Italy has a wealth of great rock climbing and sport climbing areas, particularly in the mountains and Alps of northern Italy, as shown on our map. Southern Italy also has some great sport climbing particularly in Sicily and around Napoli, as shown on our southern Italy map.
The best big wall rock climbing in Italy is found at The Dolomites, with multi-pitch routes up to 800m long. There is an abundance of classic routes at all grades many of which can be reached with fairly short walks from the road. In terms of length of route relative to approach time this makes the Dolomites some of the best value rock climbing in the World.
Valtellina and ValChiavenna are two of the largest valleys in the Italian Alps that host a huge variety of rock with different climbing opportunities and styles. These range from bouldering and low level single pitch sport routes to big wall alpine routes at places such as Valle di Mello.
Bouldering in northern Italy. There are many world-class bouldering areas, with the most famous being Val di Mello, where the annual Mello Blocco festival takes place. Situated in Valchiavenna are the bouldering areas of Cimaganda and Prestone that are close to the border with Switzerland. Other good bouldering areas in northern Italy are the Daone Valley situated to the north of Bresica, and Varazze near Genova. The majority of the bouldering is on either excellent granite, gneiss or limestone rock, across a wide range of grades.
Lake Como and Lecco. The limestone crags that rise out of Lake Como near Lecco offer a great range of rock climbing from single pitch sport routes to long multi-pitch routes up to 500m long that demand a mountaineering approach. In all there are 65 crags to choose from and 1000's of routes at all grades.
Arco at the northern edge of Lake Garda is rapidly gaining a reputation as a good quality rock climbing area. Here there are around 80 limestone crags providing everything from single pitch sport routes to many multi-pitch routes. Many of these multi-pitch routes are around 200m to 600m long with some big walls up to 1,400m long.
Finale Ligure can easily be described as one of the famous sport climbing areas in Italy. Situated on the Mediterranean coast near France, this small compact area offers over 2,000 sports routes on limestone rock. The rock climbing at Finale Ligure offers over 20 crags with everything from single pitch sports routes to multi-pitch bolted routes up to 250m long.
There is plenty of rock climbing around Genova. Muzzerone offers dramatic sea cliff climbing between Sestri Levante and La Spezia. Muzzerone offers a wide choice of routes from single pitch routes on slabs to steep and overhanging multi-pitch routes across a wide range of grades on good quality limestone rock. The Ligurian Apennines provide around 30 different crags, which are mainly single pitch sport routes. Many of these climbing areas are on the coast, making for relaxed sea cliff climbing in a warm Mediterranean climate.
Pisa and Tuscany. Tuscany is well known for its beautiful landscapes, medieval villages and its rich artistic legacy. Within this beautiful landscape there are many fantastic crags that offer a wide range of rock climbing, from single pitch sport to multi-pitch bolted routes up to 550m long on limestone rock. The island of Elba is one of those magic places where it is possible to combine a climbing holiday with family and friends. The island offers everything from bolted sea cliff climbing to multi-pitch routes, with many mid-range climbs (F5’s through to low F7’s) on granite rock.
The island of Sardinia is a rock climbing heaven all on its own, with many different crags throughout the island. The rock climbing is very diverse from limestone sport routes, long multi-pitch sport and traditional routes, through to bouldering on beautiful granite rock.
Marches Region. Rising up from the coast of the Marches region are the Umbria-Marches Apennines where there are many excellent limestone crags. The climbing here is mainly single pitch sport routes at crags such as Furlo, Cingoli, Falcioni, Gola di Frasassi, Pioraco and San Giorgio.
Rock climbing around Rome. In the hills to the north and east of Rome there are a significant number of rock climbing areas, particularly around the towns of Rieti, Terni, Spoleto, Norcia, L’Aquila, and Avezzano. There are well over 100 different crags and nearly 6,000 routes across a wide range of grades and styles.
Rock climbing around Napoli (Naples). Just outside of Napoli is some great sea cliff climbing at places such as the Amalfi Coast and the Sperlonga area around the towns of Gaeta, Circeo, Sperlonga and Moneta.
Rock climbing in Potenza and southern Italy, has seen some recent new developments on good quality limestone rock. This area offers everything from single pitch sport routes to long multi-pitch routes up to 350m long. There is also an extensive sandstone bouldering area.
Rock climbing in Sicily. Just outside of the capital Palermo is Monte Pellegrino, described as the most important rock climbing area in southern Italy. The limestone crags offer everything from single pitch sport routes and multi-pitch bolted routes over 200m long. To the north of Palermo is Monte Gallo which offers big wall bolted routes up to 370m long and the popular sport climbing area of San Vito. The crags around Monti Climiti in the southeast of Sicily, offers a great sense of adventure due to their remote surroundings.
The Rock Climbing Atlas for South Western Europe & Morocco describes the rock climbing around Arco, Finale Ligure & Val di Mello in Italy. This useful book describes the different crags, number of routes, style of climbing, how to get there, where to stay, and general information about the area, though it doesn't describe any individual routes. As well as Italy, the book also includes information about Sardinia, France, Malta, Portugal, Spain & Morocco. Buy this book from our shop.