3 Top Tips For Traveling To Italy
This week I have been contacted by one of the ladies in our Facebook community asking for advice about traveling to Italy. Charlotte asked (Hi Charlotte!) “Your posts are so inspirational, My daughter and several of her sorority sisters are in the process of planning a trip to Italy in the spring/summer time frame. I told her that I’m sure you would have some great travel advice for Italy”.
Travel tips and advice about traveling to Italy are the most frequently asked questions that I have. 3 Top Tips For Traveling To Italy is dedicated to all the Italy lovers, past and present and hopefully this will also inspire you even if you haven’t visited there yet.
I’m probably not the most conventional traveler as I tend to make very loose plans and fill in the details when I get there. I think I was scared for life when I took a bus tour around Europe and did umpteen countries in 10 days with my parents when I was 15 ?. We spent more time on the bus and very little time on the ground.
When I re-visited Italy a few years ago, I booked the first 4 days in Madrid and the last week on the Amalfi Coast of a 6-week trip. The rest of the time I booked my accommodation online to where ever it was we decided to go next.
Even if this isn’t your style of travel there are still some tips that are universal and apply to everyone. Here they are;
I used trains and buses a lot and found them quite entertaining 🙂 By entertaining I mean in Italy no matter where I traveled by train the platform of the train was only announced 10-15 minutes before the train departed. There would always be great congregations of people standing to watch the boards and listening for the announcement and then a mad scramble in the direction of the platform.
If you have a travel partner (which I did as I travelled with one of my girlfriends) and travel on the first class trains, you can buy a pass that allows a certain number of journeys at a discounted rate. There are terms and conditions that do apply, one of which is you must travel together.
First class trains are easier to board, are comfortable, smooth to ride on and fast. I loved traveling on them as they had large windows and only a few stops in between destinations.
Local trains are hard to board as they can be 5-6 ft off the ground! PLEASE NOTE this is where you will thank yourself for traveling LIGHT. Hauling a large, heavy suitcase on board or up and down the many stairs you will climb on train stations is NOT advisable. I can’t say this enough TRAVEL LIGHT! Be sure to grab my free packing secrets video series
2. Planning & Deciding Where To Go
Now although I said earlier I like loose plans, I do have an idea what I want to see and the places I want to visit when I arrive. If you are traveling with friends as in the case with Charlotte’s daughter, then I’d make a list of my top places to see and things I want to do. Do this separately, then get together to discuss. You will probably find that lots of things overlap, so that is easy.
Depending on the length of the trip and budget will determine what the experience will be, e.g. an absolute MUST for me was seeing Positano on the Amalfi Coast and Florence. My girlfriend really wanted to see Venice and Paris. It wasn’t an absolute for me, however, they were her Positano. We never did see Venice as we had extended the days in Paris we loved it so much and the same was true for Florence.
We both decided on Rome and the Cinque Terre so that was easy. We also met a friend of a friend over there who was wanted some “Guinea Pigs” to take his 4-day road trip through Tuscany. It took us all of a nanosecond on that decision and we saw some wonderful sights and really mixed it with the locals as many of the people we met were his friends.
3. European Men
I am sure you have heard many stories about the charm that European men have in comparison with western men. It’s completely true!
Look, I am not one to generalize, in fact, I dislike it immensely, but there is no getting around it, European men, Italian men in particular, have definitely got it going on!
Perhaps it was because we were two single girls traveling together, although I have heard many stories of married women being very charmed by a Mr Charisma on legs.
Beware, is all I am saying, all sorts of offers come from everywhere. We even had a waiter in Rome return our receipt, flipping it over point to the phone number he had written on the back, winked, and told us he finished in 1/2 an hour!
That said, it is all in fun and at no time did we feel unsafe or threatened in anyway.
This has been an overview of traveling in Italy. Is there something specific you would like to know? Leave a comment below or you can always catch me on our Facebook page.