Hiking in Italy – Beyond the Cinque Terre

You want to know the best places to hike in Italy? One of our favorite spots is the Dolomites (pictured here).

We want you to experience Italy as a local, whether you are hiking in the Dolomites or visiting the Vatican. You will get more from your trip to Italy by checking out our blog and walking routes.

Walking in Italy is a great way to explore the country and get off the beaten track. It is home to some of the most stunning parks, mountain ranges, and nature reserves in Italy. There are many trails and hiking trails that run through these areas. You don’t need to be an athlete to take advantage of them. Italy’s trails include everything from strenuous trekking through the Alps or Dolomites to peaceful walks in Tuscany or Umbria’s countryside.

Cinque Terre is a favorite. Our guide for hiking the Cinque Terre is a great place to start. It’s not the only place to hike. In high season, it can be dangerous and unfavorable. These are just four of our favorites!

Nota bene: If you are passionate about the outdoors, check out our list of top destinations for adventure sports and activities in Italy.

Bocca di Brenta Pass (Dolomites)

The Brenta Mountains, located in the Dolomite mountains range, are absolutely breathtaking and worth a hike!

The Dolomites, a mountain range in northern Italy, is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. These stunning peaks, nestled in northeastern Italy are easily accessible from Milan, Verona, and Venice. They are one of our 8 Italian places you should visit. It is no surprise that they offer some of the most beautiful hiking in Europe. Perks include paths for every ability (from wheelchair-accessible paths to routes aided by iron cables), public transportation to trailheads, lots of day hike options, and no dangerous wildlife. Vistas can include anything from beautiful alpine meadows and quirky-looking rock spires.

Bocca di Brenta, which is one of our favorites here, offers both a difficult-hike option (which can take up to 8 hours and requires helmets, crampons, and equipment), and an easy-hike option (2 miles long, about an hour walk). You’ll need to be prepared for the elevation at 8,330 feet.

You can’t pitch your tent for overnight hikes. It is necessary to reserve a rifugio (refugee) in advance. In peak season, popular trails may get very crowded.

Mid-June to October is the best time to travel

Anello del Rinascimento, Tuscany (Florentine hills)

The castle of Calenzano, on the Anello del Rinascimento. Photo courtesy of www.firenzeturismo.it

Did you know that the Florence area has beautiful hiking trails? The Anello del Rinascimento or “Renaissance Ring” isn’t difficult. They do travel through Tuscany’s rolling hills, passing little medieval towns, monasteries and castles, as well as churches. This is a completely different day trip to Florence!

The section from Calenzano-Vaglia is one of our favorites. The section, 12.5 miles in length, has both easy and moderate sections. It makes for a great day hike. It starts at Calenzano Castle and continues past olive orchards and medieval churches. It is a gentle climb that offers beautiful views of Florence, Tuscany and the Apennines. Check out our guide for the best towns of Tuscany.

You should know that this is a more gentle stroll than a strenuous hike. It’s not shaded so make sure to bring your sunscreen. It follows a quieter, but still common route.

If you don’t mind wearing winter clothes, March to November is the best time to go!

Cervinia, Valle d’Aosta (Italian Alps)

Lago Goillet is the ideal destination for a day-hike under the shadows of the Matterhorn

Just over the border from Switzerland, walk in the shadows of Cervinia’s Matterhorn. It’s a popular resort for skiers in winter. In the summer it’s quiet and beautiful, with wildflowers and grazing cows. You won’t be surprised to see snow still on the glacier (these images were taken in August!) It’s also an excellent spot for skiing. Check out our list of the top ski destinations in Italy.

There are many hiking routes in the area, but this one is our favorite. It starts at Breuil Cervinia and goes to Plan Maison. From there, it circles around aqua-blue Lago Goillet. It covers approximately 8,885 verticalfeet and almost 14 miles. Plan Maison is located at 8,350 feet. Be prepared for the elevation! Take the gondola to Plan Maison for a shorter and easier hike.

Common scene at Cervinia, and throughout Italy’s Alps: the cows!

You should dress appropriately if you plan to go up there. Bring appropriate equipment for snow or ice if you plan on hiking higher than this path. A good way to make difficult hikes easier is to use chair-lifts and cable-cars.

Mid-June to October is the best time to travel

Sentiero degli Dei, Amalfi coast

Sentiero degli Dei (or “God’s Trail”) is located on the Amalfi Coast. It’s the name that says it all.

For stunning views of the sea, you don’t need to hike through the Cinque Terre. The Amalfi coast has some of the most beautiful seaside trails in Italy. It is a great way for you to escape the masses that gather in the towns of Positano or Amalfi during high season.

The Sentiero degli Dei is the most well-known trail. It starts in Bomerano at the foothills of the mountains between Sorrento & Amalfi. The trail crosses a stunning gorge, passes vineyards, caves, and offers breathtaking views all the way to Capri. It takes approximately 4.5 hours to complete the entire path, which has both easy and moderate sections.

You can take a bus from Nocelle or Positano to cut down the distance. To get to Bomerano’s trailhead, you don’t have to drive. You can also take a bus. In high season, the path can be a bit crowded.

The best time to visit: March-November; for the most serene views, go before Easter or after Oktober.

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