Travel Italy

The Best Views in Italy
VBT travelers love Italy for many reasons ranging from the cuisine, to the chianti, to the cappuccino. As well as for its rich and varied history that has defined civilization itself. The advantage of exploring by bicycle and on foot is the spectacular views we can pause to enjoy. So we offer here some of our favorites. Go ahead, linger over them a while. There’s no hurry.

Italy Tours

View of Rome from St. Peter’s
It’s been said that those who work hard are rewarded. Where better to earn your prize than atop St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City? Give your legs a workout, and admire a rapturous view of an ancient city, during the Rome extension of these Italy vacations: The Tuscan Coast, Tuscany by the Sea, Puglia: Italy’s Undiscovered Coast, Tuscan Hill Towns by Bike and The Amalfi Coast & Capri.

Bike Tours Italy 

View of the Duomo in Florence
When you’re ready to step back from the intricate details of Florence’s Renaissance splendors, retreat to the south bank of the Arno River, past the Pitti Palace and into Boboli Gardens. The colossal beauty of Brunelleschi’s Duomo and Giotto’s campanile may best be admired from afar. Explore Florence during extensions before our Tuscan Coast and Tuscan Hill Towns by Bike trips.

Italy Bike Tour

View from Villa Cimbrone in Ravello
Standing on this balcony at Ravello’s Villa Cimbrone, you won’t be alone if you imagine that your Mediterranean view is endless. A past admirer was equally inspired, perhaps by the godlike statues, and coined this perch the Terrace of Infinity. The likes of Greta Garbo and D.H. Lawrence have also gazed at this magnificent view. Visit Ravello during our Amalfi Coast & Capri Walking Vacation.

Italy Tours 2011

View of Lake Como
Earthen-hued villas line Lake Como’s shores like so many celebrities huddling around for
a close-up. Indeed, for every lakeside village colored with terra-cotta simplicity and lapped at by tiny sloops, you’ll find grand estates dressed in over-the-top gardens with private yachts. You can visit Lake Como during an extension after our Italy: Po River Valley and Lake Garda Bicycling Vacation.

Walking Tour Italy

View of the Bay of Naples from the Hotel Europa Palace in Sorrento
From our Hotel Europa Palace in Sorrento, we admire the azure waters of the Bay of Naples. We’re also glimpsing a dark chapter of ancient history, when Vesuvius across the bay darkened the sky with ash and froze Pompeii in time. Today, it’s a mere sunset that darkens these heavens, and at night the lights of Naples flicker on the bay to the north.  Sorrento is featured on our Amalfi Coast & Capri Walking Vacation.

Bike Tours

View of the Dolomite Valleys
You might think it’s crazy to bicycle in the most mountainous region of Italy, but in the Dolomites of South Tyrol, easy bike routes wind their way past towering peaks. And lush valleys – with dreamy names like Pusteria, Aurina, and Venosta – are dotted with tiny villages that bring fairy tales to mind. You can experience the magic of easy alpine biking during our Italy: Cycling the Dolomite Valleys.

Il Palio 

View of Siena
As it was in the 13th century when it was constructed, Piazza del Campo remains the focal point of Siena public life. It is where the Palio di Siena (known locally simply as Il Palio) horse race is held twice each year on July 2 and August 16. Many consider this the best spot to glimpse unspoiled medieval Italian architecture and city planning. Indeed, you’re likely to hear the echoes of cafe conversations, weekly markets, and city celebrations of the past 700 years. Visit Siena with VBT during our Tuscan Hill Towns by Bike trip.

In Patagonia: A Traveler’s Experience

Argentina TangoArriving into a city unknown to me is always very exciting. Upon leaving the hotel I was confronted with a paseadore (professional dog walker) with at least 12, very well-behaved dogs on leashes attached to his wrist. Continuing a few yards I found myself in what can only be described as a city for the dead – the Cementerio de la Recoleta, housing more than 6,400 tombs and mausoleums covering 14 acres and containing the tombs of many of the country’s noble leaders and heroes (including Eva Peron). A city tour took me through beautiful stone architecture and into the heart of the city and the cradle to the tango, La Boca. Brightly painted buildings surrounded the narrow streets and tango dancers performed for the people drinking coffee in the numerous cafes. Where else could I be but the lovely city of Buenos Aires, Argentina?

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The next morning, an early flight took us first to Ushuaia, the most southerly city on earth, and then into Patagonia itself. We were engulfed in a serene landscape of snow topped peaks, azure lakes with floating glaciers and barren rocky hillsides dotted with very well camouflaged guanacos (a relative of the llama). Our home for the next 3 nights was El Chalten, a very small town (only 500 permanent residents) at the base of the Fitz Roy Mountain range. That night we sat in a local microbrewery, surrounded by young, athletic looking climbers and mountaineers and realized were we really among the action! However, age does have its benefits and after hearing some of their wonderful stories of ice climbing and adventure we retired to our lovely, warm 5 star hotel with magnificent views, while they left for the nearest hostel.

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Over the next few mornings our treks took us into the mountains to view magnificent glaciers and crystal clear streams, which we drank straight out of. Magnificent clear blue skies highlighted the surrounding mountain ranges and the circling condors above. And the air, crisp and clean to breath, was so invigorating.

Stopping at a small lodge, apparently frequented by Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, to try local empanadas, we continued to the largest settlement around, El Calafate. An even more magnificent hotel awaited us. Here, we had some time to visit the local shops and a nearby bird reserve which boasted a wide range of birds, including flamingos.

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And the adventure kept adding something new. The next day a boat ride brought us out to the Upsala Glacier and the very isolated Estancia Cristina. Walking here really gave one the feel of being literally in the middle of a magnificent, pristine environment with nobody else around for miles and miles. The silence was amazing.

Our final day brought us to the Glacier Perito Moreno. Here, a boat rides gave us the opportunity to get to the face of the 200 foot glacier. Both a visual and audio experience as the glacier creaked its way towards the shore then calved chunks of ice dropped off into the lake below. A scene reenacted for centuries. From our beds that night we could look over the glacier – what a sight to wake up to the next morning!

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Many thanks VBT for giving me the opportunity to Travel Patagonia, fulfilling a dream and having an excellent experience.

Tracey Scott,
Member of the first Walking in Patagonia group