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Italy Travel Guide

Italy is a country that succeeds in pleasing everyone, from its impressive ancient ruins, culture and colourful cities to its spectacular landscapes. You could be enjoying pasta overlooking the rolling hills of Tuscany or admiring the glistening waters of the Amalfi Coast, but regardless of your unique travel dream, Italy will show you la dolce vita.

The Highlights

  • The Colosseum

    Otherwise known as the Flavian Amphitheatre, the Colosseum is in the centre of Rome, and the largest amphitheatre ever built. It’s famous for its impressive long-standing structure (completed in 80AD) and the gladiatorial contests and public spectacles that occurred within its grounds.

  • Leaning Tower of Pisa

    Much more than a simple tourist photo opportunity, the Leaning Tower of Pisa is a worthwhile visit. The bell tower took 199 years to be completed due to military battles, allowing the unstable foundation to set and keep the tower from toppling and therefore making it a huge attraction.

  • Lake Garda

    Lake Garda is a resort area with a sweeping lake - the largest in Italy - and dramatic mountain scenery. There are plenty of Roman ruins to be explored, as well as lakeside walks at Gardone Riviera, Toscolano and more. The southern part of the lake is slightly busier than to the north.

  • Amalfi Coast

    The Amalfi Coast is a 50km stretch of coastline, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A visit here will have you mesmerised by the lemon groves, rugged cliffs and pastel-coloured villages. Main sites include the Cinque Terre and Sorrento.

  • Blue Grotto, Capri

    The Blue Grotto is a cave on the island of Capri in southern Italy. Sunlight enters the cave through an underground chamber that illuminates the cavern in a vivid blue hue. When the water is calm, tours on rowboats can take you into the grotto to witness the spectacle.

  • Pompeii

    Home to Europe’s most intriguing archaeological site, the ruins of Pompeii near Naples are haunting yet fascinating. Walk around the ancient town once buried under 4-6m of volcanic ash from the looming Mt Vesuvius.

The Basics

When to Visit

when to visit
  1. Peak Season

    June to August

    During the peak season, Italy comes alive and will see a large influx of visitors across the country. Locals will also be taking their holidays at this time – so prepare for greater crowds and slightly higher prices. The weather will be hot with average highs of 25-33°C. For visitors planning to explore the many beaches in Italy, you can enjoy ideal swimming conditions and warm water. During this time, you can join the locals in celebrating the national Italian holiday Festa Della Repubblica at the start of June. While you’re there, watch the fireworks in August while you partake in Ferragosto, another one of Italy’s biggest celebrations.

  2. Low Season

    November to March

    In the north of Italy, there is a much higher chance of snow and it can be quite cool. This is also when the ski season starts in the Italian Alps. The further south you travel (towards Sicily) there is a much lower chance of snowfall and temperatures will be warm in some parts. Average temperatures will reach highs of 8-15°C and lows of 1-10°C. Visitors who travel during the low season will benefit from fewer crowds at museums and other major attractions. This is also the best opportunity to explore festive Christmas markets and participate in New Year’s Eve celebrations throughout Italy.

Italy Tours

FAQs about Italy

  • Do you tip in Italy?

    In restaurants, you usually do not need to tip as a service charge of 10-15% is added to the bill. While it is not customary to tip in Italy, foreigners often do, so it is not uncommon and it will be appreciated if you think service was exceptional.
  • What is the internet access like?

    Most accommodation offers free wifi to guests and sometimes a computer for guest use. Otherwise, cafes and bars often offer free wifi. If you have a local SIM, you can register to use public wifi hotspots in cities such as Rome, Bologna and Venice.
  • Is the tap water safe to drink?

    Yes. If it’s not, it will be clearly marked.
  • Can I use my credit cards?

    While it’s always a safer option to keep cash on hand, credit cards are widely accepted. However, American Express is less likely to be accepted than Visa and MasterCard.
  • What are the public holidays?

    Italy has 12 public holidays. As well as the common ones such as Christmas, New Year’s and Easter, they have Liberation Day in April (commemorating the end of WWII in Italy), Republic Day in June (celebrating the birth of the Italian Republic) and more.
  • What are the toilets like?

    Depending on where you are in Italy, they can vary from squat toilets to regular, with a varying level of hygiene. Like most of Europe, you will usually have to pay for public restrooms (around 70 cents, but less than €1).
A TRAVEL MAGAZINE BY TOURRADAR

Watch "The Best Places to Visit in Italy"

It’s almost impossible to describe all that Italy has to offer in just one video, but we’ve sure tried! Watch as we travel on tour from Rome to Verona and everywhere in between. Behold the iconic painted ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, visit a mozzarella farm or ride through the canals of Venice on a gondola. One thing is for sure: no matter which experiences you opt to enjoy, Italy will enchant you. 
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