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Italy really is a feast for the senses. Browse our posts to discover how to experience the best of Italy’s attractions, sample authentic regional dishes, choose the best food walking tours and find cooking classes where you can learn how to create fresh tagliatelle for ragu alla bolognese and other local specialities.
Important Information About Italy
Known as the land of mouth-watering food, gorgeous landscapes, and rich history, Italy is one of the most sought-after destinations for every type of traveler.
From the foodie to the adventurous soul to the honeymooner, Italy has something for everyone.
Yes, Italy is known as a foodie’s paradise, but it holds many more secrets. Italy’s charms have made it a magnet for historical giants. In ancient times it was home to emperors like Julius Caesar, Nero, and Caligula; gladiators like Spartacus, and famous families such as the Borgias and Medicis.
In the 1400 and 1500s, it was the birthplace and the heart of the Renaissance, which brought forth artists like Leonard da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Donatello. Italy even inspired famous authors, like Hemingway who fell in love with the city of Stresa and based his novel A Farewell to Arms on his time spent there.
Even today, Italy continues to inspire travellers who come to enjoy its riches.
But Italy is so much more than history. From Venice in the north to the “heel of the boot” in Puglia, Italy’s stunning scenery includes bustling cities, rustic countrysides, gorgeous lake resorts, coastal beach towns and fascinating inland villages.
Each region has its own major attractions that offer different gastronomical pleasures, art, history, and architecture ready to be explored.
Italy is a destination you can enjoy over and over again, surprising you with every new visit.
Best Time To Visit
The best time to visit Italy is during the spring (March-May) and autumn (September-November) months. During this time temperatures are quite pleasant, however, the prices are lower and the crowds are not as big.
July and August are the peak tourism season months.
If you’re a wine lover, then early fall can be perfect for you as the grape harvest often occurs between September and October. There are also several fall wine festivals such as the Festival of San Martino ( patron saint of winemaking) well worth attending.
And if you want to visit the Dolomites, then the best time to visit largely depends on what you want to do. You can enjoy hikes in the fall or spring or skiing in the wintertime, it is a year-round destination.
Finally, before you book your tickets, be sure to check if any major local holidays fall on your travel dates. Local holidays can mean overbooked hotels, crowded spaces, or even closed shops and attractions.
One of the most wonderful things about Italy is that it has something to fit everyone’s budget.
If you want a 5-star luxury experience on Rome’s poshest streets, then there is a hotel for that.
But if you are looking to live like a local in a village in Puglia, then you can find that too.
Economical hotels or convent stays in the major cities in the 2 to 3-star range can start around $80 USD and go up from there, depending on location.
4-star and hotels located in downtown areas of major cities start at around $250 USD and go up from there.
A meal in Italy can be around $15 – $30 USD per person, and this price may be a little higher if you decide to add a bottle of wine.
The best way to get around in one of Italy’s cities is by foot. Try to choose a hotel that’s centrally located. You next best option is public transportation.
Public transportation in many Italian cities can cost as little as €1.50 per trip. Uber is legal but usually more expensive than taxis.
Trains between cities are also affordable and cost €35-65 per trip for the high-speed trains and €6-25 per trip for the slower regional trains.
- The best way to travel in between cities is by train. Italy has an extensive network of fast-speed inter-city trains and even regional services that connect larger cities with smaller towns. Remember to validate your ticket.
- Don’t just stick with pizza! Italy is divided into 20 regions, and each one has a specialty using local techniques and ingredients. Lombardy is famous for risotto, Puglia is known for Orecchiette pasta, Bologna has Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and Sicily is the home of cannoli.
- Italian meals are a marathon, not a sprint so don’t rush through them. Typical Italian meals include the following courses: antipasti, primi, secondi: the second course which is meat or fish, contorni: a side dish such as vegetables, salad, or french fries, Dolci, and caffè.
- It is not necessary to tip at restaurants, but if you want to leave something, leave a couple of euros for your server.
- Last but not least, give yourself time. Try not to pack in too much. Give yourself ample time to explore each city you visit.
What To Pack
If you are heading to Italy, then some key things that you should include in your luggage are:
- Safe, clean, and free drinking water is often available in town squares so bring a reusable water bottle.
- A few good outfits for fancier dinners out.
- There is a dress code for visiting churches in Italy. Shoulders and knees must be covered so bring a shawl and wear long pants or skirt.
- Many cities are known for their cobblestone streets so comfortable shoes are a must.
- The sun can get harsh, especially in the summer months so make sure to bring a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen.
- It can rain in the spring/autumn months and the nights can be a little cooler, so make sure to bring a jacket that also can protect you from the rain.
- Be sure you leave extra space in your luggage as you’ll probably be coming back with way more than you left with.
- A folding shopping bag.
- Voltage converter and plug adaptors.
- Travel money belt or other anti-theft travel accessory.
- Capital City: Rome
- Population: 60.36 million
- Currency: Euro
- Official Language(s): Italian
- Plugs & Electrical Information: types C, F, and L; L230V supply voltage and 50Hz.
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