With its delectable food, scenic countryside and irresistible wines, Italy is the kind of destination where travelers return to over and over again. The awe inspiring art, the mesmerizing architecture and the historic ruins make Italy one of the most enticing countries of Europe. Our Italy travel guide is designed to help you plan the perfect trip to Italy. Your vacation in Italy will take you to some of the world’s most iconic sights – the Colosseum of Rome, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the decaying canals of Venice and many more. Beyond the history-filled sights, you’ll enjoy the rich culture of Italy, its lively cities and the world famous cuisine it has in store for you. However, Italy is best enjoyed at a slower pace. So remember to relax and come back again and again to truly enjoy the beauty and the laid back attitude of this beautiful country.
Languages spoken: Italian, English (34%), French (16%), Spanish (11%), German (5%)
Currency: Euro (€)
Best time to go: April to late June, Mid-September to October
Main concern for travelers: Nothing really, however beware of high crime rate while in Naples
Rome, the capital of Italy, needs no introduction. This historic city was the heart and soul of the Roman Empire. It’s an obvious inclusion in any Italy travel guide. You’ll find a lot of Roman historic monuments and buildings like the ever so famous Colosseum, Pantheon, Forum and many more. Explore the Vatican and get awed by the grandeur of the Sistine Chapel. Enjoy romantic walks through the floodlit-fountain squares, and indulge in the charm of this beautiful city.
Venice, one of the most romantic and popular cities in the world, will welcome you with its network of canals and winding streets. This beautiful Italian city is full of fun, and a really great place to get lost in. Although a trip to Venice can be quite expensive, still a huge number of travelers from all over the world visit this pristine city every year. And if you are on a tight budget, our extensive Venice travel guide includes a number of tips and tricks to tick Venice off your bucket list without breaking the bank.
The Cinque Terre region sits on the West coast of Italy. It beautiful region consists of five picturesque hillside towns, which one must cover while on a trip to Italy. Your time in this area will be full of serenity. Walk down the lonely roads, explore the nature trails and roam around the vineyards to get a true feel of the beauty of Italy. The great hikes, the excellent seafood and the awesome local wine a must in our Italy travel guide.
The city of the lily, Florence, is the birthplace of Renaissance. This city changed the way we look at the world, and thus, it is a necessary recommendation in every Italy travel guides. Travelers from all over the world have been flocking over to Florence for centuries, to experience and get inspired from the phenomenal artworks and discoveries this city gave birth to. Visit this beautiful city in Italy’s Tuscany region for its museums and artworks. Along with the Uffizi Gallery, Michelangelo’s David and Brunelleschi’s dome-topped Duomo, you’ll also find the best gelato in Italy right here in Florence.
Another beautiful city from Tuscany is Pisa. The city is famous for the awe striking Leaning Tower. However, there’s much more to this beautiful city than just this world famous monument. You can enjoy a lot of outdoor activities, eat delicious food, enjoy the delectable local wine produced fresh in the Tuscany region and see the historic churches situated in the city.
Despite the high crime rate and muggings, Naples is a city which should be highly recommended in every Italy travel guide. The historic city of Naples sits quite close to few of Italy’s must visit spots like Pompeii, Capri and Sorrento, which makes this city a perfect lay over point to start exploring the region. The city has some beautiful museums, galleries, cathedrals and underground ruins for you to explore. Naples is also the birthplace of pizza, so be prepared to sample some delicious authentic pizzas while you’re here.
Considered one of the fashion and design capitals of the world, the city of Milan is one glamorous destination for your vacation in Italy. Although the city is supposedly favored for work and not pleasure, you won’t fully experience Italy if you haven’t been to Milan. Visit this glamorous city to bedazzle yourself with the style of this city, go for some serious shopping, roam around the flea markets and truly immerse yourself in the energy this lively city possesses.
When to Visit:
Late May to July and the Christmas holidays are the peak season in Italy. Hotel prices and airfare skyrockets during this time. Visiting Italy during the peak season ensures you to enjoy beautiful sunny weather. But you’ll also face lot of crowds and steep prices everywhere in go in Italy. That’s why in our Italy travel guide, we’ll suggest you to visit Italy during the spring and fall months. During April to May and Mid-September to October, the sun shines bright and the temperature is not too hot. But the rent of hotels and apartments in these months are quite low too. During winter prices of hotels and food can go down nearly 30% compared to peak season, except during the Christmas holidays. During July and August, you can visit Northern Italy. But visiting the islands at South Italy is not advisable, due to extremely hot and humid weather.
Money and Costs:
Staying in Italy is not that cheap. An average dorm bed will cost you about €20 – €35/night. If you want a private room to yourself in a hostel, prepare to pay about €60 – €130. One good thing is most the hostel rooms in Italy will include free WiFi. If you want a nicer room, then a room at a standard Hotel will cost anywhere between €110 – €200. A luxurious room at a 4 or 5 star property starts from €250. Airbnb will give you much better deals in Italy. You can find a private room around €30. Or you can also go for an entire apartment which generally starts from about €40/night.
