The Budget Savvy Travelers

Planning Your Trip to Italy | 5 Things You Must See!

As you begin planning your trip to Italy, here’s a list of the best things to see in Italy! Europe has so many different and amazing countries to see that it can be overwhelming to decide on selecting just one. No worries! Choosing Italy is a no-brainer. It’s guaranteed to make all travelers happy because it has a little bit of everything for everyone.

Civita di Bagnoregio is a stunning hilltop village in central Italy. | Planning Your Trip to Italy

Planning Your Trip to Italy | 5 Things You Must See!

Many people think that when they visit Europe they have to visit multiple countries, running chaotically from country to country. Rest assured. You don’t have to! Sure you can travel from country to country and work your way around the continent, but staying in one country and exploring it fully is usually the best way to enjoy your time. Trust us, we’ve been there!

The dramatic hill town of Assisi in the beautiful region of Umbria was probably the highlight of our trip!

Italy is bursting with culture, history, interesting attractions, and fabulous food. Italians embrace their culture and their way of doing things but also enjoy living in a modern and sophisticated fashion. This means the country has so much to offer to visitors who would like to discover the Italian experience. Whether you’re looking to enjoy the Mediterranean climate at a luxury resort or exploring unique hill towns in the countryside, you’ll easily find “your” Italy!

Preparing to Visit “Your” Italy

There are many different things to prepare before departing on your trip. I mean, what are you going to wear? After all, everyone wants to look good in their travel photos. However, to bring you back to reality, we’ll bring one backpack for a two-year stint, so whatever you think you “have” to bring, cut it in half. You’ll thank us when you get back. 

The dome in the Cathedral of Florence may be one of the most astonishing in the world. | Planning Your Trip to Italy

Like us, you probably want to learn or brush up on a few Italian words or phrases before you depart. We like to cover the basics before we visit every country we go to. It’s fairly easy to do and it helps us get excited about our upcoming trip. Check out Google translation tricks to help you master the dialect or at least learn the basics. Believe it or not, it will help you speak more like a native Italian.

You do want to make a good impression, don’t you?

Spazza una nuova scopa. (A new broom sweeps.)

Planning Your Visit to Italy

Planning your visit to Italy will entail creating a detailed or rough itinerary. Are you going to start in the north and move south or vice versa? When you think of Italy, where do you envision yourself? Whatever it is that piques your interest is exactly the place where you should allocate the most time. For example, if you see yourself sitting in a lounge chair in the sun with an abundance of dramatic scenery surrounding you, then head to the Italian Riviera or the Amalfi Coast. 

For many people visiting Italy is a once in a lifetime experience. Take a little bit of extra time really envisioning how you want to spend your time there so you don’t feel overwhelmed and rushed.

No matter what you envision, you’re going to have to do a bit of homework to make your holiday dream become a reality. Do some research to ensure you’re seeing exactly what you’re visualizing. 

A woman participates in some people-watching as she hangs outside of a window in Rome.

What will the queues and visitor numbers be like when you plan to visit? For example, we visited the Colosseum in February and we still had to wait for about 45-minutes to get inside. Sitting in a long line in the heat of summer may not be the ideal way for you to spend your time.

Do you dislike crowds? Are you looking forward to spending your time in the serene countryside? Some of the best places to escape into the countrysides include:

  • Tuscany
  • Campo Imperatore
  • Calabria
  • Valle d’Aosta
  • Le Marche
  • Puglia
  • Umbria

Many of these places will have the vineyards, rolling hills, glowing sun, and medieval towns that we all envision when we think of Italy. 

Getting Around Italy

The easiest way to get around Italy is by using their fantastic train system. The two main lines are Trenitalia and Italo. Both provide quick access throughout the country. However, if you’re jumping from major cities the best option is usually Italo. It’s much faster and only a little bit more money. 

Probably the fastest and easiest way to get around Italy is by Italo’s high-speed rail. | Planning Your Trip to Italy

Major cities like Rome, Florence, and Venice have easy-to-navigate public transportation systems. Otherwise, simply taking a taxi from the hub you arrive in and having it take you directly to your accommodation makes the whole process a lot easier, although a bit more costly.

If you’re looking to explore the countryside then a car is probably a better option. It will give you more flexibility to travel at your own pace. If you’re planning on renting a car for at least 15 days in Europe you can save a small fortune by going through a lease-buyback program. We did and it saved us a ton of money.

5 Things You Must See in Italy

St. Peter’s Basilica and the Sistine Chapel

The Sistine Chapel ceiling, which was painted by Michelangelo between 1508 and 1512, is famous for making viewers gasp!

When visiting the Sistine Chapel, you should take in the sights and culture of the Vatican museums,  gardens, as well as St. Peter’s Basilica. One of the most important pilgrimage sites in the world, St. Peter’s is probably one of the most iconic landmarks in Italy. Dripping in history, the Sistine Chapel is a must-see if you are visiting Italy. The ceiling alone is worth a crick in the neck to take in the jaw-dropping work of Michelangelo.

Pompeii

 

Buried by an eruption from Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D., the Roman city was frozen in time until the 1700s. Today, you can walk down the eerily quiet streets and seek out traditional artifacts and ancient buildings. It’s also a great opportunity to learn about how people lived during this period before the famous volcano erupted.

Venice

Walking the canals of Venice never gets old or tiring.

If someone was to ask us what our favorite city was in Italy, most likely we’d say Venice. In truth, no Italian getaway is complete without a stop in this floating city. This is because Venice is unlike any other destination in the world. Unless you experience it for yourself, it can be hard to imagine a city that uses canals instead of streets. Hiring a gondola to float down the Grand Canal is one of those iconic travel moments that you’ll remember for a lifetime.

For travelers that may be short on time or have a full itinerary, consider the option of using MyPass Venezia. The app offers some great budget-savvy travel options—promotions, discount attraction rates, fast pass VIP admission (no waiting in line), and assistance with parking and museums. Our favorite perk is their affordable private gondola ride option. A 30-minute ride costs 53 euros per person.

Pisa

If you’re in the area, the Leaning Tower of Pisa is an interesting architectural wonder.

Visiting Pisa’s most famous attraction is probably one of the most touristy things to do. However, you can put your selfie game to the test when you take a picture with the famous leaning tower of Pisa!

Naples

The city of Naples with the intimidating Mount Vesuvius in the background. | Planning Your Trip to Italy

Naples is famously known as the home to Neapolitan pizza. It would be a shame to travel all that way and not sample the style of pizza that originated in Naples, Italy.  Neapolitan pizza is prepared simply but with fresh ingredients such as homemade dough, raw tomatoes, basil,  basil, olive oil, and mozzarella. Authentic pizza and pasta dishes in Italy are hard to beat. The only issue is it may be hard to stop eating.

Planning a holiday can seem overwhelming at first. However, through some research and understanding what you want to get out of your trip, a holiday to Italy can be one of the most memorable experiences in your lifetime.

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