From the Basilian Way and the Kalabria Coast to Coast in Calabria, the Via Regina or the Green Trail of the Oglio in Lombardy, the Bel Paese has all it needs to compete with European trails.
Not only sustainability. But also ethics. It is one of the main reasons why slow tourism is becoming increasingly popular. According to the definition given by AITR, the Italian Association for Responsible Tourism, it is tourism "...implemented according to principles of social and economic justice and with full respect for the environment and cultures. Responsible tourism recognizes the centrality of the local host community and its right to play a leading role in the sustainable and socially responsible tourism development of its area."
And one of its most popular approaches today is trail tourism. In this type of vacation, travelers are looking for routes that are more attentive to the current fragility of the local areas, an experience in which movement is part of the journey and allows for authentic moments: from the discovery of traditional food and wine to contact and communication with the locals, for example through accommodation and overnight stays in small lodgings.
An increasingly popular type of travel. Suffice it to say that out of 49 itineraries surveyed by Terre di Mezzo in its documentary "Italy, Land of Walks," 59,538 credentials (confirming having walked the route) were issued in 2021 compared to 45,472 in 2019. Thus, 2021 showed a major growth over the pre-pandemic year.
And while on a European scale it is the great religious itineraries such as the Camino de Santiago or the Vie Francigene that are the most popular, in our country the offer is increasingly diversified and, alongside the spiritual routes, there are many others also linked to wellness, nature and the open-air, from the North to the South of the country. Starting right in the South, in Calabria for example, newcomers can try their first adventure with Kalabria Coast to Coast, a short but exciting route-55 km in all-that connects the Tyrrhenian and Ionian coasts in just 3 days of trekking dotted with small villages, forests and traditional crops. For experienced walkers, on the other hand, the Basilian Way is not to be missed: a nearly 1,000-kilometer route that crosses no less than three national parks - Pollino, Sila, and Aspromonte - and also allows for the exploration of the region's diverse ethnic-linguistic souls, from Greek to Albanian.
Moving up the peninsula, a region that has always been full of trails is Lombardy, which has 16 of them now presented in a single project with the support of the Lombardy Region and the European Union. Among the most spectacular ones is the Via Regina, a historic road-the first mentions date back to 1187-that skirts the western shore of Lake Como, touching on uniquely charming hamlets such as Cernobbio, Argegno or Menaggio and is studded with a network of trails known as the Strade della Regina. For those who prefer nature watching, and in particular bird watching, a real must is the Oglio Green Trail, located along the lowland course of the river from Sarnico, at the outlet of Lake Iseo, to Ostiano, on the border between the provinces of Brescia and Cremona, crossing the wonderful environmental landscape of the Oglio Nord Regional Park.
But the whole Boot is a country of trails, and this is proven by the Sentiero Italia, a unique route in more than 450 stops over 7,200 km long that crosses the whole country from North to South.
Slow tourism will be featured at Bit 2023, which will be held at the Allianz MiCo convention center in Milan from Sunday, Feb. 12 to Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2023. To be featured as an exhibitor send a request for information. To purchase your ticket as a professional visitor or as a traveler visit this page.