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Amalfi Coast - Multi Centred   •   Amalfi Coast trek   •   Cinque Terre   •   Coastal Cilento - Trek   •   Cortina   •   Heart of Cilento - Trek   •   Tuscany - Chianti   •   Umbria   •   Val di Fassa - Centred   •   Val di Fassa - Trek

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Italy is an EU nation located in southern Europe and comprises the boot-shaped Italian peninsula and a number of islands including Sardinia and Sicily, the two largest islands in the Mediterranean. Italy also has two enclaves in the Vatican City and San Marino.

Italian cuisine is world renowned, known for its simplicity, flavour and for its regional diversity. Due to Italy’s history of city and regional states you do not have to travel too far before you reach an area with different specialities. Wine also plays an important part in Italian cuisine with famous wine appellations such as Barolo, Chianti and Valpolicella.

Due to the large size of the country, Italy offers many different walking environments to experience. Coastal areas have more than just the sea to enjoy. There are long beaches as well as high cliffs and small villages

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to explore. Italy has had many Maritime Republics in it’s past, such as Venice, Genoa, Pisa and Amalfi. Central Italy has a more rolling, undulating terrain. Here you can find field after field of vines growing grapes for the local wines as well Renaissance cities such as Florence and Siena. To the north of the country you have the mountains with the Alps and the majestic rocky spires of the Dolomites. The towns here are smaller looking after the skiers in the winter and the walkers in the summer.

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History

Along with its capital Rome, Italy has for centuries been a political and religious centre of European civilisation as the capital of the Roman Empire and site of the Holy See. After the decline of the Roman Empire, Italy endured numerous invasions by foreign peoples. Centuries later, Italy became the birthplace of Maritime republics and the Renaissance. Through much of its post-Roman history, Italy was fragmented into numerous city and regional states (such as the Kingdom of Sardinia, the Republic of Venice and the Papal States), but was unified as a kingdom in 1861 after a drive by Giuseppe Garibaldi. Italy became a Republic in 1948.

Geography

Italy has two major mountain ranges. The Apennine Mountains form the backbone of the peninsula whereas the Alps form most of the country’s northern boundary.  In between these mountain ranges lies a large plain in the valley of the Po, Italy’s largest river. Also in northern Italy there are a number of large lakes; Garda being the largest, Maggiore, Como and Lugano. The country is situated at the meeting point of the Eurasian Plate and the African Plate, leading to considerable seismic and volcanic activity. There are 14 volcanoes in Italy, four of which are active; Etna, Stromboli, Vulcano and Vesuvius. Vesuvius is the only active volcano in mainland Europe and is most famous for the destruction of Pompeii and Herculanum.

Climate

Because of the distance from north to south of the peninsula and the mostly mountainous internal area, the climate of Italy is highly diverse. In most of the inland northern and central regions, the climate ranges from hot summers and generally warm winters to either hot to cool summers with cold winters. In particular, the climate of the Po valley has mostly harsh winters and hot summers. The coastal areas of Liguria, Tuscany and most of the South have mild winters and very warm and dry summers. Conditions on peninsular coastal areas can be very different from the interior's higher ground and valleys, particularly during the winter months when the higher altitudes tend to be cold, wet, and often snowy.



Further information about Italy and walking holidays there.Further information about Italy and our walking holidays there...

Amalfi Coast - Multi Centred

Walking holidays in Italy - Amalfi Coast - Multi Centred - Click Here For Larger Image The Amalfi Coast stretches 50km from Sorrento to Salerno and is one of the most breath-taking coastlines in Europe. Steep terraces full of scented lemon groves fall sheer into a deep blue Mediterranean sea; whitewashed houses cling precariously to unforgiving slopes while sea and sky merge in one vast blue horizon. Colourful towns are pasted onto the steep slopes and have a history dating back 100’s of years.

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Amalfi Coast trek

Walking holidays in Italy - Amalfi Coast trek - Click Here For Larger Image The Amalfi Coast stretches 50km from Sorrento to Salerno and is one of the most breath-taking coastlines in Europe. Steep terraces full of scented lemon groves fall sheer into a deep blue Mediterranean sea; whitewashed houses cling precariously to unforgiving slopes while sea and sky merge in one vast blue horizon. Colourful towns are pasted onto the steep slopes and have a history dating back 100’s of years.

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Cinque Terre

Walking holidays in Italy - Cinque Terre - Click Here For Larger Image The literal translation of Cinque Terre is Five Lands, and the name justly derives from the five picturesque villages of the region; Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore. The coastline, villages and the surrounding hills constitute a National Park and also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, so beautiful are they. For over a millennium the people living within this dramatic landscape have gradually changed its appearance through time as they cultivated the steep hillsides which descend to the rocky shores by the dramatic hand built terraces of local stone and earth.

