8 best hikes in Italy

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Italy’s beaches and art-rammed cities often steal the limelight, but – trust us – it isn’t until you strike out into the wild mountains and trek along vertiginous coastlines that you can even come close to understanding how ravishing this country really is.

From the cliff-hanging trails of Amalfi to the colossal granite spires of the Dolomites, volcano climbs in Sicily to hikes deep into the heart of the flower-freckled Apennines – Italy is a boot made for walking. Here are eight of the country’s best hikes, with info on how to tackle them.

What you need to know about hiking in Italy

The best seasons for hiking in Italy are spring and early autumn – avoiding the scorching heat of mid-summer – though the window is shorter in the Alps and Dolomites (late June through September). Bear in mind that most Italians holiday in August, so trails are at their most crowded, and rifugi (mountain huts) in national parks are usually rammed; you’ll need to book your bed well in advance. Wild camping is a gray area – prohibited in theory but sometimes tolerated in practice, providing you avoid tourist hotspots, beaches and protected areas like nature reserves. If you do, go remote, arrive at dusk and leave by dawn.

Most local and regional tourist office websites can give you the inside scoop on walking in their area. The Italian Parks organization lists walking trails through each of the country’s 25 national parks. Tabacco produces a decent range of topographic 1:25,000 hiking maps and apps.

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