What hasn’t been said about Italy? It is one of the most visited countries in the world and for good reason. It has everything – spectacular views, attractions for all ages, exciting historical heritage sites, wonderful food, snowy mountains and on the other hand – warm beaches with clear water. If this is the first time you are planning to fly to Italy, it is understandable if you get confused by the abundance of options and have a hard time deciding where to start. Planning a vacation in Italy begins, like any other trip, with some basic decisions that need to be made and implemented, so that the trip will be successful and interesting, so that you will be able to meet the budget you have set and so that you will return safely.
11 things that must be done before a trip to Italy
- Decide on a destination – Italy is a huge country and you can travel there for years without having time to see everything. Therefore, choose in advance a route, or a central destination, around which the vacation will be centered. You can decide on a district, where most parts of the vacation will take place. In that case, you can choose a flight that will take you as close as possible to the main destination and travel in the area you have chosen. Almost all the provinces in Italy are full of charm, spectacular views, attractions, restaurants, museums and historical heritage sites. All that remains is to choose your favorite area and read as much information about me as possible, to know what you want to do when you get there. The second option is to make a site trip around the country, where you will go every day, or two days, to another location in Italy, to see important and famous sites. If you are planning such a trip outside the convenient framework of an organized trip, it is important that you prepare well and plan the route according to the expected weather and the expected travel distances from point to point, as well as booking accommodations in advance.
- Weather – Italy is blessed with a large variety of geographical areas, each of which has a slightly different climate. The mountain areas are snowy and very cold in the winter and you can go on a skiing holiday in them and other areas may be warm and dry and suitable for a trip in the winter. A trip to the touristic and spectacular lakes area, more suitable for summer and so on.
- The length of the trip – if you are going for the weekend or for a few short days, there is no point in planning long trips. You should focus on one city, or one specific area, that has a sufficient variety of attractions and prepare yourself in advance for the fact that you will not have time to see everything.
- What kind of vacation do you want? Adventure sports lovers will greatly enjoy a skiing holiday in the Alps, or a holiday by the lake – the surrounding resorts offer plenty of water sports activities, cycling and more. If you are looking for a quiet and relaxing vacation – the Tuscany region may be the most suitable place for you. There you can enjoy calm and quiet days, eat excellent food and find peace in the famous landscapes of the area. If you are a lover of art and culture, you can travel to Rome, or Milan, and Venice can also be a suitable destination for you. The main cities in Italy are full of works of art and museums and if you arrive at the right time – you can celebrate with the residents at one of the festivals held throughout the year in different regions.
- Choose a trip that suits the nature of the participants – are you traveling with your family and children? Are you going on a romantic trip, with a group of girlfriends, or friends, or just traveling alone? According to the nature of the travelers and their needs, you can choose suitable destinations, hotels that provide relevant services and treats, and more.
- Book in advance – after you have decided where you want to travel, how long the trip will last and what your budget is, it is recommended to conduct a small survey on the Internet and pre-book accommodation, a rental car and entrance tickets to some attractions. There are two main reasons for this – first, a well-planned trip in advance will save you time, energy and worries. You can arrive on the day you planned in advance and save yourself standing in lines at the checkout and simply enter wherever you wanted. Secondly, Italy is a very touristic country and in certain seasons, finding accommodation and entrance tickets to the requested sites – may be difficult, even impossible.
- Transportation – it is recommended to travel in Italy with a rented car – especially if you are traveling with children, or your time is limited and you want to see a lot of sites. But if this is not the case, traveling by public transport throughout the country may expose you to meeting the locals and be interesting and enjoyable. You can travel by train, or bus and also fly domestic flights from district to district.
- Choose the attractions in advance – beyond the fact that you should choose and book in advance the main attractions for your vacation, you can and should specify for yourself the restaurants and other places of entertainment that you might want to visit. Whether these are places you received a recommendation for, or places you read about and find interesting.Leave
- room for spontaneity – along with the importance of planning in advance, it is also important to leave room for spontaneous entertainment, or for last minute changes – because you suddenly met really nice people and you want to travel with them and change the planned route, or simply because you discovered that there are interesting things to do and see – that you didn’t know on them first.
- Travel insurance – the importance of insurance for trips abroad cannot be underestimated. Even a developed and safe country like Italy is not an ideal place to get lost, injured, or sick – when you are a tourist from another country. Arranged insurance will cover this aspect of the trip and provide you with an address to You can contact in times of need.
- Budget – the many resorts and trips available online allow for a relatively easy editing of a market survey and price comparison, and you can choose from dozens, hundreds and thousands of sites, restaurants and places to stay, so that the trip fits your budget. Pre-booking the places you want to go to will help you stay within the limits of the budget and not exceed it.
What is important for you to know about Italy?
A vacation in Italy can be a dream vacation, with fine food, meeting the locals, tours in wonderful landscapes and more. In order to arrive at the trip as prepared as possible, it is recommended to equip yourself with general knowledge.
