Tip for Travellers

Where to Start Your Tour in Italy?

If you would like to visit Italy by bus or car and you cannot use ferries the best itinerary for most of the visitors is always driving from North to South on the West coast and form South to North by the East coast (or opposite)
If you arrive in Italy by boat or ferry the main ports all around Italy, La Spezia (Liguria Region), Livorno (Tuscany region), Civitavecchia (Rome), Naples (Campania Region), Palermo and Catania (Sicily Region), Venezia (Veneto Region), are always well connected with the most important touristic cities and venues. Morover most of the times are them self amazing destinations.
If you flight we suggest you, whenever possible, to book your ticket for starting your itinerary in a city and ending it in another. Internal flights are often not cheap in Italy and many cities are flighing only to Rome, Milan, Bologna, Pisa and Florence
Start a tour in Italy from Venice: Venice airport is an important entrance or departure gate for travellers in italy because the city its self must be seen at least one in life and because it is in the north-east corner of the country. This makes smart to arrange an itineary starting or arriving in Venice.
Start a tour in Italy from Milan: Milan is the second italian hub after Rome and has 2 international airports, Linate very close of the city on the East side and Malpena, around 50 kms away in the countryside of Novara on the West side, It is very confortable for starting a tour also because it is very well connected, by flight and train, with Rome, if you take into consideration to start and end your tour in one of these 2 cities.
Start a tour in Italy from Rome: “Tutte le strade portano a Roma” / “All roads lead to Rome”. Since the Roman empire Rome was considered the center of the world, so it is not strange to say that is most suitable solution for starting your italian holiday. In fact considering the number of internal and international flights of nearest Fiumicino airport, the Civitavecchia port 70 kms away, the Termini stations right in the city center, plus the importance of the destination its self, Rome is for sure the best place where to start your tour in Italy.
Start a tour in Italy from Florence and Pisa (Tuscany): Florence and Pisa airports there are important entrance or departure gate for travellers in italy because the cities its self must be seen at least one in life and because it is in the central part of the country. This makes smart to arrange an itineary starting or arriving in Pisa and Florence (because you can put the focus on the Arts and visit the famous Leaning Tower, see the David, the Uffizi Gallery and enjoy many intersting wine and food tours in Chianti!)

Best Time For Travelling

It’s time for arranging your holiday in Italy and you are forgetting to consider one of the fundamental aspects: the best time to travel to Italy!
Italy’s destinations are different and could be convenient to come at different times, depending on them. There are various “best times”, just analyze what you want to see and what you want to do in Italy!
If you are free enough and you are not forced to travel in a given period, you can evaluate the good and the bad of the different seasons. (A tip: It’s know that moms and dads don’t want to plan a trip in the middle of their childrens’ academic year!
For this reason they could be destined for the most crowded and expensive season in Italy, but what could be better than an educational experience in the ancient Rome, or surrounded by Renaissance Art?).
Note that, often, the adjective “crowded” is referred only to the inflated top destinations, such as Rome, Pompeii, Amalfi, Capri, Cinque Terre, Florence and Venice. We’re also talking in relative terms. Even in low and mid-season there is a line at the Colosseum, for example.
You could be lucky or not, no matter the period, the line could last 2 hours or 20 minutes. Other cities, such as many small groovy towns all over the “Bel Paese” (have you ever experienced Umbria and Puglia?), are almost always uncrowded…and you will love them!


For sure main cities will be crowded on New Year’s weeks, you could find out that from 8th of January, low season will start (with a break on the days around Valentine’s Day, think about a romantic holiday on these period). Flights and hotels have cheap rates, and even famous places are liveable. If you wanna walk under the Sistine Chapel, or enjoy Tuscany’s Art, this is the best time. If you are a fashion-victim, take advantage of this time..it is famous for its discounted prices (in italian, “saldi”) and Milan, one of the main centers of glamour and moda in the world, could be your destination (also look for outlet malls).
Another low season break is for Carnevale. There are celebrations with festivals, parades, and theater shows. Mardi Gras is celebrated in every italian city but if you are looking for something special, you can’t miss Venice and Viareggio! It is an exclusive experience and if you need to book a hotel reservations, don’t wait too much!
Take in mind that on January 1 and 6, museums could be closed.
An important factor: don’t overlook the weather! January is generally the most freezing month of the year, don’t forget your warmest clothes, especially if your destination is in the north: Venice’s temperature in this month is 30°-40°F. It could be rainy but think about the romantic atmosphere of canals plunged in the fog, enjoy its mysterious side..but be careful with the flood, take your boots with you!
Ok, we got it..you hate the cold. Then you should go towards the heel of the boot (of the peninsula!): Sicily keeps its warm temperature also in January (50°F), while Naples it’s quite mild (40°F). But if you are a snow lover and your aim is skiing, January and February is the best for the Alps. For sure, this is not the right period for Amalfi and the Cinque Terre, due to the sea conditions restaurants and shops could be closed in this period. But if you are a loner soul, you will certainly appreciate this poetic places.

