Travel Blog

The 5 Best Mountains to Climb in Italy

What better way to explore majestic mountains, take in dramatic coastlines, and venture through the Italian wilderness? Get out in the natural wonder of Italy and scale those mountains yourself! Explore the natural beauty of Italy by getting up close and personal to our top-rated Italian mountains to climb.

1. Gran Paradiso

This mountain is one of the highest mountains in Italy and the highest peak in the Graian Alps, with its peak clocking in at 12,323 feet (4,061 meters). Hiking through the landscapes of the Graian Alps and the Gran Paradiso National Park is awe-inspiring.

The Gran Paradiso National Park, set in the Cogne Valley, is widely considered one of the most beautiful national parks in Italy and is one of the Alps’ hidden treasures. Think: idyllic high alpine meadows, dark and dense forests, icy babbling brooks, and picturesque waterfalls.

Come early in summer and, as you descend skyward, photograph brilliantly colored wildflowers and ibex, a species of wild goat with huge horns that love the rough and rugged mountain terrain.

The Graian Alps are at a cross-section of Italy, Switzerland, and France, so you’ll get a three-for-one view while you scale these mountain trails and trek through the dreamy vistas.

An ascent of the Gran Paradiso will include a hike through rocky paths, stony meadows, and a final arrival at the glacier, where a harness, crampons, and rope will be necessary. Within the park, children are more than welcome to trek along too.

At the tip top of the Gran Paradiso summit, a large Madonna statue will greet you, the final culmination of your ascent.

After a hike, trek down to a high col, the lowest point of the ridge, or take in more of the vistas as you celebrate and enjoy refreshments in a cozy cafe.

2. Monte Bianco

If you love trekking through the magical and majestic vistas of mountains, then Monte Bianco is one of the most impressive mountains in the world.

At the border of Italy and France, this majestic mountain is the highest mountain in the Alps (at 15,777 feet/4,808 meters). With an ice mass and rock walls unlike anything else, when you see it, you’ll know for certain which mountain is Monte Bianco.

Monte Bianco literally translates to “White Mountain,” and there will always be snow at the summit. Depending on which season you will be hiking and trekking, some areas may be unreachable due to snow. Trekking in the Alps is like being among the quiet and truer sense of the wilderness.

Of course, depending on your tour group, some situations may be more crowded, but there is something to be said about experiencing a mountain view in a meditative state that is powerful and quite unlike anything else.

Skiers, mountaineers, artists, and families seeking a sense of adventure continue to flock to the base of Monte Bianco, hoping to experience that specific majesty that can only be felt at the base of a mountain looming that large. Explore peaks, glaciers, and summit views that will stay with you long after you leave Italy.

3. Monte Rosa

A massif is a compact group of mountains and the Monte Rosa massif has close to ten peaks, each higher than 4,000 meters.

When trekking through the Monte Rosa massif, expect gorgeously unique vistas, especially since the nearby Monte Rosa glaciers create a stunning landscape. When the sun hits the ice formations just right, the view is breathtakingly brilliant. Be ready to experience ice formations galore!

A general rule of thumb in the Alps is the more the mountain is famous, the less it offers a chance to take in the local wildlife.

This area is well known and well-visited by tourists and hikers alike. Since this is such a popular holiday destination, when visiting Monte Rosa, don’t expect to see a handful of wildlife—though, you may see a few more critters in springtime or Fall.

Services around this area are quite advanced, so creating an inn-to-inn hike with comfy accommodations is certainly possible.

Even in the winter season, a variety of activities like snowshoeing and trail exploration are popular. Cable cars allow viewing options for tourists and downhill bikers in the summertime.

4. Monte Cervino (Matterhorn)

Within the Monte Rosa massif is the Matterhorn mountain, a popular destination on the border of Italy and Switzerland for mountain hiking, trekking, and exploration.

You’ll instantly recognize this beauty by its classic pyramid shape—in fact, Monte Cervino, the Matterhorn, is a four-sided pyramid that is perhaps one of the most recognized mountain peaks in the world.

Another detail to note is that each side of the four-sided pyramid shape faces the points of the compass: North, South, East, and West. At its peak, the Matterhorn stands 14, 692 feet/ 4,478 meters tall.

To reach the peak of the Matterhorn, one must climb one of the technical routes, but most visitors are content to simply admire the miraculous view and hike among the surrounding valleys and nearby trails. Mountain climbing, skiing, and hiking are popular activities to absorb the drama of the mountain.

If you’re feeling quite inspired, there is a 10 day trip, which includes strenuous hiking, that will take you on a complete circuit around the Matterhorn. This challenge will require training and preparation.

5. Marmolada (in the Dolomites)

The highest mountain in the Dolomites is Marmolada, and though this one reaches sky-high, the hiking around and up this mountain is easy for anyone to take part in.

Historically, during World War I, Marmolada was one of the front lines for the region and within the glacier there are still tunnels that were created during the era of war time.

At the top of the summit, a small resting hut serves as a place for a short respite and a summit cross also marks your accomplishment. When scaling Marmolada, you will need climbing shoes, helmet, rope, protective climbing pants, day pack, sunglasses, a harness and crampons.

Never been rock climbing? See my guide: How to Start Rock Climbing.

About Barbara

Barbara is the founder of CrabInTheAir.com, a travel blog where she shares her passion for exploring the world. She loves writing about all the hotels visited, the wonderful cities discovered and the unique people met along the way.

 

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Rich Remick

I work part time as an IT security consultant. Luckily I can work from anywhere so I go back and forth between Colorado and Florida. I get my fix of skiing, hiking and camping in Colorado in the Dillion area, and when I am in Florida you can usually find me on the water either paddleboarding or kayaking. My recent passion is scuba diving, I got certified a few years ago and "get wet" as frequently as I can.

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