In a country where wineries form your pit stops, idyllic landscapes form your backdrop, and ancient roads form your path, walking holidays in Italy are the essence of a fine life.
From the jagged peaks and blue lakes of the Dolomites and the northern region to the cliff-top villages of the Cinque Terre and the Mediterranean bliss of Sicily; Italy’s diverse landscapes provide the perfect setting for a guided walking holiday.
Not only is the scenery incredible but walking in Italy presents an assorted array of options through its distinct regions: crossing Tuscany one picturesque village at a time; stopping to marvel at ancient architecture on a Rome walking tour, or admiring the fairytale trulli swellings in Puglia as you stroll through the region. The possibilities are endless, and each one brings with it a plethora of hidden gems.
Italy is a country known for its passion; Italians pour it into every activity from creating incredible food to creating walking tours of Italy that perfectly showcase the Italian culture. Walks of Italy tours mean moving at a slower pace through a particular region of the country; fully immersing in the customs, traditions and culture of each place and appreciating the substantial regional variations as you go.
An abundance of options present themselves with walking tours of Italy; we’ve gathered together the most wonderful walks of Italy and the best tips to bear in mind when planning your trip!
Best Times for a Walking Tour of Italy
Italy is beautiful year-round. However, different times of the year bring different climates, crowds and options for walking tours. Overall, the best time to go to Italy for optimal weather and crowd control is the shoulder seasons, either side of the hottest summer months.
During these months, from April to June and September to November, the weather is cool and more comfortable than the stuffy summer months, there are fewer crowds, and the scenery is spectacular with these being the spring and autumn months respectively.
The Best Seasons for Italy Hiking Tours & Tips on Seasons to Avoid
As a long and narrow country, Italy can experience some different weather depending on where you are in the country. To best plan your walking tour of Italy, you can pick the regions you plan on visiting then check when is the best time to go.
As a quick guide, these are the months you should avoid and tips you should bear in mind for the main walking regions;
Cinque Terre and Amalfi Coast:
- Walking tour or not, it’s best to avoid the summer months (July and August) in these regions of Italy as they are very crowded. However, one advantage you have with hiking is that you can avoid the busy beaches and towns, taking the opportunity to seek out the more remote areas.
Closures in Winter:
- Many hotels and restaurants in the main tourist areas close up from November until March (the winter months), so make sure you don’t get caught out. Book ahead if you plan to go during these months.
The Summer Heat:
- July and August can reach stifling temperatures of up to 40°C with high humidity in some parts of Italy. These temperatures can make hiking extremely strenuous and dangerous, so make sure to bear this in mind.
A Soggy Winter:
- As well as many places being closed, the winter months can also bring a lot of rain. These cold and the wet can make hiking from November to March pretty miserable. However, skiing, cross-country hiking and snowshoeing in the north during these times make for an exciting adventure if you don’t mind the cold.
Avoid Lake Regions in May:
- The northern lake region, especially Lake Como, experiences the highest level of rainfall in May. If you plan to visit during these months, bring waterproofs!
Watch Out for the Snow Melt:
- In the spring months, the snow begins to melt in the Mont Blanc mountain region. With this, many boulders and rocks can become loose. It is advisable to walk with a helmet and a qualified guide. Our Local Designers in Italy can arrange this as part of your tailored hiking trip if you wish to go during these months.
Optimal Gear for Happy Feet
It’s clear that depending on when you plan to go walking in Italy, you’ll sometimes need some extra gear. However, ultimately the most crucial item in your luggage on any walking tours of Italy, self-guided or not, is your footwear.
Top Tips & What to Wear on Your Walking Tour of Italy
#1 Bring hiking boots you have broken in: A walking tour, whether multiple days or not, is not the place to try out your brand new shoes. Make sure you bring with you a pair of comfortable walking shoes that you have broken in.
#2 Carry a light waterproof jacket on you: Even if you have arranged your walking tour in the optimal weather months, it is still worth carrying a light waterproof with you as a precaution. Then, if a sudden shower does present itself, you don’t have to let it dampen your plans.
#3 Bring a scarf or sarong: If you are walking in the summer months, you will want to bring with you a light scarf or sarong that can double up as sun protection from intense heat and a cover-up for when entering churches and religious buildings.
#4 Bring shoes to let your feet breath at night: You’ll want to kick off those boots as soon as you can if you are on a multiple-day hiking trip. Bring a few pairs of shoes including sandals for allowing your feet to breathe after a long day of walking.
#5 Fashion is an integral part of Italian culture: Just because you are on a walking tour, don’t forget about your dressier outfits for the evenings. Italians will leave you feeling a little dishevelled with their effortless fashion, so make sure to bring a few outfits that add a little sparkle to your evening.
Walking the Amalfi Coast
While many walks of Italy start in Rome, this seven-day hiking trip of Italy begins in Naples. To introduce you to Italian food, culture and traditions, you’ll embark on a Naples walking tour on your first day, and the following day, you’ll explore the ruins of the ancient city of Pompeii.
