Do Italy on FOOT
Our Photo Editor Rachel Bone treks the A-list playground...
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!