Italy is famous for its cuisine. You’ll be spoilt with choices in terms of food while you spend your days in Italy. The good thing of having so many choices is, no matter how much budget you have, you can be sure to have delicious food for every meal. A simple meal of pasta or pizza will cost about €6- €12. A nice meal at an inexpensive restaurant will cost €15. A three course meal at a meal range restaurant will cost about €50 for two people. Do remember, at most restaurants there’s “coperto” (sit down fee) of €3. This is for the service and the bread at table. Dinner at a top tier restaurant with wine will cost over €150. Half liter draught beer will cost about €4.50. A bottle of mid-range local wine will cost upward of €5.
For local transports, a one way ticket will cost €1.50 for buses and subways. The best way to travel across Italy is through their huge network of trains. The faster trains cost between €35 – €65 per trip, whereas the slower trains cost about €6 – €25. There are a couple of cheap airline operators operating in Italy. Buses but between the cities of Italy as well. Buses cost nearly half the ticket prices of trains and take almost double the time. You can also use Uber in six cities in Italy, namely Florence, Genoa, Milan, Padua, Rome and Turin.
Most museums in Italy charge about €4 – €15 for entrance. For other historic places and attractions, expect to pay about €10 – €25. If you want to take a guide to know more about the history, that will cost extra. Booking multiple guided tours from the same company can entitle you to some discounts. If you want to do a lot of sightseeing, do opt for a city card. They will give you discounts to many of the museums, tours and attractions. If you want to go to a wine tour through a vineyard, be willing to spend about €60 – €75.
Approximate budget per day:
• Up to €100/day for backpackers with meals consisting of pasta or pizza and some sightseeing.
• €150 – €250/day including meals at decent restaurants and entrance to most sites and museums.
• Over €300/day including meals at high end restaurants, sightseeing, wine tours and private cooking classes.
Budget Tips for Backpackers:
1. Buy bottles of wine and beers from local shops. The prices will be much lesser than buying from a bar.
2. Eating Paninis and pizzas instead of a whole meal will save you a lot of money.
3. Ask for tap water when you are having a meal at a restaurant.
4. Get a city card to enjoy discounts on entry fees to the top museums and attractions.
5. Take the slower trains to save a lot in travelling costs.
6. Use rideshare services like BlaBlaCar or Uber pool in the cities.
7. Couchsurfing is a great option to avoid the huge accommodation costs of Italy.
Must See Attractions and Must Do Activities in Italy:
It’s the most obvious must do activity in any Italy travel guide. Rome, with its ancient history and wonderful architectures, deserves a lot of exploration. From Colosseum to Pantheon, from the Forum to the Vatican City, Rome is filled with historic sights and monuments worth visiting. Do visit the Vatican Museums while you’re here. The Trastevere student neighborhood is a great place for backpackers offering cheap food and great bars.
Enjoy the canals in Venice:
One cannot come to Italy and not visit the most romantic city of this beautiful country. Have a leisurely gondola ride through the canals of Venice, walk down the winding streets and enjoy a romantic candle light dinner with your loved one. For couples of any age, Venice is a must visit in our Italy travel guide.
Experience the tragic history of Pompeii while you are in this ancient city. The city got destroyed in 79 A.D. due to an explosion of a nearby volcano, the now infamous Mount Vesuvius. The destroyed city was preserved under tons of ashes and magma, until it was finally rediscovered in 1748 A.D. Walk through the streets of the city as it stood on that day. You can also visit the lesser known Herculaneum, another city which got destroyed the same day.
The leaning tower of Pisa:
Taking a photo in front of the leaning tower of Pisa is a must to activity in each and every Italy travel guide. Although the city is known to be touristy, still a trip to Italy cannot be complete without a photo n front of this iconic monument.
Not visiting the birthplace of renaissance while on a vacation in Italy should be considered a crime. Explore the grandiose museums, the awe-striking artworks, the ancient buildings and the beautiful streets. On top of all the art and architecture, the food and gelato of this beautiful city is to die for.
See the trulli of Alberobello:
This small town of Southern Italy has been declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of the ancient structure of the houses of this city. These houses are called trulli. The roofs are made from limestone conical structures by following a pre-historic technique called corbelling. The trulli has a really unique shape and architecture, which makes them a must see attraction in our Italy travel guide.
Eat a pizza in Naples:
Naples, being the birthplace of pizza, serves the most authentic piece of pizza you can ever have in your life. You must have a slice you pizza in Naples if you really want to have a truly authentic Italian vacation.
Experience the cuisine of Sicily:
The island of Sicily has a completely unique cuisine of its own. If you are a food lover, then a meal in Sicily should be a must in your Italy travel guide. With its coastal beaches, beautiful seafood, mouthwatering desserts and full bodied wine, Sicily will give you a gastronomical experience in Italy which you wouldn’t want to miss.
Go on a wine tour:
Along with its food, Italy is equally famous for its beautiful wines. From Chianti to Sicily, from Lazio to Piedmont – there are over 20 wine regions spread across Northern to Southern Italy. That is why an Italy travel guide cannot be complete without suggesting a wine tour while you’re in this country. Have your pick and take a tour through the beautiful vineyards. You’ll also get to enjoy various wines produced in the winery.