Italy is always a nice country to visit. You can never run out of places to visit and things to do while in the country. In fact, just one visit to this country may not even be enough. Every seasoned traveler to Italy was once a first-timer too, like you. And, luckily enough, you can avoid being that offensive traveler, when you now have a guide for newbies to an Italian holiday.
From booking the right sightseeing tours Italy to food and shopping, there’s never going to be a dull day during this trip to Italy. Arguably earning its title as one of Europe’s most enticing countries, you’re in for the vacation of a lifetime, during that first time setting foot on Italian soil.
Before booking that flight to Italy, take note first of these failproof tips first-time travelers to Italy can use, to make the most out of the entire experience.
Choose the must-visit destinations in Italy
The longer you have planned out as your duration for this holiday, the more places you can actually see. Take a look at the map of Italy, and run a quick search on the Internet, and you’re certain to get overwhelmed where to even start.
Do you love the countryside? Then Florence tours are for you. Are you in for a shopping trip? Milan is the place to be. Then, there’s Pompeii for all the history fans; Rome and The Vatican for more historical backgrounds and a bit of religion. Don't forget Venice for the iconic canal (which, by the way, is a sinking town) and the gelato. The Amalfi coast is the best if you love the beach and the sun.
Those places are only some of the most popular. There are so many smaller towns, too, which are just as charming and enchanting. Because you may be pressed by time, choose the destinations you’d like to see first as a first-timer. You can always save the others for a next-time visit.
If you’re used to having escalators and elevators, then you have to bid on that convenience in Italy. Of course, there are its iconic cobblestone streets, which are certainly hard to get by if you’re bringing a lot of luggage. Many of the buildings are also old, preserved from history’s past, so a majority of them don’t come with elevators.
Travel as light as you can, especially when you’re planning to hop from one city or region to another, for that ultimate cultural experience. It’s highly advisable to bring only a carry-on, if you can make it work to be that light – especially when you’re travelling during the summer, with only light clothes to bring.
Learn to differentiate busy days from slow days
For starters, avoid the metro during the Italians’ rush hour, when everyone is trying to get to work or school. Then, avoid the Colosseum on a Sunday, as that’s also when it’s most crowded.
It can make your first time in Italy more pleasant when you don’t have to deal with all the crowds and traffic. Also, it doesn’t hurt to make reservations for restaurants! In Italy, they’re mostly busiest at lunch, between one to two pm, and at dinner, at nine in the evening.
Remember to look after its belongings
Rome, in particular, has quite a reputation for some pickpockets. So, you have to be very careful about that. Of course, this is just like any other city. It's no different in Italy. It never hurts to be extra careful about the belongings you’re bringing with you.
Be ready with some cash
Many travelers today like to use a credit card, as it's often more convenient and safer, rather than bringing large amounts of cash. But, when in Italy, it’s highly recommended to bring cash with you every day during the trip. Shopping in markets for food and souvenirs is an experience you must try, and there, only cash is accepted.
Moreso, each city you visit in Italy requires the payment of a tourist tax. Some bigger hotels may allow you to charge that tax on top of your bill, so you can pay in cash. But many still ask for a cash payment for that tax. It pays to be prepared.
Italy is a delight to visit, especially for first-time visitors to the country. And, once you’re there, you’ll be welcomed too by how pleasant it is to go around Italy. The food is great – that’s no question, for sure. The sites are spectacular. And, for the fashionistas, you have a fashion capital as well. There's something for every type of traveler to love in Italy. The tips above, you’ll encounter as you plan your vacation can help you have a smoother travel experience – to drive all the anxiety and jitters that come with first-timers.