If you’re looking to plan the trip of a lifetime, look no further than Italy. From its stunningly beautiful countryside and awe-inspiring historical Italian landmarks to its delicious food and wine, there’s something for everyone in Italy. Here are some helpful tips on how to easily plan a trip to Italy.
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13+ Helpful tips on how to plan a trip to Italy
These tips on how to plan a trip to Italy will help make your planning process much easier so that you can focus on enjoying your dream vacation! By following these simple tips, you’ll be able to avoid any stressful surprises and have everything organized well before you leave home. Let’s take a look at some of the most important ones now.
Choose when to go to Italy – Weather in Italy
Traveling to Italy during each season has its own unique benefits and drawbacks. Here’s a look at what you can expect during each season:
- Spring in Italy brings warmer weather and blooming flowers, making it a popular time to visit. However, it can also be busy with tourists.
- Summer in Italy is hot and dry, with temperatures often reaching over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. However, this is also when many tourist attractions have their busiest seasons. It can be quite crowded and no way to escape the heat.
- Fall in Italy brings milder weather and beautiful fall colors, making it a popular time to visit. Some tourist attractions may be less busy during this time, but restaurants and hotels may be more expensive.
- Winter in Italy is cold and rainy, but there are still many things to do in the country. Many restaurants and hotels offer discounts during this time, and some tourist attractions are less busy. Depending on the location, this can be a miserable time to visit certain parts of Italy with heavy rains and flooding.
There is no one perfect time to travel to Italy, as the country offers something special during each season. However, depending on what you’re looking for, some seasons may be better than others. This truly depends on you. However, I do find the weather in the fall and spring to be much more temperament. So if you are affected by extreme weather like the cold and heat, spring and fall are good times to visit Italy.
Make sure you have the correct visas and passports for Italy
Before you can plan a trip to Italy, you need to make sure that you have the correct visas and passports. Depending on the country you are coming from, you may not need a visa and may be able to enter Italy and stay for up to 90 days within a 180 day period.
Make sure your passport is valid up to 6 months prior to traveling to any country abroad.
There are a few different ways to find out which visas and passports you need for Italy:
- Check the Italian Embassy website – The Italian Embassy website will list all of the visa and passport requirements for travel to Italy.
- Check with your travel agent – Your travel agent should be able to help you determine which visas and passports you need for your trip to Italy.
- Contact the Italian consulate in your area – The Italian consulate can also help determine which visas and passports are required for travel to Italy. It’s important to note that citizens of the United States, Canada, and Australia do not need a visa for stays in Italy of up to 90 days. All travelers to Italy must have a passport that is valid for at least three months beyond the period of stay.
How to get to Italy – Book your flights and hotels early
How to get to Italy by plane
Getting to Italy by plane is the most popular and quickest way to travel. Major airlines such as Delta, American Airlines, United Airlines, British Airways, and Air France all have flights to various cities in Italy. You can find flight deals online, or book through your travel agent.
When flying into Italy, you will most likely fly into one of these airports:
- Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport (FCO) – Located in Rome and is the largest airport in Italy. This is where most international flights arrive.
- Ciampino Airport (CIA) – Also located in Rome, but mainly services domestic and budget flights.
- Milano Malpensa Airport (MXP) – Milan’s main airport and a hub for many European airlines.
- Venice Marco Polo Airport (VCE) – The main airport for Venice and the surrounding area.
- Olbia Costa Smeralda Airport (OLB) – Serves the island of Sardinia and is mainly used by low-cost carriers.
- Catania–Fontanarossa Airport (CTA) – Serving Sicily, this airport has recently seen an increase in international traffic.
Where to book your Flights to Italy
Once you know which airport you will be flying into, the next step is to book your flight. There are many websites and travel agents that can help you find a flight to Italy. Some popular websites include:
- Google Flights
How to get to Italy by train
Trains are a common way to get around Italy once you’re there. The Italian rail system, Trenitalia, offers both high-speed and overnight trains that connect most major cities in Italy. You can buy tickets online, at a train station, or through your travel agent.
If you’re planning on taking multiple trains during your trip, consider buying a rail pass. Trenitalia offers several different rail passes that can save you money on train travel.
