Top 10 walking vacations in Italy
Hike your way through sun soaked vineyards, up sheer mountains and along coastal paths, enjoying perfectly preserved culture, some of the world’s best local food and a healthy dose of La Dolce Vita – Italy writes the recipe book for the perfect walking vacation. Our favourite walking vacations will take you through Italy’s most scenic areas and deliver you into hands of cosy local guesthouses, where homecooked meals refuel you for the day ahead. Raise your glass and say “Saluti” to our top 10 walking vacations in Italy.
1. The Amalfi Coast
With jaw-dropping panoramas and elegant fishing villages clinging to vertiginous cliffs, it is not difficult to see why tourists flock to the Amalfi Coast. A walking vacation here is one of the best ways to avoid the crowds and explore one of Italy’s most romantic coastlines in peace. Include the ‘Walk of the Gods’ for a truly celestial experience.
2. TuscanyRolling vineyards bathed in soft sunlight, exquisite medieval villages perched on cypress-lined hilltops, Renaissance art in Florence, glorious Siena... Tuscany’s draws are well-known. But look further and you’ll find a network of gentle walking trails linking each gorgeous highlight. Combine your walks with wine tasting in Chianti and you’ll have ample opportunity to raise a toast to Tuscany’s charms.
When to go: April to October
Our top selling trip: Tuscany tours, walking and wine tasting in Italy
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3. Puglia and BasilicataTucked away in the ‘heel’ of Italy’s boot and often overlooked, Puglia and Basilicata offer a beguiling mix of antique villages, dramatic cliffs and distinctive local cuisine. Enjoy leisurely yet dramatic walks in the Matera canyon and to its unique troglodyte churches. Each night you’ll rest weary feet in cave houses and traditional ‘trulli’, conical stone-built houses unique to the area.
When to go: March to November
Our top selling trip: Puglia and Basilicata Walking Vacation
They say an army marches on its stomach and on a Piedmont walking vacation you can, too, enjoying world-famous Barolo wine, sweet Moscato and white truffles. Gentle walking routes take you past ancient castles and fortified towns, as well as a plethora of local producers. With luggage transferred between hotels each night you’ll have your hands free to get stuck in.
5. SicilyIt may only be a short hop from Italy’s mainland, but Sicily and its surrounding islands are a world apart. Dominated by active volcanoes, a walking vacation here takes you through an other-worldly landscape of lava fields, steaming fumaroles and thermal hot springs. Test yourself with a challenging hike to the top of Mount Etna and explore Stromboli’s black beaches.
When to go: April to October
Our top selling trip: Sicily walking vacation, Sicilian volcanoes
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6. The DolomitesJagged and dramatic, the towering limestone peaks of the Dolomites form the border between Italy, Switzerland and Austria. While the rest of Italy simmers in the summer heat, take a walking vacation here and you’ll enjoy warm sunshine with a delicious breeze, or come in winter for excellent snowshoeing. Walks between pretty mountain villages range from the easy to the devilishly difficult, but all are spectacular.
When to go: May to October
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Wander though an ancient mountain range and paddle at some of Europe’s most beautiful beaches, all in the same day. Follow mule trails through Europe’s deepest canyon and up to Bronze Age ruins with magnificent coastal views. While the walks in Sardinia tend towards moderately difficult rather than easy, you’ll have ample opportunity to relax and cool off at delightful swimming spots.
8. Prosecco Hills, VenetoTucked just north of Venice is an area of steep terraces and gorgeous valleys, dripping with grapes and medieval villages. Follow man-made tracks through the vineyards tasting the local Prosecco as you go, and wander the streets of pretty Treviso. The trails are leisurely, but some uphill climbs will offer panoramic views to the Dolomites and Venice, just an hour away.
When to go: April to October
Our top selling trip: Prosecco Hills walking vacation, Italy
9. The Italian LakesComo and its eponymous lake is the stylish Italian home of the international glitterati, but hike beyond the waterside villas and into the hills and you’ll find gentle summits, panoramic lake views and cosy mountain inns serving tasty homecooked food. With options to make routes easier or more challenging, this is a perfect walking vacation for families, with trails that little legs can tackle.
When to go: mid-April to October
Our top selling trips: Lake Como family walking vacation, Italy
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10. The Tour du Mont Blanc
A cheeky inclusion given France takes the lion’s share of the Tour du Mont Blanc. However, Italy shares in the glory of Europe’s highest mountain and the classic Tour du Mont Blanc route offers some of the country’s most spectacular mountain scenery. Hiking through Val Ferret, near lovely Courmayeur in the Aosta Valley, is one of the Italian highlights of this famous circuit.
More about Italy walking
Travel either side of the hotter summer months and you’ll find the best time to go on a walking vacation in Italy.
Discover la via e bella as you peruse our Italy walking travel guide and find out what walking in Italy entails.
Our Italy walking vacation highlights will take you from Mont Blanc in the north-west, down to Naples and Sicily.
If you're looking to combine a walking vacation with some alternative activities, check out these things to do.
From Amalfi to Mont Blanc, these are our top ten walking vacations in Italy or primo promenades, if you prefer.
Amalfi Coast walking vacations are romantic, rugged, classy and classic. Read our guide to discover the best way to explore.
You probably know the drink, but walking in the Prosecco Hills is a chance to discover where it comes from.
Puglia remains a largely undiscovered walking destination, a wonderful place to escape the crowds.
If you’re keen to take your walking in a decidedly muscular direction, consider tackling the mountainside ladders and cables known as via ferrata.
Walking is a fantastic way to discover the distinct and vibrant culture of Sicily, especially its food and wine. Read our Sicily walking guide to discover more.
There’s a reason why walking vacations in Tuscany are the next best thing to mozzarella, basil and tomatoes.
We’ve asked our tour ops to give us their expert tips to help you travel safely on Italy walking vacations.
You may think you can walk the walk but if you’re looking for responsible walking vacations in Italy, read on.