Italy Travel Guide
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 a 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 pastas…
Italy is one 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
Campania (Naples/ Amalfi Coast)
- Amalfi Coast Itinerary (Suggestions from 1 to 5 days)
- Capri Island: Things To Do & Tips For Your Visit
- Tips for Planning Your Trip to Rome
- The Hidden Gems of Rome (That most tourists never see)
- Where to Eat and How to Find The Best Food in Rome
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)
- How to See The Best of Milan in One Day
- Complete Guide to visiting Bellagio Lake Como
- Lake Como Hotels & Best Towns to Stay in
- 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)
- Most Beautiful Hikes in the Dolomites
- 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)
- Tre Cime di Lavaredo Hike
- Lago di Sorapis Hike
- Cinque Torri Hike
- Lago di Limides Hike
- Lago Federa Hike
- Val Gardena Hotel Guide
- 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)
- Emilia Romagna (This region is a true hidden gem of Italy)
Tuscany (Florence and beyond)
- One Day in Venice: Things to Do & Itinerary
- 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 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.
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:
Booking.com is our first 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.
TIP: Using the map below, you can compare hotels and short-term rental accommodations for your vacation. Simply insert the place, travel dates, and your group size, and you’ll see the best deals. Check it out!
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. 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 in car parking spaces in the most popular areas in high season… That never stopped us exploring Italy by car, however. There are so many amazing areas that would be very difficult to see otherwise.
Here you can find the best deals for car rental.
It’s important that you are well covered when traveling anywhere in the world. Good travel insurance is a must for every trip and Italy is not an exception. Whether you need medical care or are outsmarted by pickpockets, travel insurance can make a huge difference.
We recommend World Nomads travel insurance for any trip and all types of travelers. They are available worldwide, their rates are very competitive, the coverage is great, and customer service – impeccable. You can easily get a quote online with just a few clicks – check it out!
Here you can find more information about travel insurance and World Nomads reviews.
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