50 Things to Know Before Visiting Italy – Best Italy Travel Tips
We will write about Italy travel tips and all the cool facts about Italy and best things to know before visiting Italy for first timers. This post will be your go-to guide to get to know more of Italy and what awaits you from amazing history, nature, places to visit, how to move around to delicious food to try in Italy.
Best Italy Travel Tips And Best Things To Know Before Visiting Italy For First Timers
1. IS IT SAFE ITALY?
Is it safe to travel to Italy? Yeah you should know that Italy is one of the safest countries in the world. If you travel to Italy, safety won’t be a problem. You can feel safe everywhere, literally. Make sure that you keep your valuables with you in crowded places especially in big cities (with pickpockets) and that should be more than enough.
2. VISA IN ITALY
US Citizens may enter Italy for up to 90-days only for tourist and business purposes without visa. Staying more than 90-days needs visa. Passports should also be valid for at least 3-months beyond the period of stay.
If you are from a country of citizenship that is not covered under the Schengen Agreement, you’ll need a visa even if it’s just a short stay. Read here our article for the Schengen Visa Philippines where Rachel explained step-by-step how to get Schengen Visa Philippines.
3. CASH AND ATMS IN ITALY
The currency used all throughout Italy is Euro just like all European countries. The exact currency of Euro to dollar is A €1 = $1.0678 USD. You can use debit cards everywhere in Italy. ATMs are available and accessible in all part of the country.
4. BEST TIME TO VISIT IN ITALY
In Italy every season brings out a different side. Summer takes place during the months of June-August in these months you’ll experience a high temperature. September to December the temperature cools down quite a bit and it is the perfect time to enjoy long walks through stunning neighborhood.
And Spring season during the months of March-May is the best time to visit Italy. It starts out with chilly and gets warm, it is a perfect time to spend the day exploring the city’s beautiful garden, at night it remains pretty cold.
5. HEALTH TRAVEL INSURANCE
Things to know before visiting Italy we recommend always bringing a travel insurance when traveling abroad just in case you have any problems. You can always have food Poisson, fever or any other kind of disease.
BOOK YOUR TRAVEL INSURANCE
Two of our favorite travel insurance: Heymondo Vs Safetwing cheapest travel Insurance. You can get for $135 USD your Heymondo Travel Insurance with Heymondo discount code valid for 90 days. Read our full comparison of Genki vs Safetywing Travel Insurance Review and the comparison Heymondo vs Genki
FACTS ABOUT ITALY
6. LEARNING SOME ITALIAN
Another learning opportunity in Italy is to learn some Italian. People in Italy don’t usually speak English. And only in most of the tourist areas Italian people can manage to speak English but it will be really useful to learn some basics of Italian language.
7. ITALY IS EXPENSIVE
Italy is expensive. If you have been traveling around Europe prices are expensive for food and accommodation. Alcohol and restaurants are so expensive and there are entrance fees for most of the places to visit. Keep reading below we let you know things to know before visiting Italy for budgeting.
8. ACCOMMODATION BUDGET TRAVEL IN ITALY
You can access a dorm that can go up to €18-30. And while a hotel that is a double room in a budget can go up to €90.
9. FOOD BUDGET TRAVEL IN ITALY
Food budget travel in Italy can go €20 per day. The typical usual breakfast consists of coffee. You wouldn’t leave Italy without having pasta or pizza. You can try them in local restaurants for €10 per person or even less. We really loved cheese, bread and salads in Italy!
10. TOURS AND ENTRANCE FEES IN ITALY
For entrance fees in Italy we have to say that most of the places are free of charge. Tours are expensive you can spend around €80 per person for a half-day tour. If you are planning to visit places like Dolomites you can hike in nature for free. Parking in most of the places in Italy can be free or for a small fee.
11. WI-FI AND INTERNET CONNECTION IN ITALY
Internet in Italy works great in big cities and you will have an internet connection in most of the places you will have 4G except in remote areas. You can access free WiFi at hostels and hotels and there are lots of restaurants that are offering free WiFi.
