Vacationing in Italy and gorging on delicious Italian meals go hand-in-hand, right? But, we all know that copious amounts of wine, bread and pasta can wreak havoc on the waistline. I’m not fretting though, because I’ve just learned about an ingenious way to avoid this pitfall–a walking tour!
Well-established and award-winning tour outfit Country Walkers offers many appealing walking itineraries around the world, and you can choose from guided or self-guided options. The self-guided track would be my preference, and I’ve got my eye on the Villages of Piedmont tour in Italy. On this inn-to-inn adventure around the northeastern corner of the country, you get to stroll through gorgeous countryside vistas and charming villages all while sampling the tastiest of regional specialties, including sweet wines, white truffles, hazelnuts and tangy cheeses. Yum!
I love how this tour is all mapped out so there’s no need to worry about lodging, meals or routes (and you’re given a mobile phone at the start of your trip in case you need to utilize Country Walkers’ 24/7 assistance). But best of all, you get to slow down and take in the scenery on foot instead of seeing it buzz by through a train, bus or car window. I’ve found that traveling by foot is the best way to get a true sense of any neighborhood/area, and I often discover stuff when walking that I never would’ve seen otherwise. Plus, when you’re logging five to nine miles a day, you don’t have to feel guilty about indulging in those amazing Italian meals.
Keep in mind: On the Piedmont tour there are daily ascents and descents with an average elevation gain of up to 1,800 feet. Though most of the hills are gradual, you should be in moderate physical shape, and both hiking boots and a walking stick are recommended.
Bonus tip(s): This tour kicks off in Cuneo, Italy, which is not far from larger cities Torino, Milan and Nice (in France). At the conclusion of the tour, I think it’d be great to cap off the trip with a short rejuvenating stay at the edgy and modern Hotel Straf in Milan.
photo via countrywalkers.com