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Once again, a landscape with striking contrasts is prominent. The seemingly impenetrable barrier of the Alps to the north combined with the gentler rolling lands of Tuscany with their soft light and artistic heritage, the surprisingly high and challenging Apennine chain, the intensity of the southern landscape, and Sicily, with its sparkling sea and sandy beaches, and the ever brooding Mount Etna.
As Italy is so mountainous, you can select your own level of difficulty. The Dolomites in the north have good, marked trails with walking and trekking possibilities. There are a great selection of mountain town and village bases, plus the welcome of the high mountain rifugios, or mountain huts. The Apennines, the spine of Italy, run for hundreds of miles, with a variety of landscapes and many picturesque towns and villages. Not forgetting the Alps of course, with their reknowned variety and beauty.
Photo by Gillian Price from 'Walking in the Dolomites')
Other notable areas include the Sibillini National Park, with its rugged mountains and stunning flora and fauna, while the Italian lakes in the north of the country offer a low-level walking destination not to be missed.
www.italia.it (Official tourist board)
Guided / Self guided trips:
www.colletts.co.uk (Walking holidays in the Italian Dolomites and Tyrol)
www.xtrallusion.com (Sightseeing, activity and walking holidays in Italy)
www.tuscanywalking.com (Walking holidays in Garfagnana, Tuscany)
www.tuscanyumbriawalks.com (Walking holidays in Tuscany and Umbria)
www.thehideaway.eu (B&B & self catering in the Sibillini)
lacasadellartista.weebly.com (B&B in the Sibillini)
www.cottagestocastles.com (high quality Italian villas for all group sizes)