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Coastal Cilento - Trek

Walking holidays in Italy - Coastal Cilento - Trek  - Click Here For Larger Image The World Heritage listed Cilento National Park is located approximately 50km south of Salerno. While being close to its more popular neighbour the Amalfi Coast, Cilento offers a very different kind of experience where you can delight in the true, authentic Italy. This small bump on the top of Italy’s foot is rocky and the crystal-blue sea laps at its shores. There is a dramatic kind of beauty here, with rocky ridges set between small picturesque inlets. Richly scented pinewoods stand sentinel to wide sandy beaches. Cilento is also rich in history and the trek begins in a town that is home to some amazing Greek temples. While walking, you will also pass old rural chapels, ancient farmhouses, watermills and charming medieval villages. Some traditional fishing villages can also be found along the route, a couple of which you will stay at.

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Cortina

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Walking holidays in Italy - Cortina - Click Here For Larger Image Cortina, or Cortina d’Ampezzo as the collection of settlements are known, is located in northern Italy and nestles under the majestic scenery of the Dolomites at the head of the Valle del Boite. As an area of outstanding natural interest and beauty, the Dolomites are a designated UNESCO World Natural Heritage Area. It is the largest of the 18 municipalities which make up Ladinia, a widely cultural area where the local Ladin language is most prevalent and is still spoken today. Originally Cortina d’Ampezzo was composed of a number of “frazioni”, isolated villages and hamlets, but with an increase in tourism in the area from the 1950’s the town began to grow rapidly. Only the most outlaying villages and hamlets have remained secluded and isolated from the main centre of Cortina.

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Heart of Cilento - Trek

Walking holidays in Italy - Heart of Cilento - Trek - Click Here For Larger Image Cilento offers a very different kind of experience to its more popular neighbour, the Amalfi Coast. With quiet, rural and untouched land, Cilento presents a true insight into authentic Italy. Close to the World Heritage listed Cilento National Park you will find yourself in the real “Heart of the Cilento”. Immerse yourself in the glistening crystal clear waters of the Calore River, the wilderness of the Cervati mountain range located on an extinct volcano and finally the imposing limestone cliffs of the Alburni Mountains. Inland Cilento is largely unspoilt; you will encounter few other tourists along your way, making it a peaceful and unique experience. You will pass through pristine beech and oak forests, mountain meadows, stunning river valleys and impressive canyons. You will also walk through countryside with vineyards, olive groves and many cultural treasures such as chapels, old watermills and charming medieval villages which will capture your imagination. At either end of your trek you will also have an opportunity to visit the Greek temples of Paestum or even just spend some time relaxing on the beautiful sandy beaches.

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Tuscany - Chianti

Walking holidays in Italy - Tuscany - Chianti - Click Here For Larger Image Beauty, relaxation, history and wine! Our Tuscany trek leads you through the mesmerising heart of the Chianti Classico wine-growing area. You will travel from Renaissance Florence to the medieval city of Siena. Both cities are World Heritage Sites and breathtakingly beautiful. Why not have a few extra days to explore them? You will be walking through vineyards where the world-famous Chianti wines are produced and you will be able to enjoy plenty of these on the way! It is from this area alone that Chianti is able to boast its black-rooster seal, “gallo nero”. You will also be able to indulge in the delicious food and olive oils of the Tuscan region.

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Umbria

Walking holidays in Italy - Umbria - Click Here For Larger Image Delightful Umbria, with its rolling hills, waterfalls, high mountains and fascinating hill-top towns, has been called “il cuor verde d’Italia” (the green heart of Italy). It was often viewed as the second best province to visit after Tuscany, but no longer... Successive visitors have discovered that the historic towns of Assisi (a World Heritage Site associated with Saint Francis), Trevi, Norcia and Spoleto, on the flanks of the Apennine Mountains, have just as much to offer as the busier towns of Tuscany.

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Val di Fassa - Centred

Walking holidays in Italy - Val di Fassa - Centred - Click Here For Larger Image Val di Fassa is located in northern Italy and is amongst the mighty spires of the Dolomites. The valley is in Ladinia, a cultural area where the local Ladin language is still the most commonly spoken language and the Ladinia flag can often be seen. Italian is also spoken here, as is German due to the valley’s close proximity to the Italian province of Südtirol, where German is the native language. The Val di Fassa valley is the setting for a number of villages each with their own charm stretching from Moena to the south up to Canazei to the north. There are a vast number of chair lifts and cable cars to elevate you quickly to the main walking areas.

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Val di Fassa - Trek

Walking holidays in Italy - Val di Fassa - Trek - Click Here For Larger Image Val di Fassa is located in northern Italy amongst the mighty rocks forming the traditional picture of the Dolomites. However, the valley has much to offer as you journey from the valley floor to the high mountain passes you will be going through pine forests and broad grasslands adding colour and texture to the landscape. On the valley floor you stay in hotels of a traditional Alpine style. Your nights in the mountains are at two of the many rifugios which are located on the mountain sides.

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