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A History Buff's Guide to Walking Tours of Italy



Italy has a long and interesting history dating back 850 years, although it only became known as Italia around 600 BC. As a result, history buffs will find no shortage of historical sites to enjoy in this ancient realm.

Walking tours of Italy are one of the best ways to get to grips with the finer details of these historic treasures, but with so many to choose from, where do you start?

Here's your don't-miss guide to the best historical walking tours to enjoy while visiting Italy.


Vatican Highlights, Rome

This is one of the more expensive walking tours in Italy. It departs from the corner of Viale Vaticano and Via Tunisi, across the street from the Vatican Museums' entrance.

You can expect to see the following historic sites during this walking tour:

  • Vatican City, the world's only independent nation located within a city

  • Vatican Museums: explore the Gallery of the Maps and Tapestries

  • Cortile della Pigna: classic architecture and lush greenery

  • Sphere within a Sphere: view this notable bronze sculpture

  • Sistine Chapel, the Pope's sanctuary

  • St. Peter's Basilica, the heart of the Catholic Church

  • St. Peter's Square, one of Rome's grandest and most iconic masterpieces

The tours accommodate up to 20 people, but you can upgrade to a small-group tour for a fee. Audio headsets are provided and the tour includes skip-the-line access to all sites.


Roman Forum and Palatine Hill, Rome

Learn about ancient Rome's origin story on this informative 3-hour tour of some of the city's oldest sites. Meet your guide at Largo Gaetana Agnesi, above the metro line B stop "Colosseo," and head off to explore the following sites:

  • The Colosseum: step back in time at this amazing amphitheater

  • Palatine Hill, the place where Romulus founded the city

  • The Roman Forum, the heart of Ancient Rome

This paid tour includes priority access to the sites and headsets. Entry to the Colosseum costs around €17 extra, or €23 for arena access.


Pompeii, Amalfi Coast, and Positano

It's impossible to reach all these destinations with public transport in one sitting, let alone on foot. Thanks to his round-trip tour from Rome, you can amble around these three destinations in a day.

Here's what to expect:

Pompeii

An English-speaking guide will lead you through the fascinating, amazingly preserved villas, public baths, restaurants, and theaters of another time. Your animated guide brings ancient history to life with interesting insights into life in Pompeii before disaster struck.

Amalfi Coast

Take in the beauty of the Amalfi Coast, the birthplace of Dolce Vita. A spectacular coastline, quaint villages, and verdant mountains capture the imagination during this 1½-hour-long drive.

Positano

Positano is one of the Amalfi Coast's most beautiful hamlets, filled with winding streets and artisanal shops. Spend some time sipping on limoncello and indulging in a little Italian-style retail therapy before heading back to Rome.

The tour includes transport from Piazza del Popolo, Rome, in a private, air-conditioned coach, skip-the-line access to Pompeii, and a guided tour of this ancient site. You may enjoy lunch at your own expense after the Pompeii tour.


Florence Highlights and David Walking Tour

This comprehensive tour of Florence's most iconic sites gives you skip-the-line access to admire the world-famous statue of David at the Accademia Museum. The top sights on this tour include:

  • Piazza della Repubblica, the original city center

  • Palazzo Strozzi, a Renaissance Florentine Palace

  • Ponte Vecchio, one of Florence's oldest bridges

  • Piazza della, the city's political square, and filled with statues

  • Palazzo Vecchio Florene, the city hall

  • Battistero di San Giovanni, Florence Baptistery in front of the Cathedral

  • Galleria dell'Accademia: admire Michelangelo's David

You can choose a morning or afternoon departure from Colonna dell'Abbondanza for this fascinating tour, and upgrade if you prefer a private option.


The Renaissance Tour, Florence Walking Tour

Discover the myths and legends of Florence's best historic sites in the words of an experienced guide. This 2-hour tour takes in the following interesting destinations:

  • Brunelleschi Dome, the symbol of Florence

  • The Cathedral of Florence, one of the city's most iconic sites

  • Medieval area with Old Towers, the enigmatic tower houses of Florence

  • Old Bridge, Florence's only bridge until 1218

  • Orsanmichele Church, filled with sculpture masterpieces

  • Republic Square, the city center since Roman times

  • Santa Maria Novella Square, the city's first great basilica

  • Signoria Square, a symbol of the Medici family's power

  • Uffizi Square, home to Florence's premier art gallery

You can join this free group walking tour every Saturday and Sunday at 10 a.m. or on weekdays at 5:30 p.m. The tour departs from the obelisk at Maria Novella Church, and groups usually comprise between five and 15 walkers.


Renaissance and Medici Tales, Florence

This budget-friendly 2-hour tour explores the role of the powerful Medici family during the Renaissance. The tours depart from the front of the San Lorenzo church, and include the following highlights:

  • Basilica di San Lorenzon, the chief burial place of the Medici family

  • Palazzo Medici Riccardi, designed for Cosimo de' Medici in 1444

  • Battistero di San Giovanni, one of the oldest buildings in the city

  • Duomo Florence Cathedral, part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site

  • Campanile di Giotto, a showpiece of Florentine Gothic architecture

  • Cupola del Brunelleschi, the world's largest brick dome

  • Museo Casa di Dante: learn more about the author of the Divine Comedy

  • Gallerie Degli Uffizi, a renowned art museum built for Cosimo I de Medici

The tours depart at 4:30 p.m. daily and allow a maximum of 30 people. The tour is free but excludes entry fees to the sites and a gratuity for the guide.


Discover More of the Best Walking Tours of Italy

Few nationalities can match the passion and patriotism of the Italian people. We do everything with a unique gusto and zest for life and are exceptionally proud of our country's long, eventful history.

Our local tour guides exhibit true Italian enthusiasm while showcasing the city of Florence on informative and insightful walks through our beautiful city. We specialize in going a little off the beaten tourist track to show the true nature of Florence and her people.

Browse our blog for more information about walking tours of Italy, and be sure to join us on your next trip to Italy.

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