Sentiero Italia: reception points are needed for the Italian Trail
The 7000-kilometre route that runs through every Region of Italy is in urgent need of reception points. The CAI has addressed its appeal to the managers of mountain huts and other facilities located along one of the more than 400 stages of the grand Italian Trail.
Welcoming information providers
Responses are already coming in: becoming a reference point for those crossing our wonderful country on foot is clearly seen as an added value. The hospitality facilities along the route now have the opportunity to be recognised as one of the stopping-off points in a journey that includes all the most important parts of Italy and its islands. In return, they have to be ready to provide hikers with all the information they need in relation to the trail, to maintain constant contact with the promoters, and to keep updated on the latest news about the route.
A new duty for these “Dolomite” managers
The mountain hut managers have long chosen to play the role of “information providers”, especially after the UNESCO recognition, which united them in a determination to communicate the values of our World Heritage with greater expertise. The appeal of the CAI is now also addressed to them; several stages of the Sentiero Italia cross the southern side of the Alps, and so also extend into the Dolomites: from Friuli Venezia Giulia to Veneto, and South Tyrol to Trentino. For the “Dolomite” managers it would therefore just be a matter of using their existing skills to communicate with their guests, welcoming them and offering information about a itinerary of which the Dolomites only form a part, and which has the distinction of uniting Italy in terms of its most precious asset: the landscape. In this way, the role of the mountain hut managers as “sentinels” of the Dolomites can be extended to the environmental and cultural heritage of the whole country.
Passing through the Land of Wonders. All of it.
“We have a dream, that of uniting the whole of Italy in a huge embrace, by walking through the extraordinary places that our country can offer as soon as you leave the metalled road.” This is how CAI President Vincenzo Torti described the thinking behind this ambitious proposal, described as “a hiking expedition that does not take you to the tops of the mountains, but to the heart and soul of Italy.”
The trail website www.sentieroitalia.cai.it provides lots of useful information, and gives you not only a clear idea of the route (which crosses all the Alps, the Apennine ridge, and the centre of Sicily and Sardinia), but also explains what the CAI sees as the deeper meaning of the trail. The idea dates back to 1983, when a group of hiking journalists (who later created the Sentiero Italia Association) conceived this extraordinary and ambitious project, taken up by the CAI in 1990. The various local sections then set to work to pinpoint the best routes, and the grand trail was inaugurated in 1995. Following the trail is easy: all the CAI paths are signposted in red and white, and marked with the letters “S.I.”. Recent work by the sections has mainly involved reviewing the various routes, creating some variations, and, of course, setting up the reception network.