- Location and geography: Italy is in southern Europe and borders the Mediterranean Sea and the Adriatic Sea. Its political borders meet Switzerland, Slovenia, Austria and France. The famous pedega of Mont Blanc (White Mountain) is called Monte Bianco in Italian and Italy shares it with France. In Italy you can find high mountains, blue lakes, clear sea beaches, towering cliffs, groves and forests. Extensive rural areas next to large and dense cities.
- Climate: The climate in Italy is Mediterranean, but you can reach the Alps and find a cool and snowy climate, with very cold winters and cool summers. On the other hand, the coasts of southern Italy are warm and dry almost throughout the year, and even in the lake region you can enjoy a warm climate that allows vacationers, for example, water sports.
- Cultural and scenic wealth: Italy is divided into provinces and regions, each of which has a provincial capital city, a typical dialect, unique food and a rich history. In some districts you can find museums and art, compared to other districts that are characterized by green areas and a rural environment, districts rich in ancient castles and areas that have an abundance of water sources and corresponding attractions.
- Language: The official language in Italy is Italian, but there are areas where German or French are spoken and there are different dialects in the different regions.
- Transportation: Italy has a branched and efficient network of trains and you can find discounted tickets, or travel by buses, which also operate efficiently and conveniently in Italy. You can also easily rent a car for those who are interested in a flexible and personalized itinerary. International airports are in Milan and Rome and airports for domestic flights are scattered in several cities throughout Italy.
- Currency and prices: The currency used in Italy is the euro known from most European countries. Prices in Italy are not particularly low. In fact, they are lower than the prices in Israel by a few percent, which means that you should carefully plan your travel budget and stick to it as much as possible. A trip for the family for a period of between a week and ten days is expected to cost around 3,000 euros without the airfare, or at least 5,000 euros for a trip that includes flights, hotels, food, car, fuel and a few attractions. Of course, the main variable is the travelers and their preferences, and the budget for such a trip can be much higher, if you have the option, or slightly lower. A trip focused on a province, or one region of Italy, may be much cheaper because on such a trip you can save a large part of the travel expenses. Another way to save on the costs of the trip is to go to an Italian restaurant once every two days and base the rest of the meals on light meals, pizza or pasta and also purchase a number of basic products at delicatessens or local supermarkets.
11 recommended sites for a trip to Italy
As mentioned, Italy is a huge country with endless sites, itineraries and attractions. That’s why it’s important to focus on a predetermined itinerary, or a central area, around which most of the vacation will take place and to make the most of it as much as the time at your disposal allows. Below are some suggestions for successful trips in different regions of Italy:
- Milan – the fashion capital of Italy that offers plenty of options for shopping enthusiasts, but also famous museums, which display famous works of art and the city’s famous opera house, where you can watch a classical opera performance.
- Verona – the city of Romeo and Juliet known from the Shakespeare play. In Verona, you can visit the balcony where the plot of the play took place, or the family house on which Shakespeare wrote the play. You can also see in Verona the Palazzo Giusti Palace, behind which lies a beautiful garden from the 15th century with statues, fountains and ponds, a labyrinth of ancient vegetation and spectacular viewpoints over the city. In Verona you will also find the Arena – a Roman amphitheater, which was built about 2,000 years ago and today opera performances are held there.
- Venice – the only city in the world where the main public transportation is gondolas, or a floating bus, which sails visitors along the many canals scattered throughout the city. In February, the famous mask festival was held in the city and you should take into account the large load of tourists flooding the city throughout most parts of the year, but especially during the festival period. You can participate in a mask-making workshop, tour a museum displaying famous works of art, or hang out in St. Mark’s Square – where many public events are held.
- Verenza – a town located on a cliff, offering hiking trails with spectacular views along the cliff, or eating a traditional pizza of the region. A visit to Castelo Doria will give you a glimpse of a 10th century fortress, which you can reach after climbing a flight of stairs that starts at the port on the beach. Another interesting visit, you can make to the Church of Santa Margarita, which has a tower 40 meters high and is one of the most visited sites in the area.
- Florence – the beautiful city is famous worldwide for its unique architecture, the old town and the museums that display wonderful works of art. Florence is also the capital of the famous province of Tuscany and it is worth exploring its surroundings, or make it a base from which you will go on trips around the beautiful province.
- Tuscany – a picturesque Italian province, which guarantees a trip full of peace and charm, for those who are not interested in a tour between sites. A vacation in Tuscany can easily fill a few good days of enjoying the fine food, a trip between castles and huge estates, surrounded by vineyards and olive groves, locals who offer wonderful home-cooked meals and even unique and magical lodging sites. A trip to Tuscany can also include a visit to the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa and even climbing to the top of the tower for a view of the area, or a tour of wineries, or a visit to the ancient city of Lucca, where, among other things, you will also find luxury restaurants decorated with Michelin stars. In the city of Siena, you will find UNESCO World Heritage sites alongside boutique shops offering unique local produce – from chocolate and cheeses to pastries and wines. You can join a cooking workshop of traditional local food, or a truffle mushroom search tour with experienced truffle hunters, and it is recommended not to miss a visit to Che Yankwa Tera – a group of villages, the entrance to which is allowed only on foot and it is possible to move between the picturesque and beautiful villages using small trains.
