Experience Italy - Vacations In Italy
Luxury travel in Italy is a stop-in-your-tracks and swoon experience. Look no further than the gondolas of Venice, fresh bruschetta in Tuscany, the drape of an artfully knotted scarf in Milan, and yes, masterpiece after masterpiece of the world’s most iconic art and architecture—Italy was the home of da Vinci and Botticelli after all—to throw all caution to the wind and announce “Bella Vita!”
Travel In Italy
An Italy vacation introduces a way of life that is all about the “you-only-live-once” motto. The cities are gluttonously cultured, sophisticated fanfares oozing flair and centuries of cosmopolitan refinement. Whether you’re craning your neck to see every inch of the Sistine Chapel, the Colosseum, and the Leaning Tower of Pisa or simply admiring the art of drinking espresso, the streets of Pompeii’s empire, or the way the sun-kissed locals sport their linens, you’ll be at once envious and swept-away by the definition of “city-living” in Italy.
But the cities are a mere taste of this Mediterranean favorite. In the Italian countryside your Italy luxury trip will blossom with gorgeous food, villas, and vistas. Snow fanatics flock to the grand Alps for all modes of icy sport, mountaineers to the jagged peaks of Alto Adige, sun-worshipers to Capri, the Amalfi Coast, Sardinia and the Riviera, and gourmets to where else but Tuscany, Veneto, Piedmont, and Puglia.
Although Italy is only slightly larger than the state of Arizona, on every visit we discover a rustic vineyard, paradisaical coastline, clandestine hilltop village, hushed chapel, and off-the-beaten-path Michelin-starred restaurant we declare our new favorite. Each of the 20 regions feels like a country unto itself, making luxury journeys in Italy a lifetime pursuit that you’ll never tire of.
In Italy, where no town is complete without a Roman-era theater or aqueduct, the ancient and the modern live in harmony. Many travelers still consider this vibrant land an essential destination. With famous cultural treasures, Italy beckons with its legendary hospitality and relaxed lifestyle.
Italy, slightly larger than Arizona, is a long peninsula shaped like a boot, surrounded on the west by the Tyrrhenian Sea and on the east by the Adriatic. It is bounded by France, Switzerland, Austria, and Slovenia to the north. The Apennine Mountains form the peninsula’s backbone; the Alps form its northern boundary. The largest of its many northern lakes is Garda (143 sq mi; 370 sq km); the Po, its principal river, flows from the Alps on Italy’s western border and crosses the Lombard plain to the Adriatic Sea. Several islands form part of Italy; the largest are Sicily (9,926 sq mi; 25,708 sq km) and Sardinia (9,301 sq mi; 24,090 sq km).
The climate in Italy
The climate varies considerably from the north to the south of Italy. In the north of the country – the area between the Alps and the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines – the climate is harsh, with very cold winters and very hot, particularly humid summers. In central Italy the climate is milder, with a smaller difference in temperature between summer and winter and a shorter and less intense cold season than in the north; summers are longer, but the sultriness of the northern cities is mitigated by the sea. In southern Italy and the islands winters are never particularly harsh, and spring and autumn temperatures are similar to those reached in the summer in other areas of Italy.
Temperatures vary widely in Italy, in the north, center or south of the country. The table below illustrates the monthly average minimum and maximum temperatures for three cities, one for each climate area.
What currency is used in Italy?
Since 2001, the currency used in Italy is the euro. One euro is divided up into 100 euro-cents. There are eight different coins (1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 euro-cents) and seven notes (5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 euros).
As well as in cash, purchases can be paid for using the most common credit cards. This payment system is common in Italian shops, which generally display the symbols of the credit cards they accept on the outside door. If you pay by credit card you will be asked to show an identity document. Travelers cheques (in USD or Euros) can also be cashed in Italian banks.
Tips are not compulsory and in Italy there are no generally established rules, although it is common practice to leave a sum amounting to around 10% of the bill if you are satisfied with the service you have received.
Italian is the official language of the country, although accents and dialects may vary widely from one region to another. A large number of local dialects are spoken in Italy.
There are two regions, however, which have a second official language: the Aosta Valley, where French is also spoken, and Trentino Alto Adige, where German is also spoken. In these regions, road signs, as well as place names, for example, appear in both languages. There are also a number of small areas in which languages other than Italian are used, although these languages do not have official status: in Friuli-Venezia Giulia there is a Slovenian-speaking area, and in Calabria (in the Bovesìa area) and in Apulia (in the Grecia Salentina zone), Greek is spoken in some areas. In Sicily, in Piana degli Albanesi, you will find the largest Albanian community in Italy, where the Albanian language is widely used, even in official documents and on road signs.
The Italian Constitution guarantees freedom of worship. Most of the population is Catholic; there are also, however, a large number of minority religious communities, some of them of Christian or Catholic inspiration, such as the Apostolic Church, the Church of Jesus Christ and the Latter-Day Saints (Mormons), the Waldensian Evangelical Church and the Holy Orthodox Archdiocese, as well as Muslim, Jewish, Hindu and Buddhist communities.
What time is it in Italy?
Italy is in the Central European Time (CET) Zone, 1 hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), and observes Daylight Saving Time: at the beginning of spring the clocks go forward an hour in order to take advantage of an extra hour of sunlight in the late afternoon/evening. At the beginning of autumn the clocks are shifted back an order to standard Central European Time.
What are the typical mealtimes in Italy?
Italians usually have breakfast from 7.00 a.m. onward. Hotels generally set a time (around 10.00 a.m.) after which breakfast may no longer be ordered. In restaurants, lunch is served from 12.30 to 2.30 p.m, and dinner between 19.30 and 23.00. These times are merely indicative, and may vary significantly, depending on the area of the country you are visiting: in the north they tend to be earlier, becoming later the further south you travel.
What are the shop opening hours?
Shops are generally open from Monday to Saturday, from 9.30 a.m. to 12.30 and from 3.30 p.m. to 7.30 p.m., although shopping centers and department stores often stay open all day, from 10.00 a.m. to 9.00 or 10.00 p.m. Shopping centers and stores are also open on several Sundays throughout the year.
Pharmacies have the same opening hours as shops, from 9.30 a.m. to 12.30 and from 3.30 p.m. to 7.30 p.m.; in the larger cities, some pharmacies are open 24 hours. For emergencies during the night, or when the pharmacies are normally closed, a number of them remain open, on a rotational basis. A calendar listing the nearest one open can be found on the doors of all local pharmacies.
There are 12 national holidays on the Italian calendar:
1 January – New Year’s Day
6 January – Epiphany,
Easter Sunday (date varies from year to year)
Easter Monday (the day after Easter Sunday)
25 April – Anniversary of the Liberation
1 May – Labor Day
2 June -Republic Day
15 August – Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary ( Ferragosto )
1 November – All Saints Day
8 December – Immaculate Conception
25 December – Christmas Day
26 December – Boxing Day
Best Time to Visit Italy
The best time to travel to Italy largely depends on your preferences and the specific regions you plan to visit. Italy experiences a diverse climate across different regions, so it's important to consider factors such as weather, crowd levels, and seasonal activities. Here's a breakdown of the different seasons in Italy:
Spring (April to June): Spring is a beautiful time to visit Italy as the weather starts to warm up, and flowers bloom across the country. The temperatures are generally mild, making exploring cities and outdoor attractions comfortable. It's a great time to visit popular destinations like Rome, Florence, and Venice before the peak tourist season.
Summer (July to August): Summer in Italy is hot, especially in cities like Rome and Florence. Coastal areas and islands, such as the Amalfi Coast and Sicily, are popular during this time, as visitors enjoy the beautiful beaches and warm Mediterranean waters. However, be prepared for larger crowds and higher prices during the peak summer season.
Fall (September to October): Fall is another fantastic time to visit Italy, particularly in September and early October. The temperatures start cooling down, and the tourist crowds thin out. It's a great time to explore cities, indulge in Italian cuisine, and enjoy the stunning landscapes, including the Tuscany vineyards and Umbria countryside.
Winter (November to February): Winter is the offseason in Italy, except for the ski resorts in the Italian Alps. While the temperatures can be chilly, it's a great time to visit if you prefer fewer tourists and want to experience Italian cities without crowds. You can also enjoy winter festivities, such as Christmas markets in cities like Florence and Milan.
It's worth noting that popular tourist destinations like Rome, Florence, and Venice can be busy year-round. If you prefer to avoid crowds, consider visiting during the shoulder seasons (spring and fall) when the weather is still pleasant, but tourist numbers are lower.
Ultimately, the best time to travel to Italy depends on your personal preferences, desired activities, and tolerance for crowds or varying weather conditions.
Thanks to its double perspective, Bolzano is able to mesmerize tourists who come from all over. Its two lifestyles, one Northern European and the other more Mediterranean, combine to make the perfect union, which can be clearly seen in the historic and artistic treasures of this city. For centuries, Bolzano has been the privileged center of commercial exchanges between Italy and Germany. Today, the capital of Alto Adige has become a cosmopolitan city that knows how to be lively, cheerful, modern and yet refined all at the same time!
Important Things to Know:
Passport Requirement: Yes
Visa Requirement: No. Visa not required with stays up to 90 days
Best Time To Travel to This Destination: Hiking, Biking, Cuisine, Art, History and Culture
This Destination is Best For: Between April and June
Is This a Family-Friendly Destination: Yes
Recommended Vaccinations: Chickenpox (Varicella), Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis, Flu (influenza), Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR), and Polio Shingles.