Published on April 18th, 2012 | by Emma Hackwood0
Italian Delights: What to Know Before you Travel to Italy
It’s hard to resist the appeal of beautiful Italy. With so many aspects to the country, the hard part will be deciding what you love most. The art and culture, the delicious food, the wonderful scenery, or the sheer magnitude of Italy’s history – how could anyone be expected to choose between just one? With so much to see, eat and experience, we’ve highlighted some of the top ten things we feel should be part of your itinerary:
10 Suggestions for your Italian Itinerary:
1. Climb the Tower of Pisa
Immediately noticeable, the Tower of Pisa is one of the most famous places to visit in Italy. Construction began in 1173 and took 250 years to finish.
2. Bicycle through Tuscany
To immerse yourself in the beauty of the scenic hills and vineyards in this region, simply get on a bike and pick a direction.
3. Join the Cioccolato Festival, Turin
Turin is the centre of chocolate production in Italy. Each March, the city celebrates all things chocolate with the Cioccolato Festival.
4. Explore the Amalfi Coast
The winding, cliff-top road along the stretch of coastline from Sorrento to Salerno is among the most beautiful in Europe with superb ocean views.
5. Shop till you drop in Milan
Milan’s fashion precinct, is teeming with designer boutiques. Think Gucci, Prada, Dolce & Gabbana and Versace, as well as their local son, Georgio Armani.
6. Hike the Cinque Terre in Italy
Make your way along 18kms of Italy’s beautiful coastline featuring five fishing villages making up part of a national park that has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
7. Enjoy a Gondola Ride in Venice
For the ultimate romantic experience, hop in one of many Gondolas and be serenaded as you tour the canals.
8. Wander the Gradoni di Chiaia in Naples
Built in the 1870s, this unusual street is so steep due to the terrain that it was necessary to add steps.
9. Sail Lake Trasimeno
The largest lake in Umbria offers magnificent views as well as all sorts of water sports including sailing, wind surfing and water skiing.
10. Visit the Brancacci Chapel in Florence
Located in the Church of Santa Maria del Carmine in Florence, the Brancacci chapel contains a collection of frescoes and paintings by Masaccio and Filippino Lippi.
When to go
Italy is at its best in spring (April–May) and autumn (October–November). During these seasons, the scenery is beautiful, the temperatures are pleasant. Winter (December–March) is ideal weather for skiing. June to August is the summer season with temperatures reaching 30°C. Overseas tourists flock to the cities and beaches during this time.
What to pack
Take casual, comfortable and seasonally appropriate clothing and a couple of nice outfits; you are in Italy after all! Keep your cash and documents safe in a money belt.
Things to know
Electricity Voltage is 220 volts at 50 Hz. All electrical appliances use a two pronged European plug.
Passports and visas
Canadian citizens need a valid passport to enter Italy that is valid 6 months after they return. Visas are not required if holidaying for less than 90 days.
The official currency for Italy is the Euro. Major credit cards are widely accepted and travellers cheques can be cashed at banks and post offices.
Tipping is not customary as a service charge is generally added to the bill. If you wish to leave a tip, 10% is appropriate for service professionals. Expect to pay more in cafés and bars if you sit down.
You must wear respectful, modest clothing when entering some churches or places of worship. Italians are guided by first impressions, so it is important that you demonstrate propriety and respect when greeting people, especially when meeting them for the first time.
There are no vaccinations required for Italy, though travel insurance is highly recommended
The official language is Italian. Numerous dialects are also spoken across Italy. Try these handy Italian phrases: hello/goodbye (ciao), thank you (grazie), how much is it? (quanto costa?), my name is (mi chiama…).
Want to start planning your next vacation to Italy? Speak with a Flight Centre Travel Consultant at 1-866-502-4605 to get started!