Untold Italy

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Discover our secrets, collection: italy travel guides.

Concise printable PDF guides to popular and lesser known destinations in Italy. Our guides provide essential information and our favorite secret addresses to streamline your trip planning and ensure you have the most memorable experiences. 

Essential Guide to Trastevere

Essential guide to positano, essential guide to lake como, essential guide to venice, essential guide to umbria, essential guide to liguria, about our essential travel guides, what's inside our travel guides:.

  • Brief history and context of the city or region
  • Unique view points, things to do and experiences 
  • Local dishes to try
  • Favorite eateries based on years of research!
  • Where to stay
  • Format you can print or keep on your phone

Extras Inside Our City Guides:

  • One page packing checklist 
  • Useful websites and links specific to that city

What Makes Our Guides So Useful

We’ve poured our expertise gained from over 30 trips to Italy into our travel guides and shared all our secrets concisely. 

You won't find fluff or hundreds of words of context or explanation. Instead, our travel guides share our favorite finds in classic and lesser known destinations. 

How will I receive my products?

Our travel guides and planners are published in digital PDF format. You will receive your files via email as soon as you make your purchase. No physical items will be shipped to you.

Do you offer refunds?

We don’t accept returns, exchanges or cancellations on our digital products. Please contact us at [email protected] should you have any problems with your order.

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About untold italy.

We are an online destination and podcast dedicated to helping you plan incredible trips to Italy. Whether it is your first or fifteenth visit to bella Italia, you'll find inspiration and resources to build a trip you'll cherish for a lifetime.

Meet Your Italy Trip Planning Expert  

italy pdf travel guide

Ciao friends! 

I cannot wait to help you plan your trip to beautiful Italy.

This is the country I love to visit most of all and after over 30 trips to Italy I’ve learned a few things about where to find the best carbonara and how long you should plan to spend at the major sites.

Italy is best savored, not rushed.  And the best way to make sure you have plenty of time for strolling with gelato and soaking up the atmosphere in the piazza is to make sure you plan your trip with precision. We want to make sure you leave plenty of buffer time for those la dolce vita moments and never have bad gelato!

Andiamo! Let’s get planning!

Katy Clarke

Untold Italy podcast and travel resources

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The Italian Way of Life

35 Best Travel Guide Books for Italy to Read

Hey there, fellow traveler! This expertly curated selection of the best Italy travel books will help you navigate the country’s breathtaking landscapes, rich history, and delicious cuisine.

Even in this digital age, there’s something magical about turning the pages of an Italy guidebook . It’s more than just collecting facts and figures – it’s about savoring the anticipation, picturing yourself in the most beautiful places, and preparing for the Italian journey of a lifetime .

This post contains affiliate links. When you buy something through one of the links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you.

Top Picks: Best Travel Books for Your Italian Adventure

Lonely Planet Italy

Rick Steves Italy

A thorough, immersive guide for Italian travel , recommended for its blend of iconic sights and hidden gems.

Lonely Planet Italy

The Rough Guide to Italy

Discover abundant off-the-beaten-path recommendations . The perfect guide for travelers who want to delve deeper into Italy’s hidden corners .

Lonely Planet Italy

DK Eyewitness Italy

Rich in historical context and stunning visuals.

It enables travelers to appreciate Italy’s rich history and culture on a deeper level.

Keep reading to uncover the rich tapestry of Italy’s unique regions, sample its delectable cuisine, and bask in its timeless architecture, all from the comfort of your home.

The list of Italian travel guidebooks below is structured into two main sections :

  • All-Encompassing Italian Travel Books
  • Area-Specific Travel Guides

Each book will be reviewed based on a brief description, pros and cons, and the type of audience it’s most suitable for. Let’s start exploring!

Recommended Reading : Discover our detailed guide on the 21 Safest Cities in Italy for Travelers & Expats.

All-Encompassing Best Travel Guidebooks

1. rick steves italy travel guide.

Rick Steves Italy

Rick Steves Italy is an invaluable travel companion for anyone venturing into Italy’s breathtaking landscapes and vibrant cities. Rick’s guide is packed with comprehensive, up-to-date information for planning an unforgettable multi-week trip to Italy.

It introduces readers to top sights and hidden gems , from iconic architectural wonders like the Colosseum and Michelangelo’s David to cozy corner trattorias serving delicious Italian cuisine.

