Travel to Italy and you'll never be the same. Stroll the placid canals of Venice, live the dream in a Tuscany villa, or hike the UNESCO-recognized Cinque Terre. The famous boot-shaped country has something for everyone.
Italy has many beautiful and historic cities with good restaurants, shopping, and nightlife.
Traveling by train is the best way to visit Italian cities as driving and parking are difficult.
Each city has its own character and attractions so use this guide to find the top cities to visit on your travels to Italy.
The Southern European country is home to some of the world's best cuisine, architecture, fashion, art, and Mediterranean coastline. The language, people, and vino have inspired repeat visitors and dedicated Italophiles for centuries. That said, Italy is a complex country with its own set of customs and etiquette that are much different from what you might have seen or read in "Under the Tuscan Sun."
Whether you’re planning on cruising down the Amalfi Coast, touring cathedrals in Rome, visiting wineries in Florence, buying high fashion in Milan, swimming off the shores of Sicily, or scoping out celebrities in Lake Como, give yourself one extra day in Italy. Trust us, you’ll find more than enough to see and do with the extra 24 hours in one of the most enjoyable countries in Europe.
Don’t tip at restaurants. Tipping isn’t expected in restaurants, as servers are usually paid a fair salary and are often part of the family that owns the restaurant.
Public restrooms are plentiful. One thing we wish more cities would adopt is the convenient public restroom system found throughout Italy. For one euro, visitors can relieve themselves without having to pretend to be a customer at a restaurant.
The metro is complicated. Rome has had a metro since the ’50s and today three lines conveniently serve 73 stations. Many visitors save loads of money by staying at a more affordable hotel on the city’s exterior and taking the train into the center to see the sites.
No cappuccino allowed after breakfast. Italy has a lot of customs and thoughts around food. And one biggie is that cappuccino (or any coffee drink with milk) is for the morning only and never to be consumed after a meal.
Whether or not you agree with the Catholic Church’s politics, you’re going to have show respect if you want to visit the Vatican Museums, the Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Basilica, and the Vatican Gardens.
It’s easy to go to Italy and get distracted by the ancient ruins, shopping, and restaurants.
But it would be a big mistake to skip the art scene, both from the Renaissance and the present day. The Vatican houses over 100 art galleries (not to mention The Sistine Chapel ceiling, painted by Michelangelo).
Italy is divided into 20 regions, and each one specializes in something delicious using local techniques and ingredients.
This is a country where people have serious opinions about which pasta shape pairs best with which pasta sauce.
For the most authentic pizza experience, you’ll have to travel to the place where the margherita pie was invented: Naples. Lombardy is famous for risotto, Bologna has the best Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, Sicily is for cannoli, the Amalfi Coast is best for Limoncello, and Rome is known for carbonara. The food culture is one of Italy’s biggest draws and it’s meant to be both enjoyed and taken seriously.
Dinner starts at 7:30, or whenever.
The Italians don’t eat the evening meal as late as the Spanish, but it’s not unusual for restaurants to open a little later than what we’re used to in the United States.
Many restaurants (especially outside of tourist hot spots) don’t open until six or seven.
In many parts of the world, tourists are treated differently than locals.
If there are ways you can adopt the local customs, you’ll be able to have an authentic experience and have a better understanding of the culture.
Think of places that culture lovers enjoy most and where people dream to visit, and you I'll think about Italy!
It’s on the top of most people’s bucket lists and even those who have been to Italy dream of returning.
It’s easy to see why, Italy is beautiful and has it all including history, art, architecture, food and wine. Beyond checking off the major tourist sites like the Colosseum and the Leaning Tower of Pisa, people visit Italy to experience the Italian way of life.
With a unique set of customs, traveling in Italy is a much better experience when you have some knowledge and insights from a local.
Beauty, art, food, wine, ravishing landscapes, and fashion
Italy seems dedicated to enjoying the good life. But why restrict yourself to Rome, Venice, and Florence magnificent as they are when so many other fascinating towns beckon?
Bell'Italia! Italy has Europe's richest, craziest culture.
After all, this nation is the cradle of European civilization established by the Roman Empire and carried on by the Roman Catholic Church.