With it being such proximity to Naples and the Amalfi Coast, it would be a crime not to visit the stunning island of Capri while in this region. You’ll spend a day immersed in the gardens bursting with flowers, sumptuous villages and beautiful azure waters of Capri while hiking to and from its various communities.
The stream of adventurous, challenging and stunning walks will ensue as you tackle the crater walk of Mount Vesuvius, hike the Path of Gods from Agerola to Positano and cross the scenic valley of the mills to Ravello on the Amalfi Coast.
Highlights of 7 Days Walking the Amalfi Coast
#1 Hiking to the Stunning Viewpoints on the Island of Capri Overlooking the Bay of Naples
#2 Hiking to the Crater of the Mighty Bubbling Mount Vesuvius
#3 Historical Walking Tour of Naples, Italy’s High-Energy Volcanic City
You’ll be walking and hiking for around four hours each day.
Duration of Trip
This Amalfi Coast walking trip is seven days long. However, you can customise this trip with one of our Local Designers in Italy to make it shorter or longer to include more destinations.
Some days will be more challenging than others, but anyone with a reasonable level of fitness will find this trip very enjoyable.
See this Amalfi Coast trip in full and customise it with one of our Local Designers in Italy.
Cinque Terre Walking Tour
Self-guided walking tours of Cinque Terre, Italy’s fine coastal region, are a great way to travel somewhat slowly through a slice of Italy while absorbing all of its cultural, historical and gastronomical riches.
Over seven days, you’ll hike to and from the five villages of this incredibly beautiful Italian coastline on some of the most iconic trails. Heading straight into the heart of the action, you’ll be based in the picturesque village of Manarola and each day, you’ll head out to explore a different stretch of this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
For those that love to get off the beaten track, the quaint villages and pretty trails of the Cinque Terre are perfect. You’ll spend your lunch breaks and evenings refuelling on delicious seafood dishes and washing it down with fine Italian wines.
Highlights of Walking Tours of Italy – Cinque Terre
#1 Dining on Fresh Seafood in the Marina of Manarola
#2 Hiking the Panoramic Trail from Corniglia via Volastra to Manarola through Vineyards and Terrace Fields
#3 Hiking the Spectacular Trail from Riomaggiore to Portovenere with a Panoramic View of the Cinque Terre Coast
You’ll be walking and hiking for around five hours each day.
Duration of Trip
This Cinque Terre walking tour is seven days long; however, you can customise this trip with one of our Local Designers to make it shorter or longer to include more destinations.
As every day of this trip involves a large part of the day spent hiking so you should bear this in mind. This trip will best suit individuals, couples or small groups looking to discover this part of Italy in a unique way.
See this Cinque Terre trip in full and customise it with one of our Local Designers in Italy.
Just a Day – Florence Walking Tour & Other City Walking Tours
The beauty of walking tours of Italy is that they can be customised to any distance or duration that suits you and the type of trip you are looking for.
Setting off on foot is one of the best ways to explore a region, a city or even a small town and walking tours are something our Local Designers in Italy specialise in.
One-Day Walking Tours to Highlight Italy’s Beauty
- There are many free walking tours of Florence. Still, few compare to the experience of having your expert local guide taking you through the iconic monuments of the city and sharing the anecdotal history of each one. Better yet, this guided Florence food tour on foot invites you to discover the city’s beautiful architecture while sampling the best of its local food markets.
- On this 10-Day Northern Italy Tour, one of the highlights of the trip is a guided tour of Venice with several opportunities to sample the typical Venice finger food, Cicchetti, and some Venetian drinks.
- On this 12-Day Family Tour of Italy, you’ll spend a day exploring ancient Rome on foot, skipping the long lines and discovering the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. With a private guide, you’ll learn more about the history, traditions and culture of the city than you would on a self-guided Rome walking tour.
- Milan’s elegance oozes from its streets, on every corner a beautiful building invites you to discover the unique local culture of the city. From elegant shopping galleries to historical churches and everything in between, you’ll fall in love on this guided tour of Milan.
- On this 2-week Italy trip from Rome to Venice to Florence and Siena, you’ll have ample time in each city to soak yourself in history, art and architectural excellence. A walking tour of Siena, Italy’s enchanting Tuscan city, home to the thrilling Palio horse race, is the perfect way to get acquainted with all that it offers.
Customise Your Own Walking Tour of Italy!
Walking tours are galore in Italy. Whatever you’re looking for, whether that be an Italy food tour visiting various cities, exploring them on foot and eating your way through the local delicacies; a Tuscany walking tour or even, one of the many walks of Italy from Venice; the offer is abundant.
Designer Journeys’s in-destination Local Designers in Italy are carefully vetted by our global team to ensure they deliver nothing but extremely high-quality, tailor-made tours. Whether you want a fully-guided tour, a self-guided tour with a rental car or even a family trip of a lifetime on public transport, our Local Designers can design a trip to suit your interests, travel style and budget.
What are you waiting for? Build your perfect trip and connect with a Local Designer in one of over 60 countries!