Italy is one of the most sought after countries in Europe. The food, the wine, the culture, and the warm European vibe makes it pretty awesome.
The best time to go to Italy is from April to June or between September to October, when the weather is at its best and the crowds aren’t as bad. Peak season of travel in Italy is from May and June and can get very crowded.
Famous Destinations in italy
Naples – A beautiful city located amidst a stunning view of the sea. Part of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, this lovely city is the birth place of everyone’s favorite — pizza!
Florence – A home of iconic architectural structures and art. You’d be surprised at how many times Florence is mentioned in your art history classes.
Pisa – Home to the Leaning Tower of Pisa with a lot of beautiful history.
Venice – No doubt the most romantic city in the world. Famous celebrities (like George Clooney) get married in Venice.
Rome – The capital city of Italy is also a home to many iconic structures like the Colosseum and the Pantheon. You can literally find a breathtaking sight on every corner!
Milan – For those who love fashion, Milan is definitely the place to be.
Amalfi coast – A beautiful stretch of coastline along the southern edge of Italy’s Sorrentine Peninsula.
Getting Around Italy
Going to various cities in Italy is easy because of its extensive train network. There are many different kinds of high-speed trains. All you have to do is research. Visiting St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome and then the Milan Cathedral after is surprisingly very easy! Overnight trains are also an option if you are looking to save money from a hotel nights stay.
Traveling from Rome to Naples will take about 1 hour for high speed trains and traveling Milan to Rome is about 2 hours.
If you are looking for an excellent private driver experience I recommend Umberto and his team at Italy Driver.
How to Reach the Destination
Remember that Italy is a country composed of many interesting and historic cities. Popular cities such as Rome (Rome Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport), Milan (Milan Malpensa Airport), Venice (Venice Marco Polo Airport), and Bergamo (Bergamo Airport) have the busiest airports. However, going between these cities is easy with their extensive rail road system. Domestic flights are relatively cheap as well when traveling from one city to another.
Most tourists would rather hop on and off trains or airlines just to visit places of interest. This can be difficult but rewarding if you are on a tight schedule.
Do make your own reservations. Dining in Italy is a totally different experience. Italians take cooking very seriously and their food is considered some of the best in the world. Make sure to research what to eat and where to dine. Some restaurants, especially the famous ones or those who are Michelin starred, require advance reservations. Some museums require reservations too.
Don’t act reckless. Be aware of your surroundings at all times and don’t forget about your personal belongings while taking in the sights. Italy is a beautiful place but there are still a lot of skillful pick-pocketers around places frequented by tourists. Don’t get too drunk and irresponsible as you will be a likely target.
Don’t be surprised if some of the establishments are closed at noon. Europeans treasure their afternoon time very seriously. Siesta time or Reposo is practiced by most establishments and key places of interests in Italy – even churches. They allow an afternoon break for them to be able to relax or even take a nap. This could be hard to tourists who are on a tight schedule but it’s their culture and we should respect it.
Price Range for Hotels
Price range for hotels in Italy varies. If you are looking for comfort, then you can spend about €250, €500, and even higher on accommodations in some posh hotels. If you are looking for convenience because you are going to spend much of your time outside the hotel anyway then you can spend about €25 to €80 in budget hostels or dorms.
Cost of Meals
Meals in most tourist areas are expensive. A complete meal with wine (which is pretty common) is about €25. A simple meal however or fast food is around €5 to €7. Buying groceries and cooking your own meals would cost you about €9 or €10 a day or around €45 a week. This is the way to do it if you are on a budget and staying for close to a week. You could save a huge amount of money. Almost all restaurants have a €3 sit down fee or service charge.
Top Places to Visit
Get lost in the ruins
Take a step back in history when you visit Rome. With a breathtaking monument or structure on every corner, you may feel overwhelmed and short on time! Plan carefully. Vatican City is also close by and is home to thousands of artifacts from around the world. It’s also home to Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel.
Step into Venice’s cobblestone streets, wander around its old yet beautiful villages. Take a gondola ride through the majestic canals. Going to Venice is like traveling back in time when everything is a little less complicated. Venice also is host to a surprising amount of art galleries.
Wander through museums, visit the Cathedral, see Da Vinci’s Last Supper up close, and just walk round the E to shop. Milan is Italy’s fashion capital and it’s full of wonderful shops and sights.
Eat pizza in Naples
Naples is the place where pizza, spaghetti and parmigiana originated. Savor what Naples has to offer! After a good meal, slow down and relax amidst the stunning view of the Mediterranean Sea. Have more time? Cruise down the Amalfi coast and hit all the small coastal towns!
There are so many things to see and do in Florence. The architecture is wonderful, the museums among the world’s best, and the food…delicious! Florence is the birth place of the Renaissance period when everything from culture and the arts went through evolution. A visit to Florence would not be complete without climbing to the top of the Duomo, the city’s most famous landmark.
Go Hiking on Cinque Terre
Cinque Terra is a coastal region which is composed of five cliffside villages that would take your breath away but it might require a hike because it is not easy to get to. However, the view is rewarding. If you want to have an adventure while soul searching, Cinque Terra might be the perfect fit for you.
Visit Pompeii &
Herculaneum, just like Pompeii, was destroyed by Mt. Vesuvius eruption in AD 79. While Pompeii is the most famous one, Herculaneum is much more interesting because one can actually see how the ancient Romans once lived.
Visit Greek temples
The Greek temples at Paestum are largely intact. It’s relaxing to marvel at the beauty of the quiet surroundings while having coffee at one of the cafes nearby. It’s not easy to reach, but its a good place to get away because there aren’t as many tourists in the area. If you are a fan of mozzarella then be sure to try the buffalo mozzarella they are famous for in this region.