  • Offers strategic advice on maximizing time and budget .
  • Provides candid insights to beat crowds, skip lines, and avoid tourist traps.
  • Suggests the best places to eat, sleep, and experience “ il dolce far niente .”
  • Contains self-guided walking tours of lively neighborhoods and museums.
  • Equips travelers with vital trip-planning tools.
  • Includes detailed maps , including a fold-out map for on-the-go exploration.
  • Lightweight design with over 1,000 pages, making it portable without compromising content.
  • A considerable amount of information could be overwhelming for some readers.
  • The “bible-thin” pages might be fragile and prone to tearing.

Suitable for:

Rick Steves Italy is ideal for seasoned travelers and those new to Italy, particularly those looking to immerse themselves in local culture. It’s also perfect for anyone planning a long trip and needing an in-depth guide to the country’s many offerings.

The book’s inclusion of COVID-related travel info makes it especially relevant in the current travel landscape.

Recommended Reading : Master essential Italian phrases for travel with our 135 basic phrases and PDF cheat sheet.

2. DK Eyewitness Italy (Travel Guide)

italy pdf travel guide

The DK Eyewitness Italy (Travel Guide) is a comprehensive and immersive tool that transports you to the beauty of Italy – from its breathtaking natural landscapes and UNESCO World Heritage Sites to the variety of its gastronomic traditions.

It uncovers the depth and diversity of Italy , presenting not just the acclaimed sights but also the hidden gems in this splendid country. With a beautiful blend of expert insights, practical advice, vivid photographs, and hand-drawn illustrations, this guide is an all-inclusive ticket to a memorable Italian journey .

  • Offers a fully illustrated guide on top experiences and hidden gems.
  • Includes accessible itineraries to optimize your daily exploration.
  • Provides honest and expert advice on safety, timings, preparations, and cost savings.
  • Features color-coded chapters covering every part of Italy.
  • Gives practical tips on the best dining, shopping, and accommodation places.
  • Contains detailed maps and walking routes for easy navigation.
  • Overwhelming information could be daunting for some readers.
  • The large scope of coverage may not suit travelers focusing on a specific region.

The DK Eyewitness Italy (Travel Guide) is an ideal pick for both seasoned and first-time visitors to Italy seeking a comprehensive overview of the country’s landmarks and hidden gems.

The guide’s practical advice and detailed itineraries make it a valuable resource for individuals looking for a well-planned, immersive experience. Also, art enthusiasts , nature lovers , and food connoisseurs will find this guide particularly enriching.

Seeking the perfect tribute to Italy? Check out our article 75 Italian Gifts for Italy Lovers: Best Gift Ideas for the ultimate gift guide.

3. Lonely Planet’s Italy (Travel Guide)

italy pdf travel guide

Italy is such an amazing place, and as one of the most in-depth guides available, Lonely Planet’s Italy offers an extensive exploration of Italy’s rich tapestry.

From traversing the beautiful ruins of Pompeii and enjoying a Tuscan wine tour to uncovering the picturesque Italian Riviera’s hidden gems, this book is your reliable travel buddy . It’s packed with the best and lesser-known experiences, making your Italian adventure unforgettable.

  • Provides tailored itineraries catering to personal interests and needs.
  • Delivers enriching local insights into history, culture, landscapes, and politics.
  • Presents a visually inspiring collection of the top amazing experiences.
  • Highlights regional dishes and drinks for an ultimate gastronomic journey.
  • It gives insider tips to save time and money and avoid tourist traps.
  • Offers planning tools for solo, LGBTQIA, family, and accessible travel.
  • Features colorful maps and images throughout the guide.
  • Includes essential language phrases and helpful travel tips.
  • The extensive coverage might be too much for travelers focusing on a specific region.
  • The size and weight may make it less portable.

Lonely Planet’s Italy is perfect for any traveler, whether a seasoned adventurer or a first-time visitor. Its well-rounded and inclusive approach also makes it suitable for solo, LGBTQIA, and family travelers and those seeking accessible travel advice.

If you’re a food lover or a history buff, this guide is advantageous, given its focus on regional cuisines and historical insights.

4. Glam Italia! How To Travel Italy: Secrets To Glamorous Travel

italy pdf travel guide

Penned by Italian travel guide and blogger Corinna Cooke, Glam Italia! How To Travel Italy is a comprehensive guide aimed at helping you design a personalized, memorable, and affordable vacation in Italy.

The book is packed with insider tips , from appreciating Italy’s art, cuisine, and landscapes, to navigating its fashion scene.

The author’s step-by-step methods for trip planning, regional cuisine, wine lists, the best time to visit (peak season and off-season), and cost-effective flight booking tips are thoughtfully designed to enhance your Italian journey. Whether planning to travel lavishly or on a budget, this guide offers priceless advice to enjoy Italy like a local.

