Hiking In The Italian Alps – One of my favorite things about visiting Italy (especially in summer) is the weather! In fact, almost all of Italy’s best hiking tours are something you must experience, not just in summer, but all year round.
But let’s face it – by now, you probably have too many reasons to want to visit Italy (not that you really have “too many reasons”).
Hiking In The Italian Alps
I get it. I feel like I’m always looking for new reasons for myself to want to go back to Italy, sometimes, to places I’ve been to many times! Like, I really want to spend a summer in Florence for a month.
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I may need a new wardrobe when I spend my month there (last time all I did there was eat), but that’s a price I’m willing to pay.
The problem with Italy, though, is that there’s so much more to it than the towns we all love – something we experienced firsthand in the Dolomites. This whole natural side of Italy is sometimes overlooked because of the allure of its absolutely beautiful historic cities.
Italy has towering mountains and huge sandy beaches, and yes, it has stunning architecture, but it also has active volcanoes, stunning coastlines, and even an ancient pilgrimage route through multiple towns.
Long story short – Italy is an amazing country that is sometimes best explored on foot, with that in mind, here are 12 of the best walking tours in Italy that you must experience when you visit!
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It’s a strenuous long hike spanning 20.5km of trails, both starting and finishing in Valnontey (for the uninitiated – it’s near where Italy meets France and Switzerland).
On this hike, you’ll pass by many pristine, beautiful lakes, but the real treat is the ascent to the 4061-meter-high Paradiso Center!
It’s the perfect place to get a well-earned break while taking in the stunning views around you (yes, I know it’s difficult, but if you do have a camera with you, now’s the time to use it).
If you’re into wildlife, this hike won’t disappoint! The trail is dotted with many curious ibex, who are generally not too concerned about human presence.
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Groundhogs can also bask on the rocks, but if you haven’t seen them, you’ve definitely heard them – often hearing them chirping back and forth with each other. (You know, just in case you were wondering”
In English, Sentiero Azzurro means “Blue Path”, and the reason for the name becomes apparent when you cast your gaze over the clear blue waters of the Ligurian Sea that you can see throughout your walk.
This hike is absolutely beautiful, taking you through all five quaint towns located here (“Cinque Terre” translates to “Five Places”).
The villages sit dramatically on cliffs overlooking the water, and (as you probably know by now) their colorful, sprawling landscapes are striking.
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Be sure to stop in these villages for some of the tastiest, not to mention some of the freshest local seafood around these areas. Nessun Dormain Manarola is a place where you must make time to stop, preferably in the evening.
With picturesquely perfect sunset views from your table, the food and wine options are almost overshadowed – making it one of the most balanced walking tours in Italy, and definitely one of the best in Italy.
This is an ideal hike for anyone exploring the Dolomites who prefer a moderately easy hike to more challenging routes but still wants to take in the breathtaking views.
This is a perfect day hike as you ascend to a lookout point for stunning views of the Tre Cime, the name referring to the triple peaks located here.
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This is a chance to explore one of Italy’s most notorious volcanoes – the one that once wiped out entire cities.
Mount Vesuvius erupted violently in AD 79, burying the ancient city of Pompeii (see here) in a cloud of ash and lava.
By the way, this is a short and easy hike. Most people can easily reach the summit in about half an hour.
The hike to the summit is understandably the highlight, since you get to witness firsthand the volcano that once wreaked so much havoc.
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Of course, after hiking the volcano, be sure to visit the ruins of Pompeii. (*Note – the lines here can be quite long at certain times of the day). I
In Pompeii, you’ll see tragic moments frozen in time, ancient Roman buildings, and even petrified models of some of the victims of tragedy.
The name of this trail translates to “Path of the Gods” in English and is easily one of the most beautiful and definitely the best hikes in Italy! On a moderately easy walk along the Amalfi Coast for about 8 kilometers, you’ll find many magnificent views of the Mediterranean Sea and the distant island of Capri.
The walking tour ends in the historic fishing village of Praiano (remember this?). Treat yourself to a meal at Da Armandino.
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This popular restaurant doesn’t even have a menu, instead you can enjoy daily specials featuring the freshest fish and shellfish.
At 2,192 meters high, the Corno Grande or Big Horn is the highest mountain in the Apennines.
There are two different paths to the summit, depending on the level of challenge you’re looking for. The normal route is great for those who are looking for a moderately difficult route, while the direct route is more challenging.
At the summit of the Corno Grande, you can not only enjoy panoramic views of the Adriatic Sea, but also a glimpse of the southernmost glacier in all of Europe (hence why this is one of the best hikes in Italy).
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Antelope, cattle, seabirds, eagles and other native wildlife dot the trail, so be sure to keep an eye out for them along the way!
This is probably the most beautiful hike in the whole Dolomites and one of the best in Italy.
You’ll start at Braies Lake, the largest natural lake in the Dolomites (absolutely stunning – well worth a visit).
From here, a 150km trail takes you through beautiful scenery, including some impressive glacial cliffs, as well as rugged mountain peaks.
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The walking tour ends in the village of Belluno, home to the Palazzo dei Rettori, a stunning display of 15th-century architecture.
After the walking tour, you can explore the palace and other sights of the village, then end the day with dinner at Al Borgo, one of the best restaurants, not only in town, but in all of northern Italy.
Hiking in this area can be a little difficult (you’re climbing mountains after all) but it’s easily one of the best hikes we’ve done in Italy so far!
This is one of the best walking tours in Italy as it is a very unique experience unlike many others here. On this hiking tour, you will have the opportunity to climb Stromboli, the only permanently active volcano in Europe!
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Located in Sicily’s Aeolian Islands, Stromboli is a moderately difficult walk that takes about five to six hours round trip to complete.
The real gem of this hike is when you get to the top, as you are literally able to see the crater of the active volcano.
It’s important to note that changing heat conditions affect the area, so be sure to check for any trails that may be closed before hiking!
There are many different sights in the city of Rome, and it’s worth taking a guided walking tour to make sure you get the best of them all.
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…Trust me, after a few days of hiking in the city – you’ll definitely feel like you’ve done a major hike.
Of course, there are all kinds of walking tours, from easy to moderate, all emphasizing the city in different ways.
You can join a historical walking tour that takes you past the Colosseum and Catacombs, or book a tour with a more personalized edge.
For example, local food tours (it’s Italy after all – you end up having to arrange some kind of food tour, even if you don’t know it… 😄😆).
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Suffice it to say, a decent amount of time spent in the Eternal City is easily one of the best walking tours in Italy you’ll do (even though technically you can’t really call it a walking tour)
There is so much to see and do when you are in Rome, check out the following
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