Planning a Hiking Trip in Italy [2024]

One of Italy’s greatest beauties is its landscape, mountains, and national parks. While you may find many tips for planning a trip to Italy’s greatest hits: Rome, Venice, Florence, and the Amalfi Coast, what about planning a hiking trip in Italy? Spending weekends in the Piemontese Alps is one of my favorite activities here in Italy, and I wanted to share some information that could be useful for planning our next outdoor trip to Italy!

Finding & Reaching a Trail

In most places, you will need a car to reach the trailhead. While a quick Google search will give you some top trails, these are usually highly popular, meaning packed full. If you are looking for a little more peace and quiet, the best thing to do is first decide on an area on the map- say Gran Sasso Park or Val di Susa in Piemonte. Then depends on if you plan on spending a night in the mountains or not. If you want just a quick day hike, I recommend searching on Gulliver or AllTrails, where you can filter length, difficulty, and area to find the perfect hike for you.

Sometimes it can also be a bit more fun to join a group excursion if you are in a new place. Check out Manawa to find some incredible hiking trips near you (and lots of other great outdoor adventures!)

If you want to spend a night or two in the mountains, you should design your trip based on where you are going to stay. Let’s see what those options could be.

Need help planning your trip to Italy or getting settled? Lets chat and plan the best time in Italy!

Sleeping in the Mountains in Italy

By Italian Law, wild camping, pitching a tent wherever you want, is prohibited. You’ll be fined several hundred euros, and the closer to protected or tourist areas you are, the larger those fines will most likely be. However, if it is an emergency, you are on a long hike and the sun starts to set and you can’t reach a rifugio, then you can pitch a tent but must take it down and pack it out first thing in the AM. Given these strict restrictions, tent camping is less common, and more choose to stay in either a rifugio or bivacco.


A rifugio, refuge, is like a mountain hostel. They offer beds, bathrooms, and a full kitchen acting as a restaurant. Low-altitude ones may be a bit fancier, especially in the restaurant, offering lunch and dinner to visitors who even drive up. The higher you go, the rougher it gets. You will need to bring a sleeping bag with you as well as any toothpaste, shampoo, etc.

A night in the rifugio, with breakfast and dinner included averages about 50euro per person. You will need to reserve your spot, especially on the weekend as spots fill up quickly.


A bivacco is just a simple shelter, usually found at higher altitudes in Italy. They are one-room shelters with few beds. Bivacchi is free to stay in, however, you will need to bring all your equipment, and food. You won’t need to reserve your spot, but always know there is a chance it could be full.

When to go?

If you plan on spending a night in the mountains and going above 2000 meters above sea level, you will want to go during the summer, in the hotter months. However, if you plan on taking a route with a ghiacciao, a glacier, or iced path, you might want to go towards May or September when the ice will be stronger.

Lower altitude day hikes can be great at any time of the year, though under 1000m may be quite hot during August.

Have a trip in mind but need a hand in the planning, send me a message and we will organize your outdoor adventure in Italy!

Where to Hike in Italy

You don’t have to plan a trip too far off the beaten path to enjoy hiking in Italy. In fact if you do have an upcoming vacation on the Amalfi Coast, you can balance your beach days with some great hikes. Path of the Gods is the most popular hike in the area. But you can also enjoy a cliffside hike through the Fiordo di Furore or the mystical woods of Valle delle Ferriere.

If you are staying in Florence, it’s so worth it to take a trip to Lucca and enjoy a sunset hike in Castelnuovo di Garfagnana.

And from Rome? Head to the coast near Latina to enjoy a coastal hike in Cape Circeo.

If you found this information helpful you can show your support by buying me a glass of wine 🥂. I really appreciate it and each glass inspires me to research more into life in Italy!

And if you are looking for more help on your journey of making Italy home or looking for local insight to plan the best trip, get in touch, let me help you experience authentic Italy.