Italy is one of the best destinations to travel in every way. You can explore the country as a solo traveler, with your loved one, friends or groups, it doesn’t matter who you’re going with, Italy is full of things to see and do. While planning your trip you already know that you must visit the Colosseum in Rome, admire the Duomo Cathedral in Milan, enjoy a gondola ride in Venice, watch the sunset on the beach in Puglia, not to mention the incredible food and wine that you absolutely must try.
Because we know you got those things covered and to help you learn more about the country, we’ve put together some tips on the best way to see Italy for the first time.
How many days do you need to see Italy?
If you don’t have a lot of time, like a week, the best thing to do is to visit the main cities: Rome, Florence, and Venice. Keep in mind that Italy is a touristy country, so you have the option of taking tours in almost every city and see the main highlights of each in a matter of hours.
For those who can stay longer, at least two weeks, it’s a great opportunity to explore other regions such as the stylish Milan, sunny Sorrento, the breathtaking Lake District, and the historical Naples.
Read our article about the things you need to know when traveling to Italy to help you decide how long you should stay in the country.
Which part of Italy is best to visit?
Italy has 20 regions, each one has unique and beautiful landscapes, incredible architecture, amazing cuisine and deserves a visit. To make your decision, keep in mind that the north of Italy is where you find the Dolomites and the Alps – this means incredible mountains and lakes – and it’s close to Austria, Switzerland, and France, and the food is different from the rest of the country. They tend to use more butter, rice, corn, and cheese than olive oil, pasta and tomato sauce.
Southern Italy is where you find the islands Sardinia and Sicily, also Puglia, Basilicata, and others. In the south, you’ll find smaller crowds, the best-preserved ancient Greek temples, cave dwellings and, of course, the wonderful beaches. Also, the southern regions are great if you’re traveling on a budget since things are cheaper than the main cities and the north.
Italy is a country full of perfect destinations, to help you decide where to go first read 11 places in Italy to choose for your next holiday.
How to travel in Italy
Getting around in Italy can be very easy if you plan ahead. If you want to go at your own pace you can rent a car, you can also fly around with one of the many smaller airlines. The most common transportation for tourist is the train, which is very comfortable and can be one of the most affordable options.
For those who enjoy the water, you can always take a ride on a boat on some of the biggest lakes and on the islands.
The attractions have skip-the-line options
No one wants to spend their vacation on a line just waiting for their turn to see the monuments, right? So before buying your tickets check the tours that offer skip-the-line entrance and save time. You can visit the incredible Uffizi Gallery in Florence; the symbols of Rome: Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill; or the St Mark’s Cathedral in Venice, without standing in line.
Eating out in Italy
First remember that, when dining out in Italy, the waiter won’t drop off the check on your table, like in the USA, so you need to ask for it. Now that you got your bill, here a few things you need to know:
- Coperto, this is not a tip, but a cover charge paid by each person to offset the price of bread, oil, salt, etc. The coperto needs to be listed on the menu;
- Servizio, this is a service that is charged automatically when you’re with a group of 8 or more or when in the most touristic cities and areas of Italy. It also should be listed on the Menu;
- “Mancia” is tipping. Keep in mind that Italians don’t have the custom of tipping, so you can leave just €1 or €2, or a few coins and it’s enough.
Enjoying your trip to Italy
Now that you know a little more about how the country is and what the best way to see Italy for the first time is, how about knowing more other ways to enjoy the city? Veditalia offers English guided tours all over the Italian territory – a total of 39 different destinations. You can choose a group tour or customize your trip!