Learn More About Travel to Italy
Gondola with Rialto Bridge, Venice
Travel map of major tourist locations in Italy
1. Did you know that Venice has more than 400 bridges that connect the cities
118 islands? And this is all interconnected with the famed Venice Canals. You
can explore and experience the Venice Canals on a quintessential gondola
ride. Your trained gondolier can share history and secrets of the city as they
paddle through the Grand Canal.
2. Pop quiz: What is one of the most romantic things you can experience in
Answer: A sunset gondola ride through Venice.
1. Step back in time to 80AD when you visit the largest amphitheater ever built
with space to hold 50,000 spectators. As you stand in its center, let your imag-
ination run wild as you try to picture the gladiator fights.
2. Did you know that in ancient days, the Roman Colosseum was sometimes
flooded for boat battles? No wonder this is one of the New 7 Wonders of the
Sunset in Tuscany
1. Did you know that there are more than 25 movies set in the Tuscany region?
Movie directors love to use the Tuscan landscape as their backdrop com-
bined with the beauty of its capital city of Florence.
2. Tuscany is home to many great wine vineyards. Its most famous is Chianti,
the “heart of Tuscany,” where the namesake red wine is made.
Sunset in Venice Canal
1. Did you know that at least 60% of all traffic in Venice moves through the
2. While most canals in Venice are fairly shallow at just a few feet, the Grand
Canal is about sixteen feet deep and is up to three hundred feet wide in some
areas as it winds in an S-shaped pattern.
Trevi Fountain, Rome
1. The iconic Trevi fountain is the largest Baroque fountain in Rome at a whop-
ping 85 feet high and 65 feet wide. The most notable feature is of its god and
triton statues designed to “tame the waters” as the fountain is the final point
in the Aqua Virgo aqueduct system.
2.Grab a coin and make a wish! Take part in the tradition of throwing three
coins from your right hand over your left shoulder. Legend says that one coin
means you will return to the “Eternal City” of Rome, two coins means you will
return and fall in love, three coins means you will return, fall in love and marry.
Italy - Top 10 Places to Visit in Italy
In addition to being one of the easiest countries to find on a map, Italy is rich in history and culture. The land was first inhabited by Etruscans before others like Celts, Phoenicians, and Greeks. One of the more notable ancient times was that of the Roman Empire which was founded in 753BC. It lasted hundreds of years until its fall in the Middle Ages. This Roman Empire has had a lasting effect on the country of Italy including religion, art, culture, language, philosophy and government.
So, how do you decide where to spend your time in Italy if there is so much rich culture and so many wonderful cities? Consider this brief overview as a quick introduction to the more notable places and their features that are popular for first-time visitors.
Rome - This capital of Italy is one of the oldest cities in the world and a favorite among Italy lovers. It is known as the “City of Seven Hills” because of its geography as well as the “Eternal City” with its connection to the Catholic Church. In addition to standing in the Roman Colosseum, be sure to include a visit to Vatican City where you can see St. Peter’s Basilica and the Sistine Chapel. Take a stroll through the different piazzas (town squares) and see its famous statues and fountains. Trevi Fountain is a must-see as it is one of the most famous fountains in the world and one of the largest Baroque fountains in Rome.
Venice - Most people think of Venice when they think about the romance of Italy. This city is built around a series of canals that connects 118 islands and more than 400 bridges. The Grand Canal is the most famous with its S-shape that splits the city into two parts. Take a gondola ride through the canal and under the famous Ponte di Rialto bridge. Enjoy the ringing of the St. Mark’s Campanile from St. Mark’s Basilica and visit the beautifully ornate Doges Palace.
Florence - This capital city of the Tuscany region is often considered the birthplace of the Renaissance. The skyline’s most notable features of this city are the Duomo, the domed cathedral of Santa Maria del Flore, and the Palazzo Vecchio, the town hall. The town hall overlooks Piazza della Signoria which houses a replica of Michelangelo’s David statue. The original David statue can be viewed in the Galleria dell’Accademia di Firenze. Art lovers should be sure to also visit the Uffizi Gallery.
This city is known mostly for its influence on the world’s art and fashion and hosts the famed Milan Fashion Week yearly. While in town for fashion, be sure to see some of Leonardo da Vinci’s best works like The Last Supper and take in an opera at La Scala Opera House.
Don’t limit your experience in the Tuscany region to only Florence. First-time visitors will want to see the Tower of Pisa that is in this region as well as enjoy all that the countryside has to offer. This region is also known for its classic Italian wine, Chianti, its medieval architecture of San Gimignano, the oldest bank in the world in Siena, and the great Spa Towns of Europe.
This city’s historic center is the largest of its kind in Europe and has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has much to offer from natural beauty to unbelievable ruins. Enjoy the city full of historic castles like Castel dell’Ovo, the Egg Castle, and Castle Nuovo. Be sure to also make time to visit the Royal Palace of Caserta during the spring to see its gardens and parks in full bloom. This area is also known for its ancient cities of Pompei and Herculaneum. These ruins were preserved in volcanic ash from the Mount Vesuvius eruptions of 79AD until excavation.
Amalfi Coast -
This luxurious area is made up of 13 coastal towns that are picturesque and much of what people imagine when thinking of the Italian Coast. This coastal area is known most for the towns of Positano and Amalfi. Positano is a town made up of pastel buildings, resorts and restaurants built into the cliffside. Amalfi is a historic maritime republic. Enjoy a hike along the Path of the Gods and treat yourself to limoncello which is produced in this region.
The Isle of Capri, in the Bay of Naples, is one of the more famous Italian islands known for its laid-back but luxurious charm that draws royalty and celebrities alike. You can stay on the island for holiday or take a ferry for a day trip. A visit to the Blue Grotto natural sea cave is a must as it is the most notable site on the island. In the cities of Capri or Anacapri, to enjoy shopping and dining.
This triangle-shaped island is Italy’s largest island and one of its 20 Italian regions. A visit to Sicily gives you a tropical island with mixed with sandy beaches, green hills and ancient ruins all in one topped off by some of the best seafood and pastries in the world.
Though it has long been a favorite spot to vacation for locals, the lesser-known region of Puglia is beginning to grow in popularity for tourists and some are evening calling it “Little Florence.” This area, located in the heel of the boot, is a more slow-paced and quiet retreat. Many of the small towns that are peppered with boutique hotels allow for visitors to wander the streets easily and engage with locals alike. There are some great architectural things to see like the trulli houses that have cone roofs in Itria and the white city of Ostuni. And Lecce is where you can see the Basilica di Santa Croce and the Sant’Oronzo column.
Each place mentioned is somewhere that can fill your vacation, short or long. As a first-time visitor, you may want to focus only on one or two popular places like Rome or Venice. There are also some great guided tours that are the “best of” in each major area so you get a nice taste to learn what you like best for your next visit. No matter where you choose as your first stop in Italy, you won’t be disappointed in the sights, the culture, the food or the memories.
GETTING THERE: The easiest ways to get to Italy is by air or cruise ship port of
call. The preferred airport will depend on the region you visit. The top inter-
national airports include:
+ Rome Airport Fiumicino (FCO)
+ Milan Malpensa Airport (MXP)
+ Venice Marco Polo Airport (VCE)
+ Florence Airport (FLR)
+ Naples Airport (NAP)
* Bari Airport (BRI)
LANGUAGE: The official language in Italy is Italian. You will also hear German
in some northern regions.
CLIMATE: Italy is in the temperate zone and is similar to a Mediterranean
climate overall. The climate does vary across the country due to its size
and length with upward of seven main climatic zones, from Alpine Mountain
climate to sub-tropic hot summers in the Po Valley. Overall, the average
daytime temperatures in winter outside of the Alpine region are about 55°F
and about 85'F in summer. High season is June to August with warm sum-
mer months and long sunny days.
MONEY/CURRENCY (CREDIT CARDS, DEBIT CARDS, TIPPING, ATMS): The main
currency is the Euro (EUR) and credit and debit cards are also widely accept-
ed. Tipping is appreciated in restaurants and with tour guides. Expect to trip
up to 10% in restaurants, 1 EUR per bag with a porter, and round up a couple of
Euros for a taxi driver.
ELECTRICITY: Italy uses three types of European plugs, C F, and L. The voltage
is 230 or 220 volts and 50Hz.
1. See the Roman Colosseum
4. See Michelangelo's David statue
2 Visit the Sistine Chapel in Vatican —_ in Florence
5. Visit the Royal Palace of Caserta
3. Take a gondola ride through the in Naples
canals of Venice 6. Explore the cliffside towns of
Italy Sample Itinerary
The different regions of Italy offer much art, culture, and architecture to expe-
rience but are spread out enough that you will need to decide on a general
area of the country to visit. This sample itinerary shows you how you could ex-
perience a great first trip to Italy with a focus on the major cities in the north-
ern half of the country.
Arrive in Venice, Italy (if flying in from the United States do not go to
bed. Stay up to get acclimated to the time zone difference). Be picked
up by your ground transfer service and drop your bags at your hotel.
Enjoy being in the center of the city and consider an afternoon visit to
Murano to see and to learn more about its famous glassmaking.
Start the morning with a good breakfast and then head out for a full
day of exploring. Enjoy a guided walking tour of St. Mark’s Square, St.
Mark’s Basilica and Doges Palace. After a leisure lunch in a local café,
be sure to take a private gondola ride through the Grand Canal and
enjoy the rest of the day at your leisure.
Today, enjoy the beauty of the Italian countryside train as you head
to Florence. The afternoon is the perfect time to take in the skyline
that includes the Piazza del Duomo. The more adventurous types can
climb the bell tower for breathtaking views.
Enjoy a good breakfast before exploring the Uffizi and Accademia art
galleries. Marvel at Michelangelo's David and enjoy some of da Vinci's
works. Finish off the day with a gourmet dinner at one of the 6 Michelin
star rated restaurants.
Italy Packing List
Packing for your trip to Italy may vary slightly based on the time of year.
The weather during peak summer months can get very hot but the spring
and autumn months can be very pleasant. Remember that style is import-
ant in Italy so you will want to leave your worn-out pair of sweats home for
this trip and save the shorts for the beach. Many of the churches on your
must-see also list require shoulders and knees to be covered.
@ Undergarments & Lightweight pants
™ Socks/hosiery i Skirts
lm Loungewear/sleepwear @ Slacks (men)
® Casual and dress tops (men ® Sun and/or maxi dresses
should pack collared shirts for = Swimsuit and cover up (if you
evenings out) plan to spend a day at the beach)
@ Casual walking shoes — you will & andals/flip flops for beach/pool
do a lot of walking
®@ Dress shoes/heels
™ Small bag/backpack & Toiletries
@ Scarf @ Extra medicines
& Water bottle ®@ Camera
™ Sunglasses/hat ™ Device/phone chargers