8 practical tips for visiting Italy

We absolutely love Italy. If we had it our way, we’d visit at least once a year! There is something for everyone and the food… don’t get me started on the food!

Here are 8 practical tips for visiting Italy.

Practical Travel Tips for visiting Italy

#1 The locals don’t always speak English

Even though Italy welcomes millions of tourists each year, it doesn’t mean that the locals speak English! Sure, if you head to Milan as an example, English is commonly understood, but if you visit Sicily (as an example), you will find that hardly any, if any of the locals speak English. So, before you go, download Google Translate or make a note of some common phrases and make an effort to learn some bits and pieces – they will appreciate it I can promise you that.

#2 August may be one of the worst months to visit

Worst may be an exaggeration, but the locals often take their holidays in August so the roads can be busy, many places are closed and the beaches crowded.

#3 Buy your tickets in advance

When you often have limited time, the last thing you want to do is line up for a half a day, trust me, it can happen at world-famous attractions! You should definitely buy your tickets in advance – some attractions can book out months in advance too!

#4 Wear comfortable walking shoes

You will be doing a lot of walking!

Be practical and wear some comfortable shoes! Many of the streets can often be cobblestone so you don’t want to be wearing shoes that are uncomfortable or unsteady, high heels are not recommended. You also don’t want to be caught out doing an unexpected hike wearing sandals! It’s happened to me!

#5 Bring extra memory cards

I can promise you that you will be taking photos everywhere you go, so be sure to pack extra memory cards so you don’t have to go through and delete photos to make space! It is also worth noting that a spare battery for your camera won’t go astray either!

#5 Take note of the public transport timetables

You may find yourself a bit stuck on a Sunday if you’re needing to take a regional train. There can often be a local bus that will stop in each town but it isn’t always as convenient. I’d recommend hiring a car if you can for convenience, otherwise plan carefully!

#6 Some shops, supermarkets and restaurants close in the afternoon

In most towns, you will find that most shops close in the afternoon after lunch and reopen again for dinner. You may find that on a Sunday they are closed altogether.

#7 Enjoy a small, non-touristy town

Even if it’s just for one night of your trip, enjoy spending time in a small non-touristy town. The locals will welcome you and you will really feel like you’re in a different country.

#8 Staying a while longer? You may need a personal tax code!

If you love Italy so much that you decide to stay, you will need to get a personal tax code, which they call a codice fiscale which is similar to that of a Tax File Number (TFN) in Australia or a Social Security number in the USA. This code will help get you access to various services or the ability to rent an apartment.

Visiting Italy? Need Ideas?

Check out our Italy page for some ideas of where to visit in Italy.

“Remember that happiness is a way of travel – not a destination.” – Roy M. Goodman

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