Top Ten Romantic Walking Tours in Italy

1. A walking tour along the Amalfi Coast’s Pathway of the Gods is like walking to heaven high above Positano, following a long terrace through lemon groves with spectacular views stretching out to the island of Capri. Pick-up more good vibes in the gardens of the Villa Cimbrone in Ravello, where Greta Garbo fell in love.

2. Walk from Montepulciano to Pienza in southern Tuscany in May, when the expansive green hills are streaked with red poppies, and the silhouettes of far-off hill towns beckon to be discovered. Stop for a glass of Brunello and pecorino cheese, then end the day in Pienza with a stroll down the picturesque Via dell’Amore, and linger in Via del Bacio, the street of the kiss.

3. Walk through wildflowers in the Dolomites (Italian Alps) in July, beginning near Cortina in the Val Badia. Choose a short walk or a long hike through high alpine meadows carpeted in bright blue gentians and yellow buttercups, take a rest to breathe in the scent of vanilla orchids, and cuddle up in a field of forget-me-nots. When you’ve had enough, take a scenic chairlift ride down to San Cassiano or Corvara, and relax with a couples massage at your hotel spa.

4. Along the Italian Riviera, a walk from Santa Margherita to Portofino offers stunning views of the coast and a glimpse at enviable secluded estates – allow lots of time to choose that dream villa along the way. Stop for a dip in the limpid sea at Paraggi before ending in the piazza in Portofino. Share a rich paciugo, a sweet creamy mess of gelato and strawberries, while shopping for a yacht. Ignore everyone else on the ferry boat as you stand on deck enjoying the breezy ride back to Santa Margherita.

5. A walk above Lake Orta in Piedmont is the best way to appreciate this romantic little jewel, with a stroll along cobblestone lanes to Sacro Monte, then through the village painted with fading frescoes. Soak up the magical atmosphere with a lakeside aperitivo at sunset, holding hands as you watch the sky fade into the silken waters.

6. On Sicily’s southern coast, the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento has a mild winter climate, so the best time to go is in the off season in January and February and walk among the almond blossoms in blissful solitude. Snag one of the few rooms with a view at the Villa Athena, and you’ll be rewarded with a lyrical backdrop of the temples illuminated against a midnight blue sky.

7. The walking tour from Radda in Chianti to San Sano follows a quiet trail through quintessential Tuscan vineyards and olive groves, punctuated by cypress-lined drives leading to lovely stone villas. Stop at the tiny country church of San Giusto – a perfect place to tie the knot – and continue to San Sano, where the town’s fountain is graced with a bronze frog quaffing Chianti. We suggest you do the same at the Trattoria next door.

8. Take a walk from Lerici to Tellaro in Liguria with fabulous views of the Bay of Poets, and you’ll understand why it was a favorite spot of Byron and Shelley. Close to the Cinque Terre, yet without the crowds, this delightful walk follows a mule track up through silvery olive groves, with views of the Apuane Alps and marble quarries of Carrara, then doles out superb sea views as it heads down to the tiny port of Tellaro. Leap off the rocks and frolic in the turquoise sea before returning by leisurely public bus along a winding road draped in bougainvilla.

9. A walk on the roadless island of Marettimo off Sicily’s western coast means truly getting away from it all. Since it takes some effort to get here, choose May when the wildflowers are in bloom, the air is scented with rosemary and the trails are dreamily deserted. Pack a picnic lunch with crusty bread still warm from a wood-fired oven, and hike out to a secluded cove to cool your feet in the turquoise sea. Arrange in advance for a colorful taxi boat to pick you up and slowly cruise around the island back to the port.

10. La Maremma in southern Tuscany is worth getting up early for, when your walk is rewarded with a hot springs waterfall cascading through the countryside near Saturnia. Take a glorious rejuvenating soak as the sun comes up and before the crowds arrive, then follow the ancient Roman Via Clodia to a cafe for a well-deserved cappuccino. After an afternoon nap, dress for dinner and show off your glowing skin at 2-star Michelin restaurant Da Caino.