Questions about traveling to Italia? We’ve got answers to all your pressing questions, including information about transportation, safety, cities, prices, food, and more.
We know a thing or two about Italy, but not NEARLY as much as someone who actually lives there. That’s why you should have an Italian local plan your trip. For only $30/day they’ll answer all your questions, build you a personalized itinerary based on your interests, and show you gems you’d never find on internet lists like these. Learn more.
A: Good news! Like most big European countries, Italy offers tons of great transportation options. Here we’ll cover transit within Italian cities as well as traveling throughout the country.
Many, but not all, Italian cities have metro trains. You’ll definitely find metros in bigger cities like Rome, Milan, and Naples. Buses are another good, common, cheap option, but do be aware that bus stations can be hubs for pickpockets (as in most big cities). Download an app like CityMapper to make navigating the city a breeze.
Otherwise, you have the ole reliable options: Uber and taxis. Yes, Uber does exists in Italy! It is pretty rare, but you can find it in big cities like Rome and Milan. If you choose to take a taxi, keep in mind that some visitors to Italy report getting scammed. To make sure you don’t have any problems, you can try an app like MyTaxi, have your hotel call cabs for you, or just ask your local how they get around town.
Traveling between cities in Italy is quite easy. You can, of course, rent a car, but Italy’s train system is extensive and simple to use. You’ll have a choice to use the national railway, Ferrovie dello Stato Italiano, or one of the privately run companies, such as Italo, which offers high-speed train travel.
Depending on where you’re going and how fast you want to get there, your local trip planner can offer advice on the best train companies to use. They can even help you book your tickets!
Pro tip: Before you get on the train, be sure to validate your ticket. You’ll see plenty of validation stations at the train station.
A: Yup, Italy is an extremely safe place to travel. Italy ranks 17th out of 162 countries for safety, and most crimes concern pickpocketing or other scams. So anyone traveling by themselves can rejoice—solo travel in Italy is doable and totally safe.
A: In our opinion, there is no bad time to visit Italy—the country is amazing all year round! But here are some good things to know:
Still—Italy is wonderful no matter the time of year. You’ll find all sorts of different festivals and holidays, and always plenty of things to do, eat, and see. Do keep in mind that certain activities are seasonal—if you want to tour wineries in Tuscany, remember that many are closed in the winter.
Pro tip: Italy’s event calendar is packed—so have a local clue you in on which festivities may coincide with your trip.
A: Where to stay in Italy depends entirely on you—your budget, what activities you’re most interested in, and what kind of food you’re curious to try! Ask an actual Italian local which city will match your travel style—they’ll know best. Some of our favorites include:
A: Heck yes. There are so many amazing cities in Italy besides Rome (and other big, popular destinations). For example, Padua, near Venice, is an amazing place to visit in Italy if you want the romance of Venice without the crowds.
Don’t leave it up to chance—local trip planners in Italy can suggest other awesome, less-visited cities—as well as neighborhoods within big cities that will fit your style.
A: Here’s some good news for our budget travelers to Italy—Italy is generally less expensive than countries like the United States. Of course, you can find expensive meals and lodging (hello, Milan is one of the world’s most glamorous cities). But taking the train isn’t that expensive, and it’s easy to find cheap meals—a pizza in Italy is about 8–10€, beer can be found for less than 5€, and you can often find espresso for only 1€.
Pro tip: You don’t need to tip in Italy. If you had a good meal at a restaurant, you can leave 1€ per diner or anything under 10%. Although tipping 15%–20% is normal in the United States, this is considered rather exorbitant in Italy.
A: The pizza and pasta is out-of-this-world delicious, but Italy offers way more culinary choices. With a million internet lists about the best Italian foods to try, you should just ask a local to get the real scoop (that’s not a gelato pun, but they can help with that too!). Here are some of our top choices:
A: You’re right, Italy has so many great cultural sites—churches, ruins, art galleries, old palaces—so it can be hard to pick. Basically, you should visit the sights that align with your interests (and someone who actually lives in Italy can help you narrow this down).
If you love history, spend time exploring the Roman Forum. If you’re all about art, be sure to visit the Gallerie Degli Uffizi. If you dream about brightly colored, cliffside houses near the sea, be sure to visit places in Italy like the Amalfi Coast and Cinque Terre.
A: We’ll be honest—even if they can get crowded most of Italy’s big sights are amazing, especially if you love history, art, or gorgeous architecture (all of which you’ll find in abundance).
But we’ll give this piece of advice—after seeing a popular sight like the Trevi Fountain or the Leaning Tower of Pisa, walk a few blocks for your espresso or end-of-day drink—you’ll find cafes that are less crowded, less touristy, and less expensive! Psst—get tips from someone who actually lives in Italy on avoiding less-than-authentic cafes and other tourist traps.
A: Although Italy has over 130 airports, you only really need to know about the big, busy, international hubs:
Where you fly into will depend on where you plan on visiting first. Once you arrive, many of the big airports (FCO, MXP) offer an easy train connection to the center of town.
It’s always helpful to know a few phrases when you travel. The local planning your trip can definitely help with translations or suggestions of words to know. Here are a few that we think may come in handy:
Hello: Buongiorno (formal)/ Ciao (informal)
Goodbye: Arrivederci (formal)/ Ciao (informal)
Please: Per favore
Thank you: Grazie
You’re welcome: Prego
Where is...: Dov‘è la/un...
How much is this?: Quanto è?
A: It depends. If you’re traveling from another country in Europe, no: Italy is part of the Schengen Zone. In the past, Americans traveling to Europe also did not need visas—however, starting in 2021 U.S. citizens will need to apply for a visa to travel to Europe.
A: You’ll find farmacias (pharmacies) all over Italy where you can get medication. Pharmacists are used to answering questions. Of course, if you run into issues, you can also call your local trip planner. They’ll provide 24/7 phone support.
A: Sure! As long as your card has a chip.
It’s always good to have some euros on hand, however. And be sure to tell your bank about your travels—otherwise, they may put a freeze on your account. You can withdraw euros from ATMs like you would in the US, but you may be charged an extra fee—and be aware that if your pin number is longer than 4 digits, European ATMs may not accept your card.
A: Italy uses different outlets than the United States. Fortunately, it’s easy to order a converter from somewhere like Amazon before you go (you’ll probably find them at the airport, as well—they’re the standard European 2-round-pin ones).
A: Here’s a couple of additional travel tips:
With these basic Italy questions answered, you’re ready to start planning for an incredible trip. For answers to even more questions—like the best places to get Aperol spritz, where to stay in Rome, or how to travel to Cinque Terre, have an Italian local design your trip. Not only will they answer all your questions, but they’ll design a custom itinerary based on your interests, budget, and travel style. That means you’ll experience Italy like a local, instead of a tourist! Questions? Send us a message!