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Italy Vacation Packages

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Best Italy Vacation Packages

Rome - Florence - Venice by Train

7 nights from $1,359*

Our #1 Bestseller and the perfect introduction to Italy! . Visit these fascinating cities starting in: Rome (the Eternal City, with its stunning architecture like the Colosseum and the Roman Forum and delicious food) after that, travel north to Florence (capital of Italy’s Tuscany region, is home to many masterpieces of Renaissance art and architecture) and finally, to Venice (set on gorgeous canals, intimate Gondola rides will guide you past sumptuous palaces and under sculpted bridges). Travel between these cities by very convenient train rides which allow you an opportunity to observe the lovely country side. This is a flexible vacation package. Select your number of nights in each city, desired hotel and activities.

  • Flight into Rome and out of Venice
  • Hotel for 3 nights in Rome
  • Train from Rome to Florence
  • Hotel for 2 nights in Florence
  • Train from Florence to Venice
  • Hotel for 2 nights in Venice

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vacation trip to italy

Other Italy Vacation Packages

Charms of Italy (Venice - Florence - Rome - Sorrento)

Charms of Italy (Venice - Florence - Rome - Sorrento)

8 nights from $1,699*

Take Italy into your own hands! , with this customizable package combining train transfers and a Rental Car. Start in Venice (sumptuous palaces and romantic waterways), after that, trains will take to Florence (an artists dream: Michelangelo`s David, Botticelli`s Birth of Venus, and Raphael`s La Velata) and Rome (Italy`s treasure with two millennia of artistic achievement). From here, catch your Rental Car and drive along Sorrento (situated on an expansive stretch of cliff, among lemon and olive groves with stunning vistas). This is a flexible vacation package. Select your number of nights in each city, desired hotel and activities.

  • Flight into Venice and out of Naples
  • Train from Venice to Florence
  • Train from Florence to Rome
  • Hotel for 2 nights in Rome
  • Rental Car for 3 days
  • Pick Up: Rome Downtown/Drop Off: Naples Airport
  • Hotel for 2 nights in Sorrento

Driving Time Rome - Sorrento: 3 hrs. 50 mins. approx. Sorrento - Naples Airport: 1 hr. approx.

Rome - Cinque Terre - Florence - Venice by Train

Rome - Cinque Terre - Florence - Venice by Train

9 nights from $1,539*

Experience Italy with this lovely vacation package, leading you through Rome (Italy's treasure with two millennia of artistic achievement) after that, Cinque Terre (five miles of rocky coast with five small villages overlooking the sea, in the midst of two capes with hundreds of miles of beautiful paths), next is Florence (Michelangelo's David, Botticelli's Birth of Venus, and Raphael's La Velata) and finally, Venice (set on gorgeous canals, intimate Gondola rides will guide you past sumptuous palaces and under sculpted bridges). Travel between these cities by very convenient train rides which allow you an opportunity to observe the lovely country side. This is a flexible vacation package. Select your number of nights in each city, desired hotel and activities.

  • Train from Rome to La Spezia (Gateway to Cinque Terre)
  • Hotel for 2 nights in Cinque Terre Area
  • Train from La Spezia to Florence

From Venice to Rome via Tuscany plus Amalfi Coast

From Venice to Rome via Tuscany plus Amalfi Coast

11 nights from $1,799*

Sample all that Italy has to offer from north to south, take your vacation into your own hands with the convenience of a rental car! Start off with a visit to beautiful Venice (charming canals, gorgeous palaces). Then pick up your car for a drive to Pisa (famous for its leaning Tower); continue to artistic Florence (home to the statue of David, and the famous Birth of Venus). Afterwards visit mystical Assisi , then drive down to charming Sorrento and finally visit Imperial Rome (the Vatican, centuries of artistic achievement). This is a flexible vacation package. Select your number of nights in each city, desired hotel and activities.

  • Flight into Venice and out of Rome
  • Rent a car for 7 days
  • Hotel for 2 nights in Pisa
  • Hotel for 1 night in Assisi

Rome - Siena - Florence - Venice by Train

Rome - Siena - Florence - Venice by Train

8 nights from $1,429*

Combine glorious cities in Italy with this fun vacation!. Visit Rome (the Eternal City, with its stunning architecture like the Colosseum and the Roman Forum and delicious food) after that, travel to Siena (a region halted in time, representing a quaint medieval time with gothic palaces and altarpieces, tasty pastry shops) and next, to Florence (capital of Italy’s Tuscany region, is home to many masterpieces of Renaissance art and architecture). Finally, visit Venice (set on gorgeous canals, intimate Gondola rides will guide you past sumptuous palaces and under sculpted bridges). Travel between each city by train. This is a flexible vacation package. Select your number of nights in each city, desired hotel and activities.

  • Train from Rome to Siena
  • Hotel for 1 night in Siena
  • Train from Siena to Florence

Italy Suggested Vacation Packages

Rome - Florence - Southern Tuscany and Venice

Rome - Florence - Southern Tuscany and Venice

11 nights from $1,879*

Enchanting landscapes, magical hilltop hamlets and vineyars in The Southern Tuscany, in addition to cities with rich history in Italy . Start in Rome (the Eternal City, with its stunning architecture like the Colosseum and the Roman Forum and delicious food), after that, catch a train to Florence (capital of Italy’s Tuscany region, is home to many masterpieces of Renaissance art and architecture). From there, with a Rental Car, leap up to Southern Tuscany (boasting the most captivating countryside and vineyards that produce Tuscany's mightiest red wines in cities like: Montepulciano, San Gimignano, Pienza and Volterra ). Drive back to Florence to drop off the car and finisht this trip, travelling by train to Venice (set on gorgeous canals, intimate Gondola rides will guide you past sumptuous palaces and under sculpted bridges). This is a flexible vacation package. Select your number of nights in each city, desired hotel and activities.

  • Rental Car for 4 nights
  • Hotel for 3 nights in Southern Tuscany
  • Hotel for 1 night in Florence

Driving Time Florence - Southern Tuscany: 1 hr./ 1 hr. 20 mins. approx. Southern Tuscany - Florence: 1 hr. /1 hr. 20 mins. approx.

Rome - Florence - Venice - Milan by Train

Rome - Florence - Venice - Milan by Train

9 nights from $1,479*

One of our most popular vacation packages, offering an incredible introduction to Italy! . Discover Rome (the Eternal City, with its stunning architecture like the Colosseum and the Roman Forum and delicious food) after that, travel north to Florence ( capital of Italy’s Tuscany region, is home to many masterpieces of Renaissance art and architecture), continue to Venice (set on gorgeous canals, intimate Gondola rides will guide you past sumptuous palaces and under sculpted bridges) and finish in Milan (one of the fashion and high-tech capitals of the world; known for the majestic Duomo Cathedral and the dazzling Vittorio Emanuele II shopping arcade). These destinations are connected by trains. This is a flexible vacation package. Select your number of nights in each city, desired hotel and activities.

  • Flight into Rome and out of Milan
  • Train from Venice to Milan
  • Hotel for 2 nights in Milan

Venice - Florence - Rome and Amalfi

Venice - Florence - Rome and Amalfi

12 nights from $2,139*

Visit some highlights of Italy with a unique vacation package in Europe! Venice (unrivaled romance cruising the canals); take the train to the artistic treasures of Florence ( Michelangelo`s David, Botticelli`s Birth of Venus, and Raphael`s La Velata ); then Rome (Italy`s treasure with two millennia of artistic achievement) and finally drive down the impossible beauty of the Amalfi coast in a rental car. This is a flexible vacation package. Select your number of nights in each city, desired hotel and activities.

  • Hotel for 3 nights in Venice
  • ES High Speed Train Venice - Florence
  • ES High Speed Train Florence - Rome
  • Rent a car for 4 days
  • Hotel for 3 nights in Amalfi
  • Hotel for 1 night in Naples

Complete Amalfi (Naples - Amalfi - Sorrento - Capri)

Complete Amalfi (Naples - Amalfi - Sorrento - Capri)

10 nights from $2,369*

For those who want to experience the complete Amalfi in Italy ; but do not want to drive, this vacation is for you!. Visit Naples (a city full of charm in its narrow streets and ancient churches, and a vibrant nightlife), Amalfi (rich history, splendid coasts and a love of incredible food), Sorrento (engulfed in Lemon and olive groves, perched on a cliff with a lively seafront promenade) and Capri (its postcard worthy vistas have seen the island change hands several times, belonging at one time or other to nearly every major empire in Europe, finally restored to Italy). Enjoy private transfers between these destinations. This is a flexible vacation package. Select your number of nights in each city, desired hotel and activities.

  • Flight into and out of Naples
  • Hotel for 2 nights in Naples
  • Transfer from Hotel in Naples to Hotel in Amalfi
  • Hotel for 2 nights in Amalfi
  • Transfer from Hotel in Amalfi to Hotel in Sorrento
  • Hotel for 3 nights in Sorrento
  • Ferry from Sorrento to Capri
  • Hotel for 2 nights in Capri
  • Ferry from Capri to Naples

Rome - Florence and The Chianti Wine Region

Rome - Florence and The Chianti Wine Region

9 nights from $1,489*

Main cities, charming villages with great fine wine in Italy! . Enjoy a nice stay in Rome (the Eternal City, with its stunning architecture like the Colosseum and the Roman Forum and delicious food), after that, continue by train to Florence (capital of Italy’s Tuscany region, is home to many masterpieces of Renaissance art and architecture). From here, with a Rental Car, leap up to the charming Chianti Wine Region (offering a unique landscape, with green, gentle hills covered with wide fields of vineyards and olive groves, small stone villages, characteristic parishes and countryside homes in stone and of course, its worldwide Chianti Wine , made primarily with Sangiovese grapes). Drive back to Florence to drop off the car and finisht this trip with one last night stay. This is a flexible vacation package. Select your number of nights in each city, desired hotel and activities.

  • Flight into Rome and out of Florence
  • Rental Car for 4 days
  • Hotel for 3 nights in Chianti Wine Region

Driving Time Florence - Chianti Wine Region: 50 mins. / 1 hr. 10 mins. approx. Chianti Wine Region - Florence: 50 mins. / 1 hr. 10 mins. approx. approx.

Palermo - Agrigento - Taormina - Catania

Palermo - Agrigento - Taormina - Catania

9 nights from $2,129*

Explore splendid italian Sicily , with its characteristic grit and glam then look no further than this essential package. You will visit Palermo (Sicily's Crown Jewel, it rewards inquisitive visitors with citrus-filled cloisters, stucco-laced chapels and vintage stores filled with the threads of faded aristocrats), the Greek influenced Agrigento , must see Taormina (perched on the edge of a cliff overlooking the Ionian Sea with countless stores, cafes, piazzas, and breathtaking vistas), and end in the youthful, energetic Catania (a city which exudes youthful vibrancy; great food, even better nightlife, and stunning views keep visitors returning year after year). Private transfers connect these destinations. This is a flexible vacation package. Select your number of nights in each city, desired hotels and activities.

  • Flight into Palermo and out of Catania
  • Hotel for 3 nights in Palermo
  • Transfer from Hotel in Palermo to Hotel in Agrigento via Castello di Caccamo
  • Hotel for 2 nights in Agrigento
  • Transfer from Hotel in Agrigento to Hotel in Taormina
  • Hotel for 2 nights in Taormina
  • Transfer from Hotel in Taormina to Hotel in Catania
  • Hotel for 2 nights in Catania

Palermo - Agrigento - Syracuse - Taormina

Palermo - Agrigento - Syracuse - Taormina

9 nights from $2,239*

Picture it: Sicily - right now! Your perfect escape is found on this idyllic island, with a rich and unique culture, especially in regard to art, music, literature, cuisine, and architecture. Sicily has plenty to see and do and this flexible vacation package highlights Palermo (notorious for its mafia glamour, but that aside, uncover forgotten treasures in its museums and wander through its packed outdoor markets), Agrigento (home to the Valley of the Temples with the best preserved Greek ruins outside Greece), Syracuse (Siracusa) (a former stronghold of the Greek empire; full of medieval and Baroque buildings), and finally Taormina (perched on the edge of a cliff overlooking the Ionian Sea this dreamy city has drawn artists, writers, and intellectuals for decades). Admire various other points of interest with stops at the Norman Castello di Caccamo, the historical Piazza Armerina, and the haunting Necropolis of Pantalica! This is a flexible vacation package. Select your number of nights in each city, desired hotel and activities.

  • Hotel for 2 nights in Palermo
  • Transfer from Hotel in Agrigento to Hotel in Syracuse via Piazza Armerina
  • Hotel for 2 nights in Syracuse
  • Transfer from Hotel in Syracuse to Hotel in Taormina via Necropolis of Pantalica
  • Transfer from Hotel in Taormina to Catania Airport

Paris and Rome by Air

Paris and Rome by Air

6 nights from $1,129*

Discover the best of France and Italy ! With our European vacation packages, you can combine Paris and Rome into one unforgettable getaway. Explore the Eiffel Tower, Champs Elysses and Roman Coliseum all on one vacation. Be enlightened by Europe's historical background with masterpieces from more than two millennia of artistic achievement, and much more. Customize your independent itinerary with a trip to the Louvre or the Vatican with flights between the cities. With so much to see and do, we want you to make the most of your vacation. This is a flexible vacation package. Select your number of nights in each city, desired hotel and activities.

  • Hotel for 3 nights in Paris
  • Flight from Paris to Rome

London - Paris - Rome by Air

London - Paris - Rome by Air

9 nights from $1,549*

An undeniably unique adventure through Europe, combining three enduring famous cities in England , France and Italy . Spend your days visiting London (a world center of theatre, art, music, literature and culture), Paris (the City of Light is the world's most visited capital) and Rome (the 'Eternal City', with its stunning architecture and delicious food). These destinations are connected by flights. This is a flexible vacation package. Select your number of nights in each city, desired hotel and activities.

  • Flight into London and out of Rome
  • Hotel for 3 nights in London
  • Flight from London to Paris

Paris and Venice - Florence - Rome

Paris and Venice - Florence - Rome

10 nights from $1,599*

Combine France and Italy with an exclusive vacation package to some of the most popular cities in Europe! Paris (the romantic City of Lights, the Eiffel Tower and The Louvre) will steal your breath before flying to Venice (with sumptuous palaces and dreamy waterways). Take the train and observe the charming countryside en route to Florence (Michelangelo`s David, Botticelli`s Birth of Venus, and Raphael`s La Velata) and lastly Rome (Italy`s treasure, ripe with history, quaint alleys and centuries of achievement in the arts). This is a flexible vacation package. Select your number of nights in each city, desired hotel and activities.

  • Flight into Paris and out of Rome
  • Flight between Paris and Venice
  • Train Venice - Florence
  • Train Florence - Rome

Barcelona and Rome by Air

Barcelona and Rome by Air

6 nights from $1,289*

Visit Spain and Italy with this customizable vacation package! Barcelona (on the cutting edge of fashion, culture, food and music) welcomes you warmly and Rome (Italy`s treasure with centuries of achievement in the arts and charming alleys) captivates. Flights between cities. This is a flexible vacation package. Select your number of nights in each city, desired hotel and activities.

