Dolomites, Italy

5 Great Hikes in Italy You May Not Know

Who could fail to be charmed by Italy, the renaissance nation that seems to be able to please all travellers? Regardless of what we’re looking for - whether it’s world-famous art, sumptuous local cuisine or show-stopping outdoor playgrounds - Italy seems to have something to please everyone.

But it’s easy to get lost in the crowd. With so many exciting adventures on offer, Italy still keeps some secrets. Here are some of the undeservedly overlook hidden gems of Italian hiking...


Barolo Hills

The wine has taken the world by storm - now, it’s time for the region to shine. Barolo is the King of Wines, but we predict the area is about to earn its own crown. These rolling hills are cloaked in vineyards that have been in the same families for generations, making it rich with traditions as well as scenic strolls that give you an insight into local life. There’s nowhere better in the world for tastings than the vineyards themselves, where you can see the journey from grape to glass all around you. This luxurious stroll through the wine regions come with fantastic food opportunities as well - with Michelin star restaurants and glamourous hotels awaiting you at the end of the day. 

Take me there: Gastronomic Barolo Walk

Western Dolomites

Ridge Walk in the Dolomites

The iconic image of the Dolomites may be the Tre Cime, but these limestone peaks cover a huge swathe of northern Italy beyond these three shards of rock, and to overlook the rest of the range would be criminal. The Western Dolomites don’t always hog the limelight the same way, and yet some of the superlatives of the region are here: the highest summit, the Marmolada, is also the first via ferrata route, making this area a beacon for those interested in World War history. The region is popular year round, with the winter ski lifts providing ample opportunities to gain altitude and see the area from the many sky-scraping vantage points along the trails.

Take me there: Highlights of the Dolomites


Tour du Mont Viso

Don’t let the name fool you - most of this trek is in Italy. Mont Viso peers over the French-Italian border, a photogenic peak that demands attention from all angles. The circuit loops round the dramatic silhouette of this 3,841m mountain, embedded like a jewel in the Cottian Alps, casually crossing into France for just one night. Mont Viso is the scrappy younger sibling to Mont Blanc - plenty of dramatic vistas and classic alpine scenery, but none of the crowds.

Take me there: Tour du Mont Viso

Elba

Italy’s enigmatic isle is often forgotten by those seeking out adventures. But the largest island of the Tuscan Archipelago is Italy in miniature: beautiful coastal walks, fascinating history, and of course fantastic food. This is the place for swimmers, with the crystalline coastal waters and secluded coves being perfect places for a dip on a warm day. Immerse yourself in the tale of Napoleon Bonaparte; though you’ll have to forgive us if we don’t seem overly sympathetic about his exile here in 1814. It could have been a lot worse.

Take me there: Elba: Jewel of the Tuscan Archipelago

Francigena Way

The Francigena Way

Spain’s Camino de Santiago gets all the good press, but it’s far from the only great European pilgrimage route. The Francigena Way is an Italian pilgrimage to mighty Rome, a connect-the-dots of ancient hilltop towns crowned with palaces, churches, and gardens. The route is even older than the Camino de Santiago, with sections that follow ancient Roman roads with their worn, storied cobbles still in place from the days centurions tramped across one of the greatest empires the world has ever seen. The finale is incredible: cresting one of the Seven Hills of Rome for a panoramic view across the city, before finishing beneath the majestic columns of St Peter’s Basilica, where you can claim your pilgrim’s credential certificate authorised by the Pope himself.

Take me there: Walking the Francigena Way

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