  • Provides detailed, step-by-step methods for planning your trip.
  • Includes comprehensive lists of regional cuisines and wines.
  • Offers practical advice on flight booking to save money.
  • Gives precautionary tips for safe and healthy travel.
  • Emphasizes local advice for a genuine Italian experience.
  • As the book was published in 2018, some information might be outdated.
  • While enjoyable, the cultural immersion aspects may not suit readers seeking strictly logistical advice.

Glam Italia! How To Travel Italy is perfect for anyone who dreams of an Italian vacation , whether they’re first-time travelers or experienced explorers.

The book’s emphasis on experiencing Italy as a local and its cost-saving tips make it a fitting choice for those traveling on a budget and individuals seeking an authentic, immersive cultural experience.

5. Frommer’s Italy (Complete Guide)

italy pdf travel guide

The completely revamped Frommer’s Italy , a trusted name in travel, serves as a thorough and opinionated guide for your Italian escapade. It provides well-researched , valuable information for walking through the ancient ruins of Pompeii, cruising the Venice canals, admiring Renaissance masterpieces in Florence, or exploring less-traveled places like Puglia.

Suggested Reading : Discover the best Pompeii tours from Rome – 20 curated day trips to step back in time.

The guide makes you appreciate the la dolce vita in Rome and uncovers timeless marvels like Tuscan vineyards and the cliff-edge towns of the Amalfi Coast.

  • Includes full-color photographs and handy maps , with a removable fold-out map for ease of use.
  • It contains meticulously crafted itineraries to optimize your trip planning.
  • Provides intriguing cultural insights into Italy’s history, cuisine, and traditions.
  • Honest reviews with a star rating system for a quick understanding of what’s worth your time and money.
  • Offers up-to-date practical information such as transportation details, useful websites, and healthcare options.
  • Comes with budget-planning tools, including precise pricing and money-saving tips for travelers on a wide range of budgets.
  • Being an opinionated guide, it might only align with some readers’ tastes or preferences.
  • Comprehensive and detailed, it might be overwhelming for travelers seeking a brief, casual overview.

Frommer’s Italy (Complete Guide) is ideal for travelers seeking a comprehensive, culturally rich guide to Italy . Whether you’re an avid history buff, a food enthusiast, or a leisure traveler looking to soak up Italy’s landscapes and cities, this guide provides comprehensive coverage.

Thanks to its wide range of money-saving tips and diverse itinerary options, it’s perfect for budget-conscious travelers and those seeking luxury.

6. Fodor’s Essential Italy (Full-color Travel Guide)

italy pdf travel guide

Fodor’s Essential Italy is a detailed travel guide crafted with love and expertise by local travel connoisseurs . This comprehensive guide aims to transform your journey, whether visiting the historic Colosseum, shopping in Milan’s designer boutiques, or hiking through the picturesque Cinque Terre.

Packed with over 78 detailed maps , a free pull-out map, and vibrant photographs, this guide ensures your Italian adventure is as smooth and fulfilling as possible.

Suggested Reading : Discover the top 10 shopping destinations in Italy : your Italy shopping guide, from luxury fashion to artisanal crafts.
  • Features an illustrated guide to the best experiences Italy has to offer.
  • Includes multiple well-organized itineraries to maximize your time effectively.
  • Offers over 78 detailed maps and a complimentary pull-out map to assist in confident navigation.
  • It contains stunning color photos throughout to inspire your travels.
  • Presents reliable recommendations from locals on attractions, dining, accommodation, nightlife, shopping, and more.
  • Provides photo-rich features on topics like “The Best Ancient Sites in Rome,” “Italy’s Best Beaches,” and more.
  • Gives practical trip-planning tools and tips , including the best times to visit and how to save time and money.
  • Offers historical and cultural insights into the local people, arts, architecture, and more.
  • Special features on landmarks like “T he Sistine Chapel ” and “ Cruising the Grand Cana l.”
  • Includes Italian language primers to help you with essential phrases and useful words.
  • This guide might be too detailed and extensive for someone seeking a brief overview.
  • Those who prefer minimalist design find the guide visually overwhelming.

Fodor’s Essential Italy is a perfect companion for travelers seeking a detailed, locally-informed guide to Italy. It is ideal for history buffs, adventure seekers, food enthusiasts, and cultural explorers. It’s especially beneficial for first-time visitors to Italy , assisting them with language, navigation, and insider recommendations.

7. Italy in Your Pocket!

italy pdf travel guide

Italy in Your Pocket! is a compact guide that promises to uncover the myriad of Italy’s rich history and vibrant culture. This pocket guide will ensure you won’t miss the charming villages, stunning mountains, bustling cities, or serene countryside.

