While Italy is famous for its museums and cultural and historic attractions, it is also one of the most pedestrian-friendly countries in Europe. In fact, the passeggiata, which is the traditional evening walk, is an integral part of Italian culture. If you want a vacation that combines cultural education with outdoor recreation, consider these Italian destinations.
Hiking in Fiesole
Fiesole is five miles above the city of Florence. This Etruscan town is famous for its Roman ruins, as well as its full views of Florence. You can reach Fiesole by taking the ATAF Number 7 bus from Florence. Although Fiesole has a duomo and an art museum, outdoor enthusiasts will want to take the hike to Mount Ceceri. Legend has it that Leonardo da Vinci tried to launch his first flying machine from this point, as evidenced by his quote: "The great bird will take its first flight from Mount Ceceri, which will fill the universe with amazement." The path to Mount Ceceri passes by old farmhouses and olive groves. Red and white markings on a dirt path indicate the trail.
ATAF Florence Bus Schedule
Hiking and Italian Language Study in Sicily
Italy is far more enjoyable if you speak the language. Babilonia, in Taormina, Sicily, offers a program that gives you the option of taking a two-hour daily Italian language lesson, along with a hiking, trekking and eco-tour program. The tours visit Mount Etna, the highest active volcano in Europe.
Via del Ginnasio, 20 - 98039
Taormina, Italy - P.I. 04041230873
+39 0942 23441
The Venice Marathon
Anyone who has ever run a marathon knows that an interesting course can help you get through those 26.2 miles. The Venice marathon is not only interesting, it's flat, which means if you are trying to get a personal best record that will qualify you for the Boston Marathon, this might be a viable place to do it. Note that the shuttle buses leave from nearby Mestre at 7 a.m., so you might want to seek lodging there instead of in Venice.
Venice Marathon Club
Via Torino, 133
0039 041 532 18 71
Article Written By Lisa Mercer
In 1999, Lisa Mercer’s fitness, travel and skiing expertise inspired a writing career. Her books include "Open Your Heart with Winter Fitness" and "101 Women's Fitness Tips." Her articles have appeared in "Aspen Magazine," "HerSports," "32 Degrees," "Pregnancy Magazine" and "Wired." Mercer has a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the City College of New York.