(UPDATED 2/11/22) If you’re using my How to See Italy and Austria in 2 Weeks Solo and planned your 4 Days in Vienna, you’re now wrapping up your Italy travel planning, right? Finish it up with my ultimate Venice travel guide and Venice 2 day solo itinerary full of bridges, canals, water taxis, history,
ITALY TRAVEL GUIDE
Navigate the Italy travel guide:
Like this? Share it with others!
BENVENUTO IN ITALIA!
Italy – the 5th most populous European country, is home to 58 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including The Dolomites, the Medici Villas of Tuscany, and many historic city centers like Urbino, Siena, and Rome, Italy’s capital. Italy also surrounds Vatican City (the world’s smallest country), and hosts Europe’s only active volcanoes, the basis of many Shakespeare plays and Renaissance art and architecture, multiple wine regions, opera, Sicily, fashion, Milan, pizza (invented in Napoli), Lake Como, pasta, gelato (yum), limoncello, and unforgettable cities like Florence, Verona, and Venice. Italy is really called Repubblica Italiana (Italian Republic). Its nickname is “Bel Paese” meaning “beautiful country”, and it surely is.
CORR TRAVEL'S LATEST FOR ITALY TRAVEL
LANGUAGES IN ITALY
The official language is Italian, but the younger generation learn to speak English, French or German in school.
How's Your Italian?
Need any easy way to brush up on your Italian for your trip to Italy?
Italian history goes way back. Its Western society is home to the Roman Empire and is steeped in the arts and architecture. Italians place high importance on the family and the extended family. Italians are predominantly Roman Catholic (90%), and there is a growing Muslim community.
POPULAR ITALIAN ACTIVITIES
Italy uses the Euro (€). Exchange rates are usually favorable for Europeans but could fluctuate in the other direction.
Italy has Bolt, Uber, Carpoolworld, and other possible regional ridesharing services and apps (research in advance if they are in your destination area). There are also taxis and rental cars, of course.
TIPPING IN ITALY
Traveling in a new country is easier when you know the country’s tipping etiquette in advance as each country has its own rules. That said, country rules and norms can shift, so here is an international tipping resource for over 70 countries to use as a general guideline that I have found is constantly updated.
What’s not on there is how to tip a concierge, beauty salons or spas, travel or tour guides, etc. For these extras, it is acceptable to tip 10% at minimum. Remember, tipping is for good service only.
Additionally, you should always tip in the local currency (if tipping in cash), and do not be offended if your tip is refused as it may not be the norm. I feel it’s always better to offer a tip for good service than not, unless I know it will be considered offensive, like in Japan.
A key activity to do in your early planning stage is to know, at minimum, the national holidays. I so suggest also looking into the local holidays. It’s a complete bummer to spend time and money to take the holiday of your lifetime and when you show up at one of your key attractions, it’s closed due to a holiday. It’s also not fun trying to travel and have a hard time accessing travel or other essential resources when no one is around because, yes, it’s a local holiday. So, take just a few moments to look at Italy’s holidays.
ITALY ELECTRONIC ESSENTIALS
Besides money, required ID and your ticket, Italy’s voltage is 230V and the standard frequency is 50 Hz so bring at least one of each of Type C, F and L adapters (I recommend bringing 2), just in case, for Italian sockets and research if your electronics require a voltage converter, if not already included in the adapter; or, you can bring electronics already adapted for Italian outlets or wait to purchase them there (I recommend just bringing the adapters with converter).
Remember, most smart phones, tablets and laptops don’t require a converter, but double-check your device(s) before you leave home. If you are going to another country on your trip in addition to Italy, you can check the global adapters list to make sure you’re prepared. I have also provided suggested adapters below for your convenience.
- Designed in the USA & includes Limited Lifetime Warranty - Return it for any reason and we will replace it with a new one.
- 2 in 1 Input: Accepts the standard N American 2 and/or 3 prong flat pin plug (including polarized) - No Messy Universal Outlet
- Ultra Compact Size & Safe: only measures 1.5 x 1.5 x 1.75" & Max Load Rating: 10-15A/250V
- Compact heavy duty - 3 prong grounded safe Type E/F Plug adapter - Compatible in most of European countries such as
- Perfect for travelling and using with your iPhone charger, laptop charger, camera charger and other dual voltage chargers.
- Accepts plugs from all countries including USA, does not accept plugs from S. Africa
- Perfect for your travel needs: This is all you need to charge your cell phones, laptops, camera chargers, CPAP machine or anything else that is dual voltage Compatible.
- 2 in 1 Input: Accepts the standard N American 2 and/or 3 prong flat pin Plug (including polarized) - No Messy Universal Outlet
- Ultra Compact Size & Safe: only measures 1.5 x 1.5 x 1.75" & max load rating: 10-15A/250V, round pin thickness - 4.0 mm
- A Powerful Set of 12 Adapters - Our all-in-one international travel adapter set features 1 universal input socket that allows you to connect a plug from almost any country worldwide, including the 2-prong and 3-prong North American plugs.
TRAVEL DOCUMENTS FOR ITALY
From the U.S., you will need a valid passport. No visa is required. Make sure your passport expiration date is greater than 6 months from your return to the U.S. The U.S. State Department always has their link up to date with pertinent information when traveling to Italy. It is advised to always check there during your planning stage and again before you leave. If you are not from the U.S., please check your government’s website.
VACCINATIONS FOR ITALY
There are normally no vaccinations required for Italy. The U.S. State Department always has their link up to date with pertinent information when traveling to to Italy. It is advised to always check there during your planning stage and again before you leave. If you are not from the U.S., please check your government’s website.