  • Flight into Barcelona and out of Rome
  • Hotel for 3 nights in Barcelona
  • Flight Barcelona - Rome

Paris - Barcelona - Rome by Air

Paris - Barcelona - Rome by Air

9 nights from $1,599*

Visit 3 of Europe`s Gems: France , Spain and Italy . Combine Paris (With its monuments and delectable foods, vast perspectives and intimate streets, formal gardens and quiet squares), Barcelona (on the biting edge of fashion, architecture, food, style, music and good times, one of the most exciting cities on the western Mediterranean) and Rome (Italy`s treasure, packed with masterpieces from more than two millennia of artistic achievement). This is a flexible vacation package. Select your number of nights in each city, desired hotel and activities.

  • Flight Paris to Barcelona
  • Flight Barcelona to Rome

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Cities in Italy

vacation trip to italy

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About Italy

  • Best Time To Visit
  • Tipping in Italy
  • Driving in Italy

Italy FAQ's

From the Roman Empire to the Renaissance, Italy is famous for its huge contributions to the worlds of art, architecture, fashion, opera, literature, design, and film – the list goes on, and we haven`t even mentioned the food yet. The country has more UNESCO World Heritage cultural sites than any other country in the world. Artistic masterpieces, medieval hill towns, majestic mountains, Mediterranean beaches, bustling markets and mouth-watering cuisine - Italy really is a country that has it all, and that's why it is one of the most-traveled destinations in Europe.

There are so many highlights in this gorgeous country - from the canals of Venice to the museums of Florence and the surrounding countryside of Tuscany and its Hill Towns to the cobblestone streets of Rome to the cliffs of Positano … and beyond. Rome is one of the most iconic and most traveled cities in Europe and you could spend days getting lost in this amazing destination. The most picturesque spots in Italy might just be Cinque Terre and all the stops along the Amalfi Coast . Positano is the gem of the Amalfi Coast and is arguably the most beautiful and most charming town in the whole of Italy.

Like all popular European destinations, Italy sees visitors throughout the year - rain, snow or shine. And all of these are a possibility depending on when you visit Italy. Every season in this country has its charm, as well as its drawbacks, so when to go depends on your travel type and what activities you are interested in. Generally speaking, the best times to visit are during the `shoulder seasons` which is spring (April to June) or fall (September and October) when there are fewer tourists, lower prices, and moderate temperatures. The summer months bring an influx of tourists and increases in hotel rates, and higher temperatures. The winter months are often grey, wet, and cold in the north but temperate south of Rome. Here is an overview of Italy in all four seasons that will help you decide what`s the best time of year for you to visit. For more information, check out: Best Time to Visit Italy

We recommend 7-10 days based on what you want to see and do. We offer flexible vacation packages so you can select your number of nights in each city, desired hotel and activities. We suggest a minimum of 3 nights in larger cities.

Whatever your pleasure, transportation in Italy is modern, easy to navigate and fits a variety of budget ranges. By Car: If it's the open road you're after, renting a car is the best way to travel in Italy. All the typical car rental companies are available at the major airports. Specify automatic or manual transmission, as car transportation in Italy (and Europe, for that matter) is usually manual. On the small, winding country roads, manners usually win out, and major highways span the country to help ease access to the major cities. For more information on getting around by car, check out: Driving in Italy By Train: Train travel in Italy is an excellent way to take the stress out of planning routes. Though you can't get to the smallest towns by train, the medium-sized and, of course, the major stops are on train routes.

The currency of Italy is the Euro. US dollars are not accepted. Please be sure to have the correct currency on hand or be prepared to exchange your dollars for euros upon arrival. Currency exchange desks can be found at the airport and many locations throughout the city. For more detailed information, consult our guide by clicking here Tipping in Italy .

English may be spoken at your hotel and in the tourist areas, but not everywhere. We suggest you get a good English-Italian guidebook and familiarize yourself with common phrases such as hello, goodbye, excuse me and numbers 1-10.

Rome - Florence - Venice by Train (7 nights)

Italy Vacation Packages, customize multi-city vacations to Italy, flexible trips to Italy. Review past Italy itineraries, book Italy vacation packages online. Travel to Italy your way

Includes: Flight into Rome and out of Venice, Hotel for 3 nights in Rome, Train from Rome to Florence, Hotel for 2 nights in Florence, Train from Florence to Venice, Hotel for 2 nights in Venice

Charms of Italy (Venice - Florence - Rome - Sorrento) (8 nights)

Take Italy into your own hands! , with this customizable package combining train transfers and a Rental Car. Start in Venice (sumptuous palaces and romantic waterways), after that, trains will take to Florence (an artists dream: Michelangelo`s David, Botticelli`s Birth of Venus, and Raphael`s La Velata) and Rome (Italy`s treasure with two millennia of artistic achievement). From here, catch your Rental Car and drive along Sorrento (situated on an expansive stretch of cliff, among lemon and olive groves with stunning vistas).

Rome - Cinque Terre - Florence - Venice by Train (9 nights)

Experience Italy with this lovely vacation package, leading you through Rome (Italy's treasure with two millennia of artistic achievement) after that, Cinque Terre (five miles of rocky coast with five small villages overlooking the sea, in the midst of two capes with hundreds of miles of beautiful paths), next is Florence (Michelangelo's David, Botticelli's Birth of Venus, and Raphael's La Velata) and finally, Venice (set on gorgeous canals, intimate Gondola rides will guide you past sumptuous palaces and under sculpted bridges). Travel between these cities by very convenient train rides which allow you an opportunity to observe the lovely country side.

From Venice to Rome via Tuscany plus Amalfi Coast (11 nights)

Sample all that Italy has to offer from north to south, take your vacation into your own hands with the convenience of a rental car! Start off with a visit to beautiful Venice (charming canals, gorgeous palaces). Then pick up your car for a drive to Pisa (famous for its leaning Tower); continue to artistic Florence (home to the statue of David, and the famous Birth of Venus). Afterwards visit mystical Assisi , then drive down to charming Sorrento and finally visit Imperial Rome (the Vatican, centuries of artistic achievement).

Rome - Siena - Florence - Venice by Train (8 nights)

Combine glorious cities in Italy with this fun vacation!. Visit Rome (the Eternal City, with its stunning architecture like the Colosseum and the Roman Forum and delicious food) after that, travel to Siena (a region halted in time, representing a quaint medieval time with gothic palaces and altarpieces, tasty pastry shops) and next, to Florence (capital of Italy’s Tuscany region, is home to many masterpieces of Renaissance art and architecture). Finally, visit Venice (set on gorgeous canals, intimate Gondola rides will guide you past sumptuous palaces and under sculpted bridges). Travel between each city by train.

Yes, you can combine with: Turkey | Spain | Netherlands | Ireland | Greece | France | England | Czech Republic | Austria

  • Rome - Florence - Southern Tuscany and Venice (11 nights from $1879)
  • Rome - Florence - Venice - Milan by Train (9 nights from $1479)
  • Rome - Florence and The Chianti Wine Region (9 nights from $1489)
  • Paris and Rome by Air (6 nights from $1129)
  • London - Paris - Rome by Air (9 nights from $1549)
  • Paris and Venice - Florence - Rome (10 nights from $1599)
  • Barcelona and Rome by Air (6 nights from $1289)
  • Paris - Barcelona - Rome by Air (9 nights from $1599)
  • Rome - Athens - Istanbul by Air (9 nights from $1739)
  • Paris - Rome - Athens by Air (9 nights from $1519)

vacation trip to italy

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Ciao Bella Italia!

Whether it’s old-world traditions and wonderful culture, cuisine, history, fashion or natural beauty, Italy is special to many people for different reasons. Few other countries boast so many legendary cities. There are also many charming hill towns and coastal villages that showcase Italy’s amazing natural beauty. From the big cities to the small towns, there is always something exciting to see in Italy. With so many reasons to visit, the rest is up to you!

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Destination must-see's.

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Cinque Terre:

Cinque Terre is a UNESCO World Heritage site, which means that it is a valuable and protected place on earth. Feel like you have stepped back in time when you visit this collection of colorful medieval villages sitting high on the edge of the sea.

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Visit a place that was frozen in time in the summer of A.D. 79. Soak in 2,000 years of history at the excavated ruins of Pompeii as a local expert provides you with a detailed view of this incredibly preserved archaeological site.

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The Colosseum is the largest amphitheater ever built and perhaps one of the most recognizable places on the planet. It sits right in the center of Rome and was constructed by emperors of the Flavian dynasty. Imagine being there in its day!

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Go off the beaten path to see the Castello Sestiere area with a local guide and get to know authentic Venice. You’ll be able to walk canal by canal through streets lined with historic buildings and old churches. See how the locals live every day with each step you take in this unique city.

Destination Must-Do's

Must Do Sicilian Street Food Cannoli

Get a Taste of Sicilian Street Food:

Each region of Italy has its own dishes of renown, and Sicily has a rich street food culture. Chickpea fritters (panelle), fried potato croquettes (crocchè) fried risotto balls (arancine/arancini), and cannoli are just some of the items you may find while sampling the local fare.

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Tour Lucca:

The fascinating medieval city of Lucca is surrounded by 16th-century Renaissance walls. Choose to see it by bike or on foot, but either way will bring you to see the Cathedral of San Martino, the Piazza Napoleone and the Piazza dell’Anfiteatro, all sites you simply should not miss.

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Visit Capri:

On a beautiful day, take a boat trip from the stunning Amalfi Coast to the lovely Mediterranean island of Capri. There, a local expert will bring you on a tour of a dreamy place that can only be described as paradise on earth.

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Drink wine:

Just about anywhere you go in Italy, you’re going to encounter fantastic wine. Whether you’re in Tuscany, Stresa, Piedmont, Umbria or any other region of this beautiful country, taste the wine. Buy a few bottles and bring it home to enjoy with friends and family.

Expert Advice


Some of what you think of as traditional Italian foods are actually American interpretations and not widely available there. Some examples are heavy cream sauces such as alfredo, spaghetti and meatballs, and chicken parmigiana (however, you may find these items in more tourist-oriented restaurants).

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Featured Tours to Italy

ts39 southern italy and sicily

Southern Italy & Sicily featuring Taormina, Matera and the Amalfi Coast

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Italian Vistas

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Italy's Treasures Art, Food & Wine of Italy

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Best of Italy

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Shrines of Italy

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Reflections of Italy

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Rome & the Amalfi Coast

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How to plan an Italy trip

Want to know how to plan an Italy trip? You’ve come to the right place. Italy trip planning is one of our favorite things to do. So much so that we set up this website.

We wrote this article to take you step by step through planning your trip. From deciding when to go and how much it will cost to what to take and how to use your mobile phone, it’s all here to remove the overwhelm and make your trip planning easier. Even if you choose to hire a travel agent to assist with your bookings, it is a good idea to walk through these steps as it will help the agent build the best trip for you.

You can see an overview of the steps you need to follow in the article contents below. Follow our guide and you’ll be on your way to planning your own trip or choosing the right tour for you and your travel companions.

Article contents

Step 1 – Decide when you want to go and your budget

When to go to italy.

There is no bad time to visit Italy but there may be one that suits you better. Depending on your interests and the places you want to see you need to be aware of seasonal differences that you need to know about:

  • Summer – June to August: peak tourist season, weather is hot and prices higher. Many Italians are on vacation and the coastal areas are very busy especially in mid August
  • Fall / Autumn – September to November: September remains hot and busy in most of the major tourist centers. By October the weather is cooling and ferry services on the coast and lakes stop running. At this time grape harvest is in full swing. November is generally quite wet but there is lots of sunshine between the showers.
  • Winter – December to February: As the weather cools so do the crowds. Attractions are much less busy and the lead up to Christmas is magical with lights and decorations in shop windows. In January and February restaurants in many coastal areas are closed. February’s Carnevale in Venice is generally one of the most expensive times to visit the city
  • Spring – March to May: In March and April wildflowers bloom and the countryside is awash with color. Easter is a popular holiday for Europeans to visit Italian cities especially Rome, Florence and Venice.

NOTE: peak season in the most visited destinations is May – October.

Our favorite time to visit Italy in the shoulder months. In April and May and October and November the weather is generally sunny and mild, the crowds are manageable and you can find great value deals on your flight and accommodation.

Although we are past the worst of the pandemic and travel restrictions, things can change quickly – you can check our article Can you travel to Italy plus current situation.  We update this regularly with the latest travel news.  

READ: Our full article on the best time to visit Italy

How much will it cost?

This will depend on your expectations, interests and travel style. You can travel very cheaply in Italy if you visit lesser-known regional areas and avoid the big cities. Even in the big cities it is possible to find free attractions and budget accommodation if you know where to look.

If you want to see the main sights and enjoy experiences such as cooking classes, private boat cruises and wine tours then the sky is really the limit when it comes to cost.

Most travelers fall somewhere in the middle however and a reasonable daily budget per person for food, transport and activities is around €100 on top of flights and accommodation.

READ: Our full article on Budgeting for your trip to Italy.

Expert Assistance

Need some help planning your trip?

Book in for a trip consultation with our expert Italy travel planners ready to help you build your dream vacation in Italy whether that be a classic first timer trip or an off the beaten path adventure

Step 2 – Do some preliminary research and preparation

Where to research your trip to italy.

From online news and magazines, blogs, Instagram, Facebook groups (check out Italy Travel Planning ) and even podcasts like ours – there are thousands of resources online. I am sure you’ve already seen quite a few of them already. Sometimes endless options can be overwhelming so we recommend collecting ideas in an online folder or scrapbook and organizing them into destinations that you really want to see.

You’ll probably want to “do it all” but really have a think about your interests and what will best suit you and your travel style. Once you have some ideas, it’s best to consult a structured resource to check your assumptions and thoughts.

Traditional guidebooks definitely have their place for planning a trip to Italy. Well researched and structured, they’ll give you in depth information on destinations and sights to see as well as practical tips to help you plan. Even after 30+ trips to Italy we still consult guidebooks for new destinations we want to visit. You can find our favorite Italy guidebooks here .

Italy travel planners

We noticed that even guidebooks can provide too much information in the planning process so we created one page travel planners for the top places to visit in Italy. Our planners tell you the top sights, best viewpoints, must have experiences and our favorite places to eat (including best gelato stops) in each place.

You can print them off or keep them on your phone and there’s a link to an online map so you can map out your days. We have guides for Rome, Florence, Venice, Milan, Cinque Terre, Amalfi Coast and Sorrento. Our goal is always to simplify the trip planning process and we know you will find them useful.

DISCOVER: Our Digital travel guides and planners .

Group tour itineraries

Tour companies – like ours ! – put a lot of effort into designing tours that cover the main sights and even lesser known regions. They know the times it takes to get around and how long you can stay in each place to get a taste or feel for the destination.

We often check itineraries of places we would like to visit as an input into our own planning.  Here are some recommended tour companies and itineraries to investigate.

Private tours

If you want maximum flexibility and comfort, consider a private driving tour . From the moment you land, to when you depart, you’ll have a personal driver with local knowledge making sure your trip is exactly what you imagined.

Passports and visas

At this stage of your planning it is a good idea to check the validity of your passport and if you require a visa. Citizens of the United States, Australia, Canada, United Kingdom and New Zealand may enter Italy and stay up to 90 days without a visa within an 180 day period. You must have 6 months validity on your passport when you enter Italy. Go and check this now as it can take several months for new passports to be processed.

All other nationalities should check this Italian government site that will walk you through whether a visa is required for your visit.

Citizens of the European Union can travel with photo identification.

Please note – this information is subject to change and it is always best to check with your local foreign office for the latest advice on travel to Italy.

