Va’Sentiero – On the longest hiking trail in the world through Italy
For those who love mountains and adventure, from today the new free guide to the longest track in the world is online: Sentiero Italia. A route of 7.000 kilometers, still unknown to most people, which includes the entire boot – including the islands. The route has been documented stage by stage by the young team of the Va’Sentiero expedition, to give everyone the incredible opportunity to explore it on their own.
Perhaps not yet all lovers of travel, the environment and Italy know that there is a hiking trail that crosses the entire peninsula. From north to south, from east to west, a green thread that makes it possible to admire the beauty of the landscape and culture of the Bel Paese from a unique perspective – from the tops of the mountains! The name of this little-known treasure is Sentiero Italia and now there is a perfect hiking guide for the optimal planning of your own itinerary: the website vasentiero.org of Va’Sentiero.
The „Sentiero Italia“
The Sentiero Italia, called the “Greatest of the Great Trails” by CNN, is a high-altitude trail that crosses all of Italy’s mountain ranges. At 7,000 kilometers, the trail is about eight times longer than the Way of St. James, making it the longest hiking trail in the world. An incomparable path, passing more than 350 small enchanted villages magnificent cliffs and centuries-old forests, traditions and dialects of the 20 Italian regions, from Friuli Venezia Giulia to Sardinia. In the 1990s, the long trail was created by the Associazione Sentiero Italia and the Italian Alpine Club, but over the years it fell into a bit of oblivion. But in 2019, with the help of its volunteers, the Italian Alpine Club launched an important restoration project with the aim of breathing new life into the trail. It is not only the dream of every hiker, but also a symbol of environmental protection, a hymn to slowness and an embrace between different cultures.
The itinerary of Va’Sentiero
The Va’Sentiero guidebook, available free of charge and in English at vasentiero.org, is a freely accessible and user-friendly digital resource that provides anyone who wants to hike the Sentiero Italia with all the information they need. Maps, GPS tracks, photos and video highlights, description of the route and a list of accommodations on each stage. Recipes not to be forgotten in any case, historical curiosities, local legends, popular traditions … all this for 14 regions, 240 stages and 4,881 kilometers (as of March 2021). Each point of the guide is based on the direct experience of the team of Va’Sentiero, which day after day has documented the route from all angles. Including references to the experiences during the expedition, as well as tips on places of interest near the route. “We wanted to create this guide with the aim of actively promoting this incredible hike and Italy’s mountain landscape. Areas that – although they represent 70 percent of the country and boast magical landscapes and incredible cultural richness – are little known today or, in too many cases, even forgotten and abandoned,” said Yuri Basilicò, Sara Furlanetto and Giacomo Riccobono, the three founders of Va’Sentiero.
Va’Sentiero’s motto is “Hike, discover and share”. It comes from the dream of three young people united by their love for the mountains of their native Italy. Va’Sentiero is a social initiative based on the idea of sharing with the aim of enhancing the often forgotten scenic, cultural and social heritage of Italian mountain regions, all in the name of sustainable tourism. The team today counts six young hikers and since 2019 undertakes a hiking expedition along the Sentiero Italia, in which anyone can participate, as long as the Covid-19- guidelines allow it. Consisting of hiking guide & project manager, photographer & communication designer, logistics & event manager, filmmaker, philosopher and cook as well as social media manager, the team is responsible for a comprehensive exploration and documentation of the trail and is busy with the multimedia processing. With a photo book, documentary film, digital travel guide and much more, the team has their work cut out for them. To date, they have traversed 14 of 20 regions, and this spring they will set out again to complete the expedition by October 2021.
Source cover photo: Va’Sentiero