The best way to gain perspective on your travel itinerary, to make informed decisions about where you want to go, how long you will need to explore each location, what time of year you want to travel and so on is to start by looking at a map of Italy.
Obviously, the language spoken in Italy is Italian and, aside some rough dialects that may be hard to understand, English is widely spoken in heavily touristic areas, so you should be able to find someone who can always help.
When to Visit
Since Italy enjoys a moderate climate, in the south rain is infrequent and in alpine regions quick thunderstorms are frequent, even in summer.
Since the Italian summers can be dreadfully hot, especially in August, it is better to visit Italy in the spring or autumn months, when the porcini and truffles start appearing. But don’t worry! If you plan on traveling this summer, know that it can be cool at night and there is usually more rain during July and August.
Season aside, you should always hunt down Italian festivals and “sagras”, the ladder being a celebration of something specific like porcini mushrooms, where residents of nearby towns and cities come together to cook and share recipes featuring this highlighted ingredient.
Eating Out and Accommodations
The locals usually eat “pranzo” (lunch) at around 1 in the afternoon and dinner is served around 8 in the evening. Lunch is often considered the main meal, and most stores close at 1 for a long period when many shopkeepers and shoppers alike flood to local restaurants. Thus, for a more comfortable experience we recommend you get to restaurants before 1 p.m. to avoid the rush hour.
For wine lovers, Italy is pure bliss since even a small trattoria, which may not have a wine list, will always have a “vino della casa” (house wine).
Let’s talk about tips! It is customary to leave small change for a tip in Italy, or up to five percent of the total bill if the service is good (some say 10 percent in a fancy ristorante where the service is impeccable).
Getting Between Cities and Destinations
For getting around while hopping from one Italian city to another we recommend the ES (Eurostar) the fastest trains of the country, which are the best means of public transportation.
Here are some typical travel times:
Milan to Reggio Calabria: 11 hours
Milan to Venice: 2 hours, 45 minutes
Rome to Turin: 6 hours, 11 minutes
Rome to San Remo: 6 hours, 39 minutes
Rome – Venice: 4 hours, 33 minutes
This year’s recommendation: Rome, the Capital of Italy
To many tourists, Rome is a fascination and almost an obsession; and for good reason since it doesn’t feel like a trip to Italy unless you’ve enjoyed your first coffee in the Tazza d’ Oro, the “Golden Cup” near the Pantheon.
Rome is as fluid as a dream with its architecture being a jumble of modern, Baroque, Renaissance, and Roman. Therefore, you must walk it to feel and understand it to its fullest.
For the ultimate experience you’ll want to have lunch with a view over at the Castel Sant’Angelo, see its interior and learn about the lavish life the Popes led while hiding out, then head up to the top floor for the Caffe and have an affordable meal with a fantastic panorama.
Don’t be afraid of Rome! Let its charm and warmth lead you through its historical sites while following a three-day Rome itinerary. It’s a great city and there’s a bit of sidewalk and a bit of magic for everyone.
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