  • United States –  click here
  • Australia –  click here
  • United Kingdom –  click here
  • Canada –  click here

READ: Can you travel to Italy plus current situation .

Step 3 – Confirm your itinerary

Itinerary planning is where many people get stuck. We understand. There are so many amazing places to see in Italy that deciding where to go and how much time to spend there can be hard. As a general rule, we like to spend a minimum of three nights in each place to minimize time spent traveling and also enjoy each place as much as possible. So if you have a 10 day trip then 3 main stops would be a good baseline to start with.

Where to go

From your research, you probably have an idea of where you want to go. You may want to visit the popular cities and regions on your first trip however each city and region in Italy offers something special.

Most popular cities

Most popular regions.

On our site, you can also browse Italy’s lesser-known cities and regions on the destinations page or visit our article on hidden gems in Italy for inspiration.

Itinerary suggestions

As a general rule, for a 3-5 day trip we suggest choosing one destination – a city or region. If you have a week to 10 days then you can plan 1-3 places in either the north OR south of Italy. In a two week trip you could cover 3-4 places and see both north and south.

Try not to squeeze too much in. It’s easy to underestimate transit times and getting in and out of airports and train stations. Plus you want to have plenty of time to enjoy yourself and soak up every last moment.

Suggested itineraries

If it is your first trip to Italy, like many first-time visitors you may choose to start your journey in Rome and visit Florence and Venice. This 10 day Italy itinerary covers that route. It includes detailed instructions on how to make the most of your time in Italy.

Want our FREE Italy trip planning checklist? >> Click here .

Alternative 10 day itinerary suggestions

Most people travel to Italy for 10 to 14 days so we built some itinerary suggestions to cater for that time frame that cover both northern and southern Italy.

Group Tours

Packaged group tours of Italy are a popular way to travel and avoid the stress of planning your own trip. They are also a great option if you would like some company along the way. Here is a quick summary of popular tour companies:

  • Untold Italy small group tours – we run exclusive small group tours for food and wine-loving travelers wanting to get off the beaten path to see hidden Italy beyond the major cities and tourist areas. We lead groups of 14 people on journeys of discovery to experience the regions of Sicily, Puglia, Piedmont, Tuscany, Umbria, Bologna and surrounds, Capri and the Cilento coasts > learn more
  • Trafalgar – popular and well respected brand appealing to the 50+ age group. Travel is by coach and the focus is on culture and history. Expect group sizes of 40-45 passengers and 4 star hotels. Trafalgar also include interesting local experiences such as wine tastings and unique stays in their itineraries. Check out their popular Best of Italy tour
  • Intrepid Travel – small group tours with an average of 10 travelers with plenty of free time built in for exploring. Their popular Italy Real Food Adventure is an 8 day itinerary that showcases their travel style well
  • Peregrine – Intrepid’s premium brand offers some interesting hiking tours of the Italian Lakes and Amalfi Coast
  • Tourradar – is a market place for group packaged tours where you can browse hundreds of package tours by different operators, and by date. You then filter by your interests and age group and read detailed reviews. You can browse fully organized tours to independent self-drive or train itineraries

READ: Our full article on the Best package tours for Italy .

When should you start booking your trip?

Italy is one of the most visited destinations in the world, so in our opinion, it is never too early to start the booking process. Book accommodation as soon as possible, and at least 6-12 months in advance especially for peak times in July and August.  We prefer to pay the higher rate for flexible bookings on both and Plum Guide .

Day tour and attractions also sell out months in advance at peak times. In 2020 our preferred booking site GetYourGuide refunded all tours canceled due to the pandemic and stand by their policy of allowing cancelations with a full refund up to 24 hours before your activity starts.

Flight bookings will depend on where you are flying from. For long haul flights the best deals are generally found 6-12 months in advance while deals pop up regularly for travel within Europe.

Rail bookings can be made up to 4 months in advance on high speed intercity and standard intercity trains.

Step 4 – Book your flights, inbound travel & insurance

Flights to italy.

It is easy to fly direct (or with a single stop) into Italy from most places in the world. Rome Fiumicino [Leonardo da Vinci](FCO) international airport is the main hub for air traffic but you can also easily fly into Milan Malpensa (MXP) or Venice Marco Polo (VCE) airports from major hubs around the world.

There are many other airports throughout the country that can be accessed within Italy and Europe. Pisa is useful for trips to Tuscany and the Cinque Terre and you will need to fly into both Sicily and Sardinia.

To source the best flight deals to Italy we use a combination of Skyscanner ,  CheapoAir  and  Google flights .

  • Skyscanner  – portal where you can view cheapest days and routes to fly and set alerts for price drops
  • CheapoAir – uncovers the best deals on first and business class flights around the world
  • Google flights  – great for checking schedules and airline routes

Secure the best deals by setting up alerts on Skyscanner for the month you wish to travel and wait for price drops. It’s good to have a price that you wish to pay in mind but be prepared to be flexible on dates and stopovers. It is often cheaper to fly into Milan rather than Rome and that city is a useful entry point for northern Italy itineraries.

TIP: always use an incognito browser window to search for flight deals. Prices are amended up for users known to be searching for specific dates and times.

Inbound rail from within Europe

Major Italian cities – Milan, Rome, Florence and Venice – have fantastic fast speed train links from other capitals and major cities in Europe. The website  Seat 61  is a great resource for planning train travel within Europe.

Bus travel to Italy

If you’re on a tight budget and traveling within Europe, then you might want to consider coming to Italy by bus. Low cost operator  Flixbus covers 3,000 destinations in 39 countries.

You can compare schedules and prices using Omio – a useful site for booking a combination of train, bus and air travel within Europe.

Organize travel insurance

Once you have booked your flights or tour, we recommend organizing travel insurance straight away. The main reason you should purchase insurance is to cover health costs and emergency repatriation to your home country should you fall ill. Since 2020 you need to check whether there is cover provided for issues relating to covid19 however general health cover is recommended regardless.

Cover for cancelation, delays and loss of belongings is a bonus and again they may not apply under pandemic conditions. You need to read all the terms and conditions of your cover including any exclusions before you commit to buy.

Policy costs vary by your country of residence, what is covered, age, existing conditions and the insurer. You can visit Worldnomads for a quick quote. We use this company for our family travels and find the cost, coverage and claims process to be good to excellent.

Another option if you are in the United States is Safety Wing’s Nomad Insurance . Unfortunately neither option provides policies for those aged over 69. In this case you can try Travel Insurance Master – a service that allows you to compare quotes and insurance policies.

Step 5 – Book accommodation and transport


Choosing where to stay at each stop is an important part of itinerary planning. Italy has many different options for tourists and you can expect the usual range of hotels and bed and breakfast accommodation as well as apartments and villas.

If you plan to spend any time in the country, consider staying at an agriturismo or farm stay. This is accommodation offered by Italian farmers who earn additional income by providing rooms and meals. Very popular in Italy and Europe, prices ranges from budget to luxurious. You can find agriturismi (plural) with swimming pools, hammams, restaurants and wine cellars. We always try to build them into our itinerary. 

LISTEN: Find out about farm stays in Italy in this podcast episode .

How much will accommodation cost?

Here is a rough guide to average prices for a double room. This will vary with prices higher in popular areas at peak times

Upscale / Luxury – €210+ [USD $240+] per night Midrange / Boutique – €120-260 [USD $135-295] per night Budget / B&B – €70-130 [USD $80-150] per night Ultra budget / Hostel or shared room in AirBnB – €30-45 [USD $30-40] per night

Best accommodation sites

Our favorite sites for booking lodging are and Plum Guide – between them, you’ll find a huge range of options from hotels and resorts to bed and breakfast, apartments and farm stay accommodation.

Plum Guide is particularly useful for longer stays in apartments and villas and if you’re traveling as a family and need some extra space. Use the code “Untold5” for a 5% discount here .

Other sites we use and recommend

  • BookingsForYou – beautiful villas and apartments in Tuscany, Italian Lakes and Puglia – 5% for readers when you mention our site or code – UntoldItaly – when booking
  • VRBO – has some great options for long stay villas and apartments, particularly on the Amalfi Coast
  • – great for finding smaller farm stays but the booking engine is terrible. You can usually find the same properties on
  • Airbnb – we have used Airbnb on many occasions in Italy but are now finding better value and booking conditions on and VRBO

LISTEN: To more accommodation options and what to look for in this podcast episode .

Further reading:

  • Where to stay in Rome – a district by district guide to the best areas to stay
  • Best places to stay in Florence – neighborhoods and areas best suited to your trip
  • Where to stay in Venice – a neighborhood and area guide
  • Where to stay in Milan – best areas, places and hotels

READ: Our Italy accommodation guide .

Transport while in Italy

As a general rule, if you are traveling between cities and major towns then the best way to travel around Italy is by train. If you want to explore the countryside and small villages you will need to rent a car.

When you are mapping out distances to travel between destinations use Google maps or Rome2Rio .

Train travel in Italy

Trains in Italy are modern and efficient. Fast speed services link the major cities and regional trains connect smaller towns and villages. Two major train networks operate throughout Italy – Italo and Trenitalia .

You should book in advance for high speed intercity services where seats are allocated. If you purchase non-flexible tickets you can make significant savings with advance bookings. They are not required on regional services.

READ: Our Complete guide to train travel in Italy .

Recommended train booking sites – Omio and The Trainline

You can book directly with the Italian operators or an easier way is with:

Omio – compare train times and prices across both Trenitalia and Italo schedules and keep your ticket details on their handy app. Click here to search for rail tickets on Omio

The Trainline is a similar service to Omio offering schedules, pricing and booking for train companies in Italy and Europe. They also have a useful app and great instructions in English. Click here to search for rail tickets on The Trainline

High speed train intercity travel times on popular routes

Rome to Florence – 1 hour 30 minutes Rome to Naples – 1 hour 15 minutes Rome to Milan – 3 hours Rome to Venice – 4 hours Florence to Venice – 2 hours Florence to Milan – 2 hours

Car rental in Italy

One of the best ways to see the smaller towns and countryside in Italy is to rent a car and take to the open road. Driving in Italy is quite straightforward. You just need to do some forward planning and use your common sense. Here are some tips to

  • You are required to carry an International Drivers Permit – these can be arranged in your home country at minimal cost
  • Standard transmission on cars is manual or stick shift. If you want to rent an automatic car expect to pay extra, if you can find one available
  • Rent the smallest car you can to fit you and your luggage – roads are often narrow and you don’t want to get stuck!
  • Heavy fines apply if you enter ZTL zones or historic districts where driving is not allowed

We use both Car Rental by  and AutoEurope to find the best car rental deals in Italy including one way options. They both search international and local providers so you get a wide variety of choice and there is 24/7 support if you need it. AutoEurope is usually your best option if you want a one way rental.

Click here to search for car rentals in Italy with Car Rental by .

READ: Our guide to Renting a car in Italy .

Internal flights

If you want to visit the islands of Sicily or Sardinia, or travel very long distances, flying makes the most sense.

Check on Skyscanner  or  Google flights  for routes and prices. Remember to set alerts for those routes you want to fly and book early for flights in the summer months.

READ: Our guide to all transportation in Italy .

Step 6 – Book Attractions, tours and activities

Major attractions.

The major cities of Italy – Rome, Florence, Venice and Milan – are some of the busiest cities for tourists in the world. And most visitors want to spend time at their famous attractions

We strongly advise you to prebook advance skip-the-line tickets for the following attractions – the Colosseum, Vatican Museums, Uffizi Gallery and Doge’s Palace. Otherwise, you could spend precious vacation hours standing in lines to enter these sites. Note – in winter months booking in advance is not as necessary.

We have given you the official booking sites and an alternative for approved ticket partners should you have trouble using the official site – unfortunately, that happens a lot! The direct sites are usually cheaper but the partner sites are generally more user friendly. Always check the terms and conditions of your purchase, particularly in relation to changes and refunds. GetYourGuide has a very easy cancelation policy which in many cases allows cancelation with refunds up to 24 hours prior to departure.

  • Colosseum – official ticket site OR buy Colosseum tickets on Get Your Guide
  • Vatican Museums – official ticket site OR buy Vatican Museum tickets on Get Your Guide
  • Omnia pass – Colosseum + Vatican + one other museum + hop on, hop off bus – click here for details
  • Uffizi Gallery – official ticket site OR buy Uffizi tickets on Get Your Guide
  • ‘David’ statue [Accademia Gallery] – official ticket site OR buy Accademia tickets on Get Your Guide
  • Duomo roof climb – official ticket site OR buy Dome climb tickets on Get Your Guide
  • Doge’s Palace  – official ticket site OR buy Doge’s palace tickets on Get Your Guide
  • San Marco basilica  – official skip the line tickets OR buy a tour of San Marco including tickets on Get Your Guide
  • ‘Last Supper’ painting – official ticket site OR buy Last Supper tickets on Get Your Guide
  • Duomo rooftop  – official ticket site OR buy Duomo tickets on Get Your Guide

READ: Our full review of Get Your Guide .

If you want to learn about the sites you are visiting then we recommend a group day tour. We prefer small group or private tours where you learn about the culture and history of the places you are visiting. It’s so much more fun than reading plaques and you are also able to ask questions.

So make sure to build in a couple of tours when you are planning a trip to Italy.

Our favorite small group tour companies are Take Walks (formerly Walks of Italy) and Liv Tours  and we prefer With Locals for private tours. Both offer very well designed and engaging tours of the major sights in Italy as well as interesting food and cultural tours.

  • Take Walks have a longstanding reputation for excellent service, groups under 20 people and guaranteed departures. So if you are the only person booked on a tour it will still go ahead. We recently enjoyed our Colosseum at night tour and day trip to Tuscany with them
  • Liv Tours – family run Italian company offering true small group tours of 6 people or less. All of their tours use expert guides who will help you fall in love with Italian history, culture, and food. Tours include a popular golf cart tour of Rome’s highlights and their fascinating Women’s history tours
  • With Locals offer great value private tours. You choose from a series of set itineraries and guides in cities across Italy. There are tours focused on history, food, culture and other themes or they can be customized them for your group. We tried their 10 Tastes of Naples recently and it was lots of fun. They also have great options for families
  • Eating Europe – food tour specialists who will ensure you discover the best local dishes

Save 5% on Liv Tours with code – ‘untold italy’ >> click here to browse tours

  • Rome: A 3 Day Itinerary
  • The best tours in Rome
  • Unmissable day trips from Florence
  • Day trip from Rome to Pompeii
  • Best tours of the Vatican
  • Tickets and tours for the Colosseum
  • Rome’s best food tours

Activities and experiences

Seeing the sights of Italy is always a treat but you’ll also love immersing yourself in Italian culture. These days you can choose from a wide range of experiences and activities. From food and wine tours, to football matches, concerts and exploring the countryside by vintage car, there are memorable experiences to suit you.

Recommended experiences

  • Cooking class with Nonna Nerina near Rome – Grandma Nerina teaches you how to make fresh pasta and welcomes you into her home. If you can’t wait until you get to Italy to do this she also does online classes
  •   Capri boat trip –  small group on a private boat means a slower pace and more time to see the island. You can read what to expect on this day trip here

Our favorite companies for searching for interesting and unique things to do in Italy are:

  • Cookly – cooking class and food and wine experiences like truffle hunting from small operators across Italy
  • Get Your Guide – has the biggest listing of tours and experiences

Step 7 – Get ready for departure

Organize your money and credit card.

