Known as the birthplace of Western culture, Italy is a stunning country affectionately refereed to as the Bel Paese (the beautiful country). It is recognized across the globe for its high art, monuments, delicious cuisine, fast cars and awe-inspiring coast, lakes and mountain ranges. It is also home to greatest number of UNESCO World Heritage sites in the world. This Italy travel guide will help you plan your next vacation.
Italy Travel Guide: Fast Facts
- Italian power voltage is 220/230 V 50Hz; Plug C & F.
- The Italian currency is the EURO and is around 1 Euro to 1.35 USD
- Some churches may require that travelers wear appropriate attire: women must have their knees and shoulders covered while men need to wear long pants.
- Value added tax (IVA) is charged on purchases, such as meals at restaurants, shopping expenses and hotel accommodations. If you are resident of a non-European Union country, you can get a refund of this tax in certain participating shops. For more info on VAT refunds, click here.
Top Packing Tips for Italy Travel
Similar to many European countries, that climate of Italy is highly diverse depending on where you plan on travelling. Considerable differences in temperatures between the north and south are more prominent during the winter months. Winters are cold and damp in the north and milder in the South. However, most of Italy has hot dry summers with July being the hottest month of the year.
- Toiletries – beauty items and toiletries can be expensive in Italy, if you want to save some money than pack some extra in your bag.
- Blend in – Italians love to dress up, so why not pack some basic classic items that you can mix and match throughout your trip. Try to avoid baseball caps and white sneakers.
- Wedges – Italy is known for its cobblestone streets. If you want to pack a fancy pair of heels for a classy night out on the town than stick with wedges over stilettos. Wedges allow you to walk smoothly over the cobblestone.
- Layers – this is especially important for those travelling throughout Italy during the winter months. The general rule of thumb is to pack at least four layers: a base layer, long sleeve shirts, a fleece (mid-layer) and a top layer such as a windbreaker. Don't forget a warm pair of gloves, thick scarf and a hat!
Check out our Packing Tips for more suggestions on what to bring with you.
Top Things to do in Italy
- Kick Butt at Gladiator school – Learn a little about the Ancient City's past while also getting the chance to wield an epic sword in Rome.
- Get your Adrenaline Fix with Ferrari – Be part of the ultimate Ferrari experience by exploring two museums and having the chance to take one for a spin on the tract at Auto Dromo di Modena.
- Go on a Rome Food Tour – take a culinary and cultural journey through one of the last remaining “old” neighbourhoods in Rome.
- Visit Rome's Non-Catholic Cemetery – this cemetery claims to have the highest density of famous and important graves anywhere in the world. Its most famous resident is the poet Keats.
- Meet David on a Walking Tour of Florence – get introduced to the beauty of Florence and be catapulted to the front of the line to see the famous statue of Michelangelo's David.
- Learn How to Make Traditional Balsamic Vinegar – sold for up to $100 US for 100 ml, learn all about the ins and outs of making this delicious Italian vinegar.
- A Vespa Tour of Rome – Scoot around the ancient city of Rome on your own Vespa!
- See Venice by Boat – take a private tour through Venice on your own personal luxurious water taxi.
- Off the Beaten Path – step outside of Rome and explore the many villages that surround Italy's capital.
- Visit the Leaning Tower of Pisa – Pisa may be crowded with tourists, but this is one sight you do not want to miss.
- Explore Romagna – not only is Romagna home to Pavarotti, Enzo Ferrari, Ferrucio Lamborghini but it is also the gastronomical capital of the country.