More than just a tool to navigate Italy’s well-known tourist spots, this guide aims to immerse you in the authentic Italian lifestyle .

Authored by someone who has considered Italy their second home for over two decades, this book is your ticket to uncovering the essence of Italy that locals hold dear.

Suggested Reading : Discover the enchantment of Christmas in Italy with our guide, featuring prime locations and cherished customs.
  • Highlights the beautiful contrast between Italy’s rural and urban life.
  • Guides on how to avoid tourist crowds and experience the real Italy.
  • Reveals off-the-beaten-path outdoor activities, accommodations, and attractions.
  • Offers insight into traditional Italian events , customs, and yearly gatherings.
  • Provides helpful tips on safety, interacting with locals, and integration into Italian society.
  • It may not provide enough detail for travelers looking for a comprehensive guide.
  • Readers already familiar with Italy may not find a lot of new information.

Italy in Your Pocket! is an ideal companion for travelers looking to experience Italy beyond the typical tourist perspective. It is perfect for adventure-seekers , cultural explorers, and individuals desiring to mingle with the locals and blend seamlessly into Italian life.

Those who appreciate the convenience and seek a compact, easy-to-carry guide will find this book especially useful.

8. The Rough Guide to Italy

italy pdf travel guide

The Rough Guide to Italy is a comprehensive and practical guide to discovering authentic Italy, including hidden gems and renowned hotspots.

Replete with an easy-to-follow, color-coded layout, this guide helps you effortlessly plan your trip from pre-departure to your journey’s end.

It covers regions from Rome and Lazio to Sicily and Sardinia, offering structured lists of all sights and lesser-known treasures. This guide was updated post-COVID-19 and comes with a free eBook for easy accessibility.

  • Extensive regional coverage and clear structure within each chapter for easy navigation.
  • Recommendations are suitable for all types of travelers, whether seeking adventures in Sicily or family activities in Tuscany.
  • Provides practical travel tips , including pre-departure information, tips for traveling with children, sports and outdoor activities, festivals, culture, etiquette, and more.
  • Time-saving itineraries and detailed routes showcase the richness and diversity of Italy.
  • Offers insights into getting around like a local, with tips on beating crowds, saving time and money , and finding the best local spots.
  • Full-color photography and color-coded mapping for visual appeal and easy orientation.
  • It may overwhelm first-time travelers due to its comprehensive nature.
  • Some travelers might prefer a more focused guide tailored to specific cities or regions.

The Rough Guide to Italy is ideal for first-time and seasoned travelers seeking a comprehensive understanding of Italy’s diverse regions.

Its detailed and wide-ranging content makes it an excellent resource for those with varied interests, such as food and drink, festivals, outdoor activities, and cultural exploration. Furthermore, this guide benefits travelers who appreciate planning their trip in detail with time-saving itineraries and expert recommendations.

9. Michelin Green Guide Wine Trails of Italy: Travel Guide

italy pdf travel guide

The Michelin Green Guide Wine Trails of Italy offers a fascinating tour through Italy’s wine regions . This guide covers 125 driving tours that take you to Italy’s renowned wineries, charming towns, villages, and captivating countryside.

It introduces you to the art of Italian wine-making , tasting, and serving. It encourages you to delve into Italy’s rich history, culture, and, unquestionably, its delectable wines.

Suggested Reading : For wine lovers in Bologna, don’t miss the Best Wine Tours & Tastings .
  • Provides 125 driving tours offering a comprehensive exploration of Italy’s wine regions.
  • The book offers insights into Italian wine : its creation, tasting, and the art of serving it.
  • Uses a star-rating system for points of interest, facilitating decision-making.
  • Features well-researched recommendations for accommodation and dining options .
  • Encourages discovery of Italy’s history, culture, and, of course, its wines.
  • It might not appeal to readers who are not interested in wine.
  • It could be overwhelming for those seeking a less comprehensive guide.

The Michelin Green Guide Wine Trails of Italy is perfect for wine connoisseurs and enthusiasts, individuals interested in Italian culture and history, and anyone looking for an immersive, off-the-beaten-path exploration of Italy’s wineries and vineyards.

This guide will also appeal to those who enjoy self-guided driving tours and exploring new cuisines and dining experiences.

10. ITALY Made Easy for Seniors: An Alternative to the Escorted Tour

italy pdf travel guide

Authored by Bob Kaufman, the president of National Travel Vacations for 30 years, ITALY Made Easy for Seniors dispels the misconceptions that hinder seniors from experiencing Italy’s charm.

