Inspiration

10 Incredible Running Trails in Northern Italy

by On Jul 1, 2017

Italy is a dream that keeps returning for the rest of your life.

10 Incredible Running Trails in Northern Italy

Running enthusiasts from around the world have discovered spectacular and rugged mountainous trails in Northern Italy. Although many of the trails in the Italian Alps are designed for expert runners, there are several moderately-rated trails in the area.

The most spectacular running trails are located in the Vallee d'Aosta, Piemonte and Parco Nazionale Gran Paradiso. Running on these trails offers breathtaking, panoramic views of the Italian Alps, waterfalls, deep valleys and wildlife. The Gran Paradiso National Park was the first national park designated in Italy.

The park is situated among 703 square km of alpine terrain. You will have breathtaking views of the majestic Gran Paradiso mountain peak, as well as 57 glaciers and incredible rock formations. Many trails are rugged, narrow and extremely steep.

You will run through alpine grasslands and fir woodlands. The best season for running in the Alps is from early spring to late summer. Most of the running trails are closed during the winter months due to snow and ice accumulations. Excellent trails are also located in Torino, Cinque Terre and Florence, all of which are rich in Italian Renaissance architecture, art and history.

If you are embarking on a trail running experience through the Italian Alps, the best place to begin is in Torino, which is accessible by air from any point in Europe. Using Torino as your base, the large and efficient train station can take you to Florence, Cinque Terre, and eventually to your final trail running destination, the spectacular Italian Alps.

Running on trails in Northern Italy, you will be enchanted by breathtaking views of the Italian Alps including waterfalls, deep valleys and local wildlife indigenous to the area. The Gran Paradiso National Park was the first national park designated in Italy.

The park is situated among 703 square km of alpine terrain. You will have panoramic views of the majestic Gran Paradiso mountain peak, as well as 57 glaciers and incredible rock formations. Many trails are rugged, narrow and steep. The best season for running in the Alps is from early spring to late summer. Most of the running trails are closed during the winter months due to snow and ice accumulations.

10 of the Most Incredible Running Trails in Northern Italy

Torino – The Green Ring

10 Incredible Running Trails in Northern Italy

Photo Credit: 123RF

Distance: 29.016 km
Difficulty Level: Very difficult
Location: Torino, Italy
Attractions: Torino, regarded as the cultural centre of Northern Italy is situated on the left bank of the Po River. As in any large metropolitan city, you can run through lavish gardens, parks and piazzas. Rich in architecture, you will be able to visit museums, art galleries, cathedrals, palaces and opera houses. Torino is home to the Shroud of Turin, which can be viewed only once a week during tourist season.

Also read:  When Earth Day Arrives, Put On Your Running Shoes To Be A SuperHero!

Firenze

10 Incredible Running Trails in Northern Italy

Photo Credit: 123RF

Distance: 12.987 km
Difficulty Level: Moderate
Location: Florence, Italy
Attractions: There are several running trails in and around the historic city of Florence, the capital of the region of Tuscany. Rich in culture, Renaissance art and architecture, Florence is home to world-renowned art galleries and museums including the Uffizi Gallery and the Palazzo Pitti. While in Florence, be sure to visit the city's most famous attraction, the Santa Maria del Fiore, known as "The Duomo." Another interesting site is the Palazzo Vecchio, where Michelangelo's David was created and installed in 1504.

2012-12-23 S. Rocco-Batterie-San Fruttuoso-Pietre Strette-Semaforo Vecchio-Sella Toca-S.Rocco

10 Incredible Running Trails in Northern Italy

Photo Credit: 123RF

Distance: 14.661 km
Difficulty Level: Experts only
Location: Near Portofino, Vetra, Liguria, close to Cinque Terre.
Attractions: A running vacation to Northern Italy would not be complete without a visit to Cinque Terre, which is comprised of five unique villages including Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore. Many homes, hotels and restaurants are built on terraces attached to rugged and steep cliffs overlooking the sea. The villages are connected by the Sentiero Azzuro trail, leading from Riomaggiore to Manarola. Amazing restaurants, wine bars and small shops can be found in all villages. Be sure to sample fresh calamari caught and served daily.

Trail del moscato

10 Incredible Running Trails in Northern Italy

Photo Credit: 123RF

Distance: 51.917 km
Difficulty Level: Difficult
Location: Near Santo Stefano, Belbo, Piemonte
Attractions: Santo Stefano is a small village in the mountainous region of Piemonte. Several running trails begin in and around the village. Piemonte is well known for the best wine in Northern Italy. Many small villages in the area feature wine sellers where local residents fill their casks on a weekly basis. Santo Stefano and surrounding villages are also known for Northern Italian cooking, including polenta, a staple of the region.

Also read:  You’re Invited to Shine the Light of Hope on Depression on 30th September!

