Bucket List Destination: Check
Planning a trip to Italy? Well, we’ve got you covered on all the things to do, places to stay, and travel tips!
WHEN: We went in mid September which we think is a great time to visit Italy. It was still hot, which made for great beach weather, but it wasn’t cold. It can get very chilly in Italy once October hits.
WHERE: We traveled mainly along the coast from north to south with a quick pit stop in Florence to visit a friend!
Amsterdam- LAYOVER on our way to Italy
Camogli - 2 nights (Hotel: Cenobio Dei Dogi)
Florence - day trip
Rome - 2 nights (Hotel: Hotel Dei Mellini)
Sorrento - 3 nights (Hotel: Villa Dei D’Armiento)
We thought this was a great amount of time to be in Italy, although we could have stayed MUCH longer.
HOW: We rented a car, which worked for us. You can get around Italy pretty easily by train, but a car allowed us a lot of freedom. Just beware:
The streets are SUPER tiny and the signage for laws aren’t very distinct.
We ended up going down a country road along the coast which led us to a tunnel that our car wouldn’t fit through!! It was quite traumatising and definitely left scratches on the car which we had to pay for.
When we visited our friend, Jessica, in Florence we drove our car along the roads by the Duomo and ended up getting a ticket. Apparently cars aren’t aloud on that street, but there weren’t any clear signage.
We had a layover in Amsterdam, and it was really great! We just walked around and got a feel of the city and different neighborhoods.
We stayed in Camogli as our home base and went to Cinque Terre both days.
Florence Cathedral Duomo
Santa Croce Church
The Vatican Museums
St. Peter’s Basilica
Path of the Gods
Make sure your accommodations have air conditioning if you’re going in the summer months! Most homes in Italy don’t have air conditioning, so it is common for hotels not to have it either.
Don’t go to tourist trap restaurants! If you see a busy street with waiters standing outside shoving english menus in your face and bashing their neighboring restaurants, that’s a good sign its a trap.
Always have cash with you in Italy. A lot of restaurants and shops don’t take credit cards.
You don’t have to tip your waiters and waitresses. Some restaurants include a service charge on your final receipt. At the bottom of the menu it will say Coperto or Servizio along with a price which can be 1 euro to 5 euros.
Be ready to go with the flow and wait. The culture in Italy is very slow. Restaurants will take their time, tour groups may be longer than anticipated, and people get up later. This is a perfect reason to go to the beach! ;)
A lot of restaurants and shops close around lunch time, because the employees go home. They will come back later to open for dinner, but you may end up wondering around struggling to find a place to eat for lunch if you’re in a not-so-touristy area. So bring snacks?
Aperitivo!!! Do this. Aperitivo is kind of like happy hour for us in America, but with snacks. A lot of restaurants have Aperitivo around 5 and you pay a set price for an alcoholic beverage with buffet style snacks. This is a good opportunity to meet locals if you’re into that sort of thing.
Drink wine, eat pizza, and consume lots of pasta. Duh.
Thanks for reading our Italy Travel blog! Check out our other travel blog on Banff, coming soon.