Experience Italy on a Walking Vacation

Written by Rem Malloy, since 1995 Rem has been guiding and designing trips to Italy and all of Western Europe and is considered an expert in his field for over 30 years.

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Walking vacation of Italy

For anyone who enjoys experiencing a country’s beauty on foot, Italy is the ideal destination for your next walking vacation. Most cities are very walkable, and a walking vacation allows you to take in the sights and fully appreciate the obscure paths and scenery.

No matter where in Italy you travel, you will enjoy its culture, history, and beauty in a new way when you travel by foot. When visiting Rome, you’ll find yourself immersed walking the halls of the Vatican, utterly fascinated by the beauty of the Sistine Chapel. Or, you might find that exploring and wandering the narrow streets of Venice is the perfect way to spend the day. Or an afternoon window shopping in Milan or wine tasting in Tuscany.

A walking vacation is the best way to get to know a city you’ve never visited. Spend time exploring and getting lost in your surroundings; it is an experience you won’t forget. Take a break and sit in a small café and people watch while the world passes by. These are the moments to savor. 

No matter which part of Italy you visit, you’ll find opportunities to walk, hike, ski, or climb. It is very easy to get your daily 10,000 steps, so put on your Fitbit or smart watch and your most comfortable shoes and join us for some fantastic walking tours. Hopefully you’ve also remembered to charge your phone to remember the incredible sights you’ll pass in these breathtaking locations.

FLORENCE

Florence is the birthplace of the Renaissance. Its art, history, architecture, and cuisine are unrivaled. Florence is not only scenic, but it is also a very safe and walkable city, best explored by foot. 

It is easy to spend an entire day dedicated to walking the halls of the Uffizi Gallery, strolling the various plazas, or climbing to the top of the Duomo to admire the view. One of the best things to do while in Florence is to aimlessly roam the city and its gorgeous tucked away streets and outdoor markets. You can’t miss the infamous leather market or the Mercato Centrale, where you can buy many locally produced items. 

Stop by a café and people watch. Window shop along the Ponte Vecchio. Stroll across the Arno River to Pitti Place or the Boboli Gardens. You could spend your entire trip getting to know Florence by taking a walking vacation; its beauty is endless!

CINQUE TERRE

Cinque Terre, a rugged and photogenic coastline on the Italian Riviera, consists of five beautiful hillside villages. Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore are nestled on the cliffs and linked together by narrow hiking trails stretching along the Ligurian coastline.

With a spectacular coastline lined with brightly colored Cliffside villages you’re rewarded with unbeatable views of the sea. Not only can you indulge in the Italian Riviera views, but while hiking along coastal trails you’ll see vineyards and olive groves, too.

Each little town is unique and offers its own charm. Delight yourself in the relaxing atmosphere of Cinque Terre and taking in the natural environment. Stop for lunch in one of the villages along your hike and enjoy beautiful scenery, local shops and some of the very best people watching.

For the adventurous traveler, Cinque Terre is the perfect destination for your walking tour. Experience all five cities by foot (or spare some hiking and take quick train in-between towns).

AMALFI COAST

If you have an adventurous spirit and are a hiking enthusiast, then the Amalfi Coast is the perfect location for you. It hosts a variety of spectacular trails through luscious forests to open cliff-top treks offering something for everyone. 

Whether you prefer to stay at sea-level, hopping between the famous picturesque coastal towns such as Positano and Ravello, or if you’re a thrill-seeker who enjoys mountainous terrain and staggering views, the Amalfi Coast has both. To make the most of your trip and what region has to offer, take a look at this guide to plan your way around the best walking trails in the Amalfi Coast.

Springtime is arguably the best time of year to enjoy the walking trails in the Amalfi Coast. Summer is the busiest time. The autumnal months host milder temperatures and fewer crowds, making it an idyllic time to enjoy the higher-level, popular paths, and by winter the crowds have generally disappeared in the Amalfi Coast, meaning you can enjoy the area’s most celebrated spots in tranquility.

The Amalfi Coast has everything you need to strike a balance between relaxation and adventure. From historical towns, ancient ruins, spectacular seascapes, serene beaches and a plethora of trails, there is something suitable for all.

ROME

Rome may be a large city with lots to see, but it’s still very walkable. Stroll through the Roman Forum then to the Colosseum; both can be done by a walking tour. A private walking tour with a local guide is a great way to learn about the history of these magnificent sites. 

And every walking tour must include taking a break and resting your feet. A stop for gelato and photos near the Trevi Fountain or at the bottom of the Spanish Steps is a great place for that. 

Take time to meander your way to the Pantheon or Piazza Navona for lunch then re-tie your sneakers and take in the street sights and lively energy of Rome. You won’t feel bad about the many plates of carbonara you ate once you spend a few days walking through the architecturally fascinating and history-stimulating city of Rome.

TUSCANY

Tuscany is an Italian region famous for its culture and history, but also for its stunning countryside and variety of natural scenery that ranges from plentiful vineyards to awe-inspiring mountains and rolling golden hills. 

It’s no surprise then that walking in Tuscany is one of the most popular activities for visitors to the area, who come to walk the historical routes and newly established pathways that link together towns, cities and rural settlements that are nestled into the Tuscan landscape.

Whether you’re a serious walking fanatic or just enjoy the occasional stroll, there is a brilliant range of different hiking trails in Tuscany suitable for everyone. If you’re planning a walking tour through the Renaissance countryside or just want to know more about some of the best places to hike in Italy, we’ve got you covered with some of the best walking routes in Tuscany.

VENICE

A city where your only means of transportation is by foot, Venice is the ideal candidate for your walking vacation to Italy. With its small size, you can experience all of Venice by foot. Although you could see it all in a day, the charm of the small alleys and streets are begging you to take your time. 

Venice is a never-ending maze, and the majority of tourists who visit the city just spend their time wandering the winding alleyways around St. Mark’s Square. This is a vast city of colors, interesting neighborhoods, fantastic restaurants, amazing architecture and to visit Venice with just a guidebook in your hand would be doing yourself a great injustice. 

The best way to understand the immense history, culture and amazing secrets a city has to offer is wandering its streets with a private local tour guide. There is no more unique and memorable experience than in spending the day wandering the streets as if you live there and learning the history and culture from a local perspective.

On a walking vacation, you’ll find there is so much to see and experience. The stunning structures, architecture, restaurants, shops and authenticity of the country are just a few of the things that make Italy so special. There is no better way to explore than by foot.

Our private guided walking tours are a great way to start and will, literally, set you off on a path for further exploration on your own. Contact us to learn more.

About the Author

Rem Malloy started Italy4real back in 1995 with his mother, Deborah de Maio.

He specialises in Italian tours as well as customised tours to France, England, Ireland, Germany, Switzerland, Greece and Spain. He was also featured in the Travel Channel show Mysteries at The Museum in 2016.

Rem has family in Italy and his mothers home town is Cava di Terrani, near the Amalfi Coast. The family has a street named after them in Sorrento, Via Luigi de Maio; a relative who was mayor of Sorrento.

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