Do Italy on FOOT

Our Photo Edi­tor Rachel Bone treks the A-list play­ground...

NW - - Nw Travel -

Kourt­ney Kar­dashian, Bey­once and Leonardo Dicaprio h ha have all soaked up the sun in n the South of Italy, and if you’re keen to fol­low in their va­cay foot­steps, plus eat pizza and pasta with­out putting on any weight – there is a way! Noth­ing beats ex­plor­ing a coun­try by walk­ing, ev even more so when you’re g gu guided by an English and It Ital­ian t speak­ing lo­cal who is s in­sanely pas­sion­ate ab about b their beau­ti­ful co coun­try o and mak­ing sure yo you o ex­pe­ri­ence all it has to o of­fer. off offe So I was ex­cited to s sign ig gn up for an eight-day Ex Ex­o­dus xo Trav­els walk­ing tou tour, ur taking me through s som some m of Italy’s most b be beau­ti­ful ea is­lands. A Ar­riv­ing at the start­ing po point oi in Naples, as ea­ger as s I was to see the city in n all its glory, I must ad ad­mit I was ner­vous to meet the group I’d sp spend the next eight d da days with – not to men­tion the fact this was my first ever time to Europe!

But I had noth­ing to feel ner­vous about at all, with the small group of ten trav­ellers rang­ing from 30 to 70-year-old sin­gles, cou­ples, pro­fes­sion­als and re­tirees all there for the same rea­son – to have a bloody good holiday.

Over the next eight days, we would is­land hop from the charm­ing yet lively town of Sor­rento, the home of limon­cello, to Capri, the sum­mer play­ground of the rich and fa­mous. Next was idyl­lic Ischia, mov­ing on to a day of ex­plor­ing the sor­bet­coloured vil­lage of Pro­cida, be­fore re­turn­ing to the hus­tle and bus­tle of Naples.

Each is­land had its own unique charm, and I found my­self say­ing, “I don’t want to leave,” only to find the next is­land was equally breath­tak­ing.

Trav­el­ling with a tour al­lowed me to see so much more than go­ing it alone. I was in awe of how our guide, Adrian, in­stinc­tively knew what places we’d want to spend the most time in. He also knew when we’d walked enough for the day, and most im­por­tantly, when we needed to find a bar or beach to rest our legs.

Wor­ried about taking a walk­ing tour? Suit­able for even the most re­laxed sight­seer, a big day of walk­ing (there were about two or three) saw us clock up around 10km over six hours, but most days were around 6km – and all at a gen­tle pace with plenty of stops. I al­ways thought tours were re­stric­tive, how­ever I found it was the com­plete op­po­site. Yes, we were taken on guided walks, but it was along rugged coast­lines and through quaint vil­lages I’d never have found, even with a map.

I’m not go­ing to lie, trekking in the heat was hard work, but with the slow pace and photo stops, it’s def­i­nitely do-able.

Also, ev­ery­thing was op­tional. If you pre­ferred to have a spa day, lay on the beach or go shop­ping, the lovely guide was there to tell you where the best spots are. Or if you chose to do any of the added ex­tras, like sail through the Blue Grotto (a la Kourt­ney K), the guide made sure we were first in line.

See­ing Italy via a walk­ing tour meant I saw the is­lands beyond the typ­i­cal post­card scenes, made life­long friends and ate all the de­li­cious Ital­ian food I liked, be­cause you know what? You walk it off the next day!

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