The very idea of Italy looms large for many travelers – it tops a lot of bucket lists as a dream destination. This iconic country has so much to offer, we thought it fitting to share pro tips for travel in our favorite season!
Skip the Summer
While most Americans travel to Italy in the summer months, it’s a fairly open secret that it’s not the optimal time to visit. September flights are much less expensive than summer, and you’re more likely to meet Italians after the summer months. Locals take their own vacations in June and July to avoid the tourist crowds and expense. Lines for top attractions are much shorter, and the weather is better in the fall.
Mix and Match
Seasoned travelers say while you might have a list of must-see attractions and sights, the smaller moments are often remembered most fondly. Italy has so many amazing museums and sights that the whole country can become a long series of tasks to cross off a list. If you’re not careful, things can become a chore. Museum fatigue is real, friends!
To keep yourself sane, and your vacation relaxing and fresh, allow for big cities and small towns. Go to the Colosseum and the Vatican in Rome, but make time to sit on a piazza for coffee. Visit the Bridge of Sighs and St. Mark’s Square in Venice, but cycle through a small town or two. You need a breather when you’re on the go, go, go! Take a breath and recharge in between big days.
Fly into Rome over Venice or Milan
If, like many travelers, you’ve opted for a multi-city vacation, you’re likely to get the best value flights if you fly into Rome over a city like Venice or Milan. Venice is simply the most expensive major airport in the country, with Milan a close second. In fact, most things in Venice (and to a lesser degree Milan) are priced at a premium. Recent searches show flights to Rome are anywhere from $100 -$250 less expensive than to Venice. Start your vacation in Rome and use the rail system to get around the rest of the country.
Dress to Impress
If you’re the kind of traveler who likes to blend in like a local, make sure you take the time to “dress” in Italy. Italians don’t go to the grocery store in sweatpants and sneakers. Bring your A-game in the wardrobe department and you’ll set yourself apart.
Drink Your Coffee at the Counter
Italian people take their coffee at the counter and don’t sit down at a table. Not only does this habit make you look like a local, it’s cheaper. Cafes in Italy rarely charge more than 2 Euro for an espresso or cup of coffee if you drink it at the counter as a “takeaway.” Grabbing a table? The sky’s the limit. Many a tourist sat down for a coffee and left shocked to find a bill of 10 euro or more! That’s because custom dictates that a café can charge pretty much whatever they choose for table “service.” And it’s not limited to coffee. Sandwich shops and gelato are also best priced when they’re to go.
Benvenuto in Italia!