Italy Vacations: 5 Useful Tips for a Great Trip
Perfect Italy Vacation
For centuries, people from all over the world have dreamed of visiting Italy. Its richly colored countryside, its charming villages, its incredible history, art, culture, passion and food are all unparalleled, and need to be experienced. There are so many places to see in Italy, and so much to do, it can be hard to narrow down. From a villa rental in Tuscany, relaxing on a beach on the Amalfi Coast, or hiking the Sicilian hills, to a historic visit to the ancient sites of Rome or a gondola ride on the Grand Canal in Venice, every corner of this country is worth seeing.
No matter where you go in Italy, or how long you stay, here are five useful tips to help make your dream Italian vacation as perfect as the place you are visiting.
1. Forget your diet. The very best part of Italy is the passion, care and love they put into each and every meal, and if you’re counting your calories, you are more than just missing out, you’re missing the point. Don’t stick to your at-home pasta favorites either. The Italian food we know and love at home will be there when we get back. While you’re in Italy, eat like an Italian. Eat late at night, order something you’ve never heard of, or better yet, ask the waiter to bring something the chef recommends. Let your tastebuds wander as much as your feet.
2. Speaking of food, don’t expect to find some of the same Italian classics as you would at home. No restaurant in Italy has “fettuccine Alfredo” on the menu. It was invented in Italy, but really caught on in the United States, so the dish is now more of an American thing. They will have pasta with a cream-based sauce, but it’s not the dish you know from home. By the way, they don’t really serve spaghetti and meatballs here either.
The Best Time to Visit Italy
3. Pick the right time to visit. Italy is unbelievably hot during the summer, and most of the cities virtually shut down as the entire country heads for the beach. Plan to visit in the spring, or in the fall. You’ll find your best deals in November. It's worth researching the best time to go to Italy.
Places in Italy
4. Plan to visit one place that’s a little off the beaten path. Sure, Rome is the Eternal City, and Venice is the loveliest and most unique city on earth, but Italy has so much more to offer as well. Go see Siena and the wineries of Montepulciano. Visit Lake Como in the Italian Alps. Visit the five towns of Cinque Terra, high on cliffs above the ocean.
Italy's History and Lifestyle
5. Even if history wasn’t your favorite class in school, do a little reading. This country has more than 2,000 years of incredible history and lifestyle, and you’re going to enjoy your visit so much more if you know even a little of its back story. There are thousands of fantastic books about Italy and its history, and there’s so much variety, you’re sure to find the right book for you. Rick Steves writes the world’s best travel guides. Everyone can enjoy “Under the Tuscan Sun” by Frances Mayes, and for a slice of what life was like, try “A Day in the Life of Ancient Rome: Daily Life, Mysteries and Curiosities”, where Alberto Angela walks you through daily life in 115AD.
Books About Italy
- What to do in Sicily, Italy
- Italy Vacation: 10 Favorite Things to See and Do in Italy
- Italian cities to see before you die
- Tuscany - Fabulous Hill Towns of Tuscany, Italy
- Siena, Italy - Favorite Things to Do in Siena
- Top 5 Places to visit in Italy - Getting the Best ou...
- Scalea, Italy
- Guide to Italy's best cold cuts
- Travel purses: Find the best travel purse for you
- Travel Purses: 6 Great Styles | Adventurous Wench
More by this Author
Here are ten ancient ruins of Rome, Italy that are definitely worth seeing. When you're planning your trip to Rome, save time for these ancient highlights!
How ever well you think you know Venice, Italy, you're in for a some surprises! One of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, it's still possible to escape the crowds in its narrow streets and hidden...
In the fateful year of 79 AD, during the heyday of the Roman Empire, Pompeii (Italy) was a thriving city of about 20,000 inhabitants. By the end of August that same year, they were all gone, and the city was left for...