ITALY TRAVEL BOOKING
ITALY ECOTOURISM TIPS
There are ways to reduce your eco and carbon footprint through air travel, accommodations, tours, and activities in Italy. To help avoid greenwashing businesses, here are some eco-friendly or sustainable travel (also called responsible travel) tips and resources, you can use to book your travel.
ECO-FRIENDLY AIR TRAVEL
Skyscanner provides a ‘Greener flights’ filter highlighting flights that emit less CO2.
Purchase carbon offsets through your airline or through a third party, like MyClimate.org, Carbonfund.org, or terrapass. Carbon offsetting allows you to buy a certificate to reduce carbon emissions, a major contributor to climate change, which in turn contribute community projects across countries to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
ECO-FRIENDLY GROUND TRANSPORTATION
When booking a rideshare in Italy, select the Bolt Green or Uber Green options instead of a traditional rideshare, or use Carpoolworld, to support the use of electric cars and carpooling for cleaner transportation in Italy.
Look for accommodations with the following self and third-party assessed certifications when you book:
Green Globe certifies hotels, resorts, conference centers, transportation, attractions, tour operators, and other tourism businesses globally on sustainable operations and management. Look for Italy and other European Green Global members.
Green Key Global is an internationally recognized environmental certification for the lodging and meetings industries, including hotels and hostels, campsites and holiday parks, restaurants and attractions in 65 countries. Search for Green Key awarded sites.
Living Building Challenge – if you want to stay in a true, sustainable building, find one certified by the Living Building Challenge. LBC’s certification directory shows all project types globally. Hopefully they will put in a filter soon to allow searching by hotels or hospitality type.
LEED Certified – the USGBC’s LEED Certified label on buildings, like many of the Marriott’s hotels, are those that have verifiably employed multiple and varying green building strategies to improve human and environmental health. Search the LEED directory for Italy certifications.
GSTC Certified – the Global Sustainable Tourism Council provides global standards for sustainable travel and tourism, as well as international accreditation for sustainable tourism Certification Bodies. Booking sites that offer GSTC certified sustainable are bookdifferent, EcoHotels, and Transat.
Another way to find an establishments implementing eco-friendly or sustainable practices, certified or not, is through Booking.com in which you’ll need to find and review each establishment’s ‘Sustainable Initiatives’ within the booking process. Starting 2022, however, you’ll be able to filter searches for accommodations with the Travel Sustainable badge. Finally!
MORE ECO-TRAVEL TIPS
ITALY SAFETY TIPS
HOW TO TRAVEL ITALY SAFELY
The U.S. State Department has continually placed Italy on a Level 2 alert as “terrorist groups continue plotting possible attacks in Italy”. However, these “terrorist” activities could simply be demonstrations. I’ve never felt unsafe traveling in Italy.
Theft or pickpocketing, which could happen in most places to be honest, is typically the normal tourist concern, which could happen in most places to be honest. Beyond that, there is nothing I can recall from Italy making it more of a “safety concern” than traveling in my own home country, so my standard tips for female and solo travelers are:
- always carry photo ID with you; if you don’t want your passport on you at all times, at least carry a copy of it.
- always be “street wise”.
- always be aware of your surroundings, especially if you feel the need to imbibe or feel the need to “let loose” – you’re on vacation so have fun!
- never leave your food or drink unattended.
- keep your belongs on your person, or at least in your view in close proximity, at all times.
- be open to meeting and talking with new people – that is where a lot of the travel experience lies – but be careful on how you divulge personal information.
- research places in advance, if possible, so you know what to expect (i.e., “have a familiar view” – I like to Google the street view of new addresses I’m going to first).
- if something, someone or someplace makes you feel uncomfortable, go with your gut – leave.
ITALY BUDGET TRAVEL TIPS
BEST TIME TO VISIT ITALY
Like other countries in Europe, Italy’s high, tourist season, and most expensive time, is the summer (June and July). Crowds are not as heavy in the spring (April and May) and Fall (September to October), and prices in these months are better than the summer season.
The least expensive time to go to Italy would be November to March. Keep in mind, however, if you are going to a ski or winter sport area – prices could be high and you may want to book in advance. If you want good weather and prices, try booking well in advance for Spring or Autumn, or you can try in August when most Italians take vacation and crowds tend to drop.
I love the Mediterranean climate and landscape of Italy. It’s no wonder – I loved living in California also. Italy’s people are as warm as their environment. Every Italian city I go to, I am welcomed by all I meet, and conversations unfold easily. The countryside and architecture feel like home. I’ve been offered to stay in Italians’ homes so they can show proudly show me their town or just cook for me. You lend an Italian an inch in their language, and they will go a mile to help you. I’m also big into art and wine, so Italy really has it “all” for me. There never seems to be enough time to wander Italy – there is so much to see. If there is a European country I’d choose first to live in, Italy would be it. I could happily get lost there.
ITALY & EUROPE BLOG POSTS
(UPDATED 2/3/22) If you’re using my How to Spend 2 Weeks in Italy and planned your 2 Days in Milan, you’re now wrapping up your Italy travel planning with finding out how to see my fair Verona on a budget in 2 days that include scenic views, a nod to Shakespeare, roman ruins, an amazing
(UPDATED 2/12/22) If you’re using my How to Spend 2 Weeks in Italy and planned your 4 Days in Florence, now you’re ready to find out how I saw Milan on budget in 2 days, packed with epic architecture and art, and an option for a day trip to Lake Como. Bonus!
(UPDATED 2/12/22) If you’re using my How to Spend 2 Weeks in Italy and planned your 2 Days in Siena, now you’re ready to find out how I saw Florence on budget in 4 days, packed with art, historic sites, wine tasting and an Italian cooking class with dinner. You won’t want to miss this