People have been living in Italy (and all of Europe) for a long time. When you drive through Italy you don’t see very much wilderness, a bit in the mountains. In central Italy, where we were driving the countryside is low, rolling hills with some higher hills and mountains. Everywhere you look it is green fields with houses dotting the countryside. It is still”natural” but a man-made version of natural.
I guess you call that rural, but it is more like America was rural a long time ago because most of the farms are small and the rural areas don’t seem to be dying like they are in the US. Large-scale agriculture makes food prices go down but there is such a large cost in other areas that it doesn’t seem like it is worth it.