- Campania Province – Amalfi Coast – Steep cliffs above a blue beach, interspersed with small villages and towns full of galleries and romantic alleys. The Amalfi region is one of the most visited and beautiful regions in Italy. The Campania region is located in southern Italy and is blessed with beautiful beaches, clear waters and small and picturesque towns, which have the most beautiful scenery in the world. Tourists who come to the famous Amalfi Coast can spend the night in one of these settlements and get to know the area by hiking, visiting the nearby villages and the many galleries, or simply relax by the sea. The town of Amalfi has some good restaurants, cafes and galleries. You can walk through the alleys of the city, or visit the cathedral at the entrance to the town. Near Amalfi lies the island of Capri, which is formed by a cluster of towering cliffs, on which the sea waves break and is highly recommended for a tour – although it is important to know that it is very touristy and you should try to come on days and hours that are less busy. Fans of sports and challenges are recommended to go on a hike in the mountains overlooking the beach. You can walk along marked routes that connect the villages and some of them are particularly challenging. The Amalfi Tourist Office provides maps and recommended routes. You can go for a drive along the narrow and winding road that stretches along the coast in the south of the peninsula, and visit the fishing villages. The famous Vesuvius volcano and the ruined cities of Pompeii and Areculano are also nearby and provide a rare and extremely impressive glimpse into Italy’s history. A city that was preserved almost in its entirety after the eruption of the volcano, which covered it in ash and caused the death of all the inhabitants two thousand years ago. In addition to the fascinating and historical points of interest, the Vesuvius volcano is the only active volcano in Europe.
- Lake Garda – a perfect destination for families – the magical lake, located in northern Italy, offers an active holiday full of attractions and is especially suitable for families with children. Besides attractive lodging sites, the large lake is surrounded by water parks, rope parks where you can walk on rope bridges from the height of the treetops, zoos, water sports activities and boating. Besides all these, the area is full of natural beauty and also offers hiking, biking, horseback riding, visiting waterfalls and more.
- Sicily – the largest island in the Mediterranean, the birthplace of the world’s most famous mafia families. The island is full of good food, beautiful beaches, lively markets and warm people. You can walk through the alleys of the picturesque town of Castel Mara del Golfo, visit the town of Savona, where famous scenes from the movie “The Godfather” were filmed, walk between the Nabrodi mountains and reach the peak of Athena, or lie on one of the beautiful beaches. In the town of Medica you can take a chocolate tour and if you want a historical glimpse of the rich life of Sicily in the past, you can visit Villa Casale, which has baths, pools and also 3,500 square meters of spectacularly beautiful artistic mosaics.
- Last but not least and important – Rome. A visit to the capital city of Italy, one of the oldest cities in the world, the cradle of Western culture, as we know it today, offers plenty of attractions of all kinds – museums and heritage sites, activities and attractions for children, romantic trips and excellent restaurants. You can take a guided tour of the most important sites in the city, or travel by yourself by public transport and on foot. Many of the important sites of Rome are located in the same area, so you can also travel on foot. Starting with the Colosseum and the Pantheon and ending with the Arc de Triomphe, Rome is full of amazing historical sites and you should plan in advance where you want to go. Piazza Navona is just one of several important squares in the city, decorated with statues and fountains and is an attraction for thousands of tourists. Some of the squares also offer access to cafes and restaurants, or to walking tours along the area. Villa Medici is also just one of a list of ancient palaces scattered around the city that allow visitors to enter, who come to view the impressive architecture, the works of art displayed inside, or the nearby gardens. The city also abounds with interesting and beautiful churches, where you can see the magnificent architecture and the works of art that adorn the ceilings and walls. A successful and recommended attraction in Rome, especially if you come with children, but even if not – is an elevator on time. Using virtual reality technology, it is possible to take a virtual tour through the turbulent history of the city. In addition – Rome abounds in museums and galleries and is a paradise for lovers of culture and art, and finally – Roman cuisine is considered one of the most unique and interesting cuisines in Italy and it also has original versions of traditional foods, such as pizza, which receives a different and equally delicious interpretation in Rome.
- Vatican City – in the heart of Rome lies a small and independent country, the base of the worldwide Catholic Church and the home of the Pope. A visit to the Vatican will allow you to see St. Peter’s Church, the Sistine Chapel and the spectacular museum complex, where ancient works are displayed.
In conclusion – the land of endless possibilities
As stated here at the beginning, Italy offers so many options for wonderful trips in different regions and can suit any type of trip and any preference of travelers – from family trips to romantic couple trips, or solo travelers. Planning in advance the various parts of the trip can immeasurably improve your experience, but as with any other trip, in this case too you should leave some room for surprises and allow yourself to make spontaneous changes to the planned route, in case (not rare at all) you meet interesting people and want to travel with them, Or you will hear about an interesting site, which you did not include in the original planning and you actually really want to go there.