High heaven: hiking Italy’s Cottian Alps

A new walking trip in north-west Italy showcases the jagged peaks and wooded gorges of the little-known Valle Maira, as well as warm hospitality and fabulous regional cuisine

The first day of my hiking trip in the Valle Maira in Piedmont, north-west Italy, begins with a hot, lung-bursting, heart-pounding three-hour slog up a steep path. I should have expected as much. The tour operator classes its new circuit in this Alpine wonderland as “Grade 3: Challenging” – and my one-day training hike along the Devon coast hadn’t prepared me.

Continue reading…