When I hiked in the Italian Alps in September 2020, I found that bivouacs (bivacchi) were mostly open, but their use was not allowed except for emergencies. For example, the Bivacco E. Marigonda above the Valle di Bognanco had a sign like this:

photo with a "no access" sign attached to the door

Transcription of text on the sign:

Bivacco inagibile causa emergenzia COVID-19.
Due to emergency no access to bivouac.

This was true for all Italian bivouacs I passed on my hike. The rifugi (staffed huts) were mostly open (and allowed to use with restrictions), but for some that were closed, the winter room was closed as well, despite normally being open year round.

Has this situation changed at all for 2021, or are the bivouacs still prohibited to use? The only official information I can find are for the Val Grande National Park, where use of bivouacs is officially prohibited (as of 17 May 2021). When I perform a web search for the literal text on the sign, I find mostly results from (spring) 2020 and very little on an update for 2021.

1 Answer 1


No, bivouacs in Italy are still closed due to COVID-19 pandemic. As stated in this document by CAI, access to bivouacs is still limited to emergency situation. This is because they can't guarantee disinfection and other controls required by current regulations. As stated in the sign on the door, by using the bivouacs

You are taking full responsibility for your own safety in relation to the risk of infection from COVID-19

Long story short, you should not plan a trip that include sleeping in a bivouac, but if you find yourself in need of shelter, then you are allowed to use it.

  • Grazie, and welcome to Outdoors SE!
    – gerrit
    Aug 11, 2021 at 8:46

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