This handy guide includes comprehensive itineraries , covering not just Rome, Florence, and Venice but also hidden gems like Sicily, Puglia, Cinque Terre, and The Lakes.

Suggested Reading : Experience Tour Rome by Golf Cart – Uncover the city’s charm through the best private tours.

With tips specifically designed for seniors , like avoiding hilly areas for accommodation, the book also proves to be an insightful companion for first-time visitors and repeat travelers.

  • Covers all major cities beyond Rome, Florence, and Venice.
  • Provides practical tips specifically designed for seniors.
  • Informs readers about convenient accommodation options.
  • Includes “ short and sweet ” historical facts, eliminating the need to carry heavy history books.
  • It doesn’t include many color pictures, which might be expected in a travel guide.
  • It might not be as relevant to younger travelers or those seeking more adventurous itineraries.

Italy Made Easy for Seniors is ideal for senior citizens looking to explore Italy, particularly those making their first, second, or third trip. It’s also beneficial for anyone looking for a cost-effective and well-planned travel guide to Italy , even if they’re not seniors.

This book is a must-have for anyone yearning to delve into the enchanting Italian culture without worrying about breaking the bank or getting lost in complex planning.

11. Italy: The Best Places to See by Rail (An Alternative to the Escorted Tour)

italy pdf travel guide

Bob Kaufman’s Italy The Best Places to See by Rail is the ultimate guide for those who yearn for a freestyle yet well-planned journey through Italy without the confines of an escorted tour.

Leveraging his 30 years of experience running National Travel Vacations, Inc., Kaufman presents a refreshing alternative to traditional tours with his cost-effective way to travel by train in Italy .

This book empowers travelers to chart their unique path with five main itineraries covering Rome, Florence, Venice, the Lakes District, and Sicily, along with the Bernina Express over the Alps option.

The book also includes specific details for day trips from various cities and a dedicated chapter on hotel options near train stations for convenience. It is a comprehensive planning tool with relevant website references to secure rail and attraction tickets, helping save time and resources.

  • Offers a flexible, budget-friendly alternative to costly and strict escorted tours.
  • Presents easy-to-follow, comprehensive itineraries for exploring Italy.
  • It provides an accessible format with larger and bolder text, making it easier for seniors to read.
  • Includes essential details such as hotel choices near train stations, tourist attraction ticket purchasing, and recommended restaurants.
  • Packed with valuable insights derived from almost thirty trips to Italy by the author.
  • It might not be suitable for those who prefer the structure and convenience of escorted tours.
  • Requires more individual planning and decision-making compared to pre-arranged tours.

Italy The Best Places to See by Rail is ideal for younger travelers who prefer setting their pace, waking up, eating when they want, and spending as much time as they wish on each site.

It benefits those hesitant about driving in a foreign country or feeling confined by escorted tours. With its handy tips and detailed itineraries, this book ensures a rewarding Italian vacation without breaking the bank.

Dive into Italy: Area-Specific Travel Guides

1. rick steves rome travel guide.

italy pdf travel guide

Rick Steves Rome Travel Guide offers a timely, comprehensive resource for travelers navigating the Eternal City. As a trusted source, Rick Steves shares strategic advice on making the most of Rome—from exploring ancient ruins and the Vatican City to experiencing local culture.

The guide includes top sights and hidden gems, valuable tips to dodge tourist traps, best places to eat, sleep, and live “ il dolce far niente ” (the sweet doing nothing).

It offers self-guided walking tours of vibrant neighborhoods and renowned sights, such as Piazza Navona, detailed maps, a helpful packing list, an Italian phrase book, and historical insights. Also included are resources for COVID-related travel information, ensuring a seamless journey.

2. Rick Steves Florence & Tuscany Travel Guide

italy pdf travel guide

Rick Steves Florence & Tuscany Travel Guide is your quintessential handbook for immersing yourself in the cultural heart of Italy . This fully updated guide steers you through Florence and Tuscany, sharing top sights from the Uffizi Gallery to the Duomo and hidden gems like a centuries-old perfumery.

Suggested Reading : Unleash Tuscany’s splendor with our selection of the best Vespa tours from Florence .

You’ll learn to integrate with the local culture, from strolling morning markets to sipping robust wines with locals. Rick’s strategic advice will help you optimize your time and money , navigate crowds, and find the best places to dine, sleep, and relax.

The book also includes self-guided walking tours, detailed maps , and driving tours through Tuscany’s wine country.

3. Rick Steves Venice Travel Guide

italy pdf travel guide

Your trusted guide, Rick Steves, invites you to glide through the canals and wander down cobblestone alleys in his latest book, Rick Steves Venice Travel Guide .

