Italy Travel Guide

Italy is a destination that continues to captivate holidaymakers with its blend of beautiful natural landscapes, historical sites, ancient cities, unique culture and world renowned cuisine. 

Situated in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea, Italy shares open land borders with France, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia, San Marino and Vatican City. The country has a population of 59 million, its capital and largest city is Rome, and the official language is Italian.

Italy’s history can be traced back to ancient Roman times as evident with the famous Colosseum in Rome and the town of Pompeii in Sorrento. Culture aficionados will love  the region of Tuscany, with its rustic charm and countryside, along with its capital Florence, the birthplace of the Renaissance. In Venice, you'll be enchanted by its network of canals and stunning architecture. There is so much natural beauty to uncover in Italy as well, such as Mount Etna in Sicily, Lake Como, Lake Garda and the Amalfi Coast.

We've outlined some general information below that may be helpful to you when planning your next holiday to Italy. Wherever you decide to go, La Dolce Vita will be waiting for you.

Time Zone & Currency

Time Zone & Currency

Italy is one hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) throughout the year. The currency in Italy is the Euro. 

Weather In Italy

Weather In Italy

Italy is renowned for its pleasant climate. The weather is mostly warm and dry in spring and autumn. Summers are warm and dry and winter days can be cool.

Reading For Your Trip To Italy

Reading For Your Trip To Italy

Romeo & Juliet by William Shakespeare

Angels & Demons by Dan Brown

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

Best time to go to Italy

Italy is a beautiful country with a varied climate, and the best time to visit can depend on several factors, such as the region you plan to visit or the type of activities you have planned. We think the best time to visit is either Spring (April to June) or in the Autumn (September to November) when it's less crowded and the weather is cooler.

Top Tourist Attractions In Italy

Top 10 places to visit in Italy

Top 10 places to visit in Italy

A country rich in art, culture, history, stunning landscapes with plenty of incredible of places to explore. From Italy's capital, the Eternal city is full of ancient sites and museums, to the natural beauty of Mount Etna in Sicily.

Discover the top places to visit in Italy

Top regions in Italy to visit

12 Interesting facts about Italy

12 Interesting facts about Italy

Did you know? Italy has the most UNESCO World Heritage site in the world, which includes Pompeii, the historic centre of Florence and the Amalfi Coast. Also some of Shakespeare's plays are set in Italy, the most famous being Romeo & Juliet.

Learn more facts about Italy

5 Best Lakes in Italy To Visit

5 Best Lakes in Italy To Visit

Italy has a variety of lakes, each with their own unique charm, beauty and culture. From Lake Garda, the largest lake in the country, to Lake Como; both of which are surrounded by magnificent mountains and dotted with charming towns along their shores.

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Food and drink in Italy

Brace yourself for some startling news – there is no such thing as Italian food! When it comes to cuisine, Italy remains in the era when it consisted of several independent states, each with its own individual produce and cooking traditions. The Unification of Italy in the 19th century did not change much and the country’s cuisine remains largely and proudly localised to this day. In Sicily and the southern regions the emphasis is on seasonal vegetables, seafood and tomatoes and a simple cooking style, whereas in the north of Italy the cuisine is heartier, with more meat, cheese and butter as well as cherished specialities such as truffles. Every region has its favourite pasta shape, from Veneto’s bigoli to Tuscany’s pici and Puglia’s orecchiette, and each has its preferred sauce or dressing. Of course, universal favourites including pesto, Bolognese and tiramisu are on offer in most major holiday spots, regardless of geography. 

Italy Travel Guide FAQs

Can I use my bank cards while holidaying in Italy?

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Most bank cards can be used in Italian ATMs.  Most retailers accept major debit and credit cards. We recommend you contact your bank/card provider to check if charges will apply.

Do I require a holiday visa to travel to Italy?

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All EU/EEA nationals must present their valid passport on arrival in Italy. A visa is not required for EU passport holders. For information on visa requirements for non-EU citizens, we recommend you contact the Italian embassy or consulate in your country of residence. UK citizens can find further information by visiting www.gov.co.uk

What advice do you have for tipping in restaurants while in Italy?

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In restaurants, a tip of 5-10% is welcomed, but not obligatory. A cover charge (called ‘Pane e coperto’ ) will be added to your bill in some restaurants. This incorporates the table setting with a bread basket and doesn’t include any gratuities. However, if you see ‘servizio incluso’ on your bill, then service charge is included. For table service in bars and cafes, a few coins (50c +) will be appreciated by your servers.

What should I pack for my holiday in Italy?

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  • Comfortable walking shoes: On some of our tours there can be periods of walking and standing, sometimes on cobbled or uneven surfaces.
  • A scarf: In many places in Italy when visiting religious sites it's expected to cover bare shoulders and you can easily take this on and off.
  • Sunscreen with high SPF: Italy can get very hot and it's vital to protect yourself.
  • A day bag: So you can carry essentials like water, sunscreen and your camera during guided excursions.

What kind of plugs / sockets are used in Italy?

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The most common plug type is the continental two-pin round, although some hotels have installed 3-pin square sockets. We recommend you pack an adaptor, just in case.

Useful Links

  • For up-to-date information regarding entry into Italy please see: www.gov.uk
  • Official Italian Tourism Board: www.italia.it

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