How to get to Italy by Bus
Another option for getting around Italy is by bus. Eurolines, a network of European coach companies, offers service to Italy from various cities in Europe. Tickets can be bought online or through your travel agent.
Flixbus is another option for bus travel to and within Italy. This German company offers cheap fares and an extensive network of routes throughout Italy.
How to get to Italy by car
If you’re planning on renting a car during your trip, keep in mind that Italian drivers are known for being aggressive. If you plan on driving, be sure to brush up on your Italian driving skills and rules of the road.
Accommodations in Italy – Where and when to book hotels
When booking hotels in Italy, there are a few things to keep in mind.
Be sure to book early. Hotels in popular tourist destinations can fill up quickly, especially during the summer months. There are many different types of hotels in Italy, and each one has its own advantages and disadvantages. Some popular hotel categories include:
- Boutique hotels: These small, independent hotels often have a unique style and offer personalized service.
- Luxury hotels: These high-end hotels offer luxurious accommodations and amenities.
- Hotel chains: Major hotel chains such as Marriott, Hilton, and Hyatt have properties throughout Italy.
Consider the European Union’s “Value-Added Tax” or “VAT.” This tax is added to the cost of all goods and services in Europe, and is currently at a rate of 22%. When booking a hotel in Italy, be sure to factor in the cost of VAT. This is oftentimes paid directly at the hotel.
Italy also requires all passport/ID information for people staying within their hotels. Hotels and accommodations have to report to the Italian government who is staying with them.
How to book a hotel in Italy
There are many ways to book a hotel in Italy. You can book online through a website or travel agent, or you can call the hotel directly.
Some popular websites that offer hotel bookings in Italy include:
Pick your destination(s) within Italy wisely – Italy Itineraries and Italy Trip Planning
When planning a trip to Italy, it’s important to choose your destinations wisely. There are so many amazing places to visit in Italy, it can be hard to decide where to go.
To help you plan your trip, here is a list of some popular destinations in Italy, along with tips on how to plan your trip.
- Rome – The capital of Italy and home to many of its most famous landmarks, including the Colosseum, the Pantheon, and St. Peter’s Basilica.
- Naples – A port city in southern Italy known for its vibrant culture and tasty food.
- Venice – A city built on water located in northeastern Italy. Venice is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country.
- Florence – The birthplace of the Renaissance located in central Italy. Florence is world-renowned for its art and architecture.
- Milan – A cosmopolitan city located in northern Italy. Milan is known for its fashion, design, and cuisine.
- Amalfi Coast – A stretch of coastline located in southern Italy. The Amalfi Coast is known for its dramatic cliffs, picturesque towns, and clear blue waters.
- Cinque Terre – A group of five small villages located in northwestern Italy. Cinque Terre is a popular destination for hiking and enjoying the breathtaking views.
- Tuscany – A region located in central Italy. Tuscany is known for its rolling hills, vineyards, and medieval villages.
- Sicily – The largest island in the Mediterranean Sea located off the southern coast of Italy. Sicily is known for its stunning beaches, Greek ruins, and active volcanoes.
- Dolmites – A group of mountains located in northeastern Italy. The Dolomites are known for their dramatic peaks and stunning scenery.
If you are looking to take advantage of the most during a 10 day Italy Itinerary, then you need to read this post. I’ve conquered most of Italy within 10 days and it’s the perfect itinerary for those you want to see the most.
Italy is a large country with a lot to offer tourists. When planning your trip, be sure to choose your destinations wisely and plan ahead to make the most of your time in Italy.
Rent a car or take public transportation between destinations – Booking Transportation in Italy
There are many ways to travel from city to city within Italy. Most people will travel via train from city to city. Here are some ways to get to some of the popular cities.
How to travel from Rome to Naples:
To travel from Rome to Naples, you can take a bus, train, or car. The fastest way is by car, which takes about 2 hours. Trains are a bit slower, taking about 2 and a half hours, and buses can take up to 4 hours.
How to travel from Rome to Venice:
To travel from Rome to Venice, you can take a bus, train, or plane. The fastest way is by plane, which takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Trains are a bit slower, taking about 3 and a half hours, and buses can take up to 7 hours.
How to travel from Rome to Florence:
To travel from Rome to Florence, you can take a bus or train. The fastest way is by train, which takes about 2 hours. Buses can take up to 4 and a half hours.
