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This new 7-day hiking trail has just opened in Italy’s stunning Dolomites mountains

The circular route is 170 kilometres long and can be completed in seven days.
The circular route is 170 kilometres long and can be completed in seven days. Copyright Dmytro Matsiuk
Copyright Dmytro Matsiuk
By Rebecca Ann Hughes
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The circular route is 170 kilometres long and can be completed in seven days.

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A new hiking trail winding through the wild, nature-rich landscape of Italy’s Dolomites mountain range has just opened.

The Cammino Retico is named after the ancient Raeti people who once lived there in pre-Roman times.

It connects various remote villages between the Veneto and Trentino regions.

The circular route is 170 kilometres long and can be completed in seven days.

It hopes to bring slow and sustainable tourism to some of Italy’s lesser-known territories at risk of depopulation while letting visitors explore an uncrowded and “uncontaminated” side of the country.

Hike through seven villages in seven days

Set out by the social association Carpe Diem, the Cammino Retico begins and ends in Aune di Sovramonte near the city of Belluno.

The route passes through 10 municipalities in the Tesino and Feltrino areas.

Each night, hikers can stay in a mountain community including the walled town of Feltre and the lakeside village of Arsiè. There are already 50 accommodation options along the route.

The trail follows other pre-marked routes including the ancient Claudia Augusta and paths plotted by Italy’s Club Alpino (CAI).

Discover Italy away from mass tourism

Elevation along the Cammino Retico ranges between 400 and 1,450 metres above sea level as the path winds through wild limestone peaks, lush valleys and lake shores.

“It is a chance for tourists to discover the culture and traditions of these uncontaminated, rural areas,” says Francesco De Bortoli from the Carpe Diem association. “And walking is the best way to do this.”

Along the way, there are various sites of historical interest. Hikers can stop at Monte Avena where traces of Neanderthal populations have been discovered.

The route passes by the 12th-century, richly frescoed Sanctuary of Saints Vittore and Corona and the elegant 17th-century Villa delle Centenere. Walkers can pause at the Pedavena Brewery and the bicycle museum in Cesiomaggiore.

From 2025, a twin route will be laid out for cyclists.

Drawing inspiration from the popular Camino de Santiago, the Carpe Diem association says they will introduce a traveller’s passport and diploma for those who complete the circuit.

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