If you have been to Italy before, then you probably know that this incredible country always leaves you wanting for more.
If this is your first time planning a trip to Italy, don’t make the mistake of just visiting Rome, Venice, and Florence and thinking that you saw the best. There is so much more to see and do in Italy! Visiting just a few big cities (no matter how beautiful) doesn’t do this country justice.
Whether you are looking for history, architecture, stunning scenery, quaint little towns or good food – Italy has it all. It’s a perfect country to visit with kids too, as Italians just love the bambini. And the kids will fall for Italian gelatos, pizzas, and pasta…
Italy is one of our all-time favorite destinations in the world. It’s of those countries that you can visit ten times and still have the feeling that you only scratched the surface. It’s one of our favorite countries in Europe, one we gladly return to again and again.
We have been to Italy more times than I can remember, and you can find some of those experiences on this blog. This is by no means a complete guide to visiting Italy. Rather a selection of blog posts from some of our favorite destinations from our recent trips to Italy.
From the main landmarks of Venice to hidden gems of Rome, and from road trip itineraries in Tuscany to the most beautiful hikes in the Italian Dolomites – get inspired to visit Italy and plan your dream trip with our Italy travel tips and advice. In addition, you can find all the info that you need for visiting San Marino. Find out!
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Italy Travel Tips & Destination Guides
- Italy Itinerary (2-week itinerary that covers all the musts – perfect for the first trip)
- Best Places to Visit in Italy
- Most Beautiful Cities in Italy
- Most Beautiful Churches & Cathedrals in Italy
- Cinque Terre vs. Amalfi Coast
- Italian Food by Region
Campania (Naples/ Amalfi Coast/ Capri)
- Best Things to Do in Naples
- Where to Stay in Naples
- 1 Day in Naples
- Best Day Trips from Naples
- Mount Vesuvius (complete guide on how to visit)
- Essential Travel Tips for Visiting the Amalfi Coast
- Amalfi Coast Itinerary (Suggestions from 1 to 5 days)
- Where to Stay on the Amalfi Coast
- How to Get to the Amalfi Coast from Naples
- Path of the Gods Hike
- Capri Island: Things To Do & Tips For Your Visit
- Where to Stay in Capri
- How to Visit Capri from Sorrento
- Best Things to Do in Bologna
- Best Things to Do in Rimini
- Bologna & Florence Itinerary
- Emilia Romagna Itinerary (this region is a true hidden gem of Italy)
- Best Things to Do in Ravenna
Rome – best places & experiences:
- BEST Places to See & Things to Do in Rome
- Colosseum: Tickets, Tours & Levels Explained
- Hidden Gems of Rome (that most tourists never see)
- Best Views and Viewpoints in Rome (most are really easy to visit)
- Rome Underground Sites, Crypts & Catacombs
- Ancient Rome Landmarks (the oldest places to see in Rome)
- Rome Street Food Tour (our favorite!)
- 1 Day in Rome (see all the musts in a day)
- 2 Days in Rome (best places + a few hidden gems)
- Rome 4 Days Itinerary (see all the main landmarks + hidden gems)
Practical information for visiting Rome:
- Tips for Planning Your Trip to Rome
- Rome Airport Transfers
- Where to Eat and How to Find The Best Food in Rome
- Where to Stay in Rome (the VERY BEST area)
- Rome in November (what to expect and seasonal tips)
Liguria (Italian Riviera)
- Complete Guide to Visiting Cinque Terre (Tips for first-time visitors)
- How to See the Best of Cinque Terre in One Day
- Where to Stay in Cinque Terre (Ultimate Guide to 5terre Hotels)
- Most Beautiful Small Coastal Towns of the Italian Riviera
- Portovenere (Hidden Gem near Cinque Terre)
Lombardy (Milan and the Lakes)
- Best Things to Do in Lake Como
- Lake Como Travel Tips & Useful Info
- Most Beautiful Towns to Visit in Lake Como
- Villa del Balbianello
- Where to Stay in Lake Como: Best Towns & Hotels
- Most Beautiful Villas and Gardens of Lake Como
- Best of Lake Garda – Places You Shouldn’t Miss
- Lake Garda Itinerary (suggestions for any trip duration)
Trentino-South Tyrol & Veneto (Italian Mountains)
- Best Places to Visit in the Dolomites
- Dolomites Itinerary (suggestions for any trip duration from 1 day to a week and more)
- Where to Stay in the Dolomites (2 best areas & tips)
- Most Beautiful Lakes in the Dolomites
- Marmolada, the Queen of the Dolomites
- Lago di Braies – Pragser Wildsee (most beautiful lake in the Dolomites)
- Lago di Dobbiaco – Toblacher See (a less touristy alternative to Lago di Braies)
- Val Gardena Hotel Guide
Hiking in the Dolomites:
