Are you a traveler or a tourist?
There are many ways to distinguish a traveler from a tourist. Where you stay, how you research your trips, and the type of places you seek out all speak volumes about the ethos you bring to the places you visit. But here at Walks of Italy we think the main difference between travelers and tourists is how much you give when you travel, not how much you take.
A traveler, unlike a tourist, is culturally aware and socially responsible.
Like all of our guests, we want to be travelers, not tourists (God knows that Italy could do with a few more travelers and a few less tourists). We’ve been making an effort to be a part of sustainable travel in Italy over the years — we’ve offset carbon emissions from our transfers; raised funds to help rebuild the Cinque Terre; and donated to Venice in Peril. But we’re always looking for ways to do more.
Today we have found two — and we would like your help.
Walks of Italy has joined forces with not one but two incredible non-profits in Rome. The first is the American Institute for Roman Culture (AIRC) and their #SaveRome project. For every guest on any archaeology tour in Rome (including our VIP Colosseum Tour, Premium Colosseum Tour, Caesar’s Palace Tour, Crypts & Catacombs Tour & Rome As A Local Tour among others) we’ll donate €1 to help Save Rome. Guests purchasing these tours will also have the option at checkout to give an additional donation, which we will match 100%.
All donations will go to help the AIRC with their conservation projects around Italy. Previous projects include an incredible red marble statue dating back to the 2nd century AD, which the AIRC discovered in southeastern Rome, unearthed over four seasons of digging, and put on display first in the Capitoline Museums and then in Museo del Centrale Montemartini in Ostiense.
The AIRC is currently digging at Ostia Antica, serving their other great purpose: To promote the conservation of Rome’s rich cultural heritage through education. Every year Darius Arya and the AIRC bring students from the US to Italy to learn about archaeology and to participate in excavations.
On top of that is a more global project. Through video and new media (including a new tool they are developing called Ancient Rome, Live; which digitally rebuilds Ancient Rome) they aim to reach as many people as possible with the message that Rome is precious and its history and culture is worth preserving.
Check out our video with Darius Arya of the AIRC below.
For more information on the AIRC and their #SaveRome campaign, see here. The AIRC is a tax-deductable, US non-profit 501(c)3. Any guest who donates an additional sum at checkout on the Walks of Italy website, will receive a letter in the mail confirming such.
The second of our non-profit partners is Equoevento. Founded in Rome by a group of young locals, the charity works in what it calls “food rescue”, collecting leftover food from large events and redistributing it at shelters across the city.
For every guest on our Rome Food Tour, Pasta-Making Class or Tuscan Cooking Class, we’ll donate €1 to Equoevento. Again, you’ll have the option to contribute more at checkout and we’ll match every donation 100%.
Equoevento currently only operates in Rome but the team hopes to expand its operations, rescuing food across the country and redistributing it to those most in need. Since we first came in contact with Equoevento a year ago, we’ve been impressed by their determination and drive. We aren’t the only ones to notice either — the Equoevento team has appeared on Italian TV and radio and even on Vatican TV: And the Vatican administration pledged food rescues from its own properties across Rome. The US ambassador to Italy is also a regular collaborator.
Check out our video with Equoevento below.
For more information on Equoevento, you can visit their (Italian-language only) website here. Equoevento is an international Italian non-profit organization.
All of this is part of our Positive Steps program, which we hope to continuously expand not just in Italy, but in Turkey and New York, too. As a company, and as independent travelers (not tourists!) ourselves, we aspire to give more than we take when we travel, and to give every guest who tours with us the opportunity to contribute in a constructive way — so you won’t just be just taking walks anymore, you’ll be taking positive steps!
For more information, check out our sustainability policy page.