Travel Tip Tuesday: First Five Things To Do When Planning a Trip to Italy

Travel Tip Tuesday

Booking your northern, central or southern Italy travel can be overwhelming. Where do you go? What do you see?

Feeling stressed yet? Well, my friends, you are in luck, because here are the first five things you should do when planning a trip to Italy.

Saint Peter's-southern italy travel

1. Ask Yourself the Hard Questions

and by this, I mean you need to look deep within yourself and understand why you are longing to visit the bel paese? Is it because you’ve seen it in the movies and want to experience la dolce vita for yourself? Is it because you ache to walk the pebbled path of Julius Cesare? Is it for the food and wine? The beaches? The mountains? The history?

Determining why you want to see Italy will help you narrow down the choices of places you can visit.

2. Research the Country

Now that you know what you hope to experience in Italy, you can get down to business. Visit your local bookstore and peruse the photo books and guidebooks in the Italy Travel section. Research expat-written websites and start following Italy travel experts on Twitter and befriend them on Facebook. They are your best source for up-to-the-minute information on Italy.

3. Determine Transportation

Public transportation is a good option for many people who travel to Italy. However, some places, especially the more remote-read: less touristy places, are hard to reach by train. You might need to rent a car or hire a driver for certain areas or plan to spend extra money on taxis or room nights.

You need to determine at this point if you are willing to rent a car in Italy and plan your vacation accordingly.

4. Narrow Your Choices

Now that you have completed Steps 1, 2 and 3, you likely have a three-page list of places you want to visit. Here comes the hard part.

Start slashing.

You can’t visit every sensational site in Italy on your first trip and live to tell about it. Craft an itinerary that allows you time to enjoy la dolce vita-Italy will be here when you return.

5. Review Your Budget

Before you start booking hotels, transfers and museum tickets you need to review your budget and realistically allocate money for each part of your trip. Italy isn’t a cheap place-but the overwhelming charm and undeniable beauty is worth its weight in gold.

Here are four more tips for choosing a location for your Italian vacation.

What do you think are the first things someone should do when planning a trip to Italy?

Until next time … Buon Viaggio!

6 Responses
  1. Can not over stress # 4, NARROW your choices and leave time to enjoy it. Many folks get to us, see our views and sunsets and then begin to think maybe they don’t need to go to… Think that before you make the non-refundable reservation.

    Very true! We have had that happen in Calabria, as well. People never plan enough time to be here.

    .-= Martha´s last blog ..Thanksgiving =-.

  2. Liz

    #4 is great advice, but sooooo hard to do. Since we avoid renting a car in Europe, I do a lot of my planning using train schedules. Finding someplace central like Bologna allows us to stay in one spot if we want, or take a 30-60 minute train ride out to another city if we’re restless. I was surprised how centralized Verona is to a number of other towns we’re interested in, so we may opt to stay there instead.

    #4 is definitely tough to do, especially for Americans who think Italy is “small,” which it is when compared to the US, but it is PACKED with things to do/see.

  3. Imani

    @Liz….If you can’t get to Calabria, I STRONGLY recommend Verona! I love Italy but Verona stole my heart. I’ve been there twice and will return this spring. But maybe it is just me, still….a trip to Verona will not disappoint.

    If you get there, Osteria Giuletta e Romeo Corso S Anastasia, 27 is a great place to eat at a reasonable price. No relation to me at all, just a place we enjoyed and will return to. Sounds touristy but it isn’t. Mostly locals and college students there. I guess we were the only tourists and we traveled there from Brescia, just 50 minutes away by train.

    Viva Verona! (after Calabria, of course đŸ˜‰ )

    Happy traveling!

    Of course …

  4. #1–I want to go to Italy because firstly, I detest organization and timeliness, late buses and trains are great! I love being cut in front of or pushed aside while waiting in line, hate having personal space, love taking my life in my hands each time I step into the crosswalk, and adore being elbowed and ran over by little old nonne(grandmas)at the street market & grocery store.
    #3–Always public (trains, planes & bus), since the time I asked for automatic transmission and was laughed at
    #4–If you take 5 months off (like I did) this isn’t a problem, well ya, it still was just a lesser problem.
    #5–oh ya, there is that money thing.
    Actually, this list is right on, especially #1 and #4, with #4 being so hard for 1st time travelers. I always tell people who ask for advice fewer cities is better, but it’s hard to narrow. I would also add that one should expect the culture to be different and has to be ok with what we would call disorganizaiton, late public transportation and all the things I listed above for #1 because they do happen. I LOVE Italians and find all this humorous and endearing (arguments on the bus are the best to watch). Most complaints I hear have to do with the culture being different than in the US, so travelers should realize and accept this before going.

    Ha, funny list. And very, very true re: the culture. It is one of those things that is very difficult for “us” to properly explain to people who haven’t been here.

  5. Narrow it down to ROME! No need for a car, plenty of budget options, a lifetime of things to see. And direct flights in and out of the city.

    Of course, Calabria is cool (or so I hear, need to get there one of these days!).


    What? Noooo, don’t JUST go to Rome, you’ll miss out on everything else-including my Calabria. đŸ˜‰
    .-= AmyEmilia´s last blog ..Will it snow? =-.

  6. Everyone has said it already, but #4 is crucial. In fact, if you’re going to be in Italy for less than a month I suggest you rent an apartment somewhere, and just absorb the local sites. You’ll make a lot of friends who will inevitably take you on day trips to places that few tourists would ever see, and in the end you’ll have a much more memorable time. Who wants to spend half their vacation driving or riding trains anyway?

    Thanks, Jacob! Your post (thanks, communt luv) sounds great. I’m going to check it out!

    .-= Jacob´s last blog ..Biking in and around Itri for the price of a capuccino =-.

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