Planning Your First Trip to Italy: 5 Essential Tips

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Planning your first trip to Italy is super exciting, but can also feel like a really overwhelming challenge. We’ve put together five essential tips for first-time Italy travel planning to help you navigate.

1. First trip to Italy: book your flight

The first step in Italy trip planning is to solidify your flight plans. Determine which airport in Italy you’ll be flying in and out of, as this is key for the rest of planning your Italy trip, such as your rail route and accomodations.

2. First trip to Italy: choose your experiences

Once you’ve figured out your flight information and the dates, look at your trip as a whole and determine what type of experience you’re aiming to have. 

Here are a few questions you can ask when planning Italy travel:

  • How many days do you have to work with?
  • Do you want your trip to be relaxing and laid-back, or do you want to pack as many activities as possible into one trip?
  • Do you want to spend the majority of your time exploring one or two cities from top to bottom, or do you want to visit as many cities as possible on your trip to Italy?
  • What types of activities in Italy do you want to do? Consider the famous Italy attractions such as the Colosseum and the Leaning Tower of Pisa; museums in Italy such as Florence’s Uffizi Gallery and Accademia Gallery; Italy day trips to places such as Cinque Terre, Tuscany, Lake Como/Garda, Pompeii; and Italy off the beaten path, with locations to immerse yourself in local culture.

If you need some inspiration for tours, activities, and experiences, our Italy tour page is a great place to start.

3. First trip to Italy: arrange your accommodations

Once you’ve determined what you’d like to get out of your trip to Italy, you’ll next need to decide where you’d like to stay, and for how long. 

Some first-time travelers to Italy find it helpful to stay in a central location such as Rome as a ‘home base,’ and do day trips from there to explore new areas and activities. Rome is a great choice for a home base as it is centrally located and has a wide range of transportation options. For instance, by train you can get from Rome to Naples in just over an hour, or to Florence in just an hour and a half. 

Other travelers prefer to stay in a variety of cities and towns during their trip to Italy instead of picking just one city. There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to your accommodation in Italy; it all depends on your budget, comfort level, and interests! 

If a hotel is an accommodation option that you are considering, you may want to check out our Italy hotel page as it has a variety of hotels to choose from for everyone’s preferences.

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Photo by Imad Sebaa from Pexels

4. First trip to Italy: secure your in-country transportation

After you’ve decided on your accommodations, you can start to map out your transportation in Italy

Train travel is by far the most relaxing, fastest, and least expensive method to travel in Italy, especially if you plan on traveling between main cities such as Rome, Florence, Milan, Naples, and Venice. Many cities can easily be reached by high-speed trains in Italy, making it easy for you to quickly travel across the country and ultimately leaving you more time to explore. 

You can search for routes on ItaliaRail.com, and if you need any assistance or have questions such as train-travel best practices, how much time to leave between connections, or specifics about fare rules and train classes, you can always reach out to our customer service team

And if you’re planning on visiting some remote areas that are harder to reach by train such as small villages throughout Tuscany, then renting a car in Italy for a few days may be a great option for you. 

5. First trip to Italy: leave time to live in the moment!

After you’ve finalized the ‘meat and potatoes’ of your trip (your flight, tours and activities, accommodations, and transportation), you can take a deep breath as the majority of your trip is now planned! 

One piece of advice that is essential for planning your first trip to Italy is to leave some room for yourself and your travel companions to be spontaneous. It’s okay to have some days with nothing planned, as this will give you the opportunity to stumble upon local restaurants, events, and people that will help make your trip special! 

If you’re looking for the most expert advice and tools for travelers to Italy, join the ItaliaPass community, where you can get insider tips and members-only savings. The only way to post your questions is by becoming a member, so join today and jump into the conversation.