Italy Travel Guide

Italy from a local perspective! This guide highlights the insights gathered from my years of living in & traveling around the boot. Guaranteed to help you to make the most of your Italian adventures!

A trip to Italy is an investment in joy, inspiration & well-being. It's the ideal place for wellness travel.

Italy...

The home of The Coliseum, DaVinci, Armani, great works of art, stunning landscapes, passionate people who like to talk with their hands, vespas, pizza, gelato & wine. Lots of wine!

Italy is one of a kind. And here you will find amazing things on just about every corner.

But, make no mistake. A trip to Italy is not just about what you see or do, it’s about how Italy changes you. 

how to travel italy

RESEARCH

Making the most of a trip to Italy starts before you go. Be prepared so you can choose places & experiences that will bring you joy.

ENJOY

Slow down and enjoy the pace of Italian life. Revel in the in-between moments like savoring your morning espresso in an outdoor cafe.

SHARE

Extend the good feelings by sharing your memories with friends & family. Share that photo or facetime your sister from Rome!

Whether it is walking the ancient streets of Rome, driving the Tuscan countryside or eating a mouthwatering meal- Italy delights & inspires like no other.

With thousands of years of history & more UNESCO World Heritage Sites than just about any other country, it really is no wonder it’s one of the most visited places in the world.

Italy is the ideal place to explore like a local, create authentic experiences, & find unexpected surprises. So, go on & pack your bags! Italy is waiting for you.

The information & insights in this guide have been gathered over my years of living in and traveling across  Italy. I've certainly learned a thing or two, both the easy & the hard way!

So rest assured, these tips will save you time, energy, money and most likely a few headaches :) That way you can better focus on making the best of what Italy has to offer!

Essential Italy Travel Tips

ALWAYS carry cash, yes always! Some places still prefer cash to electronic payments, especially for small ticket items like coffee. ATM's are the most economical way to exchange money & are called Bancomats.

Sales tax is included in the advertised price. Oh, and tipping is not standard in restaurants & bars, as servers make a living wage without tips.

Pack clothes appropriate for churches. And bring comfortable shoes with traction as cobblestone streets and uneven walkways are common.

Seek out Tourist Information points for maps, tips and valuable local insights. You can find these in both big cites & small villages. My advice, ask them where they eat dinner!

Learn a few words of Italian before you go, it just makes life more fun. And in Italy, when all else fails, just use your hands to communicate.😂

Leave time to wander and get lost. Avoid the urge to over schedule the day, so you can truly experience La Dolce Vita.

What to know about

accommodation IN ITALY

First, know that Lodging costs can vary greatly due to the location and season.

Budget Accommodation (Hostels / shared rooms) run from 20-50 euro a night & private rooms are more

Mid-range lodging runs from about 40-100 euro a night per person

Convent & Monastery Guest Houses offer economical lodging across Italy

An Agriturismo stay is a local & authentic way to experience a working farm

Transportation in Italy

There are many transportation options in Italy & choices ultimately will depend on the destination.

Italy has an extensive train network, and tickets can be bought in advance on-line or the day of travel. It's an efficient way to get from city to city.

Public transport like buses and subways are reasonably priced & readily available in large cities.

Buses are a good option for getting from city to a city &/or village.

Car rental is a good option for seeing the countryside, mountains or coastline (rent a fun to drive & easy to park Fiat 500).

Taxis are found in large cities & usually hailed from a taxi stand.

Be sure to stamp & validate train, bus & boat tickets before you depart.

1. Museums & activities typically cost 10-20 euro

2. Wine & Food tours start around 50 euro (and worth every penny!)

3. There are often reduced fares for children, students, seniors and/or families

4. Guided & private tours will cost more

5. Passes can help to save money & are often possible for multiple attractions 

6. Book online to save time waiting in line (another it's so worth it!)  

7. Book directly with official websites to save third party fees

Attractions in Italy

Here are food tips to help you make the most of your culinary adventures.


1. There is a cover charge “Il Coperto” at restaurants, it includes bread & is typically 1-2 euro per person.


2. However, there is no coperto in the region of Lazio (where Rome is located) but you will pay for bread instead.


3. Tipping at restaurants is not standard, but you can if you wish.


4. Generally, avoid restaurants in touristy areas.


5. Drink coffee standing at the bar; sitting down may add a cover charge of 1-5 euro (depending on the locale).

Eating in Italy

Italian Wine 101:

1. Italian wines are made for Italian food, so what better place is there to be adventurous & try a new variety?


2. "Vino da Tavola or Vino della Casa" is house wine: inexpensive & local- it can be bought by the glass, quartino (1/4 liter in a carafe), mezzo (1/2 liter in a carafe) or litro (liter)


3. "IGT, DOC or DOCG" on the bottle label is a guarantee of authenticity & quality


4. To find the most varieties, head to an Enoteca (wine bar)


5. Try Prosecco. Once known as poor man's champagne, this sparkling wine is made for afternoon aperitivo.


Wine Basics

- debra Levinson

One of the great joys of traveling through Italy is discovering firsthand that it is, indeed, a dream destination.”

Wellness Travel in Italy

Walk: much of Italy can be discovered on foot

Active Pursuits: take in the beautiful scenery while hiking, swimming, skiing, etc.

Relaxation: hot springs, thermal parks & full-service spas are aplenty from north to south

Slow food: eating Slow Food supports local food cultures & traditions

Wine: get the health benefit of antioxidants & try one of the hundreds of varieties

Reflection: with an abundance of churches, museums & nature- take time for quiet contemplation

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