Italy

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Italy is a country as beautiful as the people are friendly and hospitable, and planning an Italy trip is easier than you might think.


Want to explore the scenic alpine lakes and craggy peaks of the Italian Dolomites or the canals of Venice, or maybe stroll the medieval Bologna porticoes or the aquamarine dream that is Capri? Wherever you go, remember that Italy is a never-ending bucket list and best savored slowly.

For foodies who love food and wine, you’ve come to the right place. Italy’s regional cuisines are as varied as they are delicious, and the wines are equally tempting. While Tuscany may grab the headlines, there’s so much good wine in Italy it’s a mistake to regard it as Italy’s sole wine producer. From tip to toe, there is always good food and wine to be had.

Dreaming of Italy? Start Here!


This Italy travel guide contains in-depth articles and regional guides, tips on how to slow travel Italy, local food guides, farm to table experiences, ideas for your first trip, and food and wine tour recommendations for your trip to Italy.


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Italy Food Travel



Can you think of a better reason to visit Italy than the food? Let your nose and appetite be the driving force behind your visit! Check out our most popular posts about food travel to Italy:

Traditional Italian Food: 25 Regional Must-Try Foods

Food in Bologna: 10 Must-Eat Foods

Where to Eat the Best Pizza in Naples

Make Your Own Homemade Limoncello

Where to Eat in Sorrento, Naples, Capri, & Amalfi Coast

Souvenirs to Bring Home for Foodies and Slow Travelers

Still not satisfied? Pop over to Italy Foodies for even more Italy food travel!

Lampredoto in Florence? Sí, per favore!

Lampredoto in Florence? Sí, per favore!

 

Best Time to Visit Italy

Is there really a bad time to visit Italy? We think not! But there are more ideal times to visit certain parts of Italy. For instance, if you want sunny weather along the Amalfi Coast or Capri, visit between May and September. What you might gain in fewer tourist crowds might also be lost with cloudy or foggy weather. It’s always a trade-off, depending on where you go in Italy.


In northern Italy, winter draws the skiers and snow bunnies, but it’s also gorgeous in the greener months of late Spring through October. Southern Italy is beautiful from early Spring through October but it can also get too hot for some travelers.

The best time of year to visit Italy is May through September. But our favorite time to visit Italy are the shoulder seasons of the Spring and Fall. Late April into May is a good time to avoid the tourists including Italian summer vacationers, and mid September into early October is a great time for beautiful weather and less crowds.

Heritage Travel to Italy

As second generation Italian-Americans, our family’s story began in Italy long ago and transcended continents from Naples, Italy to the USA. And while everyone’s story is unique, we’ve learned one thing about our Italy travels — if you feel drawn to Italy, there’s a reason for it, and you should go.

Our first trip back to our old country wasn’t quite what we expected, but over the years our love for Italy has only deepened, like any place you visit often. The honeymoon eventually ends, but only then do you see the beautiful reality with new eyes despite its flaws and imperfections.

Heritage travel to Italy is so popular, and there are many resources, podcasts, social media groups and other ways to learn more about your personal connection to Italy.

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Transportation in Italy

Getting around Italy is fairly easy, even for newbie travelers. Public transportation is excellent and reliable, and if you’re staying in major metro areas when you visit Italy, we suggest sticking to trains and local buses.

Train Travel in Italy

When it comes to traveling around Italy — and all of Europe — train travel is arguably one of the cheapest and most reliable ways to get around.

Unlike the United States where train travel became a thing of the past and many rail lines were torn up with the advent of 1960’s car travel, Europe never made that mistake. The network of train lines throughout Italy is extensive and you can get just about anywhere in the country with one or two tickets.

Taxis in Italy

Taxis in Italy are also good, however do a little research on the local taxi etiquette before you go.

  • In major cities like Rome, taxi fares are generally posted on the side of the taxi or on a street sign at the Taxi Stand.

  • In Italy, you don’t hail a taxi like you would in New York City. Taxis are ‘hired’ at the Taxi Stand, where drivers and riders line up in a queue and wait — one after the other — for a fare or the next available taxi. Step in, and off you go.

  • PLEASE DON’T TRY AND NEGOTIATE FARES by going from one taxi to the next. It’s not allowed, and you’ll just end up pissing off the drivers, and you really don’t want to do that!

Transfer Services

Transfer Services are also popular in Italy. This refers to a van service, limo or car that can pick you up at one location and transfer you to another. From airport and hotel pick-ups and drop-offs, or trips from one town to the next, transfers are a more convenient and luxurious way to travel between places, without the luxury price.

While they are more expensive than a taxi, you might be surprised at how affordable it is, especially for the convenience of having a knowledgable, English-speaking driver. Transfer services offer group rates (for vans) or private drivers, and some even offer tour services for day trips and excursions.

Driving in Italy? Make sure you read our Guides before you go.

Driving in Italy? Make sure you read our Guides before you go.

Driving in Italy

For the independent slow travelers and road trippers who want to check out the smaller, out of the way towns, driving in Italy is pretty straight-forward. Roads and highway systems are well marked, and in general, it’s not much different than driving around most places in the US. With a few exceptions:

  • In Italy, speed control is big. You’ll find more electronic speed-control devices marking your speed and less actual police cars on the road, but don’t think they’re not watching your speed. One year, we even got a ticket in the mail nearly a year after our visit!

  • Also, because it’s such a touristed country, historic centres in most major cities in Italy have ZTL zones, or restricted zones, where no cars are allowed. Even taxis aren’t allowed. It’s easy to overlook the signs until it’s too late, so if you’re planning on exploring the historic centres, park in a safe zone and walk.

Car Rentals

  • We highly recommend renting a car while you visit Italy. It’s as easy as renting a car here in the USA, and will give you the freedom to explore where you want in your own time.

  • Every major airport has car rental counters either in the terminal or just outside in a lot adjacent to the terminal. In some towns there are rental facilities located in the town, often at the train stations.

  • Even if only for a day or two, renting a car is a perfect way to maximize your time, experience the local culture, and visit places you would not otherwise get to see.


Italy Travel Essentials

Wherever we go, we always have a beaten up guidebook, local phrasebook, and weatherproof map in our backpacks.

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