Outdoor enthusiasts visiting Italy have a new term to learn before arriving in the country: Sentiero dei Parchi. The name says it all — the “Trail of the Parks” will connect all of Italy’s national parks in one long trail by expanding the current Sentiero Italia, or “Italy Trail.” The project, the result of a collaboration between the Italian Ministry for Environment and the Italian Alpine Club, will connect all 25 of the country’s national parks in a north-south trekking route that spans mountains, inland stretches, and islands. It’s part of a broader effort to promote conservation and outdoor recreation in Italy.
“I think there was no better occasion to celebrate European Parks Day, than to sign a protocol between the Italian Alpine Club and the Ministry of the Environment,” said Italian Alpine Club President Vincenzo Torti in a statement on May 23 (the European Day of Parks takes place yearly on May 24). The existing Italy Trail currently connects 16 of the country’s national parks and stretches more than 4,300 miles. An additional nine national parks plus other protected areas, reserves, and UNESCO heritage sites will be added to complete the new trail that will stretch from the Alps of northern Italy to the island of Sicily and through Sardinia.
“National parks are a treasure chest of nature,” said Italian Minister for the Environment Sergio Costa. “We have to guarantee their conservation, but also their availability.”
Much like the Camino de Santiago and other long-distance treks around the world, hikers can collect marks on a passport at different stops along the way. Complete the entire trail and you’ll receive a commemorative honoring from the Ministry for Environment and the Italian Alpine Club.