Known for its beautiful cities, rich history, art, culture, and cuisine, Italy is a popular travel destination for tourists all around the globe.
Here are some things I let my clients know when traveling to Italy:
Citizens of many countries, including the US, Canada, and the UK, do not need a visa to travel to Italy for stays of up to 90 days. However, it’s important to check the visa requirements before planning your trip. Your advisor will be able to help you with the guidelines for your vacation.
Best time to visit
Italy can be visited year-round, but the best time to visit is during the shoulder seasons of April to June or September to November when the weather is mild, crowds are smaller and prices are lower.
Italian is the official language, but many Italians speak English, especially in tourist areas. The farther out you go, the less English will be spoken.
Italy has a well-developed transportation system with trains, buses, and taxis available in most cities. Trains are generally reliable and affordable, while taxis can be expensive, especially in tourist areas. Keep in mind when using the train give yourself plenty of time to navigate the station, especially if you are a first timer!
The official currency is the Euro. Credit cards are widely accepted, but it’s always a good idea to have some cash on hand for smaller transactions and the occasional tipping of drivers and tour guides. Pro Tip: get your Euros at an ATM, with your debit card. You will pay less fees.
Tipping is not mandatory in Italy, but it is common to leave a small tip for good service in restaurants or for taxi drivers. Be sure to check your receipt. If it says “ costo del servizio” they have already added the tip.
Italy is generally a safe country, but it’s important to take the usual precautions to protect your valuables and stay safe in crowded tourist areas.
Italians generally dress well, so it’s a good idea to dress wisely in public areas such as churches, museums, and restaurants. You want to avoid short above-knee skirts/shorts and sleeveless shirts in the churches. If you carry a scarf, you can easily put it over your shoulders.
Italian cuisine is famous worldwide for its pasta, pizza, and gelato. Make sure to try local specialties in different regions, as each region has its own unique cuisine. Pro Tip: when you see a beautiful set up of tables in the open piazza (square) turn down one of the side streets for the non touristy restaurants. You won’t get bad food, but who wants to eat where it says “American Breakfast”?
Italy is home to some of the most famous cultural sites in the world, including the Colosseum, the Vatican, and the Leaning Tower of Pisa. It’s a good idea to book tickets in advance to avoid long lines. If your advisor suggests “skip the line” tickets, especially in the summer, take them seriously. You can spend an hour waiting to purchase a ticket and another waiting in line to get in! This will save you valuable time on your vacation!
By keeping these things in mind, you can have a memorable and enjoyable trip to Italy.
I'm Kelly! I'm a travel advisor, and I'm an expert in all things Italy!
I’m a true travel lover with pins dropped all around the world. Whether you’re looking for an adventurous vacation or a relaxing retreat, I’d love to help you plan your next unforgettable voyage.