You’ll learn to maximize your time and budget effectively by offering a fully updated and extensive guide for spending a week or more in Venice.

The guide covers top sights and hidden treasures from St. Mark’s Basilica to the charming city of Padua , along with strategic advice to beat the crowds and avoid tourist traps.

Discover how to connect with local culture , the best places to eat and sleep, and even enjoy self-guided walking tours.

The book features detailed neighborhood maps and a fold-out city map, with complete and current information on the city’s districts and side trips.

4. The Rough Guide to Italian Lakes

italy pdf travel guide

Discover the enthralling beauty of the Italian Lakes with Rough Guide’s comprehensive guidebook. This guidebook offers the most relevant and current suggestions for what to see , what to skip, and those hidden treasures that await you.

Traverse Lombard’s vineyards, get adventurous on Lake Garda or marvel at the 600-year-old Duomo in Milan.

Inside, you’ll find color maps and pictures, highlights, itineraries, and insider tips to navigate the Italian lakes like a local, bypassing crowded areas and saving time and money.

Expect enriching cultural insights and extensive coverage of regions including Lake Como, Lake Maggiore, Lake Garda, Milan, Verona, and more.

5. Fodor’s The Amalfi Coast, Capri & Naples (Full-color Travel Guide)

italy pdf travel guide

Unleash the charm of Southern Italy with Fodor’s insightful guide to The Amalfi Coast, Capri & Naples . Whether you’re planning to drive along the Amalfi Coast, explore Pompeii’s ruins, or savor authentic pizza in Naples, this guide has got you covered.

It’s brimming with maps, local expert recommendations , beautiful color photos, and valuable trip-planning tools.

The guide features multiple itineraries for effective time management, over 15 detailed maps for confident navigation, and honest suggestions on the best sights, eateries, hotels, outdoor activities, nightlife, shopping, and more.

Delve deeper into the local culture with historical insights and special features on the Amalfi Drive , Capri by boat, and the ancient city of Pompeii.

6. Puglia Travel Guide: Are You Ready to Visit Southern Italy?

italy pdf travel guide

If you’re yearning for an extraordinary exploration of Southern Italy, Puglia Travel Guide: Are You Ready to Visit Southern Italy? has got you covered.

This guide, penned by a native Apulian and passionate traveler, Francesco, serves as your comprehensive companion for discovering the hidden marvels of Puglia.

The book outlines the top five unmissable historic sites and over 50 spectacular beaches, from tourist hotspots to untouched natural locales, and introduces you to unique local cuisines .

Packed with more than 200 vibrant full-color photos, this guide makes planning your unforgettable Puglian adventure a breeze.

For those exploring Southern Italy, another honorable book mention goes to Lonely Planet Southern Italy , an excellent guidebook that unveils the vibrant and diverse region of Southern Italy.

Immerse Yourself Deeper in Italy: Beyond Travel Guides

If you wish to dive even deeper into the heart of Italy beyond the fantastic sights and delightful cuisines, we recommend looking at our curated list of prominent Italian best books .

These esteemed works offer profound insights into Italy’s intricate culture and society, weaving tales of love, family, politics, and the very fabric of human nature. This enriching list is in our “ 17 Best Italian Books: Explore Italy’s Rich Culture ” article.

Reading these masterpieces will enhance your understanding and appreciation of Italy before and during your journey. The books mentioned in the article are:

  • Elena Ferrante – L’amica geniale ( My Brilliant Friend )
  • Andrea Camilleri – La forma dell’acqua ( The Shape of Water )
  • Italo Calvino – Il sentiero dei nidi di ragno (The Path to the Nest of Spiders)
  • Carlo Levi – Cristo si è fermato a Eboli ( Christ Stopped at Eboli )
  • Alessandro Baricco – Seta ( Silk )
  • Paolo Giordano – La solitudine dei numeri primi ( The Solitude of Prime Numbers )
  • Umberto Eco – Il nome della rosa ( The Name of the Rose )
  • Elsa Morante – La storia ( History )
  • Primo Levi – Se questo è un uomo ( If This Is a Man )
  • Roberto Saviano – Gomorra ( Gomorrah )
  • Niccolò Ammaniti – Io non ho paura ( I’m Not Scared )
  • Italo Svevo – La coscienza di Zeno ( Zeno’s Conscience )
  • Dante Alighieri – La Divina Commedia ( The Divine Comedy )
  • Giovanni Verga – I Malavoglia (The House by the Medlar Tree)
  • Giovanni Boccaccio – Il Decameron ( The Decameron )
  • Luigi Pirandello – Il fu Mattia Pascal ( The Late Mattia Pascal )
  • Alessandro Manzoni – I Promessi Sposi ( The Betrothed )
  • Beppe Severgnini – La Bella Figura : A Field Guide to the Italian Mind

Best Travel Guide Books for Italy: Final Thoughts

We’ve come a long way on our literary journey across Italy! We’ve delved into general guides about the country as a whole and honed in on the specifics of its mesmerizing regions. Remember, each travel guide provides a different perspective and unique insights – just like Italy, each book has its personality and charm.

