Excellent plan to visit Italy via backpack - the wife and I were there in fall 2005... no summer heat, and our backpacks meant we were ultra-manouverable and ultra-quick in the big cities.

To see all those folks (old and young alike) struggle, panic, and strain with overloaded, oversized, and over-numerous suitcases and not enjoy the trip.... such a shame.

And we didn't even camp because we stayed in small hotels (2 stars, by their measure), we only had to cart clothes + toiletries; I started at 15 lbs + 5lb pack (too many guidebooks) and at the end I re-weighed and it was 45 lbs... most purchased in the last 3 days.

Anyhoo, practice lots of stairs, take an extra pair of sox, look at the water, drink the wine, and hike the Cinque Terra.


ps. My uncle is in his 70's, and he is still active in the area of Hefly Creek, BC. Amazing fellow - he has done more 'past his prime' than I did 'in my prime' .... either our family are late bloomers, or this 'prime' thing is hooey <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />