentation on the best golf courses towards the toe and the heel of this beautiful country.

CAMPANIA: The homeland of the Pizza Margherita and the Buffalo Mozzarella features some striking golf courses, among which is the 36-hole Volturno Golf. One course is immersed in the pinewood for 9 holes, while the other half lie on a sandy terrain overlooking the sea and the Islands of Ischia and Procida, links style. The other 18-hole course is located on a flat surface that alternates a series of lakes and canals in a typical Mediterranean garden.

APULIA: Some spectacular golf courses dot the “heel” of Italy, between the amusing Trulli and elegant limestone Masserie. San Domenico Golf includes typical local plants and rocks, which give it a unique identity. The Acaya Golf Club is characterized by a complex system of small lakes and streams that provide a relaxing natural soundtrack. You cannot miss the beautiful waterfall that divides holes 11 and 12. Riva dei Tessali is surrounded by a beautiful pine forest and alternates wide and narrow holes. All of these are 18-hole golf courses next to the sea, where the wind can make the game particularly challenging.

BASILICATA: This region only has 1 golf course so far. The championship 18-hole Metaponto Golf Club actually belongs to Riva dei Tessali. It is only a 15-minute drive from the Apulia golf course and 55 km away from the historic Sassi of Matera.

CALABRIA: Nothing much to say for this region. It only has two 9-hole golf courses called San Michele and Feudo Montalto.

If you think we are done with IGolfTuscany’s guides to Golf in Italy… you are wrong! Stay tuned for the next post on the best golf spots in the beautiful islands of Sicily and Sardinia!

3-2-1 action! Movie set on the Argentario golf course in Tuscany

An Italian movie is currently being filmed on the fairways and greens of the Argentario Golf Club, a panoramic 18-hole golf course in southern Tuscany.

The film is directed by Alessio Maria Federici and features Italian movie stars: Raoul Bova, Luca Argentero, Sergio Assisi and Carolina Crescentini. Can’t recognize the names? Well, they are not that famous abroad!

Other scenes are filmed around the Argentario Promontory, including some in the charming village of Porto Ercole, which was recently added in the list of Most Beautiful Villages in Italy.

Here are some shots of the crew getting ready to film “io e mio fratello” (myself and my brother) on the golf course!

Argentario Golf - film in Toscana

Argentario Golf Club, movie in Tuscany

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Carnival in southern Tuscany: the colors of Maremma

Originally posted on MaremmaBlog:

Carnival in Italy is a big deal and a big party with long-rooted traditions. You surely have heard of the famous festivals in Venice (Veneto) and Viareggio (Tuscany). But most towns have smaller but just as interesting and dynamic Carnival parades. Here are some examples from the Maremma, the beautiful area in southern Tuscany!
Orbetello Carnival, Maremma Tuscany

Photo by Argentario Resort Golf & Spa

ORBETELLO
The charming town located in the middle of a WWF-protected lagoon celebrates Carnival with a colorful parade along its main road in the historic center. Locals compete against each other by parading with or cheering for the floats that represent their neighborhoods. This year, the ‘Carnevaletto da 3 soldi’ (literally ‘Three-coin small Carnival’) takes place on the 16th and 23th of February and then on the 2nd and 9th of March 2014.

Carnevape Carnival in Pitigliano, Tuscany

Photo by La Nazione

PITIGLIANO
The breathtaking village perched on a tufa cliff – also known…

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Maremma Tuscany features in Departures’ “design golf destinations”

You would think it is unlikely to find rustic southern Tuscany in any list of Top Design destinations around the world. And yet, the exclusive luxury and lifestyle magazine by American Express, Departures, has included the Maremma in its list of “Design-Forward Golf Retreats”.

argentarioresort_outdoorThe Tuscan design property that showcases the region’s most progressive and modern side is the Argentario Resort Golf & Spa. Located near the coast, the resort boasts one of the most scenic and testing courses in central Italy, maintained with sustainable techniques.

The resort features a mix of contemporary and vintage styles and décor, large glass windows that overlook the Mediterranean greenery, and has an airy dragonfly shape that blends in with the surrounding Tuscan landscape.

The 18-hole golf course was designed by David Mezzacane in collaboration with Italian golfer Baldovino Dassù. The on-site golf academy is managed by head pro Emanuele Canonica, European Tour player and winner of the Johnnie Walker Championship, and also offers the best available golf teaching technology.

golfargHave a look at this and other eye-catching properties that show that thoughtful design goes beyond the greens: “Design-Forward Golf Retreats” by Departures.

Porto Ercole in Tuscany joins “the Most Beautiful Villages of Italy” list

The old town of Porto Ercole has just been recognized as one of the Most Beautiful Villages of Italy, an award granted by a club that was created in 2001 with the objective of promoting and protecting the huge historic, artistic, cultural and environmental heritage of small villages and hamlets across Italy.

The historic center of Porto Ercole is surrounded by ancient walls, and is formed by small alleys and colorful houses perched on a hill. It is dominated by the XIII-century Spanish fort (known as La Rocca) and drops into the blue Mediterranean Sea. The tourist harbor features a panoramic promenade with cafes and restaurants. The hill is immersed in the Mediterranean vegetation. Every year, the surrounding waters receive the Blue Flag Award for their cleanliness and sustainability.

Porto Ercole

Porto Ercole, historic center and harbor

Other hamlets in the Maremma Tuscany that have received the title of The Most Beautiful Villages of Italy include:

Pitigliano

Pitigliano, Tuscany

Sovana

Sovana, Tuscany

Suvereto

Suvereto, Tuscanyand Giglio Castello

Giglio Castello, Maremma Tuscany