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Planning an Italian Vacation

Without Italvista, planning a vacation in Italy is no easy task. The task of deciding what cities to visit, what sites to see, where to stay, where to eat, how to travel, and all at a price that is comfortable for you, can all be overwhelming.

• When to Visit

The best time of year to visit Italy is during the months of April, May, June, September and October. The weather is generally pleasant throughout the country and the cities and beaches are not crowded with visitors. June and September are the best months for beach holidays, especially in the south. The months of July and August should be avoided if possible due to the high temperatures, crowds and increasing prices. Be sure to book all flights, ferries, train tickets and hotels well in advance during these two months.

Here is a chart of the average temperatures in F (C) to help you decide what time of year may be best for you, depending on the type of vacation you want to take.

  January April July October
Bari 46 (8.4) 57 (13.9) 76 (24.5) 64 (18.2)
Florence 42 (5.6) 55 (13.3) 77 (25.0) 60 (15.8)
Genoa 46 (8.4) 58 (14.5) 80 (26.0) 64 (18.1)
Milan 35 (1.9) 55 (13.5) 77 (24.8) 57 (14.2)
Naples 47 (8.7) 59 (14.4) 78 (24.9) 58 (14.5)
Rome 44 (7.4) 58 (14.4) 80 (26.0) 63 (17.7)
Venice 39 (3.9) 54 (12.6) 74 (23.6) 59 (15.1)
Lake Garda 39 (4.0) 55 (13.2) 76 (24.5) 58 (14.7)

• Passport

Visitors entering Italy must be in possession of a valid national passport. Citizens of other European countries need only a national identity card. In case of loss or theft, report to the embassy or consulate as well as the local police. Generally allow yourself up to two weeks for processing your passport.  For first time applications allow yourself some extra time. U.S. State Dept. Passport Info

• Visa

Entry visas are required by Australian, New Zealand, Canadian, and U.S. citizens (If their intended stay exceeds three months). Apply to the Italian Consulate (visa issued same day: delay if submitted by mail). US citizens should obtain the booklet "Safe Trip Abroad" ($1), which provides useful information on visa requirements, customs regulations, medical care, etc., for international travelers. It can be ordered by phone 202-512-1800 or on-line at www.access.gpo.gov.

• Where to Go

Where to go in Italy can be a traveler’s hardest decision, especially for first time visitors. Generally, when people think of Italy they are thinking of places like Rome, Venice, Florence, Milan or Naples. These are Italy’s largest cities and in turn have the most to see and do. Since they are the main attractions, they are also the most modernized cities and the easiest to access. This could be both good and bad, depending on the type of experience you want. For first time visitors, the aforementioned are generally the cities to visit, especially since Rome and Milan are the only two Italian airports that fly directly to and from the U.S.


For returning visitors to Italy, it is often suggested to explore a little more. It is time to get out of the major cities and into a few of the secondary ones. Such cities as Verona, Padova, Bologna, Perugia, and Sienna are all rich in history, yet at the same time small enough and rural enough that they retain more culture and tradition than the major cities.


• Beaches

If you are traveling in Italy during the summer months it is highly recommended that you visit one of the many beaches along the coastlines. The hot summer sun in Italy is known for making walking around on cobblestone streets a bit uncomfortable. A day at the beach in Italy is perfect to revitalize yourself for more site seeing (In some of the extremely popular parts of Italy; Liguria, the Amalfi Coast, the Adriatic Coast, etc. private beaches are very clean with excellent facilities. An entrance fee is charged, as opposed to public beaches that are free of charge and are not as well maintained).


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