Best hikes in Italy
The Amalfi Coast
On Italy’s celebrated Amalfi Coast, just south of Naples and the looming presence of Mount Vesuvius, you can walk through some of the most sublime coastal landscapes anywhere in the Mediterranean. With its near vertical cliffs, neatly terraced slopes, and picturesque villages impossibly located on the ridges and folds of the hills, the Amalfi Coast is superb for hiking.
You can explore a network of ancient paths and stairways criss-crossing this landscape from village to village, through vineyards, lemon orchards and chestnut groves. Amongst these classic walks the renowned ‘Path of the Gods’, with its breathtaking views over the whole Sorrento peninsula, has been called one of the most picturesque hiking trails in the whole of Italy.
One of Italy’s finest regions for walking and trekking is Tuscany, whose open landscapes, gently undulating hills, Renaissance cities and impossibly beautiful medieval hill-top villages are famous the world over. In the less-visited hills of northern Tuscany lies a hidden gem, the Garfagnana Valley, whose green meadows, forested hills and undiscovered villages offer some of the best hiking in the region.
From here you can walk up onto the high ridges and peaks of the Apennines and the Alpi Apuane, with quite breathtaking views out across the patchwork of fields and forest lying below. Further south in Tuscany there are beautiful walks through the classic rolling hills and vineyards of the Chianti region, along cypress lined avenues with centuries-old farmsteads and villages perched on the surrounding hills.
The focus for most walkers and trekkers in Sicily are the volcanoes. However there is so much else to enjoy too, including the rich history, the food and wine, the traditional and largely unspoilt towns and villages and the Sicilian people themselves: warm, outgoing and welcoming. You can hike up Mount Etna, Europe’s highest volcano at 3330 metres, following little known trails to avoid the sightseeing crowds. You can also climb Vulcano, with its beautiful views across the Tyrrhenian Sea, and Stromboli - one of the world’s most active volcanoes. Stromboli is one of the very few places on earth where you can see live eruptions in relative safety. You will be accompanied by a specialist guide.