Travel to Italy
Thinking of Italy immediately conjures up the wonders and culture of ancient civilizations, evidence of which can still be seen across the country. This is at its most fascinating in the cities of Rome and Verona, as well as at Pompeii, where a cross-section of Ancient Roman daily life is clearly visible. Modern Italy is an important stop on the international fashion circuit, as well as home to world-class opera venues and wine production. Italy enjoys a wide variety of climate and weather, from its mountainous north to the Mediterranean and Adriatic Seas.
What time of year do you want to travel to Italy?
Decide on the time of year you want to travel to Italy. There are 3 main seasons for traveling in Europe- High, Low and Shoulder. Each travel season has advantages and disadvantages and will affect your experience traveling in Italy.
High season in Italy is from June to August. You’ll enjoy the height of summer with the lovely Italy sun and lots of gelato. Don't forget, though, that seasonal prices in Italy will be inflated and expect swarms of travelers at all of the main attractions. If you’re set on traveling in high season, consider heading to some of the less popular Italian destinations that still provide you with a unique experience while traveling Italy. Off-the-beaten-path destinations include areas outside of capital cities such as Bergamo, Como, and Parma, which are all located just outside of Milan in the Lombardy region
- Nice Weather: Italy often doesn’t get much rain during this time of year. Warm temperatures make eating a slice of pizza and people-watching highly popular. Nights are often warm enough to make staying outside very enjoyable, especially with a flute of Italian prosecco or an Aperol spritz.
- Long Days: The sun doesn’t set until quite late at night especially the farther north you are. You can often cram in a lot of sightseeing before taking a late dinner and watching the sunset on a Italian patio.
- Open Attractions: Most popular tourist attractions are open throughout high-season.
- Music Festivals: Europe hosts hundreds of outdoor music festivals during the summer while the weather is nice.
- Crowds: Italy is full of tourists during the summer. This means long wait times at museums, art galleries, and crowded trains. You should prepare to spend a significant amount of time waiting in lines during high season. Train reservations may also be required in order to guarantee you get a seat.
- Heat: Italy can become very hot in the summer especially in July and August. 90°F+ temperatures are not uncommon and air conditioning might be limited.
- High Costs: Prices go up significantly during high season. Expect to pay top price for everything from flights to hostels during peak season.
- Closed Shops: Since many Europeans often go on vacation during the summer many restaurants and shops will be closed. Specifically, many businesses in Italy are closed for the entire month of August.
- Lack of Crowds: There aren’t nearly as many tourists during the winter months making it far easier to see the attractions. You can often visit museums and art galleries without waiting in line at all during low season. This (relative) lack of tourists also makes it a bit easier to meet locals while in Italy.
- Lower Prices: Both flights and hostels are considerably cheaper during low season.
- Winter Sports: Italy has a lot of great locations for winter sports and activities. Why not ski or snowboard the Alps while in Italy?
- (Relatively) Mild Winters: While it can get quite cold, Italian winters are usually quite mild compared to winter in the northern United States and Canada. Most Italian cities have average temperatures between 40-60°F during the winter. Regionally, the mountanous north boasts the coldest temperatures.
- Short Days: It will start getting dark quite early (often around 4:30 p.m. in northern Italy) so make sure to plan your day and sightseeing accordingly.
- Bad Weather: While Italian winters are usually mild, they are also quite rainy, gray and dreary. Be sure to pack accordingly for both rain and cold if you intend on visiting Italy during low season.
- Reduced Hours of Attractions: Many Italian attractions have reduced hours during the low season. Some may even be closed during the winter due to the lack of tourists. Be sure to check ahead to avoid disappointment.
Some of the best months to travel in Italy are from April to June when spring is in full swing and the onslaught of seasonal travelers haven’t arrived yet. It is also great to travel between September to November when the weather is cooling a little along with the number of tourists at the most popular Italian attractions.
- (Generally) Nice Weather: Italy’s weather during shoulder season is usually quite temperate and nice.
- Relatively Few Tourists: While lines will likely be longer than in winter, travelers can still visit many attractions without having to wait at all. Similarly, hostels are usually not completely booked or completely empty during shoulder season.
- Gardens & Parks: Many parks and gardens in Italy will be in bloom during spring shoulder season or full of colorful leaves during fall shoulders season.
- Lower Prices: Prices often remain low during shoulder season.
- Some Attractions Closed/Shortened Hours: The vast majority of attractions will be open; however, some may still be maintaining winter hours of operation.
- Inconsistent Weather: The weather in Italy can be quite variable during shoulder season. Make sure you pack layers and a rain jacket/umbrella to be prepared for anything.
Quick guide to Italy | Top Destinations in Italy | Italian Travel Itinerary | Inspiration for Traveling to Italy | Popular Routes in Italy
|GoEuro's quick guide to traveling to Italy
Best time to go
|Summers can be very hot, winters are quite mild
|Try traditional Italian food such as pizza, pasta and gelato
|Rome, Florence, Venice, Milan
Learn some Italian Essentials!
When you travel to Italy, it's best to know a few common phrases as common courtesy. These basic Italian terms will come in handy when it comes to communicating with the locals.
- Hello, good-bye Ciao
- Please Per favore, Thank you Grazie
- You're welcome Prego
- Pardon me Mi scusi
- Do you speak English? Parla inglese?
- No No, Yes Sì
- I don't speak Italian. Non parlo italiano.
- Can you help me? Mi può aiutare?
- Where is the station? Dov’è la stazione?
- Where's the bathroom? Dov'è la toilette?
- How much does that cost? Quanto costa?
- Will you bring us the bill please? Ci fa il conto, per favore?
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Popular destinations for traveling to Italy
North Americans traveling to Italy will enjoy the art and culture, food and wine, beaches and skiing, or fashion and opera. Exploring the wonders of Ancient Rome and the Renaissance, the cities of Rome, Florence, Perugia, and Pisa, are a must for all travelers visiting Italy. Tastes of Italy can be discovered with seafood in Sicily, pizza in Naples, and pasta in Bologna, along with the wine regions of Chianti and the Piedmont. Opera and fashion come together in Milan, while Rome and Florence are full of world-class art and Renaissance buildings. Visit popular Italian destinations with GoEuro!
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Italian Travel Itinerary
From Prada and Valentino's fashion houses in Milan to the birthplace of pizza in Naples, traveling to Italy is a feast for the senses. While the Renaissance's art and the Roman empire's architecture make Italy one of the most visited countries in Europe, Italian food and wine are just as famous around the world. Travelers to Italy from North America can experience the best of Italy with GoEuro's 5 city tour from $74.
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More inspiration for traveling to Italy
Get some inspiration for traveling to Italy! No matter if you're interested in Renaissance art or Italian cuisine, there are limitless experiences for North Americans traveling to Italy. Check out some suggestions for trips to Italy and let GoEuro take you there!