I hope this guide to the best Italy travel books proves helpful in preparing for your Italian adventure, whether you’re planning to bring one of these great books along on your trip or just reading in advance to immerse yourself in the beauty and culture of this beautiful country.

After all, these books are about more than just sightseeing – they’re about living and experiencing ‘La Dolce Vita,’ the sweet life, the Italian way. – Until our next Italian journey, Arrivederci!

Recommended Reading : 23 Best Italian Grammar Books to Master the Language

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Italy has so many delights for visitors, it’s hard to know where to start. Lucky for you, we’ve made this list of the best experiences all over the country.

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With so many attractions, it's hard to know where to begin with a trip to Italy. Here's some local insight into the essential things to know before you go.


Your guide to traveling independently across Italy, from the Alps to the islands.

Visa Requirements

Italy is one of the most visited countries in Europe and its many attractions are hard to resist. Find out if you need a visa before you go.

Money and Costs

These top budget tips can help you save money while exploring Italy.

Traveling with Kids

Experience the best of Italy as a family with this guide to the top things to do there with kids.

Best Road Trips

Whether you're cruising the Amalfi Coast or driving through the Tuscan countryside, these scenic road trips will help you see the best of Italy.

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Chances are, once you’ve experienced the joys of travelling in Italy, you might never want to visit anywhere else. Its cultural legacy is awe-inspiring, with remnants of the Roman Empire manifest at (pretty much) every turn. Then there’s the diverse landscapes, and the fabulous food - all underpinned by an unmistakeable character of living life to the full.

Travel Facts about Italy

Where to go in italy - regions and areas, top attractions - what to see in italy, best things to do in italy, when is the best time to visit italy.

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Where to stay in italy, food in italy you need to try, culture and festivals in italy, nightlife in italy, plan your trip to italy, things you need to know before going to italy, typical cost and money saving tips for italy, what to pack for a trip to italy, is italy safe for travel, what you should avoid in italy, useful resources for your travel to italy, travel ideas for italy, created by local experts.

Experience the hit TV show 'The White Lotus' in Sicily

Experience the hit TV show 'The White Lotus' in Sicily

Stay in beautiful Taormina with gorgeous views of Mount Etna and discover Sicily, including famous filming locations. Go on exclusive wine tastings, discover the Greek theater in Taormina with a private guide, visit other Sicilian towns and enjoy the crystal clear water on this week-long trip.

Enchanting Italian Lakes

Enchanting Italian Lakes

Experience the picturesque lakes of Northern Italy, including Lake Garda, Como, Lugano and Maggiore; explore the charming Borromean Islands – former favourites of Ernest Hemingway – and stroll the romantic streets of Verona and Milan. All of this, and much more, with this self-drive trip!

From Venice to Florence: A Grand Tour of Northern Italy

From Venice to Florence: A Grand Tour of Northern Italy

From the atmospheric canals of Venice and the picturesque coastline of Cinque Terre, to the trendy designer boutiques of Milan and the Renaissance-infused streets of Florence, Northern Italy has plenty to offer. Experience it all with this comprehensive trip.

Florence: A Trip Back In Time

Florence: A Trip Back In Time

Florence. A mere mention of the name conjures up grand images of Renaissance romance, awe-inspiring art and astonishing architecture. Come and see for yourself.

Eternal Rome for the Weekend

Eternal Rome for the Weekend

Welcome to this whirlwind tour of Rome, also known as the Eternal City. Rome is one of the most photogenic cities on earth, so make sure you pack your camera.

Wine and food in Tuscany

Wine and food in Tuscany

Stay at a beautiful hotel in San Gimignano, a medieval hill town half way between Florence and Siena. Tuscany is known for its wines and food and that's what you'll be exploring on this itinerary - several wine and food pairings await. All hand-picked by your local travel specialist.

All the information here is from The Rough Guide to Italy , our in-depth Italy travel guide - check it out for your all your Italy travel needs.

