The mountains of Italy

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Firstly, before you read on, it’s important you understand we are in no way suggesting that we are a mountain venue. Although on a clear day when visibility is right, we can look out over our vineyards and enjoy the majesty of mountains surrounding us on three sides, we are in fact about 50 miles from the nearest mountain. However, our good road networks moderate this distance and day trips to our closest mountain ranges are entirely feasible. Indeed we have explored many of the mountains featured on this site by taking day trips from home. Our great mountain views are a testament to the sheer size and stature of the Alps, they are truly amazing, but it’s impossible to imagine just how impressive they are close up unless you go and stand in their shadows. So we suggest that with a little effort it does not have to be all wine and sunshine beside our pool. Indeed by providing this information about the mountains and outdoor activities, we hope to encourage many of our guests to explore what is an essential part of Italy, the mountains that have shaped its destiny and culture over centuries.

Pop quiz - which European country has the most high mountain summits? Click here for the answer.


There are two major mountain ranges in Italy, the Alps and the Apennines. The Alps run west to east across Northern Italy and share borders with France, Switzerland and Austria. They are divided into regions known as the Occidentali, the Centrali, and the Orientali. The Apennine Mountains run 1000km north to south along Italy’s eastern coast. The broad plain of Lombardy, including the River Po valley, spreads between the Alps and the Apennines. With the exception of this plain in the north, most of Italy is mountainous or hilly, with only a few large areas of flat land and of course beautiful lakes.


These are the mountains you see driving south of us towards Genoa and the Italian Riviera (the autostrada A26 is one of the most amazing mountain motorways). They traverse Italy north to south in parallel to the Adriatic coast from Rimini to Pescara.  They are really the continuation of the Alpine chain which separates the west coast from the east coast forming the watershed of the Italian Peninsula.

References in literature describing their divisions can be confusing. It seems to depend on whether geological or geographical criteria are used. Geographically the Apennines run south from the Gulf of Genoa on the coast all the way into Sicily. The range is divided into sections known as the Northern, Central and Southern Apennines. The mountains are mostly green and wooded. Unlike the Alps, glaciers no longer exist in the Apennines, but snow often lies on the highest peaks for most of the year. 

The vast majority of mountains in the Apennine range lie beyond a comfortable days return journey from us. The highest peak in this chain is Monte Corno (2,912 m/9,554 ft). Major mountains in Apennine range include:






Corno Grande

2,912 m 9,554 ft

Monte Vettore (8128 ft


Monte Nerone


Pizzo di Sevo


Monte Catria


Monte Amara


Monte Maggio

Monte Terminillo


Monte Pennino


Monte Velino


Monte della Sibilla


Northern Apennines

The most quoted demarcation of the northern Apennines from the Maritime Alps is  Bocchetta dell' Altare, about 5 miles west of  Savona on the high road to Turin.

The Northern Apennine range is also commonly subdivided into 3 separate sections; the Ligurian Apennines; the Tuscan Apennines; and Umbrian Apennines.

Ligurian Apennines

It is mainly parts of the Ligurian Apennines that are reasonably accessible from Vechio Podere Santa Cristiana. They extend as far as the pass of La Cisa in the upper valley of the Magra above Spezia; following the curve of the Gulf of Genoa, they then run east-south-east parallel to the coast. The river Po transverses the broad Piedmont and Lombardian plains that lie north and north-east of the mountains. The south side of the range rises steeply from the sea leaving only a tiny coastal strip dotted with little town’s that make up the Italian Riviera.

see more pictures of Piedmont Mountains

Go to page 2 of our Italian Alps pages

For more information on the Ligurian Apennines follow this link;

For more information on the Tuscan Apennines follow this link;

For more information on the Umbrian Apennines follow this link;

For information on the Central Apennines follow this link

For information on the Southern Apennines follow this link

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