Italy

7 Thoughtful Travel Tips for Your First Trip to Italy

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Dive into these seven thoughtful tips for your next trip to Italy, courtesy of a local.

Italy…there’s so much to do, taste and experience that it’s hard to know where to begin.

There’s plenty to tempt you. The art, iconic architecture, landscapes, food, and above all the fact that Italians have mastered the lifestyle of la dolce fare niente– the sweetness of doing nothing.

If an inspirational trip to Italy is calling, then these thoughtful travel tips are for you!

7 Thoughtful Tips for Your First Trip to Italy

As one of the most visited countries in the world, Italy is clearly a dream vacation for many people.

Italy has something for everyone, tenfold over.

So naturally, everyone wants a few thoughtful travel tips to help them make the best of their time in Italy. Right?

Who wouldn’t want to know more about how to create more authentic travel experiences, explore like a local, or be interested in some must-know dining tips?

Knowing how to approach your travels can make a world of difference in helping you to engage, connect, and find meaning.

To be more mindful and ass you support your well-being.

And, when you know what to expect, the greater the chances of a successful trip that lives up to your expectations.


Tips For Your First Trip To Italy

Over my years of living in Italy, I have taken my fair share of day, weekend and extended trips.

And I’ve certainly learned a thing or two about the nuances of Italian life, how to really connect, & find joy in my travels.

So today I am sharing 7 travel thoughtful travel tips for your first, or even your fifth trip to Italy.

Here you’ll find no canned advice. Instead, I’m sharing some of what I’ve learned from living here.

These insights will help you to better plan & experience your travels, so you can make the most of every minute you have in Italy!


There’s A Lot Of Ground To Cover

The main problem for anyone planning a trip to Italy is that it’s downright impossible to see and do it all in one trip. Heck, one lifetime isn’t even enough!

Italy is huge. It takes time to travel from one place to the next.

The more time in transit, the less time to soak up la dolce vita!

So, give yourself the gift of a less-stressed vacation.

Pick fewer destinations to allow yourself to have deeper experiences in those places.

The less time checking in and out of hotels and catching trains, the more time to eat pasta and drink wine!


There’s More To Italy Than The Big Three

Venice. Florence. Rome.

There are iconic things to experience in all three of these culturally rich and spectacularly beautiful cities. There is no disputing their place on anyone’s bucket list.

But, sadly some travelers never make it past these popular destinations, affectionately known as the Big 3.

Outside of these popular cities, you will find longstanding traditions, local foods, and cultural nuances that are very different. And every bit worth exploring.

Even if it’s only an afternoon or day trip, go!

It will allow for a different perspective of Italian life, and you may even make your best memory along the way.

Why not spend an afternoon visiting an alpine hamlet, hike the Dolomites, or explore prosecco country.


Get Lost & Get Local

It goes without saying, that there is always something unexpected waiting off the beaten path.

Maybe one of the biggest advantages of going off the beaten path, or even veering away from high tourist areas is that peace and quiet awaits. I

Really, don’t most of us want even a little of that when we travel

The good news is you don’t have to go far beyond popular tourist spots to find something local and unexpected.

One turn off the main pedestrian path in Venice takes you to the heart of The Cannaregio neighborhood. It’s full of locals going about their daily life and it has fantastic places to eat and drink.

Or less than a ten-minute walk from The Ponte Vecchio in Florence is Giardino Bardini. Quieter and lesser-known than The Boboli Gardens, it offers a spectacular view of the city of Florence.

No matter where or when definitely take some time to get lost and get local, you won’t regret it!


Discover Daily Life

Italians have living and enjoying life down to an art form.

They always seem to find ways to stop and enjoy the small and intimate moments throughout the day.

The way two people will linger and chat on the street corner. Or old friends animatedly catching up over a glass of wine on a Sunday morning. And even Gondoliers belly up to the bar with a coffee in hand to chat with locals.

It must be engrained in their DNA, or at least in the national psyche.

There’s always time for talking, friendship, joking and laughter. People matter and Italians certainly know how to slow down and take the time to connect.


Slow Down

This is how to really experience the Italian way of life.

It could be that the best antidote to modern hurried life is the slower Italian lifestyle.

If you made it all the way to Italy, for goodness sake take the time to enjoy it!

Don’t let your travel be one exhausting race from one place to the next. Be flexible if something catches your eye and you want to stay and experience it more deeply.

Linger over a glass of wine. Or take a leisurely evening passeggiata (stroll).

Take your time, and really enjoy the experience. Use all of your senses to be in the moment and relish in your tech-free adventures. You’ll experience more mindful travel, and your mind & body will thank you.


Have Food Experiences

We all know Italian cuisine is second to none. The simple ingredients and authentic recipes wow everyone.

But here’s the real secret. Food in Italy is every bit about the experience as what’s on the plate.

Eating in Italy is about family, friends, communing, relaxing, enjoying, and celebrating. It’s so much more than food, it’s an activity of leisure.

So make sure you let it be just that when you visit. Enjoy the ambiance, the atmosphere and the joy of the experience.

These are the memories you will take home with you.


Plan Nature Time

Did you know that Italy has 24 national parks, more than 450 islands, 1500 plus lakes, over 4,700 miles of coastline and the Dolomites!

Saying there is plenty to do in nature may be a bit of an understatement.

Alpine Lake in Barcis Italy

As attractive as the Italian cities are, the landscapes are every bit as impressive.

In fact, my friends & family are consistently surprised at the amazing nature opportunities. Whether it’s well-known places like Cortina and Lago di Sorapis, or the unknown ones right out my back door, in off the beaten path region of Friuli.

Nature is worth adding into any itinerary, year-round. The Dolomites are majestic in snow. The coastline is glorious in the warm summer wind. And the lakes are romantic and ethereal, any day of the year

They’re all opportunities for mindful travel, no matter the weather. Perfect spots for a little self-care.


I hope these insightful and thoughtful travel tips will help you better enjoy your Italian travels.

Additionally, you can find even more ideas to help you explore Bella Italia in The T & I Italy Travel Guide.

Buon viaggio!

until the next time…
…live well – travel well – be well

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teacher, photographer, traveler, & coffee lover who calls italy home

Welcome to T & I! 
I'm Deanna, Your
Guide to Travels That
Inspire Well-Being...

Wellness is my path & passion. Integrating my experiences in Education & Sports Medicine, with my love of travel, I created T & I to champion adventures that enrich the mind, body, & spirit. It's a space of empowerment, inspiration, & well-being. Join me on the journey...

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