|St. Peter's Basilica, believed to be the burial site of St. Peter, seen from the River Tiber. The iconic dome dominates the skyline of Rome. St. Peter's Basilica from the River Tiber. The iconic dome dominates the skyline of Rome. Saint Peter's Basilica in Rome. Christianity became the dominant religion of Western Civilization when the Roman Empire converted to Christianity. St. Peter's Basilica, believed to be the burial site of St. Peter, seen from the River Tiber. Saint Peter's Basilica. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
By Tony Maniscalco
Ah, La Bella Italia! Whenever one thinks of a holiday in Italy, it's hard not to smile. The food, the people, the towns, the history and just that Italian style and charm - they all bring an instinctive warmth even if you've never even visited the country! Walking in Italy is a way to really experience that warmth first-hand.
Italy - Worlds within worlds
What can be said about Italy? Home of the Roman Empire; the Renaissance; great science; art; literature; and today, a byword for high fashion. Italian cuisine in all its glory rivals the best in the world, and the friendliness and hospitality of the Italian people is legendary.
Someone once said that to see Italy is to see life, and it's hard to disagree. In the north it has the great lakes of Como, Garda and Maggiore, and the mountains and Alpine culture. In the centre it has beautiful hills and fertile valleys. To the South it has more mountains, stunning scenery and a marvellous Mediterranean culture.
Wherever you are in Italy, you won't be far from stunning historical and beautiful cities such as Florence, Pisa, Rome, Venice, Milan, Turin, Bologna and so on. You can even visit self-determining states such as San Marino and The Vatican City - truly countries within a country. All this surrounded by the blue sea and beaches - Italy really does have something for everyone.
Holidays involving walking in Italy
Italy is, of course, a dynamic modern country within the European Union. It isn't a museum and, as with any modern industrialised country, its major sites and centres can become busy at peak times in the tourist season. Getting around can be quite a daunting prospect if you don't know the country and can't speak the language.
Public transport can be confusing, and driving in the centres of many Italian cities is not typically advisable for those of a nervous disposition! In all this, it would be too easy to miss many of the sights and fail to experience the 'real Italy'. That's why there is now a wide range of professionally escorted holidays geared around walking in Italy.
The entire emphasis of this type of holiday is on flexibility and making sure that you have expert help in getting around and seeing things. Of course, there is also emphasis on using your own feet as 'motive power'. It can often be the only way to get to those off-the-beaten track sites and to become a real explorer of this great country.
You can tailor a package to suit your specific requirements and timetable. So, perhaps you would like a two-centre holiday with one week in the north and another based near Rome. Each day you could take a series of recommended and escorted walks from your base and really get to see things that the casual passing tourist just doesn't.
Why go walking in Italy?
Few people would argue that the only way to explore major city centres is on foot and public transport. Having these tours guided by experts can add to your enjoyment and remove the stresses of trying to get everything 'sorted out' yourself.
Yet Italy is not just a country of great urban tourist centres. Small town and rural Italy offers fantastic treasures of history, art, scenery and culture. Getting to see and experience these locations may just never be on the schedules of many conventional package holidays. Some sights such as mountaintop villages or deserted unspoilt beaches may be completely inaccessible by coach or even car and the only way you'll get there is to walk. Of course, there are the less immediate benefits of a walking holiday. It'll be helping to keep you fit as you walk off all that delicious pasta!
Walking holidays - only for the super-fit?
Put simply - no! You don't need to be an Olympic athlete or even very fit to go on a walking in Italy holiday. The holiday also does not have to be exclusively walking every day. You can combine several days in a conventional hotel base with just a few set walks that can be as demanding or as gentle as you wish. You won't find yourself on forced marches to meet someone else's schedule!
So if you'd like to get a taste of the real Italy, why not try walking in Italy as a holiday?
Tony Maniscalco is the Sales and Marketing Manager for Ramblers Worldwide Holidays. Operating since 1946, they now offer over 250 guided group walking holidays in more than 90 different countries. While [http://www.ramblersholidays.co.uk/Holiday_Search.aspx?Search=2&utm_campaign=MAP_Italy&utm_source=ramblers&utm_medium=web]walking in Italy with Ramblers Worldwide Holidays, you can walk the most scenic locations & landscapes at the best value prices.
Article Source:  The Joys of Walking in Italy