We all know that Wilderness in south-western Europe is scaled down to small, compact areas. Unlike the vast, sprawling stretches that belong overseas. Yet, our tiny chunks of Wilderness are still spectacular,to be treasured and celebrated in their own rights.
Italy has several areas – usually pocket-sized, which we can consider to fall into the wild/wilderness/uninhabited category. We’re tying ‘wilderness’ together with the other two words, to give a more realistic vision and angle.
Earlier this year we looked at the mountainous Orsomarso, in Italy’s southern region of Calabria, that covers the south-westerly part of Italy’s largest National Park – Parco Nazionale del Pollino. To be confirmed a low-key trail and MTB race in May 2018, “Gruppo Avventura Orsomarso Trail Running & MTB“.
Still intrigued to source out more Trail races that fit into the “Wilderness” box of goodies, we’ve come up with the following three trail races. Each have distances for most Trail Runners. So sit back, and concede yourself a few minutes to be transported to some soulful Italian destinations…
LAGO MAGGIORE ZIP LINE TRAIL 2018
Next came Val Grande, which we presented last week. The “Big Valley” encircled by mountains, in Northern Italy’s Piedmont, is perhaps one of the strongest contenders for the Italian Wilderness Crown! Even the official, and unofficial websites warn about the dangers of attempting to delve into the heart of the area. So a safe and secure way to visit this part of Italy would be with an official guide or even by running the Lago Maggiore Zip Line Trail Race.
With hashtag #trailconvista which translates to #trailwithaview the Zip Line Trail boasts a race route that takes runners along the Linea Cadorna, an ancient military defense system, made up of paved tracks, trenches and caves built in World War I, that crosses into the legendary Val Grande.
With two routes, at ‘only’ – 25 Km/1.200 m D+, or – 11 Km/450 m D+, your taste of wilderness, shouldn’t be too harrowing, and we think that even though the distances are short, this is a race definitely worth running. The race takes place on the 16th September 2018.
Race website: www.lagomaggioreziplinetrail.it in Italian
TRAIL SACRED FORESTS
This trail takes places in the Foreste Casentinesi National Park, that borders between Emilia-Romagna and Tuscany. Famed for it’s dense, almost magical forests, the Trail Sacred Forests was also the location and race chosen for the 2017 World Trail Running Championships, you can see our photo-reportage here.
The race takes place in June, yet as of writing November 2017, the website still holds 2017 information. The 2017 event had a good number of distances to choose from: 83km 4.400m D+, 50km 3000m D+, 24km 1500m D+, 13km 700mD+ and family walks of 11 and 4km.
Race website: www.trailsacredforests.com/en in English
Ultra Track Supramonte Baunei Sardegna Trail Running
We move off mainland Italy to Sardinia for our next location. The Supramonte coastal mountain chain, is also considered to be one of Italy’s Wilderness spots. Steep, limestone cliffs, a sparkling bright blue sea, and a view which seems to go on forever and ever.
The general feel is one of conquering a deserted island. You could expect to find Robinson Crusoe manning an aid station. Verging on the exotic the Ultra Track Supramonte might see you take leave of your senses and consider a serious house move to Sardina.
Two Ultra distances: 90km – 4500mt D+ and the just-ultra; 43km 2500 D+, plus a friendlier 23km with a leg churning 1600m D+ (the cliffs!) Race takes place in October. At time of writing, race website still holds 2017 info.
Race website: www.ultrasupramonte.blogspot.it – can translate to English
Maria Elisabetta Bellini is Italyontrail.com’s founder, born in the U.K, she came to running whilst living in Italy, where she still lives and trains. Never ceasing to marvel at what’s at the summit of a hill, or around the bend along the trail, she loves using trail running as a means to explore nature, contemplation and Italy.