The present and the future of the Sentiero Italia CAI

The first national day of the Sentiero Italia CAI becomes an opportunity to experience, tell and imagine the future of the hiking trail. In Santa Maria Maggiore (VCO), a conference with the leaders of the Italian Alpine Club

A moment of the conference © Cai

«The Sentiero Italia CAI is about 7800 kilometers long and connects Italy from south to north and from north to south», declared the delegate to the Sentiero Italia CAI, James Benedetti. The first national day of the Sentiero Italia CAI becomes an opportunity to live, tell and imagine the future of «what is an emblematic and symbolic project of the Italian Alpine Club», to use the words of the President General Antonio Montani.

On the mountains of Santa Maria Maggiore (Verbano-Cusio-Ossola), the Sentiero Italia CAI climbs up and crosses the Val Grande National Park. «The SICAI stage starts from the Primo Bonasson refuge and goes up to Vocogno», notes Tiziano Maimone, President of Cai Valle Vigezzo. The center of Vigezzo became the scene of the conference “Sentiero Italia CAI, a great opportunity”, which was held on Sunday 20 November 2022. The initiative, part of a rich calendar of excursions throughout the national territory, was attended by, among others, the President General Antonio MontaniBenedetti himself and the President of Cai Piemonte Bruno Improved. Without forgetting the presence of various central councilors of the Italian Alpine Club. After the conference, the participants were able to visit the historic center of the country.

A glimpse of Santa Maria Maggiore © Cai

Unite the beautiful country

The concept of hiking, as a multidimensional and multidisciplinary approach, was born in Piedmont, he points out Teresio Valsesia, journalist and creator of the “Camminaitalia”, a pioneering trek from which the SICAI takes shape. From Piedmont to the rest of Italy: the idea and spirit of the Sentiero Italia, which finds its maximum expression in hiking, unite the beautiful country and the various territories that make it up.

«The Sentiero Italia goes to many places: places that may be around the house but that we don’t know or would never visit. At the same time, it allows us to meet many people, endowed with a humanity that comes from the love for those valleys and mountains, and is strongly linked to the territory and its particularities“, tells Giovanna Prennushi. Prennushi is co-author of volume number 9 of the official guides of the CAI Sentiero Italia, dedicated to Lombardy and Piedmont.

Look at the present and the future

«Today, the objective of the Sentiero Italia CAI is also to define the qualitative standard of the outdoor offer. A standard that must be homogeneous throughout the territory. Its mission is to support open-air tourism which is one of the most evident and advanced expressions of the changes in modern and contemporary society» said Benedetti.

The promotion of sustainable tourism, slow and attentive to the particularities and enhancement of the territory is the objective of the Italian Alpine Club. “People still don’t realize how critical the environmental situation is. The use of the Sentiero Italia must increasingly take place using public transport» explains Montani.

The Santa Maria Maggiore convention is part of a rich calendar of initiatives throughout the country. A widespread event, which he predicted 25 hiking appointments edited by the Regional Groups and by the Sections of Cai in 17 regions, along the over 500 stages of the Path. A widespread hike from south to north. with different Sections and as many members who, thanks to videoconferencing technologies, greeted each other in a live video with those present at the initiative.

The present and the future of the Sentiero Italia CAI – Lo Scarpone