Best Option: Maya Mobile Unlimited Data for 30 Days for $49 USD
You can find the cheapest Italian eSim with Airalo Italy eSim prepaid for $4.5 USD with 1 GB data valid for 7 days (USING DISCOUNT CODE GAMINTRAVELER 10%). For $7 USD with 3 GB data, for $10.50 USD with 5 GB data valid for 30 days. For $16 USD with 10 GB data valid for 30 days.
Holafly Italy eSim for less than $60 USD if you use our code GAMINTRAVELER you will have unlimited internet for 30 days in Italy for just $2 USD per day. Ubigi Italy eSim for $7 USD with 3 GB data valid for 30 days and for $18 USD with 10 GB data valid for 30 days.
12. ADAPTER IN ITALY
In our Italy travel tips you should know they use 230 V and frequency 50Hz the European will fit. A few places make it possible to fit your American adapter in the plug because they provide adapters. If you are coming from American countries, we recommend you to bring an adapter to be able to charge everywhere.
13. LOCAL TRANSPORTATION IN ITALY
For traveling around the cities, there are metro and public buses in big cities where you can ride and you will have to buy the tickets in the stand or kiosk. To move around the country the cheapest way is by bus. You can also use sites as BlaBlaCar where you can rent a seat for similar prices than the bus.
14. TRAINS ARE SO EFFICIENT
Trains are quite expensive since it is high speed but it is very efficient and it will be a short time to travel around the cities in Italy. Flights in Italy are quite cheap with airlines like Ryanair, Volotea, and Vueling. You can also check Skyscanner to find the best prices.
ITALY TRAVEL TIPS FOR BUDGETING
15. RENTING A CAR IN ITALY
Renting a car will be our favorite option for transportation in Italy. The prices for renting a car in Italy can be around €30–40 the cheapest one good enough up to 4 people. Especially if you are planning to explore outside the cities in areas like Dolomites and the mountains around.
16. PARKING IN ITALY
You can find free parking in Italy in most of the places. There are a lot of spots in nature where you can park your can or van for free. In the cities isn’t allowed to park for free in city center. You can use Park 4 Night App so useful to find places to park and to stay at night around the country.
17. WILD CAMPING IN ITALY ISN’T ALLOWED
Wild camping isn’t allowed in Italy but you will find places to do it for cheap prices. You can pitch your tent and enjoy their services for €15-20. If you are traveling by van you will be allowed to sleep in a few places around the country. Make sure when wild camping you keep the place clean as you found when you got there.
18. ITALY IS A PARADISE FOR A ROAD TRIP
Italy is a paradise for a road trip landscapes are amazing especially exploring small villages around the mountains in the Dolomites. Many places to park your van during the day and at night to enjoy lakes and views in the mountains. Short distances for driving and you will find nice places to see and it make so comfortable exploring by car.
19. DRIVING IN ITALY
Driving in Italy is so challenging. Italian people usually drive so fast and crazy since they aren’t so patient. Just follow the rules, signs and relax yourself especially when visiting the big cities like Rome and Milan.
20. DINNER IS SERVED LATE
The dinner is served late in Italy and you will not find restaurants opened until 7-30 or 8 pm in the evening. Sometimes it will be great if you make a reservation if you don’t want to wait a long line or even the restaurant can be full.
21. NO NEED TO TIP IN ITALY
No need to tip in Italy as general rule. But there is coperto (cover charge per person or table) where they add a tax when you sit down in a restaurant. But yeah feel free to tip if you feel happy about the service and the dinner.
22. AVOID PEAK SEASON
Make sure you avoid the peak season in Italy like summer in August Easter Holidays and Christmas. You will find places are so crowded and you will need to book accommodation and restaurants in advance. Also expect a long line when visiting museums and sightseeing around the city.
23. SUMMER CAN BE HOT AND WINTER CAN BE COLD
Summer can be really hot and humid in a few cities in Italy. And winter can be so cold since there are extremes temperature in Italy at summer and winter. Make sure you are ready to pack clothes for winter and bringing sunblock in summer and keep hydrated.