  • Language: Italian, with a whopping 34 dialects.
  • Population: just under 60 million, with around three million residing in Rome, the capital.
  • Politics: Italy has been a democratic republic since 1946, when the monarchy was abolished by popular referendum.
  • Heritage: Italy is home to a staggering 55 UNESCO World Heritage sites, 50 cultural and five natural. Tuscany alone has more classified historical monuments than any other country in the world.
  • Food and drink: the average Italian eats 23 kilos of pasta annually, and the nation drinks an astounding 14 billion cups of coffee every year.

For more Italy travel tips, read our facts about travelling in Italy article .

Every trip to Italy is unique and that's why it's essential to stay protected. With our go-to travel insurance provider, Heymondo , you get great value and 24/7 support wherever you are.

Figuring out where to go when you visit Italy is no mean feat. From ancient hilltop towns to modern bustling cities, dramatic mountain landscapes to sweeping coastal scenery, each pocket of Italy delivers something different.

Rome , Italy’s capital, is the one city in the country that owes allegiance neither to the north or the south. It’s quite unlike any other city, and in terms of historic sights it outstrips everywhere else by some way.

Rough Guides tip: Explore our detailed guide on  how to get around Rome to feel more confident during your Rome holidays.

Rome from above aerial view of the Roman Forum and the Colosseum © Calin Stan/Shutterstock

Rome from above aerial view of the Roman Forum and the Colosseum © Calin Stan/Shutterstock

Piemonte and Lombardy

The northwest regions of Piemonte and Lombardy make up the country’s most cosmopolitan region, and the two main centres, Turin and Milan , are its wealthiest cities. In the north, the presence of the Alps makes skiing and hiking prime activities, while Lombardy’s lakes and mountains are time-honoured tourist territory.

Liguria , the small coastal province to the south, has long been known as the “Italian Riviera” and is accordingly crowded with sun-seekers for much of the summer. Its capital, Genoa , is a vibrant port town with a long seafaring tradition.

The Veneto and Friuli Giulia

The Dolomites stretch into the northeastern regions of the Veneto and Friuli-Venezia Giulia , but the main focus here is Venice . This unique city is every bit as beautiful as its reputation suggests.


Emilia-Romagna ’s coast is popular among Italians, and Rimini is Italy’s brashest (and trendiest) seaside resort. Then there’s the ancient centres of Ravenna , Ferrara , Parma and regional capital, Bologna , one of Italy’s liveliest cities, and traditionally its gastronomic and academic capital.

Central Italy represents perhaps the most commonly perceived image of the country. Tuscany , with its classic rolling countryside and the art-packed towns of Florence , Pisa and Siena , is one of Italy’s most visited regions.

Neighbouring Umbria is similar in all but its tourist numbers, though it gets busier every year, as visitors flock to towns like Perugia and Assisi .

Campania ’s capital, Naples , is a unique, unforgettable city, the spiritual heart of the Italian south, and close to some of Italy’s finest ancient sites in Pompeii and Herculaneum, not to mention the country’s most spectacular stretch of coast around Amalfi.

Puglia , the “heel” of Italy, has underrated pleasures, notably the landscape of its Gargano peninsula, the souk-like qualities of its capital, Bari , and the Baroque glories of Lecce in the far south.

The island of Sicily is a place apart, with a wide mixture of attractions ranging from some of the finest preserved Hellenistic treasures in Europe, to a couple of Italy’s most appealing beach resorts in Taormina and Cefalu, not to mention some gorgeous upland scenery.

The stage of Taormina's Greek Theater with the Etna in the background, Taormina, Sicily ©  K. Roy Zerloch/Shutterstock

The stage of Taormina's Greek Theater with the Etna in the background, Taormina, Sicily © K. Roy Zerloch/Shutterstock

Sardinia feels far removed from the mainland, especially in its relatively undiscovered interior, although you may be content just to laze on its beaches, which are among Italy’s best.

Discover more places in Italy

National Park of Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise (Italy) © ValerioMei/Shutterstock

  • Friuli-Venezia Giulia Travel Guide
  • Le Marche Travel Guide
  • Liguria Travel Guide
  • Lombardy and the Lakes Travel Guide
  • Piemonte and Valle d’Aosta Travel Guide
  • Puglia, Italy
  • Rome Travel Guide
  • Sardinia, Italy: What To Do, Weather & More
  • Sicily Travel Guide
  • Trentino-Alto Adige Travel Guide
  • Tuscany, Italy
  • Umbria Travel Guide
  • The Veneto Travel Guide
  • Venice Travel Guide

Picking landmarks and attractions in Italy everyone should see in a lifetime is a nigh impossible task, but we’ve taken a stab at selecting some of the best places to travel in Italy; sights that will enhance every Italy trip experience.

  • The Colosseