Every time we are planning our trip to a new place in Italy, we collect all the information which might be useful for us. For the past 7 years, we have read and written thousands of articles and would like to share them with you. We believe that here, on our portal, you will find all the travel information and tips and get inspired to visit Italy.
We’ve visited the majority of the main sightseeing attractions by ourselves and with local guides.
We’ve collected all our experience and are constantly publishing articles with up-to-date information on this portal. However, if you cannot find anything you need, you can always leave a comment and we will reply asap.
Options for your vacation in Italy
If you are planning your trip to Italy, note that this is an ideal country for every kind of vacation. You can go there to relax on a beach, or to hike, ski, or snowboard in the mountains or touch the history and see immortal pieces of art in museums and galleries. As you might notice there plenty of options, depending on your lifestyle and the amount of money you are ready to spend. Below, we shared useful tips and some general information you should know before starting to plan your trip to Italy.
So, there are 2 main options how you can travel around the country.
Tours are considered to be the cheapest and the easiest option. What you need to do is to come to an office of a travel company, choose the package, dates, and pay for the tour. The packages and prices vary from country to country and a travel company. In general, you take a plane on a set date, a guide meets you and 30-40 other tourists, and on a tourist bus, which will be your main vehicle for the next week or two, will bring you to the hotel.
By your own
The hardest thing is to decide what you really want to do in Italy. Beaches, mountains, museums… If you want to combine, then plan your trip around Italy for at least 2 weeks. You won’t be in a rush and will be able to enjoy yourself and take your time.
If you like history – come to Rome first; for beaches – go to Sardinia or Sicily, Dolomites (the Eastern Alps) – ideal for skiing, snowboarding and hiking.
Read more about:
What to see in Italy for the first time?
We highly recommend choosing Rome as the starting point of your journey, spending there at least 4 days. Keep in mind, that it is better to visit and see less, but in details rather than be in a rush, getting tired because of ‘too much’ of information and emotions. Then you can go to Florence or Bologna for a couple of days.
We always say that Rome should be the last city to visit in one’s life. After Rome, all the rest will seem to be ‘nothing special’ in terms of historical and cultural heritage. If you are interested in the history of the Ancient world, you will hardly find a more concentrated place anywhere in the world to explore it.
- Here is a detailed plan for your first trip.
Italy is 600 km wide from the South to the North, so the temperature varies, but still is warm enough. In Rome, for instance, there are a lot of sunny days even in winter, even in winter the temperature is up to +15 C during the day and +5C at night. You will hardly find snow here so it is more a miracle which happens once in a decade.
It is extremely hot in July and August. So, it is better to plan your walks early in the morning and late in the evening, while having a nap and relax during lunch time.
Besides, August is the month of vacations for Italians. The city is relatively empty and it is easier to book a hotel or a table in a restaurant. But whenever you come, you should not worry about the weather.
- Read more about: 7 Reasons why not to worry about weather in Rome
When is it better to come to Italy?
First of all, you should decide what you want to do and only then choose the time:
- If you prefer to lay on a beach, to sunbathe, and to swim, then come in July or August;
- If you want to combine beaches with some activities and to visit several places, feel free to come any time from June till October;
- Ski resorts are waiting for you from December till March;
- If your budget is limited, and the sea is not your priority, then come at the end of January or November. This period is the lowest tourist season in popular cities.
Do you need a visa to come to Italy?
Italy is a part of the Schengen zone. So, the rules are the same for each of the 27 countries of the European Union.
However, before planning your trip to Europe, please, double-check the information regarding visas with the Italian Embassy and official authorities.
Public transport in Italy
If you travel by car, keep in mind that it is prohibited to drive into the majority of the city centers. Only locals who live in these areas are allowed to do this. But do not worry, you will see special signs ZLT (Zona a traffico limitato), ‘Zone of limited traffic’. However, it is a good idea to rent a car to visit small towns and villages. Check the tips and routes at auto.italy4.me
Food in Italy
Before you come to Italy, you should know the following:
- Italians do eat croissants filled with pistachio, nutella, and other creams with espresso or cappuccino for breakfast. You won’t find eggs, porridge, and other substantial meals. So, if it is not your type of breakfast, then it is better to rent an apartment and cook by yourself. Tip: If you want to order coffee latte, then say ‘coffee latte’. As if saying ‘latte’ only, you will be served with hot milk with no coffee inside.
- Lunch – 12 p.m.- 2.30 p.m.
- Dinner – after 5 p.m.
Supermarkets and groceries are usually open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. However, small towns and villages might be closed earlier and closed on Sundays.
Currency in Italy
Euro is the official currency in Italy!
To change your currency like dollars, British pounds, wons, yuans, etc. Besides, it is quite hard to exchange money upon your arrival and even if you manage, get ready to loose around 40%.
If you are a resident of the EU, USA, Canada, or Australia, we highly recommend you to use Revolut service, as it really makes your life easier while traveling.
Guides and tours
There are a variety of tours in Italy and you will never get bored here. When we moved to Italy, we were constantly being asked about local guides. That is how we launched gid.italy4.me and started our search for the best talents.
There are several aggregator sites, where one can find cheaper tours, but the quality will be poor in most cases.
Everyone can register here and the only way to attract tourists due to high competence is with the price of tours, about 15-25 EUR per hour. We do not recommend using such an offer. Choose either professionals or do not use private tour option at all.
Besides, there are plenty of free-of-charge sightseeing attractions in Italy.
If you have any questions or doubts, don’t hesitate and leave comments and our team will be glad to give a piece of advice to you for free.
Mobile operators in Italy
A mobile connection with access to the Internet costs about 10 EUR per month and 10 EUR more for a sim card. You can buy it at the airport but keep in mind that you’ll pay much more there. Official stores can be found in cities.
However, if you already have an active European sim card, then you do not need to worry about it. There is no roaming within the European Union, and the price for calls, sms, and the Internet will be the same. But the data can be limited depending on your tariff. So always check the terms and conditions with your provider and read more about mobile Internet in Italy.