The most challenging treks in Italy

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Lluis Enric Mayans

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Are you passionate about the mountains and trekking? Do you love to get away from the traffic and confusion of the city to take refuge in the middle of nature? More and more people find tranquility in the mountains, walking through the paths and paths completely immersed in nature. In Italy you can find many trekking trails, suitable for any level of difficulty.

In this article we want to focus on the more difficult ones, suitable only for those who are experienced hikers! Here is a list of the most challenging trekking in Italy!

10 - Way of San Benedetto, Umbria

It is a route of about 300 km that begins in Umbria, in Norcia, and descends along Lazio reaching as far as Montecassino, in the Valle dei Liri. Not just a trek in the midst of nature, but also a spiritual trek, which touches the three most important Benedictine places: Norcia, Subiaco and Montecassino.

This path develops along 16 stages, therefore it takes 16 days to follow it and has a medium level difficulty. You don't have to be an expert hiker, but it is at least you need to be a little bit trained and able to walk a lot and for a lot of days. Along the way you can sleep in monasteries and abbeys, or opt for the numerous farmhouses and b & bs present.

9 - Horse trail of Eastern Trentino, Trentino Alto Adige

This path allows you to discover the wonderful landscapes of the Valsugana and the Lagorai mountain range. It is a track of about 400 km which includes 15 stages and which is made up of many routes of varying difficulty. The main path is a circular route of medium / high difficulty. A few numbers to understand the type of terrain: 66% on agricultural forest roads, 20% on asphalted roads, 14% demanding mountain treks, however well marked and made safe.

The horse trail is full of b & bs and shelters where you can stop at night or where to stop and eat if you go on a day trip. You can also come across several equestrian centers: in fact it is also possible explore part of the area on horseback.

8 - Tour of the Giants, Aosta Valley

This route is circular and connects Alta Via 1 and Alta Via 2. The most beautiful thing is that in this ring you will pass close to the big four of Europe: Mont Blanc, Monte Cervino, Monte Rosa and Gran Paradiso. And not only that, you can also admire the unspoiled nature of two national parks, namely the Gran Paradiso National Park and the Mont Avic Regional Park, and also the Mont Mars Nature Reserve.

Some technical information: the entire Giro dei Giganti is 370 km long, joining the Alta Via 1, also known as the Alta Via dei Giganti, and the Alta Via 2, also called the Alta Via Naturalistica. IS' a really challenging trek, especially in its entirety, recommended for those who have at least a little experience. Being a circular tour, the point of arrival and departure is the same: Courmayeur Mont Blanc, in the north-western part of the Aosta Valley, not far from the border with France and Switzerland.

7 - Trekking del Lupo, Maritime Alps

Not only nature, but also history: the ones you can walk are the ancient hunting trails of kings. The Alpi Marittime Natural Park was in fact the Savoy hunting reserve. Today the park is one of the largest in Italy and is the natural habitat of various animal species, such as wolves, chamois, deer and ibex.

Speaking specifically of Trekking del Lupo, this is a circular route of about 75 km, with the starting point the town of Entracque, where you can also visit the "Men and Wolves" wildlife center. For a short distance, the trek also passes through France. You don't need to be an expert hiker to walk it, but it is good physical preparation is required, also to deal with steep slopes. Therefore it is not recommended for those who have never walked in the mountains or have limited themselves to simple routes.

6 - Trekking of Etna, Sicily

It is one of the most incredible treks that our peninsula has to offer. We are located in Sicily, precisely in the Catania area, where the Europe's highest active terrestrial volcano. You can also visit it with a day trip from Catania and there are several routes to follow to explore it, more or less difficult. It is certainly a unique experience for the type of landscape you will find yourself facing.

Il Complete trekking is quite challenging, has a length of about 65 km and a duration of 4 days. The advice is to rely on expert guides, as we always talk about an active volcano. The most exciting stage, and also the most difficult to reach, is obviously the last: you will climb up to the Piano del Lago and, weather and volcanic conditions permitting, you can reach the summit craters of the southeast. Here you will find yourself at over 3.000 meters above sea level, an incredible experience!

5 - Tratturo Magno, from L'Aquila to Foggia

Route between L'Aquila and Foggia. The tratturo is a grassy or earthy path that was formed due to the continuous movement and passage of the flocks. In Italy there are several, but this is the longer and more important than the five Regi Tratturi, hence the name Tratturo Magno. The other four are: Cinturelli - Montesecco, Celano - Foggia, Castel di Sangro - Lucera, Pescasseroli - Candela.

It stretches for 244 km and consists of 10 stages. The route has not been restored for many years and therefore is slowly making its way among the best trekking in Italy. But beware, it is suitable for the most trained, also due to the different gradients present.

4 - Carnic crossing, Eastern Dolomites

It is a beautiful trek that runs in the Eastern Dolomites, along the border between Austria and Italy, crossing Austria, Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia. It is also called Via della Pace and that will take you back in time: this area of ​​continuous clash between the two nations during the First World War and still today you can come across remains of trenches, caves in the fortress and old posts.

Some facts to better understand the route: trekking of 150 km, 9 daily stages, landscapes that range from rugged mountains to valleys, from marvelous alpine lakes, passing through lush forests. It is by no means an easy path, in its entirety it is recommended for experienced hikers or in any case with a minimum of experience, not improvised hikers. Then there are short stretches that can be covered even in one day and with different difficulties, which allow everyone to get to know this area.

3 - Marmolada, Trentino Alto Adige

It is located between the provinces of Trento and Belluno. IS' considered the queen of the Dolomites, as well as being its highest mountain range. In fact, its maximum point is Punta Penia, 3.343 meters high, followed by Punta Roca (3.309 m) and Punta Serauta (3.218 m). In winter it is a 'popular ski destination, in summer you can do many excursions, of varying difficulty. If you are a beginner or are with your family, we recommend the routes that are located at the foot of the mountain range, beautiful and suitable for everyone.

If you are an expert hiker then go up to the peaks and along the most spectacular and difficult trails. One of these is definitely the trekking of the Alta Via delle Creste, on the crest of Mount Migogn. It is a circular route, with the starting point Passo Fedaia. It takes about 7 hours to complete it, the maximum altitude that can be reached is 2.384 meters and the difference in height that must be faced is 900 meters. Along the way you will find several shelters or huts for a quick stop or a lunch.

2 - Path of Rome, Lombardy

It is one of the most important Alte Vie of Valtellina. You can walk it between August and September, in July only if it hasn't snowed too much in winter. Small curiosity: here, every two years, the Kima Trophy is held, an important sky running competition, that is a sport of mountain running.

Returning to the path, it develops along 54 kilometers and it takes from 3 (reduced path) to 5 days (complete path) to complete it. It is absolutely not a path recommended for beginners or those who have never hiked in the mountains, indeed it is dedicated to expert hikers. In fact, the altitudes are by no means indifferent, between 2.100 and 2.950 meters, with even steep climbs and descents.

1 - Selvaggio Blu, Sardinia

This famous and inimitable route has gained worldwide fame in recent years. But be careful, it is as beautiful as it is difficult: we are talking about what is considered one of the most difficult treks in Italy. It is located in eastern Sardinia, along the coasts of the municipality of Baueni.

It is a trek of about 50 km, starting from Pedra Longa and arriving in Cala Sisine. It can be done in 5 or 4 days, also depending on the level of preparation. To travel it you have to rely on a local guide, which will accompany you throughout the journey. In fact, the paths are not marked or marked, and in some points they even overlook the sea.

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