Hi, I’m Sal – a Rome-based, certified hiking guide.
My family is originally from Abruzzo and Sicily, two regions with amazing nature, mountains, and parks (and even volcanos in Sicily!), however, I was brought up on the Swabian Alp in Germany.
Despite being raised around nature I quickly was sucked into “the system”, and was on a trajectory of following the footsteps of everyone around me: start a family, build a house, have kids, and buy a car, while spending most hours of my life in an office cubicle…
I was working on my “career”, studied Media Informatics in Cologne, and soon after worked as a Junior Software Developer in Munich. The job was great, and the pay for a freshman from the university was really good.
Don’t get me wrong: I am very grateful for the opportunities I had, all the amazing people I met along the way, and the invaluable life lessons I learned.
However, while on paper I was living a perfect life, deep inside I was also increasingly unhappy and restless.
Everything changed when I became friendly with an Argentinian street musician, who was working close to my former apartment – he ignited the spark of adventure in me; he taught me some busking skills on the guitar – but most importantly: he planted a seed that would stick with me forever: It’s in our power to write our own history in life.
Shortly after I quit my job, left Munich, and started hitchhiking, ultimately ending up in Barcelona and taking on the most transformational adventure of my younger years: The Camino di Santiago. I have shared my travel journal from back then in my blog, if you’re curious you can find it here.
Fast forward and I eventually ended up in Rome, home of Etruscans, Romans, Popes, and millions of stories that were never told throughout its existence, starting almost 3000 years ago.
Today, my goal is to show that we can live an extraordinary life and break free of our unhealthy, stagnant daily routines; that an alternative, mindful and better lifestyle is possible – one that explores a healthier relationship with ourselves, everyone, and everything around us, elevates curiosity and life-long learning, pushing our boundaries, and create healthy habits for longevity and sustainability, independent of background, nationality, fitness-level and where you currently are on your life journey.
There is no need for any esoteric mambo-jumbo. There is no need for stimulants such as drugs. We have everything in ourselves to become happy.
It’s not easy and there is no big revelation that suddenly strikes, and that changes you completely forever. It’s an ongoing struggle, a gradual, iterative process of slowly refining who you are and the skills in your toolkit.
One step at a time.
Keeping those goals in mind, I love to discover and share the local history and culture, and research and find the best trails in Italy – with a focus on Lazio, Abruzzo, and Sicily, but also in all other regions – to share them and provide you with the best, most international and adventurous hiking experiences in Italy.
When there was an opportunity to join training to become a certified hiking guide in Italy with the biggest national hiker’s association, AIGAE, I couldn’t say no. There was a particular focus on hiking techniques such as orienteering, risk reduction, outdoor safety, and much more.
To make a hike both interesting and safe, I start by researching specific topics and areas, studying the original cartography, doing a trail inspection on site, preparing alternative routes, preparing the logistics and permits, and communicating with the park authorities where possible.
There is a range of hikes I organize:
- Urban group hikes in Rome
- Group hikes on wilderness trails (Mountains, Forests & Wilderness, and more!)
- Private, tailor-made hikes
Since I’m the son of an emigrant family, I am also very interested in heritage hikes around towns that tell a special story about the locals and foreigners who had a lasting influence (e.g. the original “chippers” in Ireland who all came from the towns around Casalattico and Val Di Comino, Goethe traveling through Italy, the Brigants in Abruzzo, Corleone in Sicily and more).
All experiences are provided in English, German and Italian.
Private hikes are perfect if you want to enjoy the experience by yourself, with your partner, group, or family and friends, and if you want to do a hike outside of the regular hiking calendar.
My mottos are:
- Stay fit, hike a bit
- Making the world a better place, one hike at a time
- Hike different – International hikes for extraordinary people
I’m looking forward to sharing a story or two on a trail in Italy!