Tripled in one year. This according to the 2017 EURISPES report is the number of people claiming to be vegan. In 2016 the figure was a little under 1% and it is now 3%. This increase has given rise to special supermarkets, restaurants, pharmacies and fashion boutiques aimed at vegans and also specialist hotels, cruises, B&Bs and romantic farmhouse holidays. Here are some places in Italy where the holiday is perfectly in tune with those eating habits.
POSTA ZIRM HOTEL
Corvara, in the UNESCO-protected Dolomites, is home to the first hotel in Alto Adige that in 2012 started offering a daily menu of 5 different entirely vegan courses. The Posta Zirm hotel is still following this path, now also offering a large number of certified gluten-free products (postazirm.com). Set in a winter wonderland, the hotel has been completely refurbished with rooms in contemporary Alpine style and it boasts a spa covering 950m2 designed according to the principles of Feng Shui, the Chinese philosophy based on the harmony of the five cyclical aspects of energy: fire, water, wood, metal earth.
OASI GALBUSERA BIANCA
Five fourteenth century Lombard farmhouses refurbished according to the principles of eco-architecture, using renewable energy sources with no carbon dioxide emissions into the air. A delightful welcome awaits visitors to the farmhouse holiday venue Oasi di Galbusera Bianca, in 2005 the first private Italian holiday establishment to be affiliated to the WWF Italia biodiversity oasis system. In the Province of Lecco (oasigalbuserabianca.it), this little jewel in the heart of the natural parkland of Parco Regionale di Montevecchia e della Valle del Curone, offers a holiday at one with nature, starting with the cuisine featuring mainly vegetarian and vegan dishes prepared using ingredients grown on the 20 hectares of land according to the principles of biodiversity. Guests are also pampered with health and beauty treatments with an oriental inspiration such as massages to the sound of Tibetan bells or other musical instruments played live. What’s more the rooms, suites and the apartment are furnished in wood with unique items specially chosen by the owner Gaetano Besana.
FATTORIA SAN MARTINO
The Fattoria San Martino is a biodynamic farming business nestling among the green hills of Montepulciano (fattoriasanmartino.it). It is home to just four suites with solid wood floors each with different furnishings in natural materials and fabrics. There is no television because the real show to enjoy every day is the natural one to be seen through the windows. Breakfast is prepared using organic products with bread and pastries made in-house and the restaurant offers vegan and vegetarian cuisine using natural ingredients harvested fresh every day from the surrounding fields. Delicious recipes guests can learn how to prepare on the special farmhouse cookery courses so they can make the same dishes at home.
Immersed in the glorious countryside of the Tiber Valley, within easy reach of Tarquinia, Orvieto and Viterbo with its hot springs (hortensiae.com). Casale Hortensiae makes a contribution to protecting the environment with a solar energy generating plant and its menu of organic vegetarian food uses only local ingredients. During the year it offers training courses in natural cuisine, Ayurvedic massage, yoga sessions in the open air or in the yurt, the white tent of the nomadic peoples of Central Asia. These services make it part of Veggie Hotels, a collection of hotels aimed at people in search of an authentic natural and eco-friendly holiday.