Tourism in Italy

Italy is filled with natural and artistic wonders that can take a lifetime to explore. Some of the most famous are the Alpine ski center of Courmayeur, the canals and palazzi of Venice, the Renaissance art and architecture of Florence, the monuments of Rome and Vatican City, the stunning Amalfi Coast, and the Greek temples of Agrigento, Segesta, and Selinunte, Sicily.

The “Italy” section of TravelguideEurope provides an overview of the major attractions of Italy, of each region, and of select cities and towns, including some of the beautiful hilltowns of Tuscany, such as San Gimignano, Cortona, and Panzano, and the towns of Cinque Terre. Using this information, you can begin to plan your itinerary.

If you don’t have a particular destination in mind, the website can help you decide where to go. If you do have one or more destinations in mind, we will provide detailed information about them, just enter your region in the search box, at the right top sdite of this page. Although the information may vary, most infomration on museums, outdoor attractions, restaurants, and accommodations are included.

To help you get started, consider these questions. Do you want to see Italian cities that are the most popular destinations? Ancient Italy? The Italian countryside? The hill towns of Italy? Italy off the beaten tourist path? If this your first trip to Italy, you may want to combine several of these destinations.

Consider, too, the following facts about Italy.

The Language
If you visit any of the larger Italian cities, you will discover that many people are bilingual or multilingual and speak some English so you can get by easily speaking very little Italian. In smaller towns, fewer people speak English, and you will have an opportunity to practice some Italian.
A little knowledge of the language and the local customs goes a long way. In any case, Italians are very hospitable and are happy to help you.

The Pace of Life
In the smaller towns, you will find a slower pace and more relaxed atmosphere. The larger cities are vibrant, exciting, filled with attractions, usually congested with traffic and people, and noisy. Fortunately, the historic centers of many towns and cities are free of most automobile traffic.

The Time of Year and the Climate
The weather in the spring and fall is ideal for sightseeing. Winters are relatively mild, too, except in mountainous areas, and tourist attractions are much less crowded. Except for the coastal and mountainous areas, summer in Italy can be very warm. For example, the average daytime temperature in Rome in July is 85F.

Many hotels have air-conditioning, but it may not be central air as we know it. Most Italian hotels and homes do not have screens on their windows, and, believe it or not, they are not needed (most of the time).

Your Preferred Mode of Transportation
Italian public transportation is excellent. You can reach any major city quickly and inexpensively by train. In the cities, you will find local bus systems that run frequently and are convenient and inexpensive. Regional bus systems in towns and cities offer connections to most other towns and cities. Most of the major airports have train connections to the center of the city.

If you would like to drive, be aware that a car in a major city is a liability. When you manage to negotiate your way into a city, your hotel may not provide parking and you will find that public parking is at a premium. However, a car can be a great convenience if you’d like to visit several hill towns in a day and a necessity if you rent an apartment or villa in the country.