The local currency in Italy is the € Euro.

You do not need to carry too much cash when you are there. Credit and debit cards VISA and Mastercard are widely accepted while American Express and Diners Club are not as popular. You may want to consider a foreign currency card like the Wise Mastercard where you can convert Euros easily and cheaply from your US dollar, Australian dollar or Canadian dollar accounts (plus many other currencies)

Be aware of foreign currency charges and ATM withdrawal fees applied to your account when you are abroad. You may want to review the cards you are taking with you prior to your trip. We recommend that you take two – one as a back up for emergencies. And inform your bank before you go. Sometimes they can be overzealous and place a block on your card if they see unusual activity.

Book airport transfers

Planning your arrival in Italy is recommended. Most of the airports are a fair way out from the city center – and in the case of Venice, in the middle of a lagoon!

Compare different transfer services on Suntransfers – a company that specializes in transfer options from major airports. They have options to suit all budgets and prices for coach, mini bus, private car and limo services.

Rome – transfers from Fiumicino airport

Taxis are fine to take in Rome. There is a set rate into the center of €48 and the ride takes around 45 minutes. Or, if you would prefer to be met at the airport you can pre-book a transfer. A transfer is the best option if you are traveling with more than 2 people and have several items of luggage. We recommend:

  • Welcome Pickups – available 24/7, a private car transfer means you are met at the arrivals hall and will take between 30 minutes and one hour door-to-door.
  • Suntransfers – offers a wide range of vehicles for groups of all sizes. Transfers can be canceled up to 48 hours in advance with no penalty.

Another popular way to transfer into Rome is to take the Leonardo Express train . This non-stop service between Fiumicino and Rome Termini (the main station) takes 32 minutes. Trains depart every half hour from 6:08 to 23:23, and the cost is €14. You can purchase tickets at the station on the day. Unless you are staying close to Termini you will then need to get a taxi to your accommodation.

The cheapest transfer option – this bus goes direct from the airport to Termini – €6-7 one way.

READ: Our full article on Rome airport transfers .

Venice transfers

The water bus company Alilaguna runs shuttles every 15 -30 minutes in peak season to and from the airport and the islands on the lagoon. This bus stops at San Marco and Rialto as well as some other secondary stops. The fare is €8 one way €15 return and the journey takes 1½ hours – you can book online here

A private boat transfer or shared transfer in a water taxi is the fastest (and most glamorous) way to transfer to your accommodation in Venice. Journey times and prices depend on the number of people in your party and exclusivity. A direct private transfer to the airport takes around 45 minutes.

  • Private transfer – around €200 for 6 people – book here
  • Shared water taxi transfer – around €32 per person – book here

You can also take a taxi (cost €25) or express airport bus to Piazzale Roma (cost €8) and then take a vaporetto (water bus) or walk your hotel/accommodation. A one way trip on the ferry costs €7 per person and is valid for 60 minutes.

READ: Our full article on Venice airport transfers .

Florence transfers from Florence airport

Florence airport is very close to the city center and a 15 minute taxi ride away. There is also an airport bus that takes around 20 minutes.   A 20 minute tram ride takes you to the main Santa Maria Novella train station and costs €1.50.

Florence transfers from Pisa airport

Many people fly to Pisa to reach Florence as it is a larger airport. If you arrive during the day take the PisaMover train to Pisa Centrale train station – journey time 5 minutes. Then take a train to Florence. Starts at 6.00 am and the last train departs at midnight and it costs €5.00.

On our last visit we arranged a transfer with Suntransfers as we arrived too late for the last train. There is also a coach transfer option.

Amalfi Coast or Sorrento transfers from Naples airport or train station

We recommend organizing a private transfer for this journey. The train, ferry and bus via Sorrento can take 4 hours while a car service is around 1.5 hours. You can compare different services on Suntransfers – a site specializing in ground transportation.

You may find sites or groups where specific drivers are recommended. We do not recommend booking a driver this way for safety reasons – how do you know that the person recommending the driver is reputable, let alone the driver? And also for practical reasons – small operators may not have capacity or availability.

Plan how to access the internet

Consider how you will access the internet on your trip. You may be happy to disconnect and use paper or offline maps however many of us need internet access.

Italy has high speed internet and there are many options to stay connected depending on your needs. If you use minimal data and are happy to use offline maps and guides then you should be able to get by using wifi at your hotel or accommodation. Do not expect wifi to be available in restaurants and cafes because in Italy restaurants are for eating.

If you plan to use wifi make sure to turn off international data roaming before your trip to avoid unpleasant bill surprises.

Paid internet options

  • Use your provider’s roaming plan – usually very expensive and slow speeds if coming from outside Europe
  • Local SIM – purchase a tourist SIM before your depart or when you arrive that has enough data for map navigation and research. Italian provider TIM comes highly recommended and there are outlets at the airports and train stations
  • Portable wifi device – connect multiple devices to high speed internet for reasonable prices. We use and recommend Solis Wifi (Get 10% off with our code – UNTOLDM )

READ: Our full guide to Cellphones and getting online in Italy (SIMs, wifi and more) .

Packing for your Italy trip

The key to packing for Italy is to pack the minimum that you need. Many people like to take carry-on luggage only for their trips. This is a great way to travel as you will find it much easier managing trains, cobblestones and stairs that are a feature of travel in Italy.

But, most of us find that a challenge, so try to stick to a medium bag per person plus one carry on item. Large suitcases are not a good idea. You will also thank yourself if you consider your footwear carefully. Three comfortable pairs will see you through most trips.

Note – We have a complete packing guide coming soon.

LISTEN: to packing strategies in this podcast episode .

Must have items for your trip

  • Luggage – get the size right with our guide to the best luggage for Italy
  • Untold Italy travel planners – one page checklists of the must see sights, restaurants and gelato bars in Italy’s most popular places
  • Collapsible water bottle – stay hydrated and fill up at free water fountains all over Italy
  • Camera – for your vacation snaps. We recommend lightweight mirrorless models like these ones
  • Packing cubes – these make packing, organizing your luggage and unpacking so easy. We love them!
  • Power cube – don’t bring lots of bulky converters. This one has 3 USB ports
  • Battery pack – keep all your devices charged
  • Plug adapter – you will need one!
  • Face masks – for your safety and you may be required to wear one indoors
  • Hand sanitizer wipes – to keep germs at bay

READ: Our Complete packing guide for Italy .

Get started and plan your Italy trip now!

We hope you now have more confidence to start planning your trip to Italy. This will no doubt be a trip that you’ll remember and cherish for years to come. And, like many of us, you may find it sparks a passion to return to bella Italia again and again.

Latest Italy Travel Podcasts and Articles

Can you travel to italy – latest travel information [may 2024], how to travel by train in italy, visiting italy in may – reasons to go and what to expect, episode #216: 10 reasons we love italy’s umbria region, visiting italy in april – reasons to go and what to expect, episode #215: discover regional italy without a car, episode #210: travel smart to italy – your guide to new regulations and important dates, how to use your cellphone in italy, planning a trip to italy.

We love travel in Italy and sharing our knowledge. Read our Italy trip planning guide or join our FREE Italy travel planning community . Our 140,000+ members are happy to answer questions about your itinerary, how to get from place to place, the best places to stay and fun things to do.

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The charm found in the canals of Venice is nothing short of irresistible. Admire gothic palaces and postcard bridges whilst adrift in a gondola, gaining an understanding of life in a city that floats. Exploring a city by foot will never be the same after a trip to Venice.

Journey to the well-preserved ruins of Pompeii

An unfathomable history lesson is found in the archaeological ruins of Pompeii. Buried and preserved by the ash of a volcano eruption in the year 79, in this Italian town you will discover the progressive life of early Roman times as you walk within the parameters of an open-air time capsule of life on Earth.

Go shopping in Italy's fashion capital Milan

Armani, Gucci, Prada and Versace. These are some of the prestigious fashion brands that call the Italian city of Milan home. In between yearning through boutiques and department stores, stop to sample the city’s delicacies like breaded veal cutlet and ossobuco.

Our top 5 things to do in Italy

It's the moments of quiet stillness that take your breath away on a Trafalgar tour through Italy. Sitting in the calm halls of the Vatican. Floating on the canals of Venice. Standing beside the ruins of Pompeii.

Uffizi Gallery

The Tuscan capital is home to Uffizi Gallery, where the brushworks of art’s true masters are found. Names like Raffaello, Leonardo, and Michelangelo dress Uffizi’s grand pink walls, whilst internal courtyards leading to the Arno River will show you the building’s architectural brilliance.

Vatican Museums

A collection of Christian artwork that spans centuries and stirs the soul is found in Rome’s Vatican Museums. From the intricate ceiling by Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel to the detailed Pope portraits from the 16th century to today, you will be lost for words once inside this blessed museum complex.

Doge's Palace

Home to the leader of Venice from its opening in 1340, Doge’s Palace summarizes the sparkle of this city. An opulent example of Venetian Gothic architecture and home to numerous historical works, this museum is a must when you visit Venice.

Best museums in Italy

The epicenter of the Catholic faith and the birthplace of art’s most renowned masters. Our guided tours of Italy will take you to the many museums found here, whether in the Sistine Chapel, by the canals of Venice or in the grand galleries of Tuscany.

The authentic carbonara experience will take place in Rome, covered in salty Pecorino Romano cheese. A simple dish inspiring heart-warming meal times, this pasta will connect you with Italy’s rich culinary customs - an impressive evolution from its supposed heritage as a coal-miner’s meal.

Pollo alla Cacciatora

Literally translating to ‘hunter’ in Italian, cacciatore offers an appreciation for Italy’s meals of days gone by. Typically a preparation of rabbit or chicken, it’s the simmering tomato stew that makes this dish so mouthwatering. Satisfy a genuine hunger and consume with hand-ripped bread.

Italy tours are best served with an oversized slice of tiramisu. Cementing this country's obsession with espresso, this cake of layered biscuits soaked in coffee is the perfect after hours pick-me-up before an evening stroll through the charming streets.

Best food in Italy

A date with Italian food will likely start and end with a slice of pizza. But it’s the menu items that we share with you in between that will take your appreciation to new heights; think cacciatore and Carbonara with a slice of tiramisu in between.

What to pack for Italy

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A classic linen outfit

The Italians are famous for their equal parts glamorous and effortless dress sense. Look the part with a few ensembles featuring classic linens in navy and white.

A blank journal

With the wealth of inspiration tucked into every corner of Italy, you might find yourself compelled to write down notes or memories. At the very least to remember the traditional Italian recipes you learn.

With such a large expanse of space to explore, on some days, long journeys are unavoidable. The scenery will provide plenty of visual entertainment, while headphones can be used to listen to some local music or enjoy podcasts about Italian history, culture and politics when you're not enjoying the storytelling from your Travel Director.

A small blanket

When exploring the soul-stirring setting of Tuscany, a picnic may call. Come prepared with a small blanket to cover in wine and cheese.

Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes

A classic memoir that brought the romance of Tuscany to the world, there’s no better time to read this book than when venturing through the country yourself.

Pack for sustainable travel

Consider your environmental impact when you next take a trip and go single-use-plastic-free by packing a reusable water bottle, a steel straw, your own shopping bags and reusable toiletry bottles.

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The eternal city, explore the masterpiece that is rome, filled with timeless wonders that will astound you..

Vacation in the world's greatest open-air museum, revisit the past as you tour the Colosseum, and marvel at the wonders in the Vatican Museum. Take your afternoon espresso in St. Peter's Square and don't forget to make a wish at the Trevi Fountain. Package all of this together with some gelato for the full Italian experience.

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Only in Rome can you sip cappuccino at a café in front of the Pantheon, buy grapes at a centuries-old market and have an audience with the pope — all in one morning. For a mix of spectacular art, grand history and exuberant street life, no other city comes close. It's no surprise that the food is rich and satisfying. Roman cooking is simple, rustic cuisine, perfected over centuries. Dishes rarely have more than a few ingredients, and meat and fish are most often roasted, baked, or grilled. And did we mention the nightlife? There's a bar for every taste in Rome, from wine bars catering to an eclectic crowd faithfully observing the Roman ritual of the evening aperitif to trendy dance clubs that don't get started until well after midnight.

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The main tourist season in Rome starts shortly before Easter (when the greatest number of visitors flock to the city) and runs through October. It's neither too hot nor too cold, there's usually plenty of sun, and the famous Roman sunsets are at their best. In July and August, come if you like, but learn to do as the Romans do — get up and out early, seek shady refuge from early-afternoon heat, take a nap if you can, resume activities in the late afternoon, and stay up late to enjoy the nighttime breeze. During August many shops and restaurants close, and on the August 15 holiday Rome is a ghost town. During the winter months, especially January through March, you have a better chance of getting into the major tourist attractions without having to wait in line.

Top Experiences

Colosseum : This ancient stadium is an iconic landmark of Imperial Rome in the middle of the city. The largest amphitheater ever constructed and still standing today. It was used for public spectacles but fell out of use in Medieval times and has since been partially restored.

Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel : An immense collection of artworks that eventually lead into the Sistine Chapel. The chapel itself is not overly large and is famous for its ceiling painted by Michelangelo. Don’t forget to take a look into St. Peter’s Basilica which is right next door.

Crypts and Roman Catacombs : These are underground burial chambers of the first Christians created 2,000 years ago, surrounding the city. The tunnels are so extensive that a tour is recommended so you do not become lost.

Food : Cooking classes abound in this city, for you to try your favorite Italian foods such as pasta making, pizza and gelato. However, eating in the sidewalk cafes is just as pleasing if you prefer to leave the cooking to the professionals.

Villa Borghese Gallery and Gardens : This museum started life as a country villa house. The many sculptures by Bernini are a highlight. The gardens surrounding the building create the third largest public park in Rome.

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Vacations in Rome

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  • There are loads of types of vacations in Rome and the cost will depend on what type of trip you’re taking and for how long you’d like to stay. Here are the latest prices for a 3 night trip for 2 travelers: Top vacation $451; Family vacation $401; Romantic vacation $507; Luxury vacation $492; Budget vacation $342.

Why should you book a vacation package to Rome?

Rome vacation packages make planning and booking much easier. Not only will you save with access to the most attractive rates, you'll be able to effortlessly match flight times to available hotels. Instead of spending time booking Rome flight and hotels separately, you can complete the process in one step.

When should you book a vacation package to Rome?

July and August are the most popular months and tend to be a little more expensive. However, you can always find competitively priced Rome travel deals. Some of the best Rome vacation packages are available in spring or fall. The city is less busy and queues for famous attractions like the Sistine Chapel are shorter.

Where should you stay in Rome during your vacation?

For any vacation type in rome:.

The Marcella Royal Hotel is perfect for singles, couples, or families. This Neo-Renaissance building is eight minutes from the metro and 15 minutes from the Via Vittorio Veneto. There is a shuttle service to and from Rome Fiumicino International Airport.

The Palazzo Martini is ideally located just one minute from the famous Baths of Diocletian. It's perfect for those who want upscale Rome vacation deals and easy access to the city's top attractions. Take a taxi or board the airport shuttle.

For family vacations in Rome:

You might consider the Hotel Mondial if you're browsing inexpensive Rome travel deals for your family vacation. Hop on the shuttle bus or take a train from the airport; the hotel is just a six-minute walk from Termini station.

