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Italy Tourism And Travel Guide
13° C / 55.5° F
April to September
7 to 10 Days
Leonardo da Vinci Airport
Italy is a land of beautiful history and even more beautiful present. The roads are cobbled and bridges antiquated with figurines of angels and serpents cafes serve coffees and lattes all day long while you get to experience some of the greatest wonders of all time in Rome’s Colosseum and Florence’s Duomo. Tourism in Italy is bound to be a tour of all your senses and bring out a new hunger in you to explore the land as a traveller and not a tourist. If you wish to know the nitty-nitty-gritties of this European well of Roman civilisation, study this travel guide of Italy.
How to Reach
The easiest way to reach Italy from India is to take a flight. Then you can choose from many other modes like road, rail and domestic flights to commute internally.
Rome has two main international airports: Leonardo da Vinci Airport in Fiumicino (most International flights) and Ciampino Airport (majorly domestic, and a few International flights). You can fly on Air France, British Airways, Air India, Lufthansa or Etihad to Italy. Regular flights operate from Mumbai and Delhi.
Road trips are a beautiful way to explore Italy. The best road trip is through the Amalfi coast though you can also do north to south Italy trip. You can also drive into Italy from other neighbouring countries like Switzerland, Austria or France. Buses and coaches are also available.
The Eurail makes rail travel a cakewalk in Italy as well as from other European nations into Italy. Roma Termini is Rome’s main railway station and becomes a hub of many railway routes to different parts of the country.
You can also travel to Italy on a cruise, as many ships dock on its Mediterranean coast. Regular ferries also ply to Italian coast of Venice, Bari and Ancona from Greece, Albania, Croatia, North Africa etc.
Weather and Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Italy is through its late spring, summer and autumn seasons. Though winter is also not a bad time.
Spring (March to May):
Spring in Italy sees a moderately pleasant temperature of 15-20°C when the air is clear and dry with mild sun to accompany. This is the season of bloom; and ripe oranges, olives, figs and other fruits look swollen to bursting on trees. You must visit the coastal towns and islands of Greece like Sicily at this time.
Summer (June to September):
Italy is hounded and crowded by tourists in summer. From June to September, you will not find empty spaces in tourist places, neither get tickets or entry into the Colosseum or anywhere else without waiting in long queues. However, the weather is at its best at this time and you can tuck into as many gelato cones in a day as possible.
Autumn (October to November):
Autumn is a short sweet season in Italy, a shoulder season that many see as the departure of major crowds. What is left is peace and tranquil charm with good 23°C average temperature. Things are cheaper and since this is the time of harvest, you will get to be a part of many festivals revolving around truffles and cheeses and crops and chocolates.
Winter (December to February):
Some northern parts of Italy see a bitter, freezing winter with temperatures going below freezing point, while the south is pleasant with almost 20°C in the Sicilian islands. Ski resorts in the Italian alps make for a major tourist attraction, while Christmas markets of Trento and Bolzano are quite famous.
Things to Do
Be a pilgrim in the Vatican
Visit the Vatican City when in Rome, the seat and headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church. Fans of Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons, this is your go-to spot for all trivia and to follow the museums, libraries and sites where the film was shot. From the St Peter’s Basilica to Piazza San Pietro, Sistine Chapel to Vatican Palace, you are bound to get a crash course in religion and history.
The ruins of the Roman city of Pompeii are as interesting as the active volcano of Mt. Vesuvius that destroyed it. Explore the amphitheatres, modern aqueducts and streets lined with ancient architecture of 79 AD. The place is an open air museum.
Drive down the Amalfi Coast:
Coast down Amalfi in a car, and enjoy road-tripping through the Mediterranean sea-side of Italy. The coastal road winds through mountains and plains, small villas and gardens on the side, lemon shrub meadows and hills of Ravello. You must stop at the seaside town of Positano too.
Discover Medici in Florence:
Florence has been the cradle of renaissance in Europe, as well as the cauldron of major scientific thinking. The city was ruled by the bankers of Medici family once, the most open-minded of them being Lorenzo di Medici, in whose reign Florence saw the emergence of Leonardo da Vinci. Visit the Duomo, Uffizi Gallery for Botticelli’s work and other museums for Michelangelo and Raphael.
See Rome in a Day:
A day trip of Rome is the best tourist thing to do here. It is a blast to the senses, from the cobbled roads that are as ancient as civilisation to the cafes that are buzzing with fresh cups of coffee and steaming plates of antipasto, from sites like the Oppian Hill and Colosseum to the Roman Forum, Palatine Hill and Circus Maximus.
What to Eat
When in Italy, stuff yourself with pizza, pasta, coffee and gelato! It is a fact universally acknowledged that there is no sorrow that a slice of pizza cannot cure. And what happens when you get full pies of these mood-lifters at Naples? The best place to eat Pasta is basically all over Italy, the best bolognese and lasagna in the town of Bologna. Don’t forget to visit the town of Parma to source fresh parmesan cheese and enjoy the antipasti and fragrant sauces with hand-made pasta of Sicily. The gelato ice creams should be eaten all day everyday, especially through summers. You may return with a thicker waistline, but it would be worth it.
Where to Shop
Shopping in Italy is a MUST. You must pick up clothes, haute couture accessories, leather bags, hand-made Italian shoes, pastas, olive oils… and the list goes on. Go to Rome’s Via Condotti, and Via del Babbuino for Italian fashion shopping, while Florence’s Ponte Vecchio bridge is lined by shops selling local artworks and souvenir items, paintings etc. There are also many artisan shops and indie-fashion boutiques to choose from. But the best fashion shopping is reserved for Milan; in the upscale street of Montenapoleone you will find yourself swimming through brands like Louis Vuitton, Sergio Rossi, Ralph Lauren and Gucci. Other souvenir gifts to take home from Italy include Italian ceramics, loafers, Balsamic Vinegar and olives.