Narrow winding alleyways, rolling green hills with olive groves, vineyards, ancient ruins and cultural masterpieces with the sparkling water of the sun-kissed Mediterranean. Italy boasts a unique historical heritage, with art and architecture spanning from ancient Egypt to contemporary times. It has the most diverse and tasty food, changing wildly from north to south.
People traveling to Italy for the first time usually focus on Rome, Florence and Venice. It’s not difficult to see why - these stunning destinations are filled with historical landmarks, authentic restaurants, and old-world hotels. Highlights of Northern Italy include exploring the lakeside towns of Lombardy, hiking the hillside-hugging villages of Cinque Terre and downhill skiing in the Italian Alps.
Central Italy is known for the rolling vineyards of Tuscany and Umbria, as well as Pisa’s iconic leaning tower. Travel further south to find Naples, known for its pizza; the rugged Amalfi Coast, where picturesque towns hang precariously over cliffs; and Pompeii's 2,000-year-old remains. If you want to get off the beaten track, Southern Italy is it. Boasting stunning views, impressive cathedrals, and jawdropping settings, these Italian towns are sure to awe you. Visit Alberobello in Puglia and stay in a trullo, explore Matera,
Basilicata's jewel, a town built on carved caves or relax on one of the beautiful white-sandy beaches.
Don’t forget the gorgeous islands of Italy! There are more than 80 picturesque islands within Italy’s borders to explore and enjoy. From the beautiful unspoilt coastline of Sardinia to Sicily, the island in the sun, home to heavenly beaches, majestic mountains and Europe’s greatest natural wonder, Mount Etna.
There’s a myriad of other charming places worth to discover. And hopefully, after your first trip, you will fall in love with Italy. Then, you might come back and decide to visit beautiful towns like Ravenna, Brindisi, Orta San Giulio, Brisighella or discover the breathtaking Dolomites. Whether in search of Italy’s rich past or on the hunt for a beach with powder-soft sand and clear water, Italy has something special to offer every visitor looking for a taste of la dolce vita.
When to visit
Italy is an attractive destination year-round destination and recommended times to visit will vary on interests, budget, and weather preferences. Generally the best time is during the spring (April to June) or fall (September and October) when there is nice weather, moderate temperatures, and fewer tourists.
High Season (Jul–Aug)
- Queues at big sights and on the road, especially in August.
- Prices also rocket for Christmas, New Year and Easter.
- Late December to March is high season in the Alps and Dolomites.
Shoulder (Apr–Jun & Sep–Oct)
- Good deals on accommodation, especially in the south.
- Spring is best for festivals, flowers and local produce.
- Autumn provides warm weather and the grape harvest.
Low Season (Nov–Mar)
- Prices lower than in high season.
- Many sights and hotels closed in coastal and mountainous areas.
- A good period for cultural events in large cities.
The mains International Airports in Italy are
Rome: Fiumicino (Leonardo da Vinci) Airport Trains take 30 minutes and run from 6.08am to 11.23pm. Buses take an hour and operate between 6.05am and 12.40am. Transfers take 45 to 60 minutes.
Milan: Malpensa Airport Trains take 50 minutes and run every half hour from 5.37am to 12.20am. Buses run half-hourly between 3.45am and 12.15am. Transfers take 50 minutes.
Venice: Marco Polo Airport Water shuttles take 45 to 90 minutes from the airport ferry dock. Buses to Piazzale Roma take 25 minutes and run between 5.20am and 12.50am.
Naples International (Capodichino) Airport Shuttle buses take 15 to 35 minutes and run between 6am and 11.20pm. Transfers take 20 to 35 minutes.
Self drive holidays give you the freedom to explore your own way in your own time. No early starts, no crowds or being herded around. And many roads to discover off the beaten tourist track with only you in charge of your dream Italian travel experience. A car in Italy really becomes useful if you want to get away from the main cities and take to the countryside.
With 17,000 kilometres of rail and thousands of trains running daily, travelling by rail is one of the easiest, fastest and most cost effective ways to travel around Italy. Discover Italy’s incredible diversity and consider one of our suggested rail packages, or if you prefer, we can tailor a rail itinerary especially for you.
Travelling by rail is one of the fastest and most cost effective ways to travel around Italy. Relax along the
Frecciarossa and Frecciargento, the famed Trenitalia highspeed trains are a great way to travel across the country from major art cities to the romantic countryside.
Major cities all have good transport systems, including bus, tram and metro networks. In Venice, the main public transport option are the vaporetti (small passenger ferries) which ply the city's waterways.
Extensive metropolitane (metros) exist in Rome, Milan, Naples and Turin, with smaller metros in Genoa and Catania. The Minimetrò in Perugia connects the train station with the city centre. Cities and towns of any size will have an urbano (urban) and extraurbano (suburban) bus network. Services are generally limited on Sundays and public holidays.
- Planning to hire a car in Italy? Be aware travellers from other countries than EU should obtain an International Driving Permit (IDP).
- Visiting the South of Italy? Almost everything shuts up for lunch time and does not reopen till 4 pm in the afternoon. Churches, major monuments and tourist information close at noon, shops sometimes later.
- Cover shoulders, torso and thighs when visiting churches and other religious monuments.
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Some popular Italy Packages
Explore the real Sicily through its ancient Greek and Roman ruins, magnificent architecture, medieval villages and sumptuous cuisine during this exciting, 8-day escorted tour.
This small-group tour is a real feast for the senses. Soak in the magnificent scenery of Amalfi Coast and learn how to cook authentic Italian dishes during this enthralling, 8-day cooking holiday.
Savour the best of Piedmont, from the capital city brimming with elegant palaces and square to the lush sloping hills where world-class wines are produced.
Leave no stone unturned in the spectacular southern region of the Italian boot. Travel from Rome, Pompeii and Sorrento, all the way to Capri, Matera, Alberobello, and the stunning Amalfi Coast.
Discover the rich cuisine and beautiful landscape of Puglia, the heel of Italy’s “boot” on this week-long cooking class. Learn how to cook local specialities such as orecchiete pasta and explore the coastal towns of Santa Maria di Leuca, Otranto and Gallipoli.
Find out why Puglia shines the brightest when it comes to ancient marvels, from the 13th century Castel Del Monte to the unique trulli stone huts in Alberobello and the prehistoric Sassi di Matera.
Great contrasting worlds are unveiled as you embark on a journey from ancient Pompeii to Capri's enchanting island.
Discover the greener side of Rome with a visit to the city's famous gardens and splendid villas. Considered the 'green lung' of Rome, the Borghese Gallery and Gardens and Tivoli's Villa Adriana and Villa d'Este are spectacular spaces to unwind in nature and catch a glimpse of its glorious past.