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Italy is one of the most popular countries in Europe for tourism. Travelers flock to Rome to see the Coliseum and other old buildings, to Venice to ride the gondolas, to Florence to see the masterful renaissance art and architecture, and to Tuscany to drink wine and feast. But Italy also offers wonderful outdoors opportunities, all over the boot. This article will list some of the top hiking spots in Italy and some do’s and don’ts of hiking safety.
This article will explain the different types of hiking in Italy, the best hikes in the country, and some pointers to keep in mind when hiking.
There are advanced types of hiking that require gear and a sizable amount of risk. But at the most basic level, a hike is just a long, outdoors walk, often in a pretty spot. Aside from that, hikes can either be self-guided or led by a tour guide, and last a few hours or a few days (requiring camping) A self-guided means the hiker travels alone and takes responsibility for following a route. Self-guided hikes tend to be free, and can last as long as the hiker pleases. For a little cash, though, you can take a guided hike with an experienced and knowledgeable tour guide.
Mont Blanc: Italy is a big feature in this one-of-a-kind multi-day hike, but gets some help from some other beloved European countries. At 15,781, Mont Blanc is the tallest peak in the Alps, Swiss or anywhere else. The Mont Blanc massif is so large (it contains 11 independent summits), it straddles the borders of Italy, France, and Switzerland, though the summit is in Italy. You can hike around the summit of Mont Blanc and pass through each of those countries in a classic long-distance hike. The “Tour du Mont Blanc,” as it’s known, covers a distance of 170 kilometers (110 miles), includes 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) of ascent and descent, and takes around 11 days.
Adolf Munkel Trail: For travelers interested in hikes with spectacular views (and isn’t that what it’s all about?), the Dolomites are a must. The Dolomites are a mountain range in the Italian alps in Northeastern Italy, near the Austrian border (hence the Germanic trail name.) This moderate hike allows hikers to walk through forests to the bases of some spectacular peaks. The hike is around 9km long, takes around 3 hours, and has an elevation gain of around 450 meters.
Sentiero degli Dei: Any hike in a nation that is surrounded on three sides by water must include a seaside jaunt. Nestled between the Amalfi coast and the Lattari mountains is a footpath that connects the villages of Agerola and Nocelle, and it’s called the Sentiero Delgi Dei, or The Path Of The Gods. It’s an easy hike with little elevation change. It’s not about strenuous effort, but the amazing views of the sparkling Tyrrhenian sea and the Isle of Capri. The hike is 7.8km long and takes about 3 hours.
Sentiero Azzurro: This hike takes you through Italy’s famed Cinque Terre, a collection of five colorful, terraced villages that cling to the hillsides on the Italian Riviera. The villages are bunched close together and wanderers can hike through all of them in a day in the relatively easy Sentiero Abruzzo, a 12km hike. The hike takes you through forests and glades, along the coast, up the famous “Lardarina” steps in Corniglia and by a nudist beach.
Lake Garda Hikes: Lake Garda is the largest body of water in Italy and nestled in the country's Lake Region, the fabled resort area at the foot of the Dolomites. There are several wonderful hikes around the Lake Garda area. Travelers can take the Lake Gara Trek, which is a light hike that takes several hours over mild terrain, but gives gorgeous views of the lake and takes the hiker through ruins and idyllic villages. They can hike to the top of Monte Stivo (2,054 m). It’s a strenuous hike and will certainly get your heart racing, but does not require mountaineering gear and isn’t too much for novices to handle. The hike up and the summit offer panoramic views of the countryside around Lake Garda. History-minded hikers can also try the Sentiero della Pace, the “path of peace.” This 500km trail through Trentino links together important historical sites from World War I.
Hiking is a fun and healthy outdoor pastime for all ages, but all hikers should follow a few simple guidelines in order to keep safe in the wilderness⁸.
- If you can, bring a friend. If you go it alone, make sure you notify a friend or loved one where you will be hiking and at what times.
- Watch the weather forecast and ensure you’ll be hiking in favorable conditions.
- Wear proper footwear, wear suntan lotion, bring plenty of water and a snack.
- Bring a first aid kit.
- Observe any local wildlife you encounter from a safe distance.
- As they say “take only pictures, leave only footprints.” Leave the nature around you undisturbed.
- Don’t litter. Just don’t.
- Bring plenty of water and drink even when you don’t feel thirsty.
Hiking is cheaper than a lot of vacation pastimes. But traveling to famous hiking locales certainly isn’t cheap, and you’ll want an easy way to use your money across borders. Good news, Wise, the industry leading online currency conversion service, now offers a credit card perfectly suited to international travelers. The Wise card, through MasterCard, lets you spend abroad for much less than cards from big banks like Bank of America and Chase, and even PayPal. It comes with no monthly account fees, lets you transfer money to the EU for a low fee, and offers free withdrawals up to $250. For more information on this all-important card, go here.
All sources accurate as of 25 March 2020
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