How to travel from Milan to Venice:
To travel from Milan to Venice you can take a bus or train. The fastest way is by train which takes just under 3 hours. Buses can take up to 7 hours.
How to travel from Florence to Cinque Terre:
To travel from Florence to Cinque Terre, you can take a train. The journey takes about 2 and a half hours by train.
How to travel from Cinque Terre to Venice:
To travel from Cinque Terre to Venice, you can take a train. The journey takes about 3 hours by train.
How to travel from Naples to Amalfi Coast:
To travel from Naples to Amalfi Coast, you can take a bus or car. The journey takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes by car. Buses can take up to 2 hours. You can easy book a tour here to save time and money.
How to travel from Florence to Tuscany:
There is no direct transportation from Florence to Tuscany, so you will need to take a bus or car. The journey takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes by car. Buses can take up to 2 hours. You can book a tour here to save time and money.
As you can see, there are several options for transportation in Italy. To get around the country, you can take a bus, train, or plane. For shorter distances, you can also rent a car. Be sure to plan ahead and book your transportation in advance to avoid any delays or problems during your trip.
This is a great tool for planning your trip in Italy. You just put in the locations you want to visit and this program finds the best route for all the locations, it will also highlight the tourist locations for each city.
This is a great resource to get cheap flights to any location. Skyscanner will do all the work and research for you when it comes to booking your flight and will help you find the cheapest available.
This will get you into one or two museums depending on which pass you choose to get and will also let you travel on the public transportation during the time frame your pass allows. 1-2 day passes are available. This will help avoid the long lines to pay for tickets/passes to get into the museums. You can get one here.
Rick Steve’s Italy, Rick Steve’s Rome, and Lonely Planet’s Italy
These are a few of my favorite travel books. I have tried to get the e-books, however, it is not the same as having the regular books on hand or even the pocket books. The e-books take too much time trying to search for something, while I can easily just flip through this, flag the pages I want and more. These are must haves for a new travel.
Need to brush on up a language before your trip? Forget Rosetta Stone, this free app has the most common languages to learn and is excellent to help you get by in traveling. Most countries speak English, however, if you want to fit in or need help in those smaller towns, this can be very helpful
This is a must have for any international travel. I thankfully don’t have to use this too frequently, because many of the countries I have traveled to I have been more than once and already know the current conversion amount. But this is still good to have especially if you are new to international travel.
This an excellent resource for a packing list on your phone. You can edit this one to your liking but can help you plan the perfect trip and not forget what you need. You pretty much include what you need to add to your list of things you will be doing on the trip such as the beach, hiking, etc and it combines a list of items you will need for that trip.
Rome (actually all of Europe and Asia) has an excellent public transportation system. This app will help you find where you need to get to through public transportation.
If you aren’t taking public transportation or you need to get to a location that the public transportation can not get you to, Uber is an excellent resource. It is like a taxi service and can be fairly cheap in comparison.
Drink in Italy
Water in Italy can be very expensive, so this app is very helpful in finding areas where there are water fountains. When planning your trip to Italy, bring a water bottle from home (which is also great to fill up in the airports as well) or purchase a water bottle and refill it.
Pacsafe Luggage Metrosafe 200 GII Shoulder Bag
While I was reading into information regarding traveling in Italy, I heard there is a lot of pick-pocketing and theft that occurs in the major cities in Italy. Most people will tell you that you need to have an over-the-shoulder/messenger bag. I chose this one because there are many great features to this bag. First of all, this is a splashproof bag so that means someone can’t just easily cut through your bag to steal your items. Second, this bag also has additional securities for your zippers that clip your zippers together which allows for harder access for pickpocketers. Third, there is a pocket that is RFID protected which can protect your credit cards and passport information. You can get one here.
TSA approved lock
As stated above, there is a lot of theft in Italy, so a TSA-approved lock is great to keep your baggage safe. Make sure they have the symbol on them, otherwise, if TSA is unable to get into your bag when doing checks, your lock may be cut off.
As I have mentioned in my previous packing blog post, I swear my Eagle Creek Packing cubes, however, any packing cube could work. Packing cubes help keep your clothes organized and easy to find. A more affordable option may be to use gallon size bags and roll your clothes to fit inside each.