24. PLAN IN ADVANCE VISITING MUSEUMS
Plan in advance visiting museums in Italy. You will be able to book tours and skip the line in the entrance ticket. You will pay an extra fee but it will save you so much time to keep visiting places especially in cities like Rome and Florence where you will find so much to explore.
25. DRESS PROPERLY IN CHURCHES
Make sure you dress properly when visiting churches in Italy. Sometimes can be so hot the weather in summer when walking around the city. But make sure you are bringing proper clothes when entering inside churches and cathedrals in Italy.
26. BOOK YOUR ACCOMMODATION OUTSIDE CITY CENTER
If you book your accommodation outside the city center in Italy you will save a lot of money. Prices are so expensive in touristic areas and you will find better places for hotels or Airbnb outside. It will be quiet and the transportation to move inside the cities in Italy is affordable and working great. Plus most of the cities are walkable in Italy so much to see around.
27. KEEP ALWAYS SOME CASH FOR SMALL PAYMENTS
You can pay with credit card almost everywhere in Italy especially in restaurants or supermarkets. But I found a few places where you will have to pay for parking a small fee in cash since cards aren’t accepted especially in places in the nature, mountains or parking in touristic places near city center.
28. NIGHTLIFE IN ITALY
If you go for nightlife in Italy you should know that most of the bars start to be full very late at around 9 pm. You can have dinner but it will be difficult by that time so I suggest grabbing dinner sooner than this time. If you go out for a party, you might want to start around midnight as this will be the time where most people are already in the bars and clubs.
29. FREE WATER EVERYWHERE IN PARKS
You will find free water everywhere in Italy (not inside the restaurants). I was able to refill my bottle anytime in fountains in parks, parking and even in the middle of city center. You can drink tap water tastes great and it will not be a problem for your health since is safe!
More Things To Know Before Visiting Italy For First Timers: Facts About Italy Food
Italian cuisine is a Mediterranean cuisine made up of ingredients, recipes, and cooking techniques that have been established on the Italian Peninsula. since antiquity and eventually disseminated around the world thanks to waves of Italian diaspora. Of course, pizza and pasta are the most popular and a must to try in Italy.
30. COFFEE ESPRESSO CULTURE
Espresso coffee is the way to go in Italy anytime of the day. In our Italy travel tips if you order for a cappuccino it will be only for breakfast and before noon time. Italian people are usually having espresso coffee standing and fast during the day.
31. APERITIVO IN ITALY (ITALIAN APERITIF)
Aperitivo in Italy (Italian Aperitif) will include a beer or a drink with free food. Aperitif is usually served before dinner and the prices are around €6-10. A great way to interact with locals and it’s especially popular in the cities in Italy in the weekends.
Pizza is possibly the most popular and representative food in Italy. Despite the fact that a slab of flatbread served with oil and spices existed long before the unification of Italy. Pizzas are so delicious as you can imagine and prices are around €10.
33. PASTA CARBONARA
Pasta Carbonara is a classic spaghetti dish that is often linked with Italian cuisine and is enjoyed all over the world. Carbonara is made by whisking raw eggs with pecorino romano or parmesan cheese, then combining to hot pasta with fried guanciale pork cheek and black pepper.
34. FIORENTINA STEAK
Fiorentina steak is a delicious one if you love meat. Fiorentina steak contains all of the best aspects of Italian cuisine, a specific cut of meat from a specific cow, prepared in a very specific manner, all within the limits of a certain location. A T-bone steak cut thick at least 5 cm from the loin of a Chianina cow bred in Tuscany is known as a Fiorentina steak.
35. BOLOGNESE PASTA
Bolognese pasta is a true Italian classic with a savory, chilli sauce that’s extremely easy to make. Bolognese is an Italian meat-based sauce named after the city of Bologna.
Prosciutto is simply hot, uncooked ham cut thinly into slices and served as an antipasto in Italian meals. Prosciutto is a pig’s thigh or hind leg that is wrapped around a breadstick or grissini and served with melon.
Gelato is a must-try on any vacation to Italy! Gelato is a frozen treat that originated in Italy. Gelato is created with 3.25 percent butterfat whole milk and sugar as the foundation. Gelato is what you always want to have at summer time in Italy.
