Updated: Nov 22
5 Top Tips For Travel to Italy
1. What Region? This is the most important thing to consider. If you can stay for at least a month, then, by all means, visit the entire country on a non-stop tour. But if you can only stay a few days or a week, then limit your visit to one region. You will be able to actually enjoy it without feeling rushed. Try the Amalfi Coast; Florence and the surrounding Tuscany region; Milan and the nearby Lake Como area; Rome and Naples; or Venice.
2. How to Get There From the USA? The answer seems like a no brainer until you realize that even if you are coming from overseas, you have a couple of options: you can fly or you can sail on a cruise, either across the Atlantic or from ports in Europe. If you are already on the European continent: fly, take the train, or rent a car and drive through the regions. Driving internationally should be investigated first but imagine, a road trip in Europe!
3. Where to Stay? There are so many options nowadays: hotels, apartment rentals, vacation rentals through owners or your own vacation ownership (timeshare). Europe is known for small, boutique hotels, so consider those. Use a map website and figure out how close you will be to public transportation and attractions. Use reviews wisely: some people often will give a negative review for a minor reason. Also, check the date of a review. Our choice: an apartment rental near public transportation.
4. What to Do? Italy is a good country to stay a few days in more than one region: explore Milan for a day, take the train to Venice for a couple of days and end your trip in Florence before heading back to Milan to fly out. Another itinerary? Fly to Rome, take the train to the Amalfi Coast and head through Naples on the return trip to Rome. Each region in Italy is known for more than art, wine and food although those good places to start. There are ancient ruins, mansions and castles, gardens, zoos, cathedrals and small shops as well as museums and wineries. There are also small, charming towns to explore as well as plazas and tiny streets filled with great people. To get from one region to another, use the bus for day excursions and use the train to transfer to the next region.
5. Traveling with Kids Italy is very kid friendly. In nice weather, the plazas are full of street fairs, entertainers and all the gelato you can afford. Florence (Firenze, in Italian) has a marvelous Leonardo da Vinci Museum with full sized models of his inventions that you can play with. In Venice, what could be more fun than exploring all of the back streets mixed in with canals?
Take the time to focus on one region in Italy and you will get more out of your trip than just a blur of activities. And then, plan to go back!
All photos copyright Marcia Crayton, All Rights Reserved
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