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    8 Best Treks in Italy

    8 Best Treks in Italy

    By Kelsey KrahnDestinations

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    Most travellers and vacationers flock to Italy for its notorious big cities: Florence, Rome, and Venice, where hustling, bustling culture meets crumbling, ancient history. And don’t even get us started on the cuisine and wine! But what if we told you you could explore more remote areas of Italy, meandered by fewer crowds than the popular tourist cities? Don’t get us wrong; you’ll still pass through some famed metropolises and dabble in Italy’s rich, historical culture! Trekking through Italy is an ideal way to experience all the significant aspects of the country at a slower pace.

    Trekking in Italy

    Italy boasts a diverse range of treks. Want remote and rugged? Give the Alta Via Trek or hut-to-hut adventure in the Dolomites a try. Dial it back with a breezy seaside trek in Cinque Terre. You can complete this route in half a day, but why not spend a few days soaking up the five villages overlooking the sea? Some treks in Italy might keep you on foot for almost a year—the Grand Italian Trail, for example—while other routes only have you hiking for a few days.

    Which type of adventure fits your trekking style? Take a look at eight of the best treks in Italy below.

    8 Best Treks in Italy

    1. Grand Italian Trail

    Let's begin our list of Italy's eight best long-distance treks with a grandiose adventure: the Grand Italian Trail. This bucket-list-worthy trek travels more than 6,000km through Italy, bypassing some extraordinary imagery en route. Travel through the ever-imposing Dolomites and Gran Paradiso National Park. On top of that, you'll discover Mount Etna, the most active and tallest volcano in Europe. Then, enjoy the less-crowded, natural beauty flanking Abruzzo. Expect a beautiful fusion of Italian culture and spectacular scenery as you trek through the country! Check out all the different walking tours in Italy, and spend your next holiday exploring Italy on foot.

    Location: Lazzaretto - Chiesa del Buon Cammino
    Distance: 6,166.0 km
    Time: Around 350 days
    When to do: Between May and October

    Grand Italian Trail

    2. Cinque Terre

    Regarding distance travelled, Cinque Terre opposes the Grand Italian Trail, as it only takes a few hours to hike from village to village. 

    Why not spend as much time as possible soaking up the five villages speckled by the seaside? If you want to explore the entire route in one day, you can always spend more time meandering the 120km trail network spanning the area.

    Explore tours so you can explore Cinque Terre on your next vacation. You can marvel at the views and food on this self-guided Cinque Terre trek, or find other Cinque Terre walking tours in Northern Italy.

    Location: Riomaggiore to ​​Monterosso
    Distance: 11.0 km, but it’s normal to stretch it over a few days
    When to do: March to June or September to October

    Cinque Terre

    3. Tratturo Magno

    Travel through the Gran Sasso mountains, where low-hanging mist can't help but highlight these mountains' true height and grandeur. After marvelling at the never-ending natural wonders speckling central Italy, head to the farmland in Tavoliere delle Puglie. This long-distance trek always impresses, thanks to the history and uninterrupted beauty along the path. The Gran Sasso is a classic destination for an Italian walking vacation, combining great scenery, history, and wonderful food. Make your own memories and find an Italian Walking Tour for your next holiday.

    Location: L’Aquila to Foggia
    Distance: 244.0 km
    Time: 10 days
    When to do: May to October

    Tratturo Magno

    4. Via degli Dei (Path of Gods)

    Walk through the shadows of ancient history on the iconic Via degli Dei (Path of Gods). Some sections hark back to 187 BC! Hikers can expect a natural blend of Italian culture—such as through Bologna, punctuated with the final destination, Florence—and history. Overall, the Via degli Dei ranks as a moderately challenging adventure, making it accessible to most, but worth training and preparing for! The Via Degli Dei walking tour is a classic vacation option. Explore other walking tours in Tuscany, or these trekking tours in Northern Italy.

    Location: Bologna to Florence
    Distance: 125.0 km
    Time: 5 days
    When to do: April to June or September to November

    Via Degli Dei

    5. St Francis Way

    Want to traverse Italy's "green heart"? The St Francis Way awaits! While the trail is 520km, you can also look into completing one of the four stages instead. For example, you can stick with stage one and go from Florence to Sansepolcro—travelling 138km instead of 520km. The first stage captures the wonder of Italy's lush, rolling countryside. The following two sections take you deeper into the country, introducing walkers to ancient hilltop villages and vineyards. Dip back into a more hustling, bustling civilization during the final stage, ultimately leading you to one of the most significant cities in the world: Rome. Want to do this walk, one great option is the St. Francis tour from Florence to Verna, that takes you through the beautiful Tuscan countryside as you walk. You can find more St. Francis walking tours in Southern Italy

    Location: Florence to Rome
    Distance: 520.0 km
    Time: 28+ days
    When to do: May to October

    St Francis Way

    6. Alta Via 1

    The dramatic scenery sweeping the Dolomites possesses the power to lure and inspire any avid hiker. You won't grow bored meandering by alpine lakes, layers of peaks, and grassy valleys hugged by jagged slopes. And one of the best ways to soak in the mesmerizing highlights is to trek the challenging Alta Via 1. Newbie trekkers will also enjoy this route, thanks to the limited technicalities underfoot. The trail is also well-marked! Join an Alta Via Trekking Tour on your next vacation, or find other great walking tours in the Dolomites.

    Location: Lago di Braies to La Pissa Bus Stop (Val Cordevole)
    Distance: 120.0 km
    Time: 8-10 days
    When to do: June 15 to late September

    Alta Via

    7. Via Francigena

    The stunning Via Francigena pilgrimage actually goes from Canterbury to Rome, stretching 2,000km.  While the complete route is spectacular, many feel the final stretch, from Lucca (near Florence) to Rome is the real highlight.  This 420 km stretch takes 2 to 3 weeks depending on your speed, and combines the best of Italy. You start in Florence, and then train to Lucca, where you start walking, savouring the best of Tuscany and Lazio, before ending up in Rome.

    Want to be a pilgrim, check out this partial Via Francigena Tour from Lucca to Siena. You can also find more Via Francigena walking tours in Tuscany.

    Location: Lucca to Rome
    Distance: 420.0 km
    Time: 14-21 days
    When to do: March to November

    Via Francigena

    8. The Mining Trail of Saint Barbara

    Revel in over eight thousand years of stories spanning this path. Miners travelled this trail way back in the day, and now it has been revamped! Walk past old mine towns and cultural delights tucked by natural wonders along this impactful long-distance trek.

    Don't expect to walk through dry conditions for the entire journey! You'll also pass by gorgeous water beauties, such as the 5 Faraglioni and the Sugar Loaf and the Waterfalls of Sa Spendula.

    Find other great tours in Sardinia, and if you are interested in similar tours, these wonderful walking tours in Sicily would make a fine walking holiday.

    Location: Iglesias, Italy
    Distance: 498.7 km
    Time: Around 30 days
    When to do: Year-round, but it might be best to avoid during the hot summer months

    Mining Trail

    Adventure Tours in Italy

    Have any of the above long-distance treks in Italy piqued your interest? If you aren’t sure where to start the planning process, why not leave it to the professionals? From the dramatic terrain of the Dolomites to the seaside landscapes of Sicily and everything in between, we have plenty of amazing adventure tours available throughout the whole of Italy. Get ready to discover your next Italian adventure!

    Best Treks in the World

    Looking to explore some of the World’s best treks outside of Italy? Check out the rest of the articles in our Best Treks series, where we highlight all of the best treks around the world to help you plan your upcoming long-distance adventures!




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