- Most Beautiful Hikes in the Dolomites
- Tre Cime di Lavaredo Hike
- Lago di Sorapis Hike
- Cinque Torri Hike
- Lago di Limides Hike
- Lago Federa Hike
- Best Things To Do in Trentino with Kids (adventure family summer vacation in Italy)
- Val di Fumo Hike (one of the most beautiful mountain valleys in Italy)
Tuscany (Florence & beyond)
- Best Things to Do in Florence
- 1 Day in Florence
- Florence Rooftop Bars & Hotels with Rooftop Terrace
- Florence to Bologna: Travel Info & Itinerary
More of Tuscany:
- Most Beautiful Towns of Tuscany
- Best Things to Do in Montepulciano
- Tuscany Itinerary
- How To See Tuscany From One Central Location
Veneto (Venice, Verona & beyond)
- Best Things to Do in Venice
- 1 Day in Venice: Things to Do & Itinerary
- 3 Days in Venice
- Tips for Visiting Doge’s Palace in Venice
- Venice Gondola Ride (Tips for a better experience)
- Venice by Car
- Visiting Venice with a Baby or a Toddler
While the Republic of San Marino is an independent country, this tiny gem is completely surrounded by Italy. I, therefore, included all our guides to San Marino in this Italian travel guide.
- San Marino Travel Guide (ALL the information you need!)
- Three Towers of San Marino (what to expect & tips for your visit)
- Best Hotels in San Marino
Tours, Skip-the-line Tickets & Day Trips
Many tourist attractions in Italy are so popular that it’s absolutely essential to book skip-the-line tickets in advance. Some tickets, tours, and excursions also sell out fast, especially in high season.
TIP: For our own trips, we book pretty much all our tours and organized activities via GetYourGuide website. It’s our favorite one-stop shop for all tickets and tours because they have the best customer service and the most flexible cancelation policy we have ever seen.
Booking directly with a local company usually means that you can’t easily cancel for free, let alone get a refund in case something goes wrong. For that, it’s always helpful to have a strong intermediary and Get Your Guide is the best one we know.
When to Visit
There is no bad time to visit Italy and all seasons have something special and unique. In general, the best time to visit Italy is from April to October. That’s when the weather is at its best and everything is open everywhere.
However, it can get really hot in the summer months. So if you are visiting in June, July, and August, try to avoid big cities and visit smaller places at the coast or in the mountains.
My own favorite time to be in Italy is spring and autumn. The weather is perfect for sightseeing and there are fewer people. This is one of the best times to travel in Europe!
We also love visiting Italy in the lower season. That’s when you can experience a truly authentic side of this beautiful country. Here you can find some inspiration and information on what it’s really like to visit Italy in November and here for November in Rome.
If you are visiting Italy in high season (Easter + May to September), it’s advisable to book your accommodation well in advance. Best price/quality accommodations are always gone first.
Below, you can find our lodging guides for several destinations:
- Best area to stay in Rome
- Best Cinque Terre hotels
- Where to stay in Lake Como area
- Where to stay in the Dolomites
- Best Val Gardena hotels
- Best San Marino hotels
Booking.com is our first and usually the only resource when booking accommodation for all our trips, also in Italy. They have the best selection of hotels, B&Bs, and privately-owned accommodations. Furthermore, they also have the most transparent booking system with the biggest flexibility in terms of cancelations. Nowadays, we book all our holiday accommodations through this website.
If you are visiting Italian cities, do yourself a favor and do not rent a car. You can easily visit all the bigger towns by train (see our Italy itinerary for inspiration).
However, if you are traveling in smaller places, often, having a car is so much easier. So it’s important to plan well and know what kind of trip you want to make.
In general, driving in Italy is comparable to driving in other European countries. Traffic jams and tolls on the highways, busy traffic in towns, and shortage of car parking spaces in the most popular areas in high season… That never stopped us from exploring Italy by car, however. There are so many amazing regions and smaller towns in Italy that would be very difficult to see otherwise.
Here you can find the best deals for car rental. We always book our rental cars through this website and I highly recommend that you take their full insurance option as well.
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