The Dolomites in Italy are a popular destination for outdoor lovers and hikers. Now, a trail has been added to the vast network that will draw in adventurers with more beautiful scenery and fascinating history. The recently inaugurated Cammino Retico is a 170-kilometer circular route that can be completed in seven days. Initiated by the social association Carpe Diem, the trail takes hikers deep into one of Italy’s most beautiful mountain ranges.

The Cammino Retico connects various remote villages between the Veneto and Trentino regions. Named after the ancient Raeti people who inhabited the area in pre-Roman times, it allows hikers to explore lesser-known territories at risk of depopulation. The trail starts and ends in Aune di Sovramonte, near the city of Belluno. It traverses 10 municipalities in the Tesino and Feltrino areas.

Sustainable and Slow Tourism

Blue Dome Tent Near Mountain
Photo Credit: Sagui Andrea/ Pexels

Promoting sustainable tourism, the Cammino Retico encourages visitors to explore Italy’s “uncontaminated” and less crowded parts. Hikers can spend each night in mountain settlements as they travel through green valleys, placid lake coastlines, and rocky limestone peaks. Accommodations range from the walled town of Feltre to the lakeside village of Arsiè. Moreover, there are over 50 options already available along the route.

One of the unique aspects of the Cammino Retico is its mix of natural beauty and historical significance. The trail passes by various sites of interest, such as Monte Avena, where traces of Neanderthal populations have been discovered. Hikers will also encounter the 12th-century Sanctuary of Saints Vittore and Corona, adorned with rich frescoes, and the elegant 17th-century Villa delle Centenere. Along the way, the Pedavena Brewery and the bicycle museum in Cesiomaggiore are also highlights.

Depending on where you start along the Cammino Retico, you can expect an elevation change of 400–1,450 meters. Climbers can enjoy stunning views from a variety of vantage points at such altitudes. Inspired by the popular Camino de Santiago, the Carpe Diem association plans to introduce a traveler’s passport and diploma for those who complete the circuit. Additionally, starting in 2025, a twin route for cyclists will be available, making the trail accessible to a broader range of outdoor enthusiasts.

Discover More

Numerous other trails and hiking experiences are available for those looking to explore the Dolomites further. Popular hikes in the region include the Seceda Ridgeline, Adolf Munkel Trail, and the Tre Cime di Lavaredo Circuit. Each trail delivers distinct challenges and breathtaking views, making the Dolomites a must-visit destination for any hiking enthusiast.