Does a trip to Italy feature in your travel plans this year? Are you feeling a little nervous about your upcoming trip? Italy is one of the world’s most popular destinations, and people come from all over the world to experience what it has to offer. The food is amazing, the people very welcoming, and there are some fantastic sites to see. To make the most of your trip, you’ll have to do some careful planning. Here are ten tips to help you get the most out of your Italian adventure.
1. How to Get There
It’s possible to fly to Italy direct from most countries in the world. The most popular airport for tourists is Rome Fiumicino (Leonardo da Vinci) international airport. Milan and Venice also have airports that can be used if you’re flying from most major hubs around the world. If you’re travelling from within Europe why not consider arriving by train or by bus if you’re on a tight budget?
2. Where to Stay?
Choosing where you’re going to stay is an essential part of the planning process. Italy provides all visitors with a good selection of types of accommodation. There is the usual range of hotels and bed-and-breakfast accommodation as well as apartment and Italy villa holidays. The last option is the perfect choice if you want to enjoy a spot of luxury, experience the local culture and have somewhere you can call home to come back to after you’ve done some exploring.
3. Passports and Visas
If you’re a citizen of the US, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand, you won’t need a visa for a stay of up to 90 days within a 180-day period. EU and UK citizens can travel with photo identification. All other nationalities will need to check an immigration website for the latest information relating to visa requirements.
4. Where to Go?
One of the hardest parts of any travel planning is deciding where to go. There are so many options in Italy that you might find it all confusing. If you’re visiting for a short time, you’re better off choosing one destination, such as a major city, Tuscany or the Amalfi Coast. If you’re planning on staying for between a week and ten days, you need to decide whether you’re going to the north or south and choose up to three locations. For more extended visits, you’ll be able to see much more of the country.
5. How to Get Around Italy
If you want to do some exploring the best way to get around the country is by train, especially if you want to travel between major towns and cities. For exploring the countryside and places a little more off the beaten track you should consider renting a car. When travelling by train, you can expect a fast and efficient service. It’s possible to save money by booking in advance, and for certain high-speed intercity journeys, it’s essential. Bookings can be made directly with the operators or by using ItaliaRail.
Renting a car is an affordable option, especially if you want to see a little more of the countryside. An International Drivers Permit is required, and this has to be arranged in your home country before you travel.
For extra long journeys, there’s also the option of internal flights, especially if you want to visit the islands of Sicily or Sardinia.
6. Tours and Attractions
Rome, Florence, and Venice are some of the busiest tourist locations in the world. If you want to visit any of their famous attractions, such as the Colosseum, Vatican Museums, Uffizi Gallery and Doge’s Palace be prepared for a long wait in the queue for tickets. It is possible to skip the line by pre-booking in advance. There are official booking sites and approved ticket partners, so you should have no problem getting what you want.
7. Money and Budget
In Italy, they use the Euro, but you don’t need to worry about carrying lots of cash because credit and debit cards are widely accepted. If you use your cards for withdrawing cash from ATMs be wary of foreign currency charges and ATM withdrawal fees.
8. Packing for Your Trip
What to pack really depends on when you’re planning to visit and where you’re going to be visiting. However, as a general rule of thumb you’ll need a camera for taking your holiday snaps, a power cube so you can keep your devices fully charged, and a converter because the plugs are going to be different from the ones you’re used to using. You should also take a collapsible water bottle so you can stay hydrated without having to add to the plastic waste mountain by buying bottled water.
9. Travelling with Kids
Italy is a great place to visit if you’re holidaying with family because children are welcome wherever you go. There’s so much for them to enjoy and experience that there’s no reason to even consider leaving them at home. Children under four ride free on trains and for those under 15 prices are reduced.
10. The Best Time to Go
As Italy is a European country, you can expect some seasonal variations in the weather, although they shouldn’t be too extreme. Peak times to visit are between May and September, as this is usually when the weather is the warmest. There are winter ski resorts that are open in the northern alpine regions. The best time to visit depends on what you’re looking for.
If you’re looking to travel during the school holidays, you could opt for one of the family ski holidays that are available; giving you the chance to take to the beautiful slopes of Italy with all of your loved ones in tow.
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With your planning well underway all you’ve got to do now is sit back and count the days until you leave for your Italian adventure. One thing’s for sure, you’ll be very disappointed when your holiday is over, and it’ll be a struggle not to start planning your next visit as soon as you get home. The undeniable charm this country has with its irresistible food, amazing architecture, and diverse scenery make it somewhere packed with so many possibilities.