Walking as a generator of thought: ten books to explore

Photo Luca Meneghel

Walking, rambling and exploring places and lands at your own speed is an act of absolute freedom. It is an automatic and typically human gesture that, today, has become almost an act of transgression that is open to the multiple intentions of the wayfarer. In the pages of the ten books presented here, the authors look at this subject from various angles, but with a common intent to assert that walking is a powerful generator of thought.

reading advice by Alessandra Riggione, Museion Biblioteca and Letizia Basso, Museion Bookshop

Reading advice


Walkscapes: camminare come pratica estetica, Francesco Careri

Francesco Careri, born in Rome in 1966 and member of the Stalker/ON nomad observatory, treats walking as a form of art in a historic excursus that ranges from the erratic journeying of palaeolithic man to menhirs, from the urban explorations of the Dadaists...

Filosofia del camminare: esercizi di meditazione mediterranea, Duccio Demetrio

“Walking is a path, an instinct, a vocation that goes beyond what our feet let us do, in both exceptional occasions and every day. If we experience our thought process in a feverish way, we can say that our intelligence walks...

The Unnamed, Joshua Ferris

When walking becomes a compulsive obsession, a disease that no doctor can find a cure for, then family life changes abruptly. With the intense rhythm of his prose, the American writer Joshua Ferris (b. 1974) draws the reader into the all-too-human story...

Keep Moving, Hamish Fulton

Keep Moving is an artist’s book published on the occasion of the monographic exhibition that Museion dedicated to Hamish Fulton in 2005 and which includes a short essay by the legendary mountaineer Reinhold Messner. This London artist, who defines...

Walking: one step at a time, Erling Kagge

These are the words of Erling Kagge, the Norwegian explorer who was the first person in the 1990s to reach the “three poles” (the North Pole, South Pole and peak of Mount Everest) on foot and without backup. He is also the first person to have explored...

Philosophy for Polar Explorers, Erling Kagge

“You were born an explorer”.“My hope is that this little book will help you-irrespective of your age or gender-to find your own North Pole, your own Mount Everest, your own dream. It can feel both unpleasant and somewhat risky to change your own world...

Éloge de la marche, David Le Breton

“Walking means opening up to the world. Often we go on a walk to recover our centre of gravity after our inner selves have come under attack. Walking is an act of transgression, a powerful affirmation of freedom.” Il mondo a piedi...

In Praise of Walking: The new science of how we walk and why it’s good for us, Shane O’Mara

“Walking is holistic: every aspect of it aids every aspect of one’s being. Walking provides us with a multisensory reading of the world in all its shapes, forms, sounds and feelings, for it uses the brain in multiple ways”...

A piedi, Paolo Rumiz

This story that recounts a slow journey across Istria, strictly on foot, pushes the reader to start walking because “by walking less and less, human beings have lost their grace as they continuously bend over their mobile phones…

Wanderlust: a history of walking, Rebecca Solnit

This book by the Californian writer and feminist, Rebecca Solnit, appears in all the bibliographies on the subject of walking. Its dense, cultivated prose offers a compendium of knowledge that ranges from philosophy to history, politics to art history...

Walking, Henry David Thoreau

We need to go back to walking; Thoreau tells us in this short lecture-essay that he drafted during his solitary excursions and was first published in 1862. Here, “walking” is not a question of “well-being” or consuming calories, but rather of venturing forth full...