Here comes the shoulder season, a comfortable mix of good weather and uncongested places. But don’t forget to take in consideration Easter and Spring breaks! Schools are closed, this is time for families to move.
Take in mind that on April 25 (Liberation Day), museums could be closed.
Love is in the air around the Como Lake, in Amalfi and the Cinque Terre coasts on this period. Come to enjoy their nice and exclusive restaurants with a break around glamour boutiques and typical wine shops. If you like the healthy side, don’t miss to walk on the famous hiking trails. But, even if you are not in a perfect shape and you just like to sit and admire the beautiful sea, the famous “Via dell’Amore” is waiting for you. Weather is changeable and the temperatures start to be very pleasant. Rome and Florence temperatures go up to 50°-60°F.

Not yet in the high season, but prices start to go up fast from May to the end of June. Nevermind the money..Rome in Spring is awesome! Maybe you don’t know it but it’s a beautiful green city, don’t forget to have a walk or a ride on bike by the Appian Way Regional Park. Then immerse yourself in the Eternal City: the Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps, the Imperial fora, the Vatican museums,..the list could be endless. Try to not miss anything!
June rhymes with summer..well, not literally! Indeed this is the month of the sun. The temperatures become to be warm (70°-80°F) and the rainfalls are light and rare, with the sky almost always clear. In many places the beaches are already comfortable. In the first two weeks of June, you could be one of the few foreigns enjoying the most popular and beautiful beaches not yet crowded (it could be the best time to visit Sardinia and Sicily!).
Take in mind that on May 1 (Labor Day), museums and some businesses could be closed.

Here comes the peak of high season. The best time to stay in line for hours and the period in which everyone seems to have come to Italy. Also the temperature reaches its higher peak: 85°-105°F in a bubble of humidity. Be careful and avoid the the hottest times of the day and exposure to direct sunlight without a good layer of sunscreen!
That said, summer has its bright sides. July and August (with a great concentration around ferragosto week) offer you so many events, festivals, shows, celebrations. There is almost no distinction between day and night life.
If you prefer a fresh summer holiday, it is the best time for live an agriturismo experience (in Tuscany don’t forget to visit the beautiful Siena, or hill towns of Umbria and Marche Region) or enjoy the summer side of Italian mountains, with all the beautiful activities that they offer.
Take in mind that around ferragosto week some businesses could be closed. 

Not only the first two weeks of September, but the entire month can be considered a very part of summer. Temperatures start to go back to 70°-80°F, and the emotions that Italy can give in this period are on a par with those of June, but under an even clearer sky! September light is a delight for the eye.
October is the best time to visit Italy under the economical point of view. Depending on the years, but if you are lucky this month can give you special emotions. There are still beautiful sunny days and, even if the rainfalls are more frequent than in spring, most of the past years October could have been included in summer season, no ifs or buts!
September is always the Harvest Wine Season
October is always the Harves Olive Oil Season
From September will be possible to enjoy the Truffle Season 

The very low season is in these period, and till Christmas time, there is a low flow of tourists. Two exception are constituted by the 8th of December (The Immaculate Conception Day) and the 1st of November (All Saints’ Day). Take in mind that on these days, museums and some businesses could be closed.
The temperatures are moderate, but this is the season during which rainfalls reach the highest peak: November is the rainiest month, so if you come to Italy pack your umbrella and rain jacket! Even if sky is gray, Italy can give you unforgettable emotions, colors of italian artistic architectural beauties own a shiny charm when wet!
This is the Truffle Season. 

Tips to Drive in Italy

The best way travel through Italy is by its wide-ranging train rails. Fast trains (Intercity, Frecce, Eurostar) cost between 20-100 euros per trip. The slow regional trains cost between 3-25 euros per trip, take them! you could better admire the beautiful landscapes you would pass by. For short distances, you can take buses and subways with a cheap price, spending around 2 euro for a single ticket.
You really want to drive in Italy? We got it: it could be hard to visit the isolated villages and rural areas making Italy so groovy. We assure you that exploring areas in the middle of nowhere by train and bus is possible in some way, and easier than you think. Nevertheless a rented car guarantees you more freedom and, depending on the number of people you’re with, it could be the cheapest option. You could even rent a motorcycle or scooter, but probably they are not the best choice for long distance trips.
That said, driving in Italy can be a savage experience, mostly for the awesome reputation of Italian drivers. They get wilder the further south you reach! Driving in Italian cities is for daredevil drivers only. Ok, we joked a bit..if you read the following rules you’ll be handling Italian roads like a boss..just don’t abuse the car horn, please.


Foreign-registered vehicles having fulfilled customs obligations (if applicable) are allowed to circulate in Italy for a maximum of one year.
When driving in Italy, you need to have the following documents with you:
– Vehicle registration certificate.
– Valid national driving licence enabling to drive the category of vehicle driven.
– Unless your national driving licence was issued by an EU/EFTA-member state, it must be accompanied either by an international driving permit, to be obtained prior to departure, or by a sworn translation into Italian.
– Third party liability insurance cover bought in an EU country. Residents of non-EU countries should contact their insurance company prior to departure and check whether they need a green card (international insurance certificate) or a short term insurance.
All foreign-registered vehicles circulating in Italy must display a nationality sticker at the rear.
 

