Travel Tips to European Countries: Italy
About the county
Italy, the birthplace of pasta and pizza provides a wide range of choices for artwork lovers to experience. A temperate climate exists here with very hot summers and not so cold winters. The weather is the best in spring and autumn with pleasant temperatures and scenic views. At that time of the year, the place isn’t crowded much and things can be enjoyed in leisure. Incase of emergency call 112. For fire call 115 and for ambulance call 118.
Italian is widely spoken and is the official language. English isnít very familiar to the locals. Family ties are of utmost importance here and hence social courtesies mean a lot to the locals. There is a great impact of the Roman Catholic Church on the culture here. There is a high content of chlorine in tap waters, so bottled water is recommended for staying fit during the trip. Since Italian is spoken on a wide scale, it is highly recommended to learn few common Italian phrases which can be of great use. Social gatherings call for formal wear, but one can dress in casuals otherwise. At some religious places, sleeveless shirt and shorts are frowned upon. So they are better avoided. Purses and wallets should be well guarded and in case of any theft, police should be informed about the incident.
The first thing to check out is the leaning tower of Pisa, where Olympics originated. At places like museums and art galleries, photography, especially flash photography is restricted. Check out the ticket counter for more information. Italy should be majorly discovered on foot for a thorough viewing of all the beautiful buildings and monuments. Private shuttles are available. We do offer also licensed private drivers who can drive through city centres that are unaccessable if you don’t have a regular permit.
Shops here are open from 9am to 8pm, closed for lunch. Quality of goods is great although the prices are very less. Items like crystals, lacework, leather good, and jewelry can be bought at the stores. Remember to hold on to the receipt. Tipping of 10% is customary along with the service tax levied on the bill. Italy is famous for top designers of the world, so do buy clothes and accessories to update your wardrobe. Cruises have formal gatherings in the evening, so ensure to buy a cocktail dress or some formal wear, though casuals can be worn at other times.
The voltage used is 220 volts and 50 Hz frequency.
Alitalia is the national airline of Italy. Many other flights connect to Italy from USA, Canada and Australia and there is big competition to attract passengers giving a wide range of offers to travelers. Rome airport is located 26 km away from the city and it takes 45 minutes to get there from the airport. Trains connect directly to Termini Station from where one can take taxi to get to their destination. Duty free shops, bank, car hire and restaurants are the other services provided at this airport. Milan has another famous airport here, which is at a distance of 45km away from the city.
Brindisi, Ancona, Naples and Venice are the major seaports of Italy. Italian State Railways connects many European cities. But, Eurostar provides the fastest train service.
If choosing to drive, donít forget to carry international driving license and international insurance certificate. Roads connect Italy to France, Austria and Switzerland. Many coach services are provided from the neighboring countries.
Climate and Tips
Visiting Italy in January
The milder Mediterranean winters make Italy’s cities an option for travel during January like Florence and Rome. Sabrina lived two years in Rome and January is a great month to visit place like the Vatican City and the museums in Rome. Visitors are rewarded with quieter sights and far fewer tourists if they are willing to brave the cooler conditions. As it’s very much the off-season (much of the Amalfi Coast, for instance, only gears up for visitors in the summer months and most Tuscan properties are shut over the winter) some attractions will be closed or offering limited visiting hours and there are not many outdoor activities available.
Visiting Italy in February
The highlight of the month is Carnevale, celebrated across the country at the beginning of lent with vibrant pageants, masquerades and confetti. The most well-known celebration is the Venice Carnival, a two-week spectacle of masks, fancy dress and spirited parties, that sees throngs of costumed people pack the famous St Mark’s Square. Outside of carnival dates, prices tend to be cheaper in February but like January, visitors should be prepared for reduced opening hours and limited access to attractions in certain areas. In Sicily, the first of the almond blossom is celebrated as a welcome precursor to spring.
Events & Festivals
- Carnevale festival is celebrated across the country at the beginning of Lent though festive traditions differ across the regions.
- Venice Carnival (part of Carnevale) is celebrated over the two weeks leading up to lent and a great place to enjoy Carnival is Viareggio, Tuscany
Visiting Italy in AprilApril is a wonderful time to visit Italy. Temperatures are pleasant and comfortable, with warm balmy days and wildflowers blooming across the countryside. There can be the odd shower and temperatures are likely to be cooler and more changeable in the north, however this shouldn’t dissuade you. Everything is now open for business after the winter months and the regular ferries and hiking trails along the Cinque Terre and Ligurian Coast start to pick up business. Visitors can enjoy events celebrating springtime, from tulip extravaganzas and artichoke festivals.
Visiting Italy in May
May is a beautiful month to explore Italy. It is warm but not too hot and it is still early enough to avoid the crowds of summer visitors. Known as the month of the rose, gardens across the country are at their peak and, whether you are visiting historical cities or exploring in the countryside, it’s a fantastic time to be outside. Destinations like Lake Como, Amalfi Coast and the cities are the perfect places where to stay during this time of the year.
Visiting Italy in June
High summer temperatures in June attract visitors to Italy’s beaches and swimming pools and the peak season really gets underway. Visitors can enjoy wonderful open air performances in cities such as Rome, Florence, Siena, Naples, Palermo and more….
Visiting Italy in July – August
The busy school break months of July and August see increased summer temperatures and high visitor numbers as the hot dry days draw in the crowds. The cities can by particularly stifling at this time of year and many locals depart en masse for the beaches or countryside. The most expensive time to visit Italy, travel during these months needs to be planned well in advance.
Visiting Italy in September
September is a great month to spend a vacation in tranquility enjoying summer temperatures with days that remain hot, the nights tend to be cooler and more comfortable. Stay in Sardinia or the Amalfi Coast or Sicily. Italians are now back at work or have returned to school, emptying the beaches to more comfortable levels. September is also the start of the harvest festival season with events celebrating all things food, from truffles and prosciutto to wine and olives, along with many other local delicacies.
Events & Festivals
- The Regata Storica occurs on the first Sunday in September with gondala races, gondoliers in traditional dress and plenty of vibrant waterborne pageantry.
Visiting Italy in October
Visitors in October can enjoy the last of the summer heat, making it a popular time for visiting the cities. In the countryside there are plenty of regional harvest and food festivals to enjoy – chestnuts, mushrooms and truffles are particularly good at this time of year, along with the grape and olive harvests. Stay in a villa where a private chef service is included and arrange a private cooking lesson …this is the best time to create some great recipes with authentic fresh ingredients.
Visiting Italy in November – December
Similar to January, the milder Mediterranean winters make much of Italy still an option for travel during the colder winter months. Visitors are rewarded with quieter cities and sights though they may have to brave cooler conditions. As it is very much the off-season some attractions will be closed or offering limited visiting hours.
Culinary Experience in Italy
One of the most beautiful things about going on vacation is being able to eat as a passion and not a necessity. Vacations are meant for relaxation, sightseeing and wonderful culinary delights that your destination offers. If you are a foodie or just love to have your palettes blessed with gastronomical marvels that the destination has to offer. In Europe, few countries have a more interesting culinary history than Italy. The beautiful country of Italy is one of the most diverse countries concerning diet and wine