Try the Hotel Ripa Roma, a chic design hotel on a bustling street 1.9 miles from the Colosseum and 2.4 miles from St. Peter's Basilica. Take the Leonardo Express to nearby Termini Station. The train departs from Rome Fiumicino at 30-minute intervals.

For romantic vacations in Rome:

Couples will adore the Palazzo Manfredi. A Relais & Chateaux hotel, it combines the opulence of a 17th century Italian Villa with chic, modern rooms and outstanding service. Take the complimentary shuttle from Rome International Airport.

Villa Clementina is perfect for couples who want Rome vacation packages that really meet their needs. Facilities at this sleek villa include a mineral water pool, a tennis court, a spa, a bar, and a 2-hectare garden. It's also easy to reach by taxi from the airport.

For luxury vacations in Rome:

Set in a grand 1930s Neo-Renaissance building on trendy Via Veneto Vittoria, the Ambasciatori Palace Hotel is an inspired choice for luxurious Rome getaways. It's 1.8 miles from the Colosseum and a short walk from the Trevi Fountain. Take a taxi or hire a limo from the airport.

Choose the prestigious Hotel Lunetta in the historic Parisi district for special Rome trips. You'll enjoy a range of amenities that includes a chic luxury spa, a rooftop bar, an indoor pool, and an airport shuttle service.

For budget vacations in Rome:

Suite Valadier enjoys an exceptional location between Piazza del Popolo and Piazza di Spagna and it's a great solution if you're searching for cheap Rome vacation packages. Take a taxi or rent a car at the airport to drive to the hotel via the A91.

Located in the EUR business and financial district, Warmhotel Rome is the ideal base from which to discover the city on a budget. There's an American-style bar and a restaurant, and you can book shuttle bus transfers to and from the airport for a small fee.

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Hero-banner/content-main.php, custom italian vacations, is the only thing we do.

Since 2003, our Italian-born founder and his team of travel experts have been designing one of a kind, custom Italian vacations.

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We have over 20 years of experience crafting custom Italian travel packages.

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We've crafted vacations and honeymoons to over 100 locations in Italy just this year.

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Vacationing to Italy

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For nearly two decades we have been working with brides, grandparents, friends, parents or anyone with an adventurous spirit to plan the ultimate Italian vacation. Unlike internet travel sites or even our competitors, our team consists of first generation Italians who know where to go and what to do. Don't just see Italy. Live it.

Describe your dream vacation

Talk directly to our Italian-born founder, or fill out a short questionnaire, so we can better understand your interests, preferred locations and ideal activities while in Italy.

You get a completely customized itinerary

Crafted specifically for you with absolutely everything you'll need for a perfect trips to Italy including travel, accommodations, food & activities and more.

Take your once in a lifetime trip

With every detail in you custom travel itinerary planned to perfection, you'll be on your way to visit only the places you want to see, and do only the things you want to do.

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Whether you want to travel to a world-renowned city, or a picturesque village (or both) we'll make sure you see the real Italy.

A city of romance

Naples is a city that exudes romance and charm at every turn. From the winding streets of its historic center, filled with stunning Baroque architecture and lively street performers, to the breathtaking views of the Bay of Naples and Mount Vesuvius, this city is a true feast for the senses. Stroll hand in hand along the colorful streets, stopping to sample delicious local cuisine and sip espresso at a charming outdoor cafe. Or, venture out to the breathtaking Amalfi Coast, where you can lose yourselves in the beauty of the Mediterranean Sea and the picturesque, cliffside towns. No matter what you choose to do, Naples is the perfect destination for a romantic getaway filled with adventure, culture, and romance.

vacation trip to italy

Past & present meet in the canals

Venice is a city unlike any other. Nestled among the canals of the Venetian Lagoon, it is a place where the past and present come together in perfect harmony. As you wander through the streets and over the charming bridges, you can't help but feel as though you have been transported back in time. The stunning architecture and art that adorn every corner are a testament to the city's rich history and cultural heritage. But it's not just the sights that make Venice so special. It's the way the city comes alive at night, with music filling the air and the soft glow of the streetlights reflecting off the water. It's the way the gondoliers navigate the narrow canals with ease, singing sweet melodies as they go. There is a sense of romance and magic in the air in Venice, a feeling that draws people in and captures their hearts. It's a place where dreams are made and memories are created, a true gem of Italy that will stay with you forever.

A land of culture & food

Tuscany is a romantic region in Italy known for its natural beauty, cultural heritage, and cuisine. It has rolling hills, vineyards, and ancient villages, and is surrounded by fields of wheat, sunflowers, and olive groves. The air is perfumed with lavender, rosemary, and thyme, and the sound of cicadas fills the air. At the heart of Tuscany is Florence, a city with Renaissance art and architecture, including the Uffizi Gallery and the Accademia Gallery with works by Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and Botticelli. A romantic dinner in a trattoria with Chianti and pasta alla carbonara is a perfect way to end a day of exploring this magical region.

vacation trip to italy

Breathtaking history & beauty

Wander through the city, and you'll be transported back in time to a world of gladiators and emperors. Rome is filled with iconic landmarks, such as the Colosseum, the Pantheon, and the Trevi Fountain, each one more breathtaking than the next. As the sun sets over the city, the streets come alive with the sound of music and laughter. The restaurants and cafes are filled with the scent of freshly baked bread and the sizzle of grilling meats. A glass of wine and a plate of pasta, enjoyed al fresco at a candlelit table, is the perfect way to end a day of exploring this magical city. With its rich history, stunning architecture, and delicious cuisine, Rome is a city that truly captures the heart and soul. It's no wonder that it's considered one of the most romantic cities in the world, and it's the perfect place to celebrate love with your special someone.

Renaissance architecture & art

Florence is a city that exudes romance with its stunning Renaissance architecture and beautiful art. The city is filled with charming piazzas, cozy cafes, and picturesque bridges. The Arno River winds its way through the city, and a romantic walk along its banks is the perfect way to take in the beauty of this magical city. As the sun sets, the streets come alive with the sound of live music and the aroma of freshly baked bread. With its rich cultural heritage, stunning art, and delicious cuisine, Florence is a city that truly captures the heart and soul.

vacation trip to italy

Modern fashion & historic art

Milan is the capital of the Lombardy region in northern Italy and is known for its rich history, art, and fashion. It is home to many famous landmarks, including the Duomo di Milano, a gothic cathedral with stunning architecture, and the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, an upscale shopping center housed in a glass-domed arcade. Milan is also home to several world-class museums, such as the Brera Art Gallery and the Leonardo da Vinci National Science and Technology Museum. In addition to its cultural attractions, Milan is a bustling city with a vibrant nightlife and an excellent dining scene, making it a popular destination for travelers.

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No matter what type of trip you want, Trips 2 Italy can build you the perfect itinerary.

No country offers a better combination of romance, beauty, and culture to make your honeymoon unforgettable.

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Immerse yourself in the history, art, culture and food of this amazing and ancient country.

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A safe destination for seniors, your group will have an unforgettable time exploring this wonderful country.

Ski & Snowboarding

The beautiful mountain ranges and first-class ski resorts in the Italian Alps are some of Italy's best-kept secrets.

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Italy captivates with its fusion of history, aesthetics, culture, and breathtaking outdoor adventures, inviting you to explore ancient ruins, admire artistic treasures, and wander romantic canals.

Guided Tours

Experience the richness of Italy's history, culture, and natural beauty with expert-guided tours that bring ancient ruins, iconic landmarks, and hidden gems to life.

Experience Italy's rich blend of history, art, and culture through its diverse range of museums, from ancient ruins in Rome and Renaissance masterpieces in Florence to local heritage showcases along the Amalfi Coast, ensuring a captivating and enriching journey for every museum enthusiast.

Architectural & Historical Sites

Experience the enchantment of Italy, where architectural grandeur and rich history create a unique canvas for unforgettable exploration and adventure.

Active Trips

From every vantage point, active trips in Italy promise a perfect balance of adventure and serenity, inviting you to experience the grandeur of its landscapes and the captivating allure of its natural beauty.

Entertainment & Festivals

Italy, a premier festival destination, invites travelers to experience its vibrant fusion of historic significance, aesthetic wonders, and rich cultural festivals, coupled with outdoor adventures from skiing festivals in the Italian Alps to hiking events on the scenic trails of Cinque Terre and the Amalfi Coast.

Group Trips

Italy offers the best balance of historical allure, breathtaking beauty, and vibrant culture to make your group trip truly unforgettable.

Cruise Shore Excursions

Embark on a captivating cruise journey through Italy, sailing from the romantic canals of Venice to the breathtaking Amalfi Coast, the rich heritage of Sicily, the enchanting Old Town of Bari, and finally, the chic, picturesque Portofino, each offering a unique taste of Italy's vibrant history, aesthetic marvels, and rich culture.

Fly & Drive

Experience the allure of Italy on a fly and drive vacation, steering your way through ancient ruins, artistic cities, and the stunning Amalfi Coast, while indulging in outdoor adventures from the snowy peaks of the Alps to the picturesque trails of Cinque Terre.

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"Thank you, thank you, thank you - the trip was fabulous! The plans were set up perfectly and everything went off like clockwork. The cooking class in Florence was an amazing, small-group group experience. The chefs were entertaining and really made the cooking a joy."


Allison and Joshua

"Trips2Italy planned the honeymoon of our dreams - it was truly everything we could have asked for and we can't imaging a better trip, or an easier planning experience. Our favorite excursions were the boat trip to Capri and the wine tasting in the Chianti region of Tuscany."


Rachel and Chase

"Our Italian honeymoon was one we'll remember for a lifetime. Every detail of our trip was perfect from the guided tours, to the free wine and champagne at every hotel. The restaurant recommendations were done with such care and thoughtfulness too. The trip was just perfect."

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Looking for some fresh destinations for your 2022 vacation to Italy? We’ve compiled a list of timeless classics and lesser-known gems in Italy....


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Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence, Italy

10  Day Custom Tour

Dynamic pricing from  $3,595

From intriguing history to incredible food and wine, this 10-day classic Italy trip immerses you in three iconic cities. Walk through ancient ruins in the footsteps of Julius Caesar. Get so close to Michelangelo’s masterpieces that the marble comes to life. Discover a secret world as you glide through dreamy canals. The eternal beauty of Rome, the Renaissance splendor of Florence, and the mystical ambiance of Venice will captivate you.

Young girl wearing carnival mask in Venice, Italy

Dynamic pricing from  $3,575

Effortless charm, captivating cuisine, and immersive artistry exemplify your 10-day family Italy vacation. Travel from Rome to Venice on this 10-day family vacation to discover the fun of ancient life, Renaissance beauty, traditional pasta, hand-crafted masks, and the techniques of gladiators. Whether wandering through the Vatican Museum's empty galleries or witnessing the Uffizi Gallery's embracing beauty, Italy’s boundless splendor will exceed your family’s greatest expectations.

Ravello Gardens on the Amalfi Coast in Italy

Dynamic pricing from  $4,415

This 10-day Italy tour will leave you well acquainted with a region known for delicious wines, panoramic views, and some of the most rugged coastlines. The Campania coastline includes some of the best beaches in Italy, and the area around Sorrento and Amalfi are no different. Experience active exploration and passive relaxation to ensure a comfortable experience during this Italian adventure.

Piazza Navona in Rome, Italy

12  Day Custom Tour

Dynamic pricing from  $9,355

Experience the true splendor of ancient life, cultural cuisine, and inspiring scenery during your 12-day luxury Italy vacation. From Rome to the Amalfi Coast and Sicily, witness glistening mosaics, walk with master Renaissance artists and discover the dishes that have shaped tradition. Enjoy exclusive tours and remarkable insights as you explore it all.

Church of San Biagio in Montepulciano surrounded by Tuscan countryside

9  Day Custom Tour

Dynamic pricing from  $3,271

Along with the rich culture and abundant historical sites, this 9-day tour of central Italy is designed to showcase the gastronomic greatness of the places you visit. From Umbria to Tuscany, the beating heart of Italian olive oil and wine production will be yours to enjoy along with the many other culinary delights. By the time you depart, you will have a better understanding of Italy's love affair with food.

Vineyards in Langhe region of Piedmont, Italy

Dynamic pricing from  $7,015

Embrace the marvels of Italian flavor and the splendor of Italy's scenery during this 9-day luxury Italy wine tour. You will have an immersive experience of the wine culture and Italy's fabulous history of wine consumption, which will reveal sumptuous vines, elegant tastings, and exclusive excursions. From regal estates to stately panoramas, you will wander through antique cellars, stroll through medieval towns, and sample the spirit of Italy through its illustrious wines.

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Gondola ride on the Grand Canal in Venice, Italy

17  Day Custom Tour

Dynamic pricing from  $5,979

From gliding through Venetian canals to exploring the northern jewels of Lake Como and Milan, venturing along the coast of Cinque Terre to discovering the charms of Tuscany, this 17-day highlights tour of Italy showcases beauty and wonder. Uncover the true splendors of Italy when embarking on this trip as you discover the Lakes District and immerse yourself in the world of Ancient Rome.

Verenna on Lake Como, Italy

Dynamic pricing from  $6,081

Unbridled beauty veils Italy and its awe-inspiring countryside and spectacular coastline, scenes that will backdrop your educational exploration during this extensive 17-day tour from Venice to Rome. Whether it's the sprawling glimmering waters of Lake Como or the romantic skyline of Verona, Italy will dazzle and seduce you as you delve into its spirited culture and honored history along the journey.

Inlet and beaches in the Maddalena archipelago in Sardinia, Italy

21  Day Custom Tour

Dynamic pricing from  $16,375

The perfect balance of leisure and adventure is available on this 21-day tour of Italy. With destinations, such as Venice and Bologna, you will get a sound introduction to Italy's urban charm that can then be compared to the rustic countryside of Tuscany and the Costa Smeralda. No matter your preference, by the tour's end, you will be well acquainted with the culture and history of this unique Mediterranean world.

Rolling hills in the Tuscan countryside

7  Day Custom Tour

Dynamic pricing from  $2,501

Italy’s countryside is teeming with hilltop towns that are speckled across the breathtaking region of Tuscany, which you will explore on this handcrafted 7-day tour. Under the Tuscan Sun, you will appreciate the endless beauty of the emerald hills that roll from Montepulciano in addition to admiring the ancient architecture of the cultural heritage sites in San Gimignano. From town to town, you can find beauty in every charming destination against the beautiful countryside backdrop.

La Morra surrounded by vineyards

Dynamic pricing from  $7,665

From the bustling historic neighborhoods of Bologna to the illustrious Piedmont farmlands surrounding La Morra, explore and adore boundless beauty as you breeze through the countryside on your 10-day Italy tour. Farm-to-table lunches paired with award-winning Italian wines, Ferrari test drives through ancient streets, and evenings exploring the local culture of medieval communes all feature on this luxurious honeymoon vacation to Bologna, Florence, and La Morra in Italy.

Garden and statues on Isola Bella overlooking Lake Maggiore.

Dynamic pricing from  $7,795

Like jewels on a mountainous crown, the alpine lakes of Northern Italy offer a welcoming playground on this 10-day tour of Lake Como, Maggiore, and Iseo. Far from the crowds of Italy's major cities, you can walk in the footsteps of royalty as you explore this idyllic setting. From wineries to walking tours, this region will come alive and leave you astounded at the concentration of beauty that is to be found here.

