Italy Travel Guide
Oh, Bella Italia. As a Slovenian, it took me quite a few years to see Italy as a tourist destination, but now in my adult years, I finally see what the fuss is all about. I’ve been to Italy so many times, I lost count and see everything from Florence, Rome, Verona and all the way to Venice and Trieste. This travel guide to Italy contains everything you need to know about visiting Italy in general. For more detailed articles, check out the articles within this destination.
Things to See and Do in Italy
- Stroll around Venice
- Visit Cinque Terre
- Shop in Milan
- Eat a pizza in Naples
- Eat Gelato
- Row a boat at Lake Como
- Explore Florence
- Visit Alberobello
Typical Costs When Travelling
Accommodation – You can expect to find accommodation for any budget in Italy. A room on Airbnb in the bigger cities (Rome, Florence) will cost you around $20 USD per night. A mid-range hotel will cost you around $70 USD per night and a 4 star and up hotel will cost you $150 or more per night.
Food – There is no question Italian food is delicious. And on your visit you’ll definitely want to live La Dolce Vita and squeeze in as much pizza, pasta and gelato as possible – so here is how much the meals in Italy will cost you. You can easily eat for below EUR 10 if you buy sandwiches and pizzas for takeaway or a non-sit down restaurant place. Sitting down in a restaurant will cost you, however. In tourist hot-spots, such as Venice, they’ll automatically add a ‘service’ fee of EUR 3 per person. This will cover the table and the bread and add on top what you order. A pizza will likely cost you around EUR 15 and a pasta dish around EUR 20. If you’re staying in Italy longer, try and buy and cook your own food. Groceries are not expensive in Italy, especially if you find a Europspin or Lidl.
Transportation – It’s easy and cheap to travel around Italy with public transportation. The majority of the buses and subways in the cities cost around $2 USD one way. If you’ll want to use a taxi or an Uber, just download the app and see the live prices there. When it comes to trains and buses between the cities, it’ll cost you upwards of $40 USD for the fast trains and $8 for the slower regional trains.
Check the ItaliaRail’s website for more prices.
Suggested daily budget
50-60 EUR / 52-62 USD (Note: This is a suggested budget assuming you’re staying in a hostel, eating out a little, cooking most of your meals, and using local transportation. Using the budget tips below, you can always lower this number. However, if you stay in fancier accommodation or eat out more often, expect this to be higher!)
1. Couchsurf – Hotels tend to be quite pricey in Italy, especially in popular cities. Check out the Couchsurfing website for a free stay instead.
2. Bring your own bottle – Tap water is fine to drink in Italy, so bring your refillable bottle with you everywhere you go. In restaurants, when ordering water, ask specifically for tap water otherwise they’ll give you a bottled (expensive) option.
3. Get city passes – Tourist cards are very popular in Italy and will give you considerable discounts on many tours and entrances. This is super useful in cities like Rome and Florence.
Takeaway – In Venice, many restaurants will charge 3 EUR per person just for serving you – table charge. If you instead choose to buy some takeaway or get food from the supermarket, you’ll definitely save a lot of money!
When to visit Italy
While there really is no bad time to visit Italy, the experience will be very different depending on what time of the year you’re there.
It gets busiest from late June to the end of August and the temperatures can be very high during this time too. Which does make it perfect for enjoying some yummy Italian gelato, but also quite hot, pricey, packed and sweaty!
In winter (November to February) it gets quite cold, so if you’re into skiing make sure you check out the slopes in North Italy. The cities aren’t as cosy as in the shoulder seasons, but you’ll get to see some nice Christmas markets and the Venice Carnival.
My favourite time to visit is the shoulder season in spring and in autumn. The temperatures aren’t too high yet, the crowds haven’t made it to every little corner of each town and the prices of hotels and restaurants aren’t as high.