Listed below, we talk about 10 things that visitors to Italy should take into mind when planning a vacation to Italy .  We hope you will find these comments useful.

  1. Trying to see ALL of Italy in one or two weeks and trying to DO IT ALL! 

Italy looks small on a map, very small indeed. In fact it is not even as big as half the size of the state of California, however, in reality it is expansive and the infrastructure and geography here in Italy make getting around a challenge. Trying to see all of Italy in two weeks is not possible and would never be a pleasant thing to try to do, so don’t do it and believe us!  We have been putting tours together for over 14 years and have ventured all over Italy collecting information about different regions, towns, cities, restaurants, hotels and much else – but we still haven’t been able to see all of Italy! In fact, we’re heading up to Trieste next week because despite many journeys up North, we still haven’t been able to stop there.

The point is that you may want to see Florence, Venice, Rome, the Cinque Terre, Sicily and the Amalfi Coast on your upcoming vacation to Italy and try to fit all of these places in, in the span of 2 weeks and we often get the question from many travel agents we work with:

“Hi Giuseppe! We have have clients who would like to see Venice, Florence, the Cinque Terre national Park, Rome, the Amalfi Coast and Sicily and we have 8 days. Can you please give us a quote?”

Our answer is always the same ”  We can give you a quote, but why would you do that to yourself?”

In short, take our advice and don’t try to see it all, or do it all in one trip.

Italy is  a country that gets into your bones, into your blood and into your soul and chances are, you will want to return to Italy after your first or second trip to get a better feel for the different areas and cultures and so please friends, DO NOT TRY TO DO IT ALL IN 2 WEEKS!

  1. Renting a Car from (or in) either Florence, Venice, Rome or Palermo (Sicily), the Amalfi Coast or Capri 


Having a car in any of the above mentioned cities  is a hindrance more than a help.  Forget about having a car in either of these places, because it will cause you a lot of frustration and annoyance.  Either take public transit, hire a driver or walk. In any of the above mentioned cities. We can help you whatever your budget, so just get in touch, but keep in mind, having a car is one of the worst things you can consider doing in any of these places given traffic, geography, city permits and many other factors. Taking the train between each destination and then organizing transportation with these cities is the way to go.

  1. Renting an apartment for less than 3-5 days.Ischia and Naples Coast 044

You may think that renting an apartment will save you money. Quite the contrary.

When you rent an apartment in Italy thinking that it will save you money by cooking for yourself (selves) keep in mind that you will have to buy yourself all the staple ingredients – salt, oil, pepper spices and various other ingredients that will cost you in addition to the ingredients you want to cook… so it all totals up to the cost of a dinner or lunch out at the end…

Not only this, but keep in mind napkins,  toilet paper and the bare essentials you may take for granted at home and are not going to be included in an apartment rental and when all is said and done after you’ve been touring all day anyway, who wants to cook?

Not me if I was coming to your town or city or country…. and rest assured, we have had many calls after people have arrived in apartments saying “Please get us out of here and into a hotel or some place nearby here where we don’t have to walk 3 flights of stairs.”

No problem.  Gladly. And for all the Air B&B clients out there who call us up…. No problem.  We’ve got you, here in Rome – Florence, Venice wherever… The Worst places in Italy to rent apartments.

Italy has some of the best food in the world…. and it is cheap to eat out. A pizza dinner can cost about 8 EURO a person or even a fantastic pasta dish. Alcoholic beverages aside, a couple can eat for about 13.50 EURO per person in Italy.

  1. Taking a day trip from Rome to visit Pompeii the Amalfi Coast or Rome to visit Capri

Many people have come to us over the years and have wanted to do this. We have obliged, given the amount of time and we will do this for you too.  However, we want you to keep in mind that the Amalfi Coast is one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world. Dotted by about 30 different towns, and a magical coast-line, you can spend about 30 minutes given the time we have here to enjoy it and about 1 hour in Pompeii.

It’s a 16-18 hour day and we do not recommend doing this if you can avoid it.   Go and stay there! See it, experience it and do something else there.

  1. Visiting Rome from Civitavecchia


If you have not visited Rome before, we can understand the appeal to visit Rome, however if there is any way you can spend some time in Rome rather than visiting Civitavecchia this is the best option since the distance to Civitavecchia from Rome is about 1.5 hours each way!  There are many, many other tours to consider out of Civitavecchia that are really beautiful options. We recommend saving your money to do a tour out of Civitavecchia into Rome and instead staying in Rome proper.

  1. Visiting the Cinque Terre in one day from Florence or Livorno

The Cinque Terre national park is not one town. It is a coastal region, which consists of 5 towns and while there are many companies offering day-trips from Livorno or Florence to the Cinque Terre, this is really an area that you want to stay a few days in. Furthermore, getting to and from the Cinque Terre national park is precarious and there are alternatives to consider that we think would be much more rewarding.

  1. Not renting a car in Tuscany / Umbria / Calabria / Puglia

If you are staying in any of the above mentioned regions or renting a holiday home, it is in your best interest to rent a car. Roads are safe, easy to follow.

8. Hiring a Translator

Hiring an official translator to help you in Italy is un-necessary and will not be needed unless you are dealing with legal matters.

9. Waiting to pre-book tickets to Vatican City, the Collosseum, Accademmia Gallery or Uffizi Galleries 

Tickets from May to October to get into any of these venues are extremely difficult to get and so if you are coming to Rome or Florence we strongly recommend you to pre-book tickets here.

10. Going to restaurants with the “tourist menu”  at restaurants 

As you may suspect, a ‘Tourist Menu” is a tourist trap and you are going to see this all over Italy. It may look like great value, but it’s usually very standard and low quality food.  We recommend going to restaurants that are local trattorias and family run places.

For great dining recommendations and tips on how to organize your trip, where to save money and get the most value for money for your upcoming trip, you can get in touch with the experts at team@italyvacationspecialists.com . We specialize in custom trips for couples – honeymoons, romantic holidays, family travel, travel for children and travel for singles. With offices all over Italy and a great team of locals deeply tied to the environment and culture here, we can surely make your trip an unforgettable experience and truly a trip of a life time!


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