As you explore Italy, you'll stand face-to-face with some of the world's most iconic images from this 2,000-year history: Rome's ancient Colosseum and playful Trevi Fountain, Pisa's Leaning Tower, Florence's Renaissance masterpieces (Michelangelo's David and Botticelli's Venus), and the island city of elegant decay Venice.
Beyond these famous sights, though, Italy offers Europe's richest culture.
Traditions still live within a country that is vibrant and fully modern. Go with an eye open to both the Italy of the past and of the present.
Whether you are looking for history, architecture, stunning scenery, quaint little towns or good food – Italy has it all. It’s a perfect country to visit with kids too, as Italians just love the bambini. And the kids will fall for Italian gelato.
Italy is one of those countries that you can visit ten times and still have the feeling that you only scratched the surface. It’s one of our favourite countries in Europe, one we gladly return to.
Italy sights what to do and what to see in Italy
Italy's Big Three Travel Destinations
Everyone knows them: Rome, Venice and Florence. While you're in Florence, you'll want to make your way to other destinations in Tuscany. One of the big mistakes travelers make is to try to see this triumvirate in 10 days. While you can certainly travel to each of them within ten days, you won't really get to experience any of the depth of these diverse and interesting places. If you only have a very short time, I'd recommend a tour--one that whisks you from place to place efficiently.
You don't want to spend your time waiting for trains if you've only a short vacation. The fix is, of course, to ask for more vacation time. Even if you have to take it without pay, it'll cost you less to go once and see more than to go twice but see less each time. It's those fixed costs, the airline tickets and the jet lagged days lost, that get you in the end.
Italy is one of those countries about which you probably have quite a number of preconceptions before you have put one foot into the country. A country of olive oil and mafia, pasta, wine and sunshine, roman ruins and renaissance palaces, Italy has a lot to offer its visitors. Although some of these images are appealing, it would be a shame if that was the only thing you come away with.
Italy is certainly much more complex and interesting than that.
Italy is a modern country with deep Roman Catholic roots, full of interesting stuff for the casual tourist and even more for the educated visitor. It is easy to spend two weeks in major tourist centers without any reason to get bored, but it is equally simple to get off the beaten track.
In the north, next to the Alps and the flatlands of the Po river, both cultural jewels and highly developed industrial cities attract. This is where Italy's economic heart beats, but even in the bustling cities, people live the "la vita Italiana".
In Lombardia's capital Milan, city of haute couture and business, you can easily spend weeks without being bored. Bergamo is only an hour away and has an upper Old Town.
On every corner you will discover something new. The most famous tourist attractions in the north-east are Venice and Verona, that both let you think of romantic love affairs. To discover the beautiful landscapes around, for example, the Verona province may be even more fascinating.
- Italy Travel Essentials
- Italy City Distances Map
- Italy Geography and Basic Facts
- ATM Cards in Italy
- Eating in Italy
- Electricity in Italy
- Free Things to Do in Italy
- Avoiding Petty Theft in Italy
- Travel Packing Tips
- Italian Travel Glossary
- Sites and Museums to Book in Advance
Abruzzo Basilicata Calabria Campania Emilia-Romagna Friuli-Venezia Giulia Lazio (Latium) Liguria Lombardia (Lombardy) Marche Molise Piemonte (Piedmont) Puglia (Apulia) Sardegna (Sardinia) Sicilia (Sicily) Toscana (Tuscany) Trentino-Alto Adige Umbria Valle d`Aosta Veneto
BEST MAPS OF ITALIAN REGIONS & CITIES IN ITALY
Maps of Italy Google Maps ... http://maps.google.it/
Arcaini's Italy Map Click on any Region to navigate to an enlarged Page. Misc Locations. River Po · San Vito Chietino · Striano · Vittuone · Le Cinque Terre www.arcaini.com/ITALY/ItalianMaps/ItalyMap.html
italy map and map of italy information page
http://big-italy-map.co.uk/This is a map of Italy, showing all of the regions (or autonomous communities).
Useful Telephone Numbers
Emergency (English-speaking police): 113
Emergency (military police): 112
Medical Emergency: 118
Fire Emergency: 115
Road Service: 116
Directory Assistance (Italian-speaking automated voice): 12
Telephone Help: (English-speaking, free): 170
Selected travel guides to discover Italy - Tips On How To Travel Italy Like A Local...