One of the great things about walking in Italy is that there are so many diverse landscapes to discover in the country, from beautiful coastlines to breathtaking mountains. To help give you an idea of the kind of hiking on offer in Italy, we’ve put together a brief guide to some of the nation’s trekking hotspots.
Best for: easy to moderate hikes, getting a glimpse of the Italian countryside, combining walking with culture
Tuscany is probably one of Italy’s best known and most popular regions among tourists, thanks to its wonderful blend of fantastic food and drink, fascinating historical sites, outstanding cultural attractions and beautiful countryside. This means you can tailor a walking tour here to suit your interests, while there are plenty of organised itineraries that focus on different aspects of the area (you’ll find more information about these here).
If you’re keen to escape the crowds in Tuscany, though, the best place to go for trekking is the Garfagnana Valley, with the Alpi Apuane Mountains on one side and the Apennines on the other. The valley is predominantly undeveloped parkland, making it a delight to explore on foot. There are traditional villages in the area too, where you can sample authentic Tuscan cuisine and learn more about local customs.
Best for: easy to moderate hiking, stunning coastal walks, experiencing luxury in Italy’s seaside towns
The Amalfi Coast is one of the most famous seaside regions in Italy, boasting wonderfully windy roads, picturesque harbour towns perched on the side of steep cliffs and beautiful beaches. There are some truly fantastic walking trails in the area, some of which you can follow during a week-long getaway.
Among the most famous – and spectacular – is the Walk of the Gods, which runs between Praiano and Positano. The trail leads along the high cliffs that characterise the Amalfi Coast, providing you with breathtaking views across the Bay of Salerno all the way to the island of Capri. You’ll pass through the charming village of Nocelle, before descending along a flower-lined stairway to Positano, which is a favourite holiday spot for the rich and famous.
Best for: moderate to strenuous hiking trails, stunning mountain scenery, including alpine meadows and beautiful lakes
The Dolomites are located in the north of Italy, close to the Austrian border, and are one of the most striking mountain landscapes in Europe. Some of the rock formations here are outstanding, with the Tre Cime (three giant rock towers that stand over 3,000 m high) among the most famous.
The walk to Tre Cime is one of the tougher trails in the region but well worth the effort, as you’ll get to marvel at these impressive rock towers from a mountain hut that stands in front of them at an altitude of 2,405 m.
Another excellent trek to undertake in the Dolomites is the route along a high ridge that runs along the border between Italy and Austria. You’ll take a cable car to just over 2,000 m to get you started and from there hike up Mount Elmo and continue along the ridge. As you may imagine, the views from this vantage point are breathtaking, allowing you to look out over the mountains, valleys and meadows that spread out around you.
In addition to the amazing mountain scenery, you’ll also visit beautiful emerald lakes nestled among the peaks. One of these is Lake Braies, where high limestone cliffs rise out of the water and provide a stunning backdrop to this peaceful scene.