Tours of Italy by Travel Style

Portofino, Italy

Summer is the most crowded and the warmest time of the year, so we typically recommend taking your trip to Italy in the shoulder season months of April, May, September , and October.

During these months in spring and fall, you can enjoy comfortable temperatures for city tours and sightseeing, expect fewer tourists, and experience seasonal festivals. In May and September, on either side of summer, the warm weather is fantastic for exploring the Italian coastline and famous islands like Sicily , Capri , and Ischia.

While these months are our favorites, Italy is a year-round destination, and summer and winter are wonderful for their own reasons. Whether traveling as a family to Rome in August or skiing in the Italian Alps in December, our guide on the best time to visit Italy can help you find the right month for your trip.

While there is a seemingly endless list of things to see and do, we recommend spending at least 10 days on a tour of Italy to experience the highlights.

10-day itineraries provide an excellent overview of Italy’s iconic destinations, including Rome, Florence, Tuscany, Venice, and the Amalfi Coast. That said, the longer you stay, the more you will experience, and our three-week itineraries are designed for travelers to explore as much of Italy as possible.

If you can only visit for a short time, our 7-day itineraries cover the essentials of Italy, or you can spend a few days in Italy’s capital city on a trip starting from Rome .

From northern Italy’s alpine summits to the central capital of Rome and sun-kissed southern coastlines, there is so much to explore from one region to the next.

Here are a few of the best places to visit in Italy :

  • Rome : Home to iconic highlights like the Colosseum, Pantheon, and Trevi Fountain, the Eternal City is the ideal city to visit in Italy for first-timers and an excellent destination to start or end a trip.
  • Florence : Gateway to the rolling Tuscan sunflower fields and famous for its Renaissance architecture, Florence, the region’s capital, is one of the most notable places in Italy.
  • Tuscany : Known for its enchanting vineyards, medieval villages, and golden sunsets, the Tuscan countryside offers phenomenal wine tasting and cultural highlights to experience on your trip.
  • Venice : Sail the canals by gondola, see landmarks like Saint Mark's Basilica, and savor the local Venetian delicacies when experiencing the history, culture, and romance of the Floating City.
  • Amalfi Coast : Home to charming pastel-colored towns clinging to the cliffs, you can admire dramatic coastal views as you explore historic neighborhoods of the Amalfi Coast. This stunning stretch of steep, rocky coastline is one of the most scenic places in Italy.

From day trips to the Vatican City to Venetian gondola rides, Tuscan wine tasting, and pizza-making classes in Naples, here are some of the top things to do in Italy :

  • Explore the art, architecture, and museums of the Vatican City
  • Cruise the Floating City of Venice by gondola
  • Discover Italy’s regional cuisines, from Neapolitan pizza in Naples to authentic bolognese in Bologna
  • Sail between Italy’s top islands
  • Visit the famous Italian ruins and UNESCO sites
  • Taste the fine local varietals and blends of the Tuscan wine country

Whether touring top UNESCO sites or admiring the historic ruins , there are many famous landmarks and attractions to see on your Italy trip. Here are some favorites to explore:

  • The Colosseum, Rome
  • The Pantheon, Rome
  • Trevi Fountain, Rome
  • The Roman Forum, Rome
  • The Vatican Museums, Vatican City
  • St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City
  • Uffizi Gallery, Florence
  • The Leaning Tower of Pisa, Pisa
  • Saint Mark’s Basilica, Venice
  • Duomo di Milano, Milan

Pizza, pasta, and gelato are just a few famous foods to try as you explore Italy’s cities and towns. And while there is no single best city for food in Italy, each region offers signature dishes and cuisine to choose from. When planning an Italy food tour , consider these iconic culinary hotspots and classic Italian food experiences:

  • Bologna : Prepare authentic Italian bolognese sauce
  • Florence : Embark on a Tuscan truffle-hunting tour
  • Parma : Learn about the history of Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • Modena : Sample the original Modena balsamic vinegar
  • Naples : Make traditional Neapolitan pizza from start to scratch

Visit famous wine regions on Italy wine tours that reveal why the local varietals and blends are among the best in the world. From Tuscany to Trentino-Alto Adige, here are some of the top wine regions to visit:

  • Trentino-Alto Adige

The euro (€).

Here are some of our most popular Italy itineraries with excellent routing for your first-time trip or return visit:

  • Best of Italy Tour: Rome, Florence, Tuscany and Venice is our most popular itinerary for first-timers. You can start your trip in whichever city aligns with your ideal flight routing and experience Italy’s top destinations in 10 days.
  • For travelers wishing to visit Rome, Florence, and Venice with an added stop on the Amalfi Coast, our Italy from North to South: 10-Day Classic Tour offers an excellent way to see the most famous cities, along with the Italian coastline.
  • With more time, you can explore more of Italy’s popular destinations with added stops in Lake Garda and Naples. Our 15-Day Elegant Italy: Art, History, Food and Wine tour is an immersive experience with optimal routing to see the best of Italy.

For more routing options, explore our best luxury Italy itineraries and let our travel specialists design your personalized trip.

From medieval villages perched on hilltops to coastal towns off the beaten path, Italy’s lesser-known destinations should be on your radar. Here are a few of our favorite hidden gems in Italy where you can experience something unique:

  • The Aeolian Islands: Most travelers flock to Sicily in summer, yet the Aeolian archipelago off Sicily’s northeastern coast is a hidden gem worth exploring if you want a sunny beach trip without the crowds.
  • Castelmezzano: Second-time trips to Italy are best spent discovering unique spots, and Castelmezzano is a gem in southern Italy with a historic village clinging to the cliffs and overlooking the countryside.
  • Trento: Tucked away in the northern Italian hills lies the charming city of Trento, one of Italy’s top winter destinations. Gateway to the Italian Alps, you can escape the crowds on a tour of northern Italy or travel in December for winter sports.

Explore more answers to common travel questions in our frequently asked questions about planning a trip to Italy .

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13 things to know before visiting Italy

Angelo Zinna

May 16, 2023 • 9 min read

vacation trip to italy

Make the most of your trip to Italy with our top insider tips © Westend61 / Getty Images

With an unmatched abundance of Unesco World Heritage sites, diverse scenery ranging from some of Europe’s highest peaks to the turquoise waters of the southern coasts, and an endless list of regional cuisines to taste, planning an Italian adventure can easily get overwhelming.

Add a variety of dialects – both spoken and hand-gestured – and hard-to-decipher etiquette rules into the mix and attempting to dive into the local culture can quickly turn into feeling like a fish out of water.

Returning to Italy after years of living abroad has made many of the odd rules that dictate social interactions more evident to me – even I, as an Italian, find myself often questioning why things work as they do. While clear answers are not always available, I’ve done my best to compile a list of rules, customs and habits that will make every visitor's time in my homeland a little easier. Here's everything you need to know before visiting Italy.

1. Italians all go on holiday at the same time (more or less)

For some reason, we Italians have collectively decided that August is the best month to go on holiday. It's understandable – with temperatures regularly surpassing 35C (95F), expecting people to do anything other than lie on the beach is simply too far-fetched.

During the weeks surrounding the holiday of Ferragosto , on August 15, Italians migrate to the coast en masse, leaving humid cities half empty. Many businesses in the country’s interior close, prices rise significantly, and crowds are the norm on popular beaches. If you choose to travel in the high season , make sure to book your accommodation well in advance.

A smiling father and daughter in a Fiat 500 car in Italy, with the daughter standing up outside the sunroof

2. Italy was built for driving, but it’s not the only option

While the public transport infrastructure is cheap and mostly reliable , Italy remains devoted to driving. Recent stats have shown that the country is second in Europe after tiny Luxemburg when it comes to cars per capita – nearly 40 million vehicles are currently roaming around the country with 59 million inhabitants.

Part of this has to do with the mountainous, uneven geography of the peninsula. Trains cannot reach the more remote corners of the country and the low population of rural areas does not justify frequent bus services. There is also a cultural aspect to Italy’s love for driving – huge investments were put toward motorways in the post-war era, which made mobility increasingly car-centric and Italians more used to relying on cars.

Does this mean that a car is essential for visiting Italy? No. Renting a car will give you the most freedom, but trains and buses connect most urban centers and are a great, sustainable way to visit cities, medieval hamlets and coastal towns without worrying about traffic rules and limiting your intake of vino and spritzes. Train tickets can be bought online at Trenitalia or Italo  – tickets for slow, regional trains can be purchased on the spot without price increases, while high-speed train tickets are much cheaper when bought in advance.

3. If you do rent a car, be aware there's a shortage of vehicles

Among the many inconveniences the pandemic has brought upon travelers is a lack of available cars for hire. As the world went into lockdown and traveling became impossible, many rental companies sold their vehicles. Meanwhile, people got increasingly used to avoiding public transport and the demand for rental cars has grown.

During peak holiday season, prices skyrocket and in popular destinations, cars for hire can simply run out. If you are planning a road trip , make sure to book your car well in advance.

4. Card payments are now widely accepted, but carrying some cash is a good idea

For a long time, Italy has been a cash-first country. But in 2022, a new law introduced a fine for businesses not accepting card payments. Technically, paying by card should now be possible everywhere, although you can still encounter merchants frowning upon small electronic transfers or shops where the POS machine is mysteriously not working – having some cash on you is a wise move.

Apart from such (rare) exceptions, card payments will not be an issue. Most major networks are widely accepted, American Express is the only card provider that might be rejected by smaller businesses.

5. Regional pride is worth embracing

Moving abroad or to a different city has become increasingly common for members of the younger generations, but a sense of pride for one’s place of birth continues to pervade the consciousness of many Italians. You won’t have to wait long before meeting someone who will exalt the food, traditions, and landmarks they grew up surrounded by, often at the expense of neighboring regions or cities.

Such an intense form of pride – known in Italian as campanilismo  – translates into endless opportunities to taste carefully guarded flavors, participate in events rooted in the local folklore, and experience a different facet of the country each time you come back.

A group of friends sitting around a table in a vineyard and toasting each other with red wine in the sunshine

6. Learn the language of sarcasm

On the one hand there is local pride, on the other is the art of breaking down barriers by making fun of ourselves. Italian humor has long been reliant on a self-inflicted form of sarcasm and the exaggeration of those very stereotypes you’d think we’d rather forget about.

Self-deprecation is only one shade of it, however. When jokes are directed at others, they can be ferocious. In regions such as Veneto or Tuscany, blasphemy is considered part of the local lingo, while Romans are unchallenged when it comes to sharp irony. To the uninitiated, such wit may feel like crossing a line, but it’s usually well meant.

7. Imitate hand gestures 🤌 at your own risk

Italians are globally known for talking with their hands, but they don’t particularly enjoy having their body language mocked by foreigners who are not aware of the meaning behind physical communication. Hand gesturing does not happen randomly; while a burst of anger or excitement may get people moving more intensely than usual, each signal has a specific meaning that – like in any language – should be learned before being inserted into a conversation.

Shaking your hand while pinching your fingers, for instance, is typically used in combination with a puzzled look to mean “What are you talking about?” or “What are you doing?” with a tone that can range from the confused to the aggressive. Use at your own risk.

A front-view shot of a young man enjoying a delicious meal in Italy, he is wearing casual clothing

8. Don’t be overwhelmed by restaurant menus

Enter any osteria and you’ll find yourself deciphering a list of dishes split into categories such as antipasti (starters), primi (first courses), secondi (second courses), contorni (side dishes), dolci (desserts), vini (wines), amari (digestives). Yes, a full Italian meal is composed of all these elements.

You are not expected, however, to order a dish from each section of the menu every time you sit down. It’s perfectly fine to order a pasta course followed by a dessert, or a starter and a second course. Mix and match as you like.

9. Tipping is not expected unless the service is especially personalized

Leaving a tip is always a nice gesture, but you should not feel obliged to do so in every bar or restaurant you enter. Most people in the service industry do not rely on tips to get by. However, when someone is particularly attentive to your needs and actively trying to improve your experience, it's a welcome gesture to thank them with a tip.

Note that you will be charged for “coperto” in many restaurants – a cover charge of around 2€ per person. This is neither a scam nor a tip that goes to the staff. It is simply a flat fee that Italians are used to paying when sitting down at a table.

10. When it comes to eating and drinking, there is a time for everything

Everyone has heard of the “no cappuccino past 11 AM” rule – you should know that this is not the only dieting constraint Italian culture is attempting to force upon you. Milky coffee is considered a breakfast-only drink, just like an Aperol Spritz is considered a pre-dinner cocktail and limoncello is considered a post-prandial liqueur. Lunch happens around 1pm and dinner hardly ever starts before 8pm.

Such habits are often described as commandments set in stone, but know that the emphasis on their importance is often exaggerated. Not following the etiquette might be looked down upon at a formal gathering, but in cities where tourists are a permanent presence, exiting the boundaries of social conventions won't raise many eyebrows.

Three women enjoy cocktails outside in the sunshine in Italy

11. Drinking outside is allowed – and fun

While there are some municipalities that restrict drinking alcohol on the street in certain areas, this is not an issue in most of the country. On the contrary, many public squares fill up during summer evenings with people having a beer or a glass of wine in the open-air.

12. Cheek kisses can cause some awkward situations

Imagine meeting up with your Italian friends for an aperitivo and finding yourself lip-to-lip with your new acquaintance’s spouse – this is only one of the embarrassing situations you could fall prey to by underestimating the cheek kissing etiquette.

Italians often greet each other by giving two light cheek kisses. This happens almost exclusively in informal situations with people you’ve already met in the past – you are not expected to kiss your Italian language teacher or someone you’re being introduced to for the first time. People will typically start on the left side, although this is not a strict rule. If unsure, let the other person take the lead and go with the flow. Not comfortable in having your personal space invaded? A simple handshake is perfectly fine.

13. Political polarization is on the rise

Contrasting political views have always played a central role in the animated conversations of Italians, both in the private sphere and in the media. In recent years, however, polarization has become more evident. Part of this has to do with political conversations moving onto social media platforms where nuances and context fade away, favoring stark opinions over constructive debates. But this is far from the only reason.

A 2022 study showed that Italy is the only European nation where salaries have decreased compared to 30 years ago and conflicting opinions on issues related to migration flows, energy supplies, housing and workers’ rights have contributed to splitting the public opinion. In 2022, Italy elected Giorgia Meloni as its Prime Minister – the first woman to hold power and the first far-right leader since Fascist-era dictator Benito Mussolini. The ability to read the room is a useful skill to have if you choose to talk politics.

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9 tips for beginners visiting Italy for the first time

Lori Zaino

Planning your first vacation to Italy ? Not only is this beautiful country one of the top culinary destinations in the world, but it's also home to some seriously iconic tourist attractions to boot. With over 55 UNESCO World Heritage sites, three active volcanoes and over 1,500 lakes, you'll never get bored. And if you are, well, there's always pizza!

vacation trip to italy

When organizing a vacation to Italy, there are a few things you should know in order to have a safe and enjoyable getaway. First-time travelers take note: these are some of the things you consider for your Italian adventure.

1. Figure out what kind of trip you want to have

Italy's got it all: 4,600 miles of coastline lined with hundreds of gorgeous beaches , numerous tourist attractions, lively cities, charming villages and sprawling vineyards. From low-cost to luxury, Italy has accommodation, restaurants and activities to fit every budget, whether it's renting a yacht off the coast of Capri, staying in an affordable hostel in Rome or enjoying a Sicilian farmhouse getaway.

vacation trip to italy

Consider your interests, as well as some of the things Italy is famous for, like gastronomy (you could build a trip around dining out or cooking classes), art (Italy has some of the top museums in the world) or exploring a wine region (drive through the hills of Prosecco or Tuscany's wine country).

