Italy is on its way to having its own Camino de Santiago with a new route that will connect all of the country's national parks. The project was announced on the European Day of Parks by the Ministry for the Environment and the Italian Alpine Club.

The new Sentiero dei Parchi (“Trail of the Parks”) is largely inspired by the Way of St. James – a single trail connecting all twenty-five of Italy’s national parks, from the Alps through the Apennines to the isles of Sicily and Sardinia. “[Our] national parks are a treasure chest of nature,” said Italian Minister for the Environment Sergio Costa in a statement. “We have to guarantee their conservation, but also their availability”.

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The trail will develop along the pre-existing Sentiero Italia ("Italy Trail"), created and managed by the Italian Alpine Club – currently more than 7000 kilometres-long, touching eighteen of the twenty-five national parks. The trail will add onto it by including all of the national parks as well as protected areas, biosphere reserves and Unesco natural sites.

A trail in the mountains in Abruzzo
The trail will travel through all Italian regions, including the two isles of Sicily and Sardinia © Matteo Gabrieli / Shutterstock

There will also be a sort of passport for those who travel on the trail, a way for each stop to get stamped and recognised so that a final symbolic acknowledgement can be awarded to those who have completed the entire trail. The Minister for the Environment went on to describe this project as an important sign of “how much we value our immense natural heritage and its valorisation when it comes to sustainable tourism, especially in this post-COVID moment when we all feel the need to be outside a bit more”.

A picture taken on a seaside trail in Campania during a foggy day
Hikers will also be able to get a passport and have each stop stamped to keep track of their progress © trabantos / Shutterstock

If you want more information on the Sentiero dei Parchi or on when it will officially open, you can check out both the website of the Ministry for Environment and of the Italian Alpine Club.

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