When those from outside of Europe consider visiting the continent, Italy is usually one of their preferred destinations. Only a handful of nations around the world can compete with the rich history and traditions, as well as the appealing culture and breathtaking scenery, boasted by this charming country on the Mediterranean.
Whether a visitor wants to tread pathways laid down thousands of years ago, experience traditional culture in a modern setting, or even reconnect with religious faith, Italy travel offers something for every traveller.
To help those taking a trip to Italy, we have provided this handy Italy travel guide. As well as helping travellers find things to do in Italy, it will also help visitors really get to grips with the unique identity of the country and the various ways to get around efficiently in it.
Plan Your Itinerary
To get the best Italian vacation experience possible, make sure to plan an efficient course through the country. Think about what you want to get out of the trip. Some want to visit religious or historical sites. Others prefer to experience the country's beautiful sea views, mountain vistas, and undulating plains. Most want a range of experiences.
Think about the country's history, culture, and even food offerings. Think about what you want to see, and how to get there. Then, plan a reasonable itinerary with enough time to get to each spot. Experienced travellers always allow some buffer time to accommodate extra and unexpected stops of interest.
Your Travel Budget
If you are travelling to Italy on a budget, you can still enjoy the full experience if you use your Europe Sim Card to do a little research.
First, embrace the apiritivo culture. Most bars offer free small bite appetisers with the first drink purchase, which could cost around $15. Bread, olives, cured meats, and well known Italian cheeses usually accompany the drink at no cost.
When trying to live the frugal life in Italy, do as frugal Italians do. Many Italians eschew visiting major cities, choosing instead the much less expensive countryside. The cost of both living and visiting is much lower than in the city. Plus, small town residents encounter foreigners less often, and so take great pride in making your experience enjoyable. The Europe Sim Card can provide invaluable service in providing directions and checking out local sites.
Don's pay for water bottles. Italy has some of the finest water in the world and has provided public fountains since the time of the Roman Empire. Feel free to fill your bottle at any of these fountains, as all have passed local health and safety checks.
Consider the Offseason for Popular Sites
The biggest savings are found when travelling to Italy during the offseason, especially in winter.
It’s a given that the most famous sites will attract the most visitors. Sites such as the Colosseum attract millions of visitors every year, all of whom want to experience thousands of years of history and tradition. When possible, try to schedule your trip in the offseason. This will save you significant hours of waiting time and allow you to enjoy more sites.
The offseason also helps those planning to visit Italy on a budget, providing lower prices for accommodation.
Travel in Italy
Unless you plan to confine your Italian travels to a single small area, you should research and plan how to get around. Different areas have different means of travelling from site to site. Going blind and deciding on your transport options when you arrive will waste time that you could be spending enjoying your trip. Experienced tourists take some time a few weeks before the trip starts to research their travel options.
Australians travelling to Italy do not need a visa unless they plan to stay longer than 90 days. Your passport, however, must be valid for six months or longer on your date of entry.
West Coast Train Travel
Many of Italy’s major metropolises lie on the western edge of the peninsula and enjoy connection via high speed rail. When most think of Italy, they envision the majesty of Rome, the sublime beauty of the harbour at Naples, and other famous destinations. The Italian high speed rail system is comfortable and reliable, but limited in that it does not provide much access to the countryside or to the eastern side of the country. Use your Europe Sim Card to help book tickets and plan your excursion at each stop.
Travelling the Adriatic Coast by Train
The east coast offers travellers a more rural and rustic version of this beautiful country. Its more laid back culture is reflected in its primary means of travel. High speed rail does exist here, but it is confined to regions such as Venice and a few other cities. Instead, many cities along the eastern coast of the country are connected by conventional train service. Make sure that your itinerary plans reflect the increased amount of time needed to get to your destination, and enjoy the journey.
Other Travel Options
Your Europe Sim Card goes from extremely helpful to vital if you plan to use more flexible modes of travel. Taking buses, taxis, and app-based car services is much easier when you can research the services and contact them via mobile phone.
Many visitors prefer to rent cars, giving them full flexibility in creating their own trip. When planning to travel by car, make sure that you apply ahead of time for an International Driving Permit. Also, do not forget to bring your own drivers license. Getting around in your home country is made easier when you travel connected.
In a foreign and unfamiliar country, online mobile phone access becomes critical. A Europe Sim Card helps a visitor travelling by car to find their destinations easily, as well as to research food, lodging, and other options, and also translate words and phrases into English.
When in Italy sightseeing, visitors must take advantage of the many opportunities to enjoy one of the world’s great cuisines. One of the benefits that comes when you travel connected lies in the ability to escape chains and tourist spots to find genuine family-owned establishments with old-fashioned recipes and hospitality.
Sample Northern Italy Cuisine
Like in many countries, food culture varies widely from place to place in Italy. Northern Italy features French-inspired butter and cream rich sauces while reflecting a German influence in its embrace of sausages and cured meats. The region's traditional reliance on cattle has also produced some of the country’s most legendary cheeses.
Southern Italian Food Is More Than Just Pizza
Southern Italy has served as a geographic crossroads since the time when the Phoenicians ruled the seas. Their cuisine utilises traditions as old as Magna Graecia and as new as influences from the Americas.
Cuisine in this section of Italy features ingredients more familiar to those who enjoy Italian food abroad. Southern Italians use less butter and cream, relying more on tomato based sauces and olive oils. They blend these with seasonings distinct to Italy, such as garlic, basil, and oregano. Most from outside Italy, however, are less familiar with Fra Diabolo versions of popular sauces. These incorporate spices that bring more intense flavours and heat.
Sicily and much of Southern Italy also heavily harvest the bounty of the sea for their cuisine. Fishing the Mediterranean has served as a tradition going back to the first Greek colonists who settled the area thousands of years ago. Cities such as Monopoli on the mainland and Palermo in Sicily still host a handful of fishing operations that use traditional techniques to bring the best of the sea to your plate.
Wherever you go, use your Europe Sim Card to help you find restaurant, coffee shops, and cafes to tickle your palate.
Make Sure to Travel Connected in Italy
When in Italy for sightseeing, staying up to date with the latest information can be a challenge. Fortunately, Australians can travel connected with a Europe sim card, allowing them instant access to information about restaurants and other attractions, including helpful reviews and translations.
You also have the option to purchase a 30 day Europe Sim Card for shorter trips.