Enjoying the great outdoors – making the most of Italy under the autumn sun

Enjoying the great outdoors – making the most of Italy under the autumn sun

  • 85% of people cite playing outside as one of their greatest childhood memories (National Trust)
  • Families turn to Italy to enjoy the great outdoors (Appassionata)
  • From paragliding to snowboarding, Le Marche has it all (Monti Sibillini National Park)

As the seasons turn, rural Italy offers one of Europe’s most attractive holiday destinations. The sunlight loses the ferocity of its mid-summer heat, yet still provides long, warm days that are perfect for enjoying the outdoor lifestyle. Plump grapes swell and sweeten on the vine as the harvest approaches, while olives fatten invitingly ready for the winter months. Eating outside is an almost obligatory pleasure and in areas like the Le Marche region the rolling hills and distant, towering mountains look at their best in the autumn sunlight, inspiring painters to grab the nearest canvas and get to work.

For the McCaffrey family, outdoor pursuits were one of the draws that led to them buying a share in a fractional ownership holiday home in Le Marche. Although they actually intended to buy somewhere on the Norfolk coast! It was only a chance meeting with Michael Hobbs of family-run luxury holiday home company Appassionata that led to them falling in love with Italy in the first place. Michael recalls,

“Nick and I met on an endurance motorcycle ride across India for charity that we were both taking part in. With a shared passion for bikes, we kept in touch after the trip and Nick and his wife Frances came to stay us here in Italy a few weeks after we all got home. They knew we ran fractional ownership holiday homes, but none of us had any inkling that the McCaffreys would become our next set of owners – I don’t know who was more surprised, us or them!”

It was the outdoor lifestyle that Nick and Frances were so delighted with upon their first visit to Le Marche. The region benefits from a huge expanse of Adriatic coastline as well as the Sibillini Mountains and National Park. From late summer swims in the clean coastal waters to rocketing down a mountainside on a snowboard, the area offers something to suit every taste and budget. For the McCaffreys, the hiking trails of the Monti Sibillini National Park offer a wonderful way for them to enjoy the great outdoors with their three grown up children.

New research from the National Trust has revealed just how important that outdoor time is. 85% of those surveyed cited playing outside as one of their greatest childhood memories, yet the survey found that 54% of today’s children (aged 7-12) spend less than an hour outside each day. For 25%, outdoor time totalled less than 30 minutes daily, yet their parents spent an average of two hours 34 minute outside each day during their own childhood.

It was consideration of his children that made the fractional ownership model so appealing for Nick McCaffrey, both for now and for the future. Nick explains,

“When it came down to it buying a fraction of Appassionata it was a no brainer.  We would realistically only ever spend five weeks in a holiday home and this opportunity is for life and will be handed down in time to my children and grandchildren, a wonderful legacy to leave.”

The latest Appassionata holiday home, the three bedroom, three bathroom townhouse Casa Tre Archi, maximises the opportunities for enjoying outdoor space, with a bijou terrace tucked behind the kitchen, a generously sized first floor terrace off one of the bedrooms and a 50 foot roof terrace at the very top. With elegant loungers and a beautifully canopied gazebo, along with views that stretch for miles around, it offers the perfect outdoor living space for the whole family to enjoy. Even when the first autumn rains arrive to finally break the heat of the summer, it is a delightful place to curl up under cover of the gazebo with a blanket and a hot chocolate, to watch the landscape transform as the rains sweep across it.

The arrival of the winter months sees travellers flock to the Monti Sibillini National Park to try their hand at skiing, snowboarding and other winter sports, but autumn in the great outdoors is no less exciting, with horse riding, mountain biking, hang gliding, paragliding and climbing all available to those looking to make the most of their time in the Italian sunshine.

Shares in Casa Tre Archi are available from £75,000 for five weeks’ exclusive use per year.

For more information visit www.appassionata.com or contact the Appassionata team on +39 33154 13225.