The majority of the main rock climbing and sports climbing areas are in the mountains of northern Italy (see our map). Though there are also some excellent rock climbing and sports climbing areas in southern Italy as well (see our map).
Rock climbing in Italy is dominated by the big wall climbing 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.
The island of Sardinia is a rock climbing heaven all on its own, with many different crags through out the island. The rock climbing is very diverse from limestone sports routes, long multi-pitch sports and traditional routes, through to bouldering on beautiful granite rock.
Arco at the northern edge of Lake Garda is rapidly gaining a reputation as a good quality rock climbing area. Here there are around 30 limestone crags providing everything from single pitch sports routes to multi-pitch routes up to 300m high.
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 sports 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.
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. The majority of the bouldering is on either excellent granite, gneiss or limestone rock, across a wide range of grades. There is so much rock around that there is enormous potential for setting new routes/problems.
Finale Ligure can easily be described as one of the famous sports 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.
Genova and Muzzerone in Liguria. The dramatic sea cliff climbing the crags of Muzzerone that are situated between Sestri Levante & La Spezia offer a wide choice of routes. These range are from single pitch routes on slabs to steep and overhanging multi-pitch routes across a wide range of grades on good quality limestone rock.
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 sports 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.
Rock Climbing around Napoli (Naples). Along the coast just outside of Napoli is some fantastic sea cliff climbing. Situated around the towns of Gaeta, Circeo, Sperlonga and Moneta. The rock climbing is mainly multi-pitch, which the majority is situated on the coast itself.
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 sports 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 sports 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. 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.
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