Last updated August 13, 2023
This Italy Travel Guide will give you all of the info you need to know that I learned from being a solo female living and traveling in Italy! Welcome to the land of Pasta and Vino. Come on in, the water’s nice!
Why am I, Sydney Zaruba owner and CEO at The Boho Traveller qualified to write an Italy Travel Guide? Well I’ll start off by saying it is one of my favourite countries in the world…
I’ll never forget the first time I stepped foot into Italy.
It was my first time ever leaving the country, except for the Bahamas, and I was immediately smitten. In fact, so much so, that I decided to move back to Italy a year later and just figure things out. I went full-on, Eat, Pray, Love…though mostly just the eating part.
I have SO MUCH advice on Italy travel I could gush for days…so make sure you dig into all my mini guides about different cities, what to wear, things to do and off-the-beaten path tips.
Italy is one of my top-selling destinations for clients, whether they are honeymooners, girl’s trips, just-because travellers, or mega foodies – there is something to love in Italy for everyone.
If you only have a week and it’s your first time, Rome & Florence are going to be two “must hit” spots. The final destination depends on the time of year. Florence -well, because its just PERFECT, and Rome for all the ancient history and incredible food.
If it’s summer, you can’t go wrong with the Amalfi Coast or Lake Como. Both are romantic destinations with plenty of options for swimming, yachting, and amazing food at picturesque restaurants.
In the Fall or Winter, visit Venice. to get these amazing streets on your own, avoiding the hoards of crowds.
BEST TIME TO TRAVEL:
June – mid August are the busiest seasons and the best weather. Expect higher prices during this time period. On August 15 all Italians take a 2-week holiday known as “Ferragosto” and many shops, restaurants & attractions are shut down.
May & September are considered shoulder seasons. May could potentially be a bit chillier and more windy for the beach destinations, while September could potentially bring rain.
The currency used in Italy is the Euro. ATMS (known as bancomats) are easily located in major cities and towns.
In the summer months, Italy is very hot – in the mid 80’s to low 90’s F (high 20’s C – sometimes reaching 30C). There is sunshine most days and it is a dry heat. In the winter the temperatures can get quite chilly, and October – May can be rainy.
AVERAGE COST OF ACCOMODATION:
3* Hotel: €120-150/night
4* Hotel: €200-400/night
5* Hotel: €500+ /Night
Homestays: Ranging anywhere from €60/night – €1000/night for 2 people
AVERAGE COST OF A MEAL:
It’s true what they say – the wine is cheaper than water in Italy. So…when in Rome? The average Pizza will cost you about €10 (and yes you eat the entire thing yourself. A caraffe of house wine will be anywhere from €7-€14.
An average run-of -the-mill meal will cost about €20 for mains and a side.
Nicer restaurants will cost around €27-€40for mains.
Michelin star restaurant mains will start at €50
If taking public transportation like the bus, metro, or tram – you will need to purchase the ticket ahead of time in a Tabacci (marked on the outside with a red T). Make sure when you get on your chosen method you validate your ticket!
The local language in Italy is Italian!
For the most part in larger cities though you will not run into a language
barrier as most people speak English.
It is best to know a few local phrases though!
Italy for the most part is very safe, however you do need to be wary of
pick pockets, especially in big tourist areas. I always recommend a cross body zip top purse.
Cash is king in Italy. While major stores will accept card, you will need cash
for smaller purchases at mom & pop shops, taxis and even occasionally at restaurants.
Italy is known for it’s amazing foods.
While you are in Italy be sure to try local wines, pizzas,
cheese, gelato, and meats.
Each region has their own specialties so be sure to do
some research on the best foods of the area!
Italy has many many festivals and events through out the year.
From Eurochocolate, a massive chocolate festival, to incredible Christmas Markets, there is something going on every time of year.
Be sure not to travel to Italy during Ferragosto – as this is when
all the Italians go on vacation and many shops & attractions will be closed!
Italy uses different outlets than us! You will want to purchase a converter before you travel.
I also recommend downloading a few simple apps to your phone like currency converter, Google Translate, and Google Maps.
Trains in Italy are not the most reliable in terms of timing,
however they do cover vast expanses of the country.
For the most part Uber or Lyft does not exist, but you are generally
able to hail a cab on the street or head to the nearest taxi stand.
You can also always ask the concierge or front desk at your hotel concierge to call a cab or transfer service for you, but just know this may have a slight upcharge than getting a taxi at the stand. Please note that in Italy oftentimes you are unable to hail a cab in the street and will need to go to the stand to be able to start a ride.