It’s home to bustling cities, postcard towns clinging to cliffs, and a world-famous food scene. That is why over 62 million people come to explore the third most visited nation in Europe.
A trip to the boot-shaped country is on most peoples' bucket lists. And with so many reasons to visit Italy, it’s easy to see why. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe even stated that everyone should "see Naples and then die."
However, if you’re lucky enough to visit one of Europe's most in-demand nations, there are a few things to know first. That is if you want to make the most out of your venture.
So, read on to discover expert travel advice for your trip to Italy!
General information about Italy
Before you step foot in a new country, you should learn some basic information. It will make your life easier and hopefully make your trip run smoother.
Below is some general information about Italy you should know before you visit.
- Capital: Rome
- Area: 301,230 kilometers sq
- Official language: Italian
- Population: 60,200,000
- Currency: Euro (€)
- Peak tourist season: July - August
- Dial code: +39
- Electricity: 230 Voltage
Weather in Italy
Italy is predominantly a peninsula that spans 1,185km into the Mediterranean Sea. Due to its length, the nation has a contrast in climates.
The north has cold winters with snow and mild summers with an average daily temperature of around 25° Celcius.
Down south, there is a Mediterranean climate. Winters are mild and wet, while the summer is dry and hot.
Yet, you’ll find a pleasant, temperate Mediterranean climate in the center of Italy. This area is where most people visit, and most people in Italy live.
Spending money in Italy
The first expense when traveling to Italy is the flight cost. You can save money on flights by traveling during off season and on weekdays.
Italy has a low cost of living compared to Western Europe. That is ideal for budget travellers and will reflect on your travel cost.
Have some cash as not all establishments accept cards. Although, that is gradually changing since the global pandemic.
When you travel to Italy, you must have a reliable bank. It’s also a good idea to have a digital wallet. They are more secure than credit cards, and you can easily track payment histories.
Food and drink in Italy
You can not say you visited Italy without sampling the authentic cuisine. Italy gave the world foods and drinks such as Pizza, Lasagne, Limoncello, and Tiramisu. The list goes on!
But if you want to taste some delicious Italian foods like the locals, you need to know where to look.
In tourist cities such as Venice or Rome, eateries on main streets or beside attractions are aimed at tourists. They are overpriced and lack the authentic flavors of Italy.
The key to finding authentic restaurants is by going down side streets. Another good sign you might be in a tourist outlet is if English is written all over the outside of the building.
The price of beer and the price of a meal varies throughout Italy. Nevertheless, you can expect to pay around €5 for a pint of beer and €15 for dinner in an inexpensive dining outlet.
Tipping is not highly common in Italy. Although, for excellent service or meals, you can tip 10-15%.
Transport in Italy
You’ll not struggle to get around Italy. There are countless transport options, from compact electric scooters to extensive intercity trains.
The most popular way to travel around Italy is by train. Italo, Trenitalia, and Trenord are the three train companies that work in Italy. They cover 16,779 km of railway lines in the nation.
If you travel to Italy on a budget, Trenitalia is for you. On the other hand, if you want to get around as fast as possible, you should travel with Italo. No matter what company you book with, you should book in advance to reduce your transport cost.
Public transport is cheap and efficient in most major cities. Milan, Naples and Rome have night buses, perfect if you want to enjoy the nightlife scene. You can purchase tickets at metro stations or small kiosks dotted around the cities.
If you use public transport, you must validate your ticket before boarding the vehicle or on the bus. Otherwise, you will be hit with a hefty fine, even if you’re a tourist.
Top cities to visit in Italy
No matter where or when you visit Italy, you’ll have an unforgettable experience. There are so many fascinating cities in Italy, so choosing which city to visit can be difficult. Not to mention everyone wants something different from their adventure.
To help you, we named the three best cities in Italy and why you should visit them.
Rome and the Amalfi Coast sandwich Naples and often cast a shadow over the city. Naples is home to Neapolitan pizzas, narrow streets and the Mount Vesuvius volcano. But there are plenty of other reasons to visit the city.
It’s one of the most budget-friendly cities in Italy, where you can enjoy a traditional pizza for only €4. The Old Town is described as an "open-air museum." Also, you can take a dip at one of the golden beaches nearby.
Naples offers visitors a real insight into Italian culture at rock-bottom prices.
Rome, the center of the world, the eternal city, whatever you call it, is a city you can not afford to miss. It has some of the best things to do in Italy and is home to the Colosseum: one of the seven wonders of the world.
The streets are littered with roman ruins and beautiful renaissance architecture buildings. It is the perfect place for history buffs and food lovers to explore.
Venice is one of the most unique cities on the planet. Several small islands make up one of the world's oldest tourist cities.
The only way to reach it is by train or boat. There are no buses or cars in the city.
When you’re here, the only way to uncover the city is on foot or through the canals and waterways. If you wish to experience an ancient tradition, you can take a ride along the waters on the famous gondolas.
If you want a romantic getaway with your partner, look no further than Venice!
Make the most out of your trip to Italy
Italy is a fascinating place to visit. The nation has everything from snow-capped mountains in the north to the sun-kissed beaches in the south.
Therefore, it’s time to plan your trip to the Mediterranean to experience all this and more!
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