visiting Tuscany on a walking tour of Italy is ideal

How To Experience The Best Walking Tours of Italy

There are millions of places to see in Italy. But one could easily argue the best way to explore Italy is on foot. Walking tours of Italy offer visitors a chance to take in the sights, sounds and smells of its rich countryside. Italy is known for its incredibly diverse landscapes brimming with natural beauty, amazing views, and picturesque little towns. Who wouldn’t want to walk along Italy’s most breathtaking trails?

But where should you go? What trails should you hike? Your trip will be nothing short of unforgettable. From stunning scenery to cooking with locals, get ready to experience Italy like an Italian. 

Walking tours of Italy on the Amalfi Coast

Located on the southern shores of Italy, the Amalfi Coast is one of Europe’s most stunning coastlines. One of the most popular hikes is the Path of The Gods Trail. This seven-kilometre hike between Bomerano and Nocelle will take you through olive groves and around a jagged, jaw-dropping coastline. You’ll be mesmerised by the endless idyllic sights that transport you into a state of tranquillity.

Path of the Gods is one of the famous walking tours of Italy.
The Path of the Gods winds between Bomerano and Nocelle

The tour I opted for was led by Exodus, a Canadian travel company specialising in responsible and immersive travel adventures. Because it’s a one-centre-based trip, you get to stay at one hotel for the entire week, making it your home and meaning – you only have to unpack once. From our base, we did day walks to the towns of Amalfi and Ravello and the Walk of The Gods to Positano. 

The length of walks varied with plenty of breaks to soak in the impossibly perfect blue skies and surrounding coastline. If you’re not an avid walker – not to worry. The pace of the hikes is relatively leisurely, and loads of steps make the journey accessible for even the beginner hiker.

The Path of the Gods is a popular choice

We also visited the UNESCO sites of Pompeii before hiking up to the rim of Mount Vesuvius to peek inside the active volcano. But you need not worry about dodging lava. The last eruption occurred in 1944. 

Our itinerary allowed for an entire day of free time in which a few of us took the ferry to captivating Capri, and it was even warm enough to swim in the Aegean Sea. Don’t you love these spontaneous bucket list moments when you travel? 

One of the best parts of this journey was our hotel, a cosy family-run place in the quiet village of Bomerano, which sits high above the glorious Amalfi Coast. The restaurant served authentic local cuisine prepared by one of the brothers, who even gave us Italian cooking lessons. Of course, this wouldn’t be the whole experience without our dishes being paired with incredible homemade wine at a fraction of the prices we’re used to paying for quality vino. Salud!

Views of Positano
Positano is a great spot to call home away from home.

Experiencing the world is nothing without the people that surround you (even if just yourself). For this particular group, there were sixteen travellers, all 50 to 70 years old, made up of Brits and four Canadians. Our guide, Paul, was English and had been leading hiking tours in this part of Italy for a while. He knew all the trails and was full of other fun tips, like where to set up lunch for the best views and where the locals loved hanging out at night. 

If you want to see and taste the best of the Amalfi Coasts’ landscapes, food, culture, and cuisine, this walk is right up your alley!

Enjoying the best walking tours of Italy

When considering the best walking tours of Italy, there’s no arguing that wandering the streets of Rome is near the top of that list. It’s one of those cities that’s just made for walking. There are so many things to see and do on foot, from the Colosseum to the Trevi Fountain, to the Spanish Steps; it never ends. On my daily strolls through the charming neighbourhoods of Roma – as the locals call it – I effortlessly stumbled upon iconic site after iconic site – even without a map.

Next up was Florence. The city is full of Renaissance art and architecture, leaving you with a lifetime’s worth of memorable experiences. Thankfully, I had pre-booked my museum visits and got to skip the long lineups and crowds. Although it’s tough to pick, the most impressive to see would have to be Michelangelo’s David.

walking tours of Florence
There is much to see wandering the streets of Florence.

After that, the great medieval town of Lucca was calling my name. On our daily outings, we chose to see the remarkable sights by bicycle, allowing us to match the still pace of life that made us feel more alive moment by moment. We stayed within the city walls in an apartment, providing the entire ‘live like a local’ experience.

Discovering beautiful Cinque Terre, Italy

No guide to the walking tours of Italy would be complete without mentioning Cinque Terre. This area is also known as the Five Towns, a string of old fishing villages perched high on the Italian Riviera. Noted for its exquisite beauty, this area alone would make for a unique Italian holiday.

We hiked the coastal trails for superb sea views floating by the side of colourful small towns. While I could have easily stayed here for some time, it wasn’t long before we were back on the train to Lake Como outside of Milan, where imposing mountains, lakes, and ancient stone towns awaited us.

Walking tours of Italy include Cinque Terre
Cinque Terre is a must-see destination for any walking tour of Italy.

Visiting beloved Venice on foot

What can I say that you have not heard before? Venice is a fantastic Renaissance city to explore on foot before boating through the canals. Here, you can wander around seemingly aimlessly and yet find purpose at every corner. It could be the canals, or perhaps it’s the art. The only thing I know for sure is that there is really something special about Venice.

Visiting Venice is a must
Most people think of the canals of Venice, but Venice is also a city to be explored on foot.

Before booking your trip to Italy

It’s not a coincidence that all of the most popular travel books that feature walking tours of Italy highlight the same places I’ve just mentioned. While the country may be known for its art, architecture and splendid cities, it is very much a paradise for hikers who want to see a destination through the magic of walking.

Exploring Italy on foot creates terrific opportunities to learn more about its culture, enjoy its breathtaking views, and discover exciting treasures about this otherworldly country.

And regardless of how much you uncover in Italy, it always leaves the traveller something to come back for. My next visit to the land of la bella vita will be a walking-based trek through the diverse Italian Dolomites.

a hike in the Dolomites
Up next, the Dolomites.

My preference is always for centre-based trips. This means that you can spend the entire day walking the countryside. Then, you get to relax in the hospitality of a pension by night. Who needs to waste valuable vacation time packing and unpacking?

You don’t necessarily need to join a group to enjoy Italy’s many walking tours, but you should. There is something special about sharing stories with like-minded travellers.

And Italy is one of those rare places that wills you to return. There are so many places to be explored. No matter how much time you devote to exploring Italy, you’ll want to come back.

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Italy offers the best walking tours in Europe. Learn why you might want to explore the countryside by foot.

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