My husband and I love to walk and are interested in easy hiking in Italy, possibly guided. We either need someone to transfer our bags or hike from a single hub where we would stay. Any suggestions or experiences.
You don't say what part of Italy. If you want to center yourselves in the Dolomites, I have recommended Gillian Price's books before because I find them to be very good.
Walking in the Dolomites: 28 Multi-day Routes- Book by Gillian Price
Dolomites, hands down! However, at age 70++, I like Laurel Barton's "Walking in Italy's Val Gardena:23 Easier Walks..." You won't need a guide with this book: it details everything for you. We had been to Italy 12 times before we discovered the Dolomites and wish we had gotten there sooner.
The Via Francigena is something to consider. On the official site you can see Sloways that I used to transport my backpack. They also offer guided tours. I had planned twice to do a guided tour but due to Covid they were cancelled. I did several legs on my own with the backpack transfer. I also have done legs of it using a town as a base and trains to return. There is also a trail from Bologna to Florence (Via degli Dei) and I think Sloways also provides services for that walk.
Italy offers a diverse range of walking opportunities—-beautiful mountains like the Alps and Dolomites, scenic coastal paths, vineyards, open hilly landscapes, lakes—-what is your pleasure?
I suggest you look at the trips offered by HF Holidays, a member-owned cooperative in the UK that specializes in guided walking holidays both in the UK and abroad. Non-members can sign up. In Italy, they offer one-week holidays from a base hotel, with guided walks on 2 or 3 levels each day, from easy to moderate to difficult. Their Italy locations include the Dolomites, Lago di Garda, Puglia, Amalfi coast, Liguria (CinqueTerre), Tuscany, and Piedmonte.
You can look at their trip notes for ideas on walks, or maybe you would like to sign up for a trip. We have done 3 trips with them so far, and are booked for another next September (all in the UK). The price is all-inclusive (lodging, meals, guided walking, and transport to and from trailheads) and the quality is very good. We particularly enjoy the camaraderie of the other guests and the guides.
One comment about the Dolomites—-these mountains are spectacular; almost other-worldly in appearance. We are going there for the 4th time to hike in September. But the terrain is mostly rocky and rugged. And much of the area feels more Austrian than Italian—-German is the first language in many of the valleys and villages, and the cuisine is as much about Schnitzel, Strudel, and Schlutzkrapfen as pappardelle, pizza, and pesce. So if it is the Italy of “La Dolce Vita” or “Under the Tuscan Sun” you are seeking, you should consider one of the other areas, more to the south.