Italy – Things You Need to Know Before You Go

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Information about Italy – Things You Need to Know Before You Go

Published on March 8, 2014

Author: touritalynow



Italy is one of the world's top travel destinations. Here's a list of several insider tips that'll help you plan your holiday even before you get to Italy.

ITALY Things You Need to Know Before You Go ❧ Your guide to planning your Italian holiday

If this is your first time in Italy, there are a few things you need to know before you go that can make your visit the most enjoyable it can be.

Summer temperatures ❧ Summer in Italy can be very hot. Most places will not have air conditioning at all.

Here are a number of insider tips and tricks to help you keep your cool in the Italian heat. ❧

Churches ❧ These large marbles structures are a haven of cool and quiet.  Step inside (with arms and legs covered, of course, have a light scarf in your bag) and take in the art, history, and architecture.

Basilica di Santa Croce in Florence

Go underground. ❧ There are catacombs, cisterns, and crypts all over Italy that have offered cool relief for centuries.

Photo credit: Foeke Noppert via Wikimedia Commons Ostia Antica in Rome

Fountains ❧ There are plenty of spots with cool flowing water to drink.

Photo credit: Michele Africano via Flickr In Rome, look for the famous nasone, which are always flowing with very cold, clean, drinkable water.

Head for the hills and mountains. ❧ The air is cooler on the hilltops in Umbria and Tuscany and in Alpine mountain towns.

Castelluccio di Norcia in Perugia, Umbria

Rolling hills with cypress trees in Tuscany

Village of Auronzo di Cadore with the Dolomites in the background

Go shopping. ❧ The many outlet malls near Rome and Florence are air conditioned and full of fashion bargains.

Galleria Vittorio Emmanuel II in Milan, one of the world’s oldest shopping malls

Luxury shops are located along Via Condotti in Rome

Have a day at the spa. ❧ Treat yourself to a day at the spa. These spaces are usually well airconditioned. You will cool off and relax.

Take a dip in the hot springs. ❧ It may seem crazy, but the many natural hot springs all over Italy, particularly in Tuscany, will paradoxically cool you off very well.

There are lots of hot springs in Tuscany and Lazio.

Go to the parks. ❧ Take a break in the vast green spaces like the Villa Borghese in Rome or the Boboli Gardens in Florence. 

The gardens at Villa Borghese in Rome

Head to the beach. ❧ Most Italians try to spend as much time as is possible by the sea.  Luckily with almost 5,000 of miles of coastline, you are never far from a sandy spot.

Marina Piccola in the island of Capri

Slow down. ❧ Do as the Italians do - rest in the afternoon when the temperature is the hottest.

Wait until dark. ❧ Italy’s major cities and towns look absolutely beautiful at night when the sun goes down, with their many monuments and fountains lit.

Piazza di Spagna in Rome at dusk

Treat yourself to a gelato. ❧ A cold cup of gelato is a perfect snack anytime.  Look for a Sicilian bar and you can even order gelato for breakfast served in a fresh

What Time to Eat ❧ Mealtimes in Italy are pretty strict.

Mealtime schedules ❧ Breakfast, usually just a cappuccino and a pastry at the bar, is from 8:00-11: 00.  Lunch is from 1:00-3: 00 and dinner is from 8: 00 -11:00. 

If you need a snack in between, look for a slice of pizza or pizza a taglio or some gelato.  ❧

Many wine bars will offer aperitivo, where you can get a glass of wine and a plate of some light snacks, from 6:00 PM onwards. ❧

Taxi Rates in Italy ❧ cities are fixed. Taxi rates in Italy’s major Always take a taxi from a taxi stand or have your hotel call one for you.  Italian taxis are not flagged down from the street.

Taxi rates in major cities ❧ In Rome, the current rate is €48.00 from Fiumicino and €30 from Ciampino.  The fixed fare from the airport is €20.00 in Florence.

Water bus in Venice

Venice Taxi rates ❧ From the airport you can take the Alilaguna water bus for €25 or you can hire a private taxi for approximately €110.  To move around in Venice you will want to take a vaporetto.  

Tips for women traveling alone to Italy ❧ Italy is for the most part a very safe travel destination.  

❧ Safety tips ❧ that zips and even Make sure you have a purse better a long strap that you can wear across your body to avoid being a victim of pickpockets. ❧ If you are in one of Italy’s cities be careful walking alone very late at night. ❧ Don’t walk around with your travel documents, make copies of your passport and ID’s and credit cards. Scan them into a secure google or dropbox account or make photocopies that you keep in a separate place.

Additional Tips ❧ These tips will help you make the most of your Italian holiday.

Don’t let jet-lag get you down.  ❧ Try and walk around and sit in the sunshine on your first day in Italy.  This will help you get on Italian time and make the most of your trip.

Piazza San Pietro in the Vatican

Walking in a typical town in Italy

Bring any medicine you need or might need.  ❧ Over the counter remedies like Advil (called “Moment” in Italy) and cold medicine (ask for “Reactin”) can be expensive. 

Drink plenty of water. ❧ Keep hydrated in the warm weather.  Fountains are free flowing with cold, clean water.  On the rare occasion you may see a sign that says “Non Potabile” or “Acqua Non Potabile” This water is not safe to drink.

Traveling to Italy for the first time ❧ Italy is a very friendly and welcoming place to visit.  A smile and a buongoriono  will help with a language barrier.  

Take your time, take a break in the piazza and watch the world go by, like the Italians do. ❧

For more information about travel to Italy, visit our website or call our travel experts at 800.955.4418.

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