Related: How to have a budget vacation in Italy

Or, think about destinations. For each week you have of vacation , you can comfortably squeeze in two destinations (maybe more if you're a very active traveler).

  • If you love art and tourist attractions, consider Rome and Florence.
  • If you love fashion but also want to relax, consider Milan and one of the northern lakes.
  • If you want pizza, cityscape and coastal charm, consider Nap les and the Amalfi coast.
  • If you want to dig into Italy's food and wine scene, consider a road trip through Tuscany or Piedmont.
  • If you love skiing , consider a visit to Milan and the Italian Alps.
  • If you're looking for romance, consider exploring Verona and Venice.
  • If you need a beach vacation, consider exploring an island like Sardinia or Sicily.
  • If you have 10 days or more and want to enjoy the most typical tourist circuit, consider a trip to the big three: Rome, Florence and Venice -- some of the country's most popular spots for visitors.

vacation trip to italy

Note that while you can find various price points around the country for lodging, dining and activities, typically, costs are lower in southern Italy than in northern Italy.

Related: Northern or southern Italy: Which is right for your vacation?

2. Pick the right season

In general, Italy has wonderful weather. Many areas of the country see lots of sunshine and temperatures are mild even in winter, though summers can be steamy. Depending on what you plan to do, make sure to consider the season. Beach visits are best in the summer, though months like May and September see fewer crowds and still have great weather.

Related: These are the best times to visit Italy

Avoid larger, crowded cities like Rome in the heart of summer, unless you're prepared for extreme heat. Harvest season/autumn is the ideal time to visit the wine region, and southern Italy can be mild throughout the winter. Many deals can be found in the low season, but know that winter in the north can be cold and rainy.

If you do go to Italy between March and October, bring sunblock and a hat -- don't underestimate those Mediterranean rays.

3. Do your research when it comes to tourism

Although Covid-19 has put a dampener on tourism, during busier times, attractions like the Vatican may see up to 30,000 visitors per day. That means you may have to wait a long time in line to buy a ticket and enter. Add Rome's scorching sunshine to the mix and you may end up sunburned, exhausted from queuing all day and never get the chance to step foot in the Sistine Chapel.

If visiting big-name tourist attractions is important to you, buy tickets online. Skip-the-line tickets or guided tours may also be worth the price: evaluate your options and decide.

vacation trip to italy

City passes are another alternative. The Milan city pass offers things like discounts on popular attractions, free Milan public transport and a free drink at a local Milanese bar. The Rome tourist card has fast-track entry benefits and free access to the Vatican and the Colosseum. Florence's city pass includes skip-the-line entry to Galleria degli Uffizi and Galleria dell'Accademia, plus tickets for the hop-on, hop-off bus tour.

So, think about what you want to do and see, do the maths and purchase ahead.

4. But don't forget about local spots too

Visiting Italy's most famous attractions should hold a firm spot on your bucket list. That being said, plan to take some time to get off the tourist track a bit. Consider exploring more local neighborhoods or visiting a small village or a less-popular spot like Lake Maggiore instead of Lake Como. Seeing all the big-name hotspots is a must, but experiencing the beauty of true Italian culture and cuisine may be even better.

vacation trip to italy

Related: 5 of Italy's best-hidden gem cities

5. Take the train

The Freeciarossa runs between some of Italy's best destinations. These high-speed trains from company Trenitalia are affordable, fast and comfortable. Traveling up to about 180 miles per hour, trains are one of the best and quickest ways to get from A to B. And, you won't have to deal with learning the Italian rules of the road or the hassle of car rental agencies. Taking the train is easy: You can purchase tickets easily online ahead of time or last minute depending on your travel style. You can visit spots like Milan, Rome , Florence, Venice, Turin and Naples on the Frecciarossa trains.

6. Don't discount the islands

Italy's island culture goes beyond just the beach. And, there are over 450 of them! Sicily has a whole sub-culture of its own, and far-flung spots like the Tremiti islands or the Aeolian islands will ensure you get sufficiently off-the-beaten-path . If it's luxury you desire, Sardinia's Costa Smeralda is a hotspot and nothing looks sexier on an Instagram feed than Capri.

vacation trip to italy

Related: Which of the Italian islands is best for your vacation ?

7. Familiarize yourself with the language and culture

You might get lucky when it comes to a larger city like Rome, where many locals speak English.

Southern Italy or smaller villages are a different story. Luckily, Italians are a friendly bunch and will do their best to communicate with you despite any language barriers. Come prepared with a few key phrases and your favorite translation app downloaded.

vacation trip to italy

Italy is old, and so are its streets. Many are made of cobblestone. While locals (Milan, here's looking at you) may jog by in designer stilettos, you should wear comfortable footwear. Make sure to dress modesty, especially when visiting churches. You won't be allowed into spots like Vatican City if your knees and shoulders aren't covered.

While mealtimes aren't quite as late as Spain's, Italians tend to eat slightly later. Expect lunch around 1:00 p.m., and dinners around 8:30 p.m. or 9:00 p.m.

8. Money-saving tips

While it's normal to make a tourist faux pas or two (especially on your first trip), here are some things you should avoid:

  • Tipping at restaurants if it's already included on your bill (many spots add in a 10% service charge).
  • Heavily tipping taxi drivers (rounding up to the nearest euro is normal).

vacation trip to italy

Save even more money with the following:

  • Take advantage of apertivo hours in northern Italy. These are happy hours that offer free buffet food for a few hours pre-dinner time in the early evening. Order a drink or two to gain access to the snacks.
  • Stand at the bar to drink your espresso. Table seating at breakfast has an additional charge, and even more if you want to eat outside.
  • Beware of the "coperto." This is a service charge for simply eating at the restaurant , usually a euro or two per person.
  • Don't eat or drink in the main city square. These spots are usually overpriced tourist traps.

Related: 7 underrated regions in Italy for food and wine

9. Be alert for travel scams

Watch out for those trying to take advantage of unsuspecting tourists with scams :

  • Pickpockets;
  • Gladiators: If you take a photo of or with them, they'll expect a tip;
  • Taxi scams: Insist the meter be turned on, or make sure you're aware of any flat-rate pricing;
  • Unauthorized tour guides or ticket helpers at train stations; and
  • Anyone who approaches you with lavender, flowers or a pizza box. Just walk the other way.

Bottom line

vacation trip to italy

Armed with these tips and tricks, planning a trip to Italy will be easy. You can sit back, relax and enjoy all the delights Italy has to offer, knowing that you've picked the right destinations, will skip the line to see those bucket-list tourist attractions, avoid scams and save a little money on meals.

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23 Must-Know Italy Travel Tips to Plan Your Dream Trip

D o you constantly think to yourself “I want to go to Italy!” as you scroll through social media looking at colorful cliffside villages and huge plates of pasta on gingham tablecloths? You’re not alone! Italy is one of the most beautiful countries in existence. From visiting big cities like Rome and Milan to the Riviera and countryside of Tuscany, everyone should get the opportunity to take a trip to Italy and experience la dolce vita at least once.

Despite the fact that Italian cuisine and culture are popular around the world, visiting Italy is a completely different ball game. This guide covers all the essential travel tips for Italy you need to know before visiting for the first time so you can avoid common travel mistakes.

It can be a surprisingly conservative country with unexpected own laws and rules. Let’s not even get started on the rules and traditions around food and drink yet! Knowing these basic Italy travel tips will allow you to focus your attention on buying cute leather handbags in Florence or sailing on Lake Como instead.

Don’t have time to read a bunch of reviews and blog posts? Here are our top picks for visiting Italy:

Get an Easy Italy Itinerary

Need a quick day-by-day, open-and-go itinerary for Italy? This guide does the work for you!

Awesome hotels in Italy

  • Rome :  Hotel Artemide
  • Venice :  Palazzo Madonna
  • Florence :  Hotel Santa Maria Novella
  • Amalfi Coast:   Hotel Villa Garden
  • Cinque Terre :  Il Sogno di Manarola
  • Tuscany :  Agriturismo Farm Stay

Fantastic tours in Italy

  • Rome Vespa Tour
  • Venice Walking Tour & Gondola Ride
  • Tuscany Tour from Florence
  • Pompeii with an Archaeologist
  • Cinque Terre Boat Cruise

Renting a Car in Italy?

If you want to see the Italian countryside, I recommend you drive yourself. We prefer to use  Rental Cars  and  Expedia Cars .  We have had no issues with them and have been able to find the best prices available. Be sure to read these tips for renting a car in Italy .

Book a photoshoot

We always love to book a photoshoot when we’re traveling. As a mom, it’s tough to get in photos since I’m always behind the camera. We use Flytographer to capture our memories. You can get $25 off your shoot by booking at this link or using code FAMILYVOYAGE.

1. Northern and Southern Italy are Very Different

Italy wasn’t even a country until 1861 when most of the current 20 regions of Italy were united. 150 years isn’t a long time when you think about it, so each region is still totally different from each other. This variety is part of the fun of traveling to Italy and what keeps tourists returning again and again!

To put things simply, Northern Italy is very different from Southern Italy. Most of the reasons behind this are economic and employment-based, but there are other differences you’ll notice too.

Much of the landscape of Northern Italy is Alpine and lush with lots of vineyards, whereas the south is much hotter and has a stronger Mediterranean vibe. Both areas are worth visiting on your trip to Italy, but your style of travel and interests will dictate the best regions to visit.

2. Consider these Italian Destinations for Your Trip

Let’s dig into some of the most incredible places to visit! If you’ve never visited Italy before, the entire country is your oyster, so this is a breakdown of just some of the most popular Italian travel destinations.

Italian Cities

  • Rome – Italy’s iconic capital, you can also visit Vatican City
  • Milan – International hub where you can visit Lake Como and Lake Maggiore
  • Venice – Storied canal-laden city close to Verona and Lake Garda
  • Florence – Heart of the Renaissance where you can take a day trip to Siena
  • Naples – Birthplace of pizza and close to Mount Vesuvius
  • Cinque Terre – Colorful cliffside villages on the Italian Riviera
  • Tuscan Countryside – One of the best wine regions lined with cypress trees
  • Italian Alps – Closely resembles Switzerland with lots of winter sports
  • Amalfi Coast – Romantic cobblestone villages and beach resorts (pictured above)
  • Sicily – Blend of Greece, Spain, and Italy with delicious street food

Check out the Amalfi Coast or Cinque Terre if you’re traveling as a couple in the warmer months. Families can head to the major cities with lots of kid-friendly activities and take day trips to the countryside.

Read more: Where To Go In Italy With Kids [& Important Planning Tips]

3. Book Tickets to Popular Tourist Attractions in Advance

If you’re visiting any of the big cities in Italy, this is one Italy travel tip you should take. Most of the top museums, galleries, and landmarks will sell a limited number of tickets with time slots in advance. If you aren’t organized, you will have to line up on the day and potentially wait for an hour or more in the baking hot sun.

These are attractions like the Colosseum in Rome , Galleria dell’Accademia in Florence , and the Vatican Museums in Vatican City . It’s understandable that you don’t want to over plan your vacation, but just having tickets to the must-see attractions will make your trip much more enjoyable.

However, you can’t buy tickets to some of the top free attractions, like the Duomo in Florence and St Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican, for example. Consider if it’s worth booking a guided tour to skip those lines. For the St. Peter’s in particular it’s a really good idea to book a skip-the-line tour in advance as the wait can stretch on for ages! Check the availability calendar below and be sure to snag your tickets:

There’s one attraction where you will have to buy tickets in advance with no exceptions. There are only a finite amount of people able to see The Last Supper painting by Leonardo Da Vinci in Milan each day. Again, you can book a guided tour if the public sale tickets are sold out – that option will also provide a lot more context to your visit!

4. Expect a Tourist Tax on Accommodation When Visiting Italy

When traveling Italy, you’ll quickly realize that all accommodations have to charge a tax for tourists by law. The amount will depend on the quality of your stay (e.g. hostel or luxury resort), the number of people on your booking, the number of nights, and which Italian city you’re visiting. Yes, this includes short-term rental apartments like Airbnbs!

For example, the tax ranges between €3 to €7 per person, per night in Rome. It normally needs to be paid in cash upon arrival. While it’s not a huge amount, if you’re traveling to Italy on a budget I don’t want you to be surprised! For a family of four spending 10 days in Italy it could easily add up to several hundred dollars.

5. Apartment Rentals and Hotels Will Ask for Copies of Your Passport

It’s normal for tourists to present their international identification (passport) when staying at a hostel or checking into a hotel room. But if you have booked an apartment rental for your trip to Italy, they will also ask for a photo of your passport page. If you have an in-person check-in, they might take a photo of it themselves.

This might seem a little suspicious, but it’s the law! They’re not going to use your passport information for anything other than passing it on to the local authorities.

6. You need to carry your passport with you at all times

Speaking of passports…

While there’s some debate about whether you need to bring your original passport with you rather than a copy, one thing’s for certain: by law, you can be stopped at any time in Italy and asked to show your passport or legal identification issued by your national government – a US drivers license is not sufficient.

Bringing your passport around with you can be nerve-wracking, as there is a risk of pickpocketing in Italy (as in all populated areas). You’ll want to make sure it’s in a secured inner pocket of your day bag. Wear it close to your body in the front, or on your side but with your hand on it at all times. The bag above is great because the inner compartments are secured by both a zipper and a flap.

7. Get an International Driving Permit to Drive in Italy

When planning your epic vacation, you’ll need to figure out how to travel in Italy. Car rental is a great choice, particularly if you have lots of luggage or want to visit remote destinations.

There are a few unique things to consider before renting a car in Italy . Other European countries may not have this requirement, but all non-EU drivers must present an international driving license when hiring from an Italian car rental company. They only cost around $20 and are super easy to get from AAA before you leave home.

You should also ensure you have extensive vehicle and travel insurance before getting a rental car. Narrow, winding Italian roads and reckless Italian drivers can make for a challenging car trip!

We use our Chase Sapphire Reserve for car rentals because it offers great primary insurance (meaning our own insurance wouldn’t get involved in a claim) and doesn’t exclude Italy. There’s also no foreign transaction fee and solid lounge access overseas. If you only have one travel credit card in your wallet, it’s a great choice!

8. Avoid Taxis – Most Italian Cities Are Walkable

It’s totally understandable if you’d rather not navigate the Tuscan rail network after a 10+ hour flight with lots of luggage and multiple kids. That’s what pre-arranged airport transfers are for! Beyond that, opt for public transport or walk so you can avoid taking taxis altogether (if you’re able).

In my experience it can be challenging in some place to hail taxis off the street in many cities, leaving you to order one through your hotel or head to the nearest station for a taxi stand. Uber and other ride-share companies are still in their infancy and the traffic in some cities will make you’d wish you were walking anyway.

One of the best pieces of Italy travel advice is to walk when and where you can. Almost every historic city center in Italy is walkable (wear comfy shoes) and Google Maps will help you get around. You’ll see more side streets, charming churches, and allow for more spontaneous travel experiences.

9. Learn Italy’s Coffee Rules to Avoid a Faux Pas

Wait, you can’t just drink coffee whenever and wherever you like?! You can, but in the spirit of ‘do as the Romans do’, you may want to put down that venti iced latte and assimilate to Italy’s coffee-drinking routine while you’re on vacation.

Generally speaking, Italians drink espresso by default. If you ask for a caffè in a coffee shop, you will be presented with one shot of black coffee. Macchiatos are becoming more and more common, and these are double-shot espressos with a dollop of foamed, hot milk.

For Italians, a cappuccino or other milk-heavy coffee drink is a breakfast drink. They wouldn’t be caught dead ordering one after lunch.

10. Train Travel Is the Best Way to Get Around Italy

One of the best tips for traveling in Italy is to embrace train travel. Italy has an extensive public transport system and despite the odd strike or delay, it is affordable and super easy to understand. We’ve used the train for long-distance legs like Venice to Florence as well as day trips like Florence to Cinque Terre.

There are two main train companies: Trenitalia and Italo Treno, but there are others too. You can find a great explanation and book your tickets here . When traveling Italy between cities on an Italo Treno service, you need to buy your train ticket in advance to get a seat. For regional train tickets, you can buy them at the train station and sit in any free seat. That’s it!

Once upon a time, you needed to validate your ticket at the train station by using a date stamping machine on the platforms, but this is becoming obsolete. Download the Trenitalia app and screenshot your tickets.

Busy train stations might make you feel overwhelmed, but there are always information desks that can help you find your platform.

Read more: How to Travel to Italy on a Budget

11. Bring a Refillable Water Bottle for Drinking Fountains

Put the bottled water back on the shelf and take advantage of the clean, free, and fresh drinking water available in some of Italy’s major cities. One of the top pieces of travel advice for Italy is to bring a reusable water bottle and only drink tap water while on vacation.

Rome is particularly famous for its 2,500 drinking fountains as the Ancient Romans worshipped water like a god. Venice, Verona, Pisa, Florence, Sorrento, Capri, and many other cities have these fountains.

By law, local authorities have to put a sign up if a fountain is not safe to drink. If there’s no sign, there’s no problem!

12. Adapt to Italian Dining and Eating Habits

Aside from not drinking bottled water, there are other eating and dining habits unique to Italy.

Many Italians opt to eat a light breakfast of espresso with a sweet pastry. Traditionally, workers ate their light breakfast while standing at the counter of a coffee shop. One of the top Italy travel tips is that you do the same as it’s such a fun, local experience!

Beyond Italian breakfast, something else that some Italian restaurants do is include a ‘cover charge’ on your bill which is not a mandatory tip like it is in some countries. This extra cost is for fresh bread and sometimes sparkling water for the table. If you don’t want any bread or water, tell your server when they first bring it over.

Some Italians still go to their local market for fruit, vegetables, fish, and meat instead of a supermarket. If you are staying in an apartment and want to make your own food, consider shopping at a local market too.

13. Wear Conservative Clothing When Visiting Churches

You can’t walk two minutes without passing an ornate church in this country, and so many of the top landmarks are churches too. One key Italy travel tip is to pack conservative clothing or keep a light scarf in your backpack for extra coverage as necessary.

Most churches require visitors to cover their chests and shoulders. Exposed knees aren’t usually an issue, but booty shorts are a no-no.

14. Italy Is Not Warm Year-Round – Check the Local Weather

Speaking of clothing, you may need to rethink your wardrobe depending on where and when you are going to Italy. While it’s warm and dry during the summer months, you’d be surprised how cold Italy can get in the north.

One of the top, essential Italy travel tips is to check the weather forecast just before you leave. Pack at least one pair of long pants and a light sweater even if the weather looks warm in the shoulder seasons of spring and fall.

Read more: What to pack for Italy in Fall

15. Avoid Common Travel Scams in Big Cities in Italy

Every popular tourist destination has its fair share of pickpockets and travel scammers. Watch out for them when walking through a historic city center, like Piazza San Marco in Venice for example, and keep your belongings and valuables secure at all times.

One of the most infamous is the ‘friendship bracelet’ scam. Someone will attempt to tie strings around your wrist and say it is free until it’s knotted and they will ask for payment. Approaching you with a ‘free’ flower and making your partner pay up is another.

Leaving a small cup of change or postcards on the ground for you to accidentally walk across and seek compensation is a popular scam in Florence especially!

16. Public Bathrooms Are Almost Never Free

While public bathrooms are usually plentiful and free in the US, that’s not the case everywhere.

One of the best travel tips for Italy is to make use of cafe and restaurant bathrooms whilst dining. Keep some coins on you if nature calls and you need to use a public bathroom as there is almost always a charge. Even in train stations!

17. Follow These Tips for Choosing the Best Gelaterias

Not all Italian gelato is created equal. These Italy travel tips will help you choose only the best homemade, artificial flavor-free gelato made on the premises.

If the gelato is piled too high in the container, it’s been artificially ‘fluffed up’. Silver containers are a good sign as that’s how it gets transported from the kitchen to the shop. Look for natural colors i.e. pistachio is naturally an olive color and banana gelato should look almost white.

18. Drinking Wine Is Cheap and the House Wine Is Great

Do you love Italian wine? You’re in luck! Italian wine is sold in every restaurant and supermarket in the country. Head to Tuscany if you love Italian red wine and Veneto if you prefer white wine or sparkling.

House wine (known as vino della casa in Italian) doesn’t have the stigma of being the cheapest, worst wine on the menu either. Yes, house wine is still cheap and it’s not the best, but it’s usually either the restaurant’s own label or from a local vineyard. Many Italians will order this vino every time they dine out.

Italian wine is overall much cheaper than it is abroad too. Win-win!

19. Bring a Travel Credit Card and Cash – You’ll Need Both!

One of the essential travel in Italy tips you need to know is about money. Italy uses the euro and it’s a smart idea to carry both travel-friendly credit cards and cash.

What makes a credit card travel-friendly? For starters, be sure there’s no foreign transaction fee – usually you’ll need a card that charges an annual fee to get that critical feature. I recommend one like the Chase Sapphire Reserve that has really good travel insurance and emergency medical coverage. We used it all over the world and never had an issue, and the points we accumulated let us keep traveling longer!

If you usually use American Express, bring an alternative because many Italian vendors won’t accept them. Visa and Mastercard are widely accepted by hotels, restaurants, and stores but bring cash for tips, accommodation tax, and other small purchases.

Just don’t carry too much cash – if you get pickpocketed, your travel insurance will only cover so much.

20. Learn Some Basic Italian Phrases When You Visit Italy

You likely already know a couple of Italian words, but these visiting Italy travel tips will clue you up on the basis so you can throw in the odd phrase when chatting to servers and locals:

  • Good morning – Buongiorno
  • Goodbye – Arrivederci
  • Informal Hi/Bye – Ciao
  • Please – Per favore
  • Thank you – Grazie
  • Excuse me – Mi scusi

Just as long as you don’t accidentally say gracias instead of grazie , you’ll be doing better than some! (I admit to making that mistake myself – as a French and Spanish speaker, the languages are so similar that my brain sometimes runs on autopilot.)

21. Dine Away from Piazzas and Eat Regional Italian Food

One of the simplest Italy travel tips is to avoid eating at restaurants in piazzas in big cities.

By all means, order a cocktail and enjoy people-watching. But you’ll find cheaper, better Italian food a block away down a side street or in a residential neighborhood.

22. You Won’t Find Spaghetti Bolognese on Italian Menus

There’s American food, there’s Italian food, and there’s Italian-American food. One of the mind-blowing things to know before traveling to Italy is that many dishes you think were invented in Italy weren’t.

Garlic bread is a type of bruschetta in Italy and not a common one. Bolognese sauce exists, but it’s not usually served with mincemeat like spaghetti bolognese.

And what about pepperoni? If you ask for that in Italy, don’t be surprised to find chopped bell peppers on your pizza.

23. Embrace Italian Culture and Dolce Far Niente

A key piece of advice on traveling to Italy is to just relax. The Italians have a saying, dolce far niente . It means the sweetness of doing nothing.

Leave some room in your trip itinerary to wander without looking at your Maps app or sip a cappuccino at a cafe without looking at your phone.

Essential Italy Travel Tips to Know Before Your Vacation

These travel tips for Italy will help you know what to expect from Italian menus, accommodations, locals, and more so you can feel confident and safe on vacation. Whether you’re hiking Cinque Terre at sunset or eating cannoli in Sicily, you’ll have the time of your life on your summer vacation, Italian style!

Don’t miss these additional resources as you plan your trip to Italy:

  • Renting a Car in Italy: La Dolce Vita on Four Wheels
  • How to Travel to Italy on a Budget
  • Where To Go In Italy With Kids [& Important Planning Tips]
  • Fall capsule wardrobe for travel: what to pack for Italy in October

The post 23 Must-Know Italy Travel Tips to Plan Your Dream Trip appeared first on The Family Voyage .

Planning a trip to Italy? Our list of Italy travel tips covers everything from must-visit attractions to practical advice for an amazing journey.

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Our Editors Are Jetting Off to Italy and Mexico This Summer, and They’re Packing These Breezy Dresses

T+L readers can get them on sale with our exclusive code.

vacation trip to italy

Travel + Leisure / Tyler Roeland

It’s only May, but I’m counting down the days until August when I travel to Italy for the second time. I’ve already started mentally planning the most important part — my outfits — and my colleagues who are also taking summer trips are doing the same. 

Beyond by Vera ’s latest collection is where we’ve collectively found bright and breathable dress options for our travel wardrobes. Each stunning piece features hand-drawn patterns by founder Vera Fritsch. The new Dolce Vita line was inspired by summers in Italy, and the prints pay homage to the country’s architecture, gardens, and Amalfi sunsets. Right now, you can use our exclusive code VERA25 for 25 percent off the collection through May 31. 

Keep scrolling to see our editors’ current favorite styles and the pieces still on their wishlists. 

Editor-Loved Dolce Vita Dresses

  • Louise Pienza Violet Dress , $239 (originally $318)
  • Louise Pienza Blue Dress , $239 (originally $318)
  • Lola Positano Blush Dress , $259 (originally $345)
  • Emily Campagna Blue Dress , $249 (originally $331)
  • Ines Tuscan Gardens Primrose Dress , $255 (originally $340)
  • Mia Assisi Indigo Dress , $239 (originally $318)

Louise Pienza Violet Dress

Beyond by Vera

Ali Faccenda, Shopping Writer: I've already begun gathering clothing options to pack for my Italian summer vacation that I can wear either sightseeing during the day, to nice dinners in the evening, or, in the best case scenario, both. This violet floral dress is the perfect midi length, has a comfortable neckline that’s flattering on my larger bust, and features a lightweight, breathable fabric to keep me cool in the hot sun. I'll be layering tan biker shorts underneath to prevent chafing. 

Louise Pienza Blue Dress

Ariel Scotti, Editorial Director: I'll be spending a week along the Amalfi Coast at the end of June, and this dress felt like the perfect complement to the region's deep blue sea and soaring temperatures. It's lined, so I don't have to worry about what undergarments I wear with it, but still lightweight and breezy for an Italian summer escape. The midi length is appropriate for touring Duomos and enjoying upscale dinners. Plus, the pattern reminds me of a ceramic bowl my grandma would fill with spaghetti on Sundays, giving me a total full-circle feeling.

Ines Tuscan Gardens Primrose Dress

Rachel Trujillo, Shopping Writer: I have two weddings in Mexico and one wedding in Southern California this year, so breezy, lightweight dresses that can be easily dressed up are on my shopping list. I was happy to find the solution in this A-line dress with delicate ruffled sleeves. Its light pink color with vibrant pink flowers and greenery is meant to mimic Tuscan gardens in bloom. I love that it will match both locations' floral, colorful backdrops, and the flowy silhouette makes it suitable for even the hottest days.

Lola Positano Blush Dress

Ali Faccenda, Shopping Writer: I gravitate toward anything ultra-flirty and frilly, and this V-neck midi checks all the boxes with its multi-wear sash. I love that the bow can be tied in the front as a focal point or in the back to accentuate the waistline. The pattern is also right on par with my Italian-inspired wardrobe since it's meant to be reminiscent of Positano's sorbet-colored beach umbrellas. The puff sleeves are also a fun structural touch that will certainly make it into my dinner outfit rotation when I head to Lake Como in August.

Emily Campagna Blue Dress

Ariel Scotti, Editorial Director: I've been filling my closet recently with summer-weight shirt dresses to wear to work over the next few months, and this one feels like the perfect combination of office-appropriate and hot weather-ready. I love the 3/4 sleeves that can easily be cuffed for my commute and rolled back down for cooler, air-conditioned indoor temperatures. It can also be dressed up with a simple pump or down with sneakers and a jean jacket.

Mia Assisi Indigo Dress

Rachel Trujillo, Shopping Writer: Since I have multiple weddings to attend this year, I’m filling my closet with versatile dresses that can be worn not only on the big day but for all of the events that go along with it, like showers and rehearsal dinners. This Mia dress from Beyond by Vera is the perfect solution to having pieces that can be worn casually or to a formal event, and the deep royal blue color will perfectly complement all of my upcoming travel locations.

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  17. 13 things to know before going to Italy

    If you are planning a road trip, make sure to book your car well in advance. 4. Card payments are now widely accepted, but carrying some cash is a good idea. For a long time, Italy has been a cash-first country. But in 2022, a new law introduced a fine for businesses not accepting card payments.

  18. 9 tips for beginners visiting Italy for the first time

    Sorrento, Italy at golden hour. (Photo by Francesco Riccardo Iacomino/Getty) When organizing a vacation to Italy, there are a few things you should know in order to have a safe and enjoyable getaway. First-time travelers take note: these are some of the things you consider for your Italian adventure.. 1. Figure out what kind of trip you want to have

  19. Italy Trip Planner

    Embark on a journey through Italy, a land rich with history and culture. Marvel at ancient Rome's iconic Colosseum and the Roman Forum, or navigate the romantic canals of Venice. Visit the Vatican City to witness Renaissance masterpieces, and explore Florence, where art permeates the air. From the bustling streets of Naples to the scenic Amalfi ...

  20. Italy

    Cars. Toronto, Ontario, Canada (YYZ) 03 May. 10 May. Economy. 2 Guest s ( 1 room ) Make way for an Italy holiday! With Air Canada Vacations, book hotels in Italy Find deals on Italy tour packages & flights from Canada Plan your trip to Italy today.

  21. 23 Must-Know Italy Travel Tips to Plan Your Dream Trip

    Both areas are worth visiting on your trip to Italy, but your style of travel and interests will dictate the best regions to visit. 2. Consider these Italian Destinations for Your Trip.

  22. Travel To Italy Like An Insider With The Best Local Experts

    For my recent trip to Turin, I called Imago Artis Travel, an Italy-based luxury travel specialist. They are what is known in the travel industry as a destination management company or DMC, the ...

  23. Explore 10 Best Places to Visit in Italy

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  24. He visited Italy for the first time and bought a house within 24 ...

    Millet says that he began planning to travel to Italy to buy a house back in 2019, but was thwarted by Covid-19. He finally managed to visit in 2022 after attending a friend's wedding in Ireland.

  25. Our Editors' Favorite Travel Dresses Are on Sale

    Beyond by Vera's new Dolce Vita dress collection includes our editors' favorite flowy styles for summer trips to Italy and Mexico. Shop the Italian-inspired line with our exclusive 25 percent ...

  26. Chinese Tourists Are Again Embracing International Travel

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