Punta Udine e Colle delle Traversette

10 Incredible Running Trails in Northern Italy

Photo Credit: Luca Bergamasco

Distance: 20.825 km
Difficulty Level: Difficult
Location: Near Cressolo, Piemonte
Attractions: Cressolo, a small village located close to Santo Stefano is rich is local culture. Most residents walk to the village centre for daily food shopping. The most popular places are the bakery, butcher market and wine shop. There are a few local restaurants in the area, but many are only open for a few hours a day.

Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc CCC 81k 2010

Distance: 79.968 km
Difficulty Level: Very difficult
Location: Near Courmayeur, in the Vallee d'Aosta
Attractions: The Vallee d'Aosta is bordered by the Rhône-Alpes. France and spectacular Mont Blanc is located a short distance to the west. Small villages are scattered throughout the Courmayeur area, including Ceresole Reale and Rosone. These unique villages feature moderately-priced restaurants, hotels and hostels.

The Electric Trail K42 3600 D+

10 Incredible Running Trails in Northern Italy

Photo Credit: The Electric Trail

Distance: 44.498 km
Difficulty Level: Difficult
Location: Near Mar Pont-Saint-Martin, Vallee d'Aosta
Attractions: Before beginning your trail running in the Vallee d'Aosta, you may want to spend an afternoon exploring the small village of Rosone, only a few km from Mar Pont-Saint-Martin. Be sure to walk into the village centre and explore the historic local church and cemetery, both dating back to the 17th century. Flea markets are held every Wednesday from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. It is not unusual to see cows strolling down the narrow streets of Rosone each morning for grazing in a common field. The sound of bells clanging at 6:00 a.m. is much more pleasant than a buzzing alarm clock. There are a few small hotels in the area, mainly open during summer months.

Monterego Ultra Trail 53 km-Ghemme (NO)

Monterego Ultra Trail 53 km-Ghemme

Photo Credit: Alessandro Vecchi

Distance: 53.285 km
Difficulty Level: Moderate
Location: Near Ghemme, Piemonte
Attractions: Ghemme, a small village in the Piemonte region is home to less than 300 permanent residents. There are a few very small restaurants and shops in Ghemme, so be sure to do your shopping early in the day. One of the highest-elevated vineyards in Northern Italy is located just outside the village. You are always welcome to stop in, sample the wine and buy a cask or a few bottles for your own consumption. Don't forget to sample some of the many varieties of salami made in the area. Wine, bread, salami and cheese, what a delight before embarking on this long trail run!

Also read:  What Purpose Does Running Serve in Your Life?

Giro del Monte Bracco (Mombracco)

10 Incredible Running Trails in Northern Italy

Photo Credit: Francofranco56

Distance: 33.587 km
Difficulty Level: Moderate
Location: Near Revello, Piemonte
Attractions: Revello is another small village inhabited by local residents. Similar to Ceresole and Rosone, grocery shops and restaurants are only open for a few hours a day. Most of the small villages in Piemonte completely shut down by 6:00 p.m. There are a couple of small hotels in Revello, as well as hostels to accommodate runners. The village is also known for its assortment of Northern Italian wines, bread and cheese. If you are fortunate enough to become acquainted with residents of Revello, you will probably be invited into their homes for a delicious meal.

SALUZZO SAMPEYRE

10 Incredible Running Trails in Northern Italy

Photo Credit: 123RF

Distance: 45.126 km
Difficulty Level: Difficult
Location: Near Saluzzo, Piemonte
Attractions: Saluzzo is known for the Sampeyre running trail. Worldwide running enthusiasts flock to the village from June to August. Although local residents do not speak English, they are quite friendly and helpful. As with other small villages, restaurants and shops are only open for a few hours each day. There are several restaurants in Saluzzo featuring traditional Northern Italian cooking.

Additional Trails to Consider

There are so many incredible running trails in Northern Italy, especially in the Alps. It is difficult to list them all. Courmayeur, in the Vallee d'Aosta is home to several difficult and rugged trails including Tor des Geants and CCC COURMAYEUR-CHAMPEX-CHAMONIX.

Mountain Trail Running Tips

Whether you are a novice or experienced runner, preparation is the key to navigating mountain trails in Northern Italy. Temperatures fluctuate drastically. It can be cool and pleasant in the early morning. Afternoon temperatures can become extremely hot.

The trails are rugged and very narrow with steep inclines. Be sure to wear optimal running shoes for the terrain. Since many of the trails are long and steep, it is a good idea to carry a lightweight backpack with enough food and water for your run.

If you stock up in the local village markets, you can maintain your energy. When running on long and difficult trails, you should run with a partner or small group, or at least let someone know where you are heading and when to expect your return.

Enjoy your trail running vacation in Northern Italy. Take time to experience the local culture, see the sites and enjoy the fabulous cuisine and wine in the area.

Vicky Lauran is an Australian competitive athlete who is always trying to push herself to the limit. A certified holistic life coach, she also has 8 years' experience as a power yoga instructor and holds a degree in sport science. She loves bringing what she knows and learns to the community through this magazine and hopes to help everyone to the road to happiness.

Location
Singapore
No. of Posts
23
Join the Discussion