38. APEROL SPRITZ
Aperol spritz, another fantastic classic Italian cocktail. This drink, like the Americano, substitutes Aperol for Campari. Aperol spritz has an orange color, is slightly sweeter, and has a lower alcohol content. It’s ideal for the summer months for this!
39. ITALIAN WINE
Italy is the largest producer of wine. You will find Italian wine everywhere. You can buy as souvenir for your family and friends. Of course you will be able to try in all the bars and restaurants when having lunch or dinner.
PLACES TO VISIT IN ITALY
40. NORTH VS SOUTH IN ITALY
North Vs South in Italy. When traveling in Italy you will see a big difference traveling in the north part in cities like Milan is totally different vibe than in the South like Naples. The weather and people are different. Southern part you will find a lot of historical sites and in the Northern part the cities have great attractive for tourists.
Venice is the most touristic place to visit in Italy. The gondolas and walking around the canals is a must. You can visit Piazza San Marco with St. Mark’s Basilica and the Byzantine mosaics. Also going up to the Campanile bell tower to see the views of Venice.
Rome is the capital and one of the most popular places to visit in Italy. Rome has beautiful and interesting historical sites like the Coliseum and the ruins around. Walking around the city you will find beautiful Plazas apart from many options to try local food. You can also visit the Vatican just walking distance from city center.
Florence is the most beautiful city in Italy. Such a magical place with the popular Duomo at Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore. Many places to visit around city center, historical sites, Ponte Vecchio, The Piazzale Michelangelo an amazing view point that you can’t miss in Florence.
Dolomites in the North of Italy are so incredible! There are many things to do in Dolomites from hiking to visit beautiful lakes like Di Carezza and Di Braies. Also beautiful places around like Trentino and Bolzano a perfect palce to go for a road trip in Italy.
45. CINQUE TERRE
Cinque Terre is an incredible place where you can hike around the villages. There are five towns in Cinque Terre: Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore. The views are amazing and off season is the best time to visit Cinque Terre.
46. CLIMB A VOLCANO
If you want to climb a volcano in Italy the most popular places are: Mount Vesuvius and Mount Etna. If you are planning to climb a volcano the best way is hiring a guide and you will find information in the tourist office if it’s the right time for this activity.
47. SKI IN ITALY
If you want to visit in winter Italy for skiing is possible near Alps in Switzerland and in the Dolomites area. Especially from November to March will be the best time of the year when you will find snow in the mountains in Italy.
48. AMALFI COAST
Amalfi Coast is located in the Province of Salerno. You will find 50 kilometers of coast where you can enjoy swimming and having amazing views from the cliffs. It will be great if you can avoid the peak season in Amalfi Coast to enjoy the restaurants and a quiet atmosphere.
Tuscany is also a perfect place for a road trip in Italy. You can go around the vineyards and visiting touristic places like Florence, Pisa and Siena charming city in Italy. Tuscany was my favorite region with beautiful landscapes for pictures and cities full of history and landmarks.
50. SAN MARINO AND VATICAN
When traveling in around the country one of the things to know before visiting Italy that there are two countries inside: the Vatican and San Marino. You can visit the Vatican a religious place and the smallest country in the world when visiting Rome. You can also have a day trip to San Marino!
Hope you liked our Italy travel tips. Let us know if we missed things to know before visiting Italy and facts about Italy in the comments below.
Feel free to use our links for discounts. By using our links, you will help us to continue with the maintenance of the website and it will not cost you anything. Thanks for the love guys.
About the Author: Ruben, co-founder of Gamintraveler.com since 2014, is a seasoned traveler from Spain who has explored over 100 countries since 2009. Known for his extensive travel adventures across South America, Europe, the US, Australia, New Zealand, Asia, and Africa, Ruben combines his passion for adventurous yet sustainable living with his love for cycling, highlighted by his remarkable 5-month bicycle journey from Spain to Norway. He currently resides in Spain, where he continues to share his travel experiences alongside his partner, Rachel, and their son, Han.