Hope your boots were made for walking, because there’s a lot of it on The Path of Parks.
In the absence of any big summer holidays this year, it’s inevitably that we’ll start planning even grander ones for the years ahead. And speaking of which, Italy has just unveiled an epic adventure that’ll pique your curiosity and wanderlust nicely: The Path of Parks, a gigantic new hiking trail that will span all of the nation’s 25 national parks. Tackle that, and you’ve got an adventure you’ll be talking about for years afterwards.
Known as Sentiero dei Parchi in Italian, The Path of Parks will wind across Italy from the Dolomites in the north, to the very tip of the Italian boot. The trail will also take in Sicily, which features the Isola di Pantelleria national park, and Sardinia, home to three national parks. Parts of The Path of Parks already exist; the final route will encompass the Italian Alpine Club Path, which winds through eighteen of Italy’s national parks, and is some 7000km long already. Additionally, hikers will be able to take in other stunning sights, such as Cinque Terre and the Amalfi Coast, as they wind their way down the country.
Finishing The Path of Parks will be a long-running process, as Environment Minister Sergio Costa revealed that 35 million euros will be poured into the project between now and 2033, with funds to be spent on the “maintenance and enhancement of trail networks”. Costa also revealed a grand prize for those who can complete the finished trail (aside from the bragging rights, of course): a “symbolic passport”, which will be stamped each time a hiker crosses one of the 25 parks off of their list. That’s surely worth the blisters, right?
Maybe you’d better start with a warmup like the longest coastal path in the world, set to open in the UK next year – or familiarise yourself with a heavily subsidised trip to Sicily this summer!
Also published on Medium.