Italy

Description

Dolomiti - by Henk

Italy is a country of enormous diversity and contrast. Most famous are the Alps. Coming from the efficient neatness of Switzerland or Austria, the Italian Alps are wilder and at the same time more tranquil, like stepping back in time. The most beautiful and popular areas are Gran Paradiso, Val Grande, Stelvio and the Dolomites.

In addition there are countless national parks, all very much worth hiking through. A series of mountain ranges runs from north to south like a backbone, starting from the hills of Tuscany, to the Apennines and Abruzzo to Italy's toe, Calabria. Southern Italy, too far for many tourists, has several attractive hiking regions, like Pollino and Aspromonte.

In the Alps you can walk from hut to hut, elsewhere you can do day hikes, such is the rule in general. However some genuine long distance hiking trails are under construction. European long distance trail E10 in the Alps, which coincides with the 1000km long Grande Alpine Trail and the international Via Alpina. The second large project is the E1, which coincides with the Grand Apennine Mountains Trail and the Ligurian Mountains High Trail. If this trail is ever completed, you can start from Como passing Genova and continue all the way to Reggio di Calabria and Palermo or Siracuse on Sicily. The third large project means to join all these trails into one 6000km long Sentiero Italia. Last but not least, there is the Alta Via in the Dolomites: splendid walking.

Mountain huts abound in the Alps. Hiking can be done all summer, from June until well into October. Further south spring is the best hiking season. In April you will still get stuck in the snow up in the mountains. Autumn is supposed to be fine as well, but alas, as one hiker put it: "you wake up to the sounds of church bells and gunfire". As hunters, Italians are best avoided.

Opinions

Rate 8.5 | 2 votes | No 3. in Europe
  • greg June 2010
  • Rate 10
  • Positive perfect combination of incredible mountain hiking, reliable weather, good paths, good food, good everything!
  • Negative might be crowded in the high summer but going off season it is paradise
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Map

Map Italian Alps WestMap Italian Alps East

Trails

Regions

Mountains

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Forum

  1. Cancel
  • greg 2012-08-28 23:06:20
  • Hiking in Dolomiti (late September)
  • My brother and I are flying into Bergamo on Sept 27th and would love to do a refuge to refuge hike in the dolomites or alps nearby for 3 days. The problem is that most or all of the CAI refuges appear to be closed. Can anyone recommend anything?
    Thanks
    belgooly41
    • Henk Nouws 2012-08-31 11:14:12
    • I can't promise anything of course, but when I did a hike in the Dolomites (AV1 and AV3) in september - october, the huts were closed too. However, every hut had a winter quarter. Nothing luxurious, but a bed and water nearby. You must carry your own food, cooking stuff, sleeping bag. However, you run the risk that there is nothing at all. Also, I'm speaking of many years ago.
    • greg 2012-08-31 16:40:56
    • Thanks Henk appreciate it
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