In Italy you must drive on the right. The left lanes are reserved for overtaking. The vehicle to be overtaken must keep as far to the right as possible.
Driving on the emergency lane is forbidden, since this is reserved for rescue and emergency vehicles and emergency stops.
An adequate safety distance should be maintained so as to avoid collisions in case the preceding vehicle brakes suddenly.
Seat belts are compulsory for the driver and all occupants of the vehicle, including light quadricycles and micro cars.
Moped riders cannot carry any passenger until they are 18 years old.
Moped riders aged at least 18 can carry one passenger, provided this is indicated in the moped registration document.
Motorcycle or moped riders must wear a helmet. Helmets must be European type-approved and must be worn correctly at all times.
Driving on the lanes specially reserved for public transport is forbidden. Such lanes are identified by means of special road signs and yellow road markings.
 

In town areas parking places are usually designated by road-surface markings in three different colours, as follows:
Blue lines indicate a “pay and display” parking place. An accompanying sign gives the relevant details including paying hours and parking charges. Charges vary from town to town.
The parking receipt must be displayed on the dashboard inside the car. Payment can be made either at local parking meters with coins, or by purchasing a “scratch and display” tag at tobacconists’ or newspaper shops.
White lines indicate a free-of-charge parking place. An adjacent sign may indicate a time
restriction requiring that a parking disc be set to time of arrival and displayed on the dashboard.
Yellow lines indicate a parking place reserved for special categories of users (such as disabled motorists, local residents, municipal services and utilities) holding a permit issued by the relevant Municipality.
Parking/garaging of LPG-fuelled vehicles (conforming to ECE/ONU 67/01) in closed buildings is allowed only at above-ground floors of covered car parks and first underground floor of underground garages. 

In Restricted Traffic Areas (ZTL) a no thoroughfare is in force for private vehicles outside of specific hours – usually early morning and late afternoon. Weekdays and hours when it is possible to access ZTLs vary from town to town, according to local ordinances.
Warning: make sure you avoid restricted traffic areas in the historical centres of Italian cities or remember to pay attention to information signs at the entrance to ZTLs.
Anytime a vehicle enters or exits a restricted traffic area (Zona Traffico Limitato – ZTL), cameras take a picture of the license plate.
The photo is automatically sent to a computer of the Municipal Police and if the license plate is not registered in the relevant database a violation ticket is generated and sent to the owner of the vehicle.
Restricted traffic areas are clearly indicated by a sign showing a white circle with red borders, stating the hours in which the area is restricted. 

The general legal limit of alcohol in the blood of drivers is 0.5 g/l (0.05%).
A special limit of 0.00% applies for newly licensed drivers having held their driving licence for less than 3 years, young drivers up to 21, as well as for professional drivers.
Of course, driving under the influence of narcotics and psychotropic substances is also forbidden.
Each time you plan to enjoy a wine tasting experience (wine tours) we strongly suggest you to hire a professional english speaking driver (drink, enjoy and relax) 

Italy For Travellers

As everywhere, it is useful to remember some fundamental safety measures to travel as comfortable as possible.

  1. Search out tourist offices and points that offer maps, suggestions and other help in any place you stop in.
  2. Check map areas for your lodgments and places of touristic interest. Take care with distances from air terminals/stations and picked lodgments. Stay abreast of cabin costs and subtle info when booking and looking at.
  3. Ride in approved taxis labelled by authority signs and ID. The ID there are always TAXI or NCC (the Taxi can ride only in the towns – the NCC there are English Speaking Drivers with car/van and they can drive everywhere). Request the driver’s cost gauge for your course ahead of time, read principles and controls posted inside taxi, and keep up an eye on the taxicab’s meter from start to finish of your voyage. Keep in mind that any ride ensures first luggage for nothing out of pocket. Don’t forget to request an official receipt at the cost you pay.
  4. In restaurants take a look at the prices on the menu and remember that table service would be charged on final prices. Owners must show and explain you any additional cost.
  5. Generally, restroom use is free in bars and restaurants. Giving a tip or consuming something is an appreciated behavior. In many cases, at Railroad and transport stations coins are needed for this service. The water of public bubblers is generally safe to drink, unless otherwise showed.
  6. Whenever possible, purchase by traceable instruments (debit cards, credit cards, cheques), yet make certain to have money close by for exceptional situations. Try not to show off money in public, and escape as fast as possible from people attempting to occupy you by requesting personal info or cash.
  7. Continuously practice your entitlement to request receipts for any purchasing, and pay consideration on charges and check the authenticity of the receipt (sellers regularly endeavor to give informal printed paper as receipts in order to abstain from paying taxes).
  8. Purchase all tickets from official sellers and remember that buying tickets online often ensures additional advancements and/or rebates. Don’t trust guarantees to move forward your place in line and keep in mind that entrance to public places is constantly free. Know opening hours and terms of conditions for places you choose to visit (e.g. numerous places are closed on certain occasions, while numerous permit free access to European citizens under 18 or more than 65).
  9. Take care of your belongings and don’t give custody of them to untrustworthy people.
  10. At whatever time you feel threaten or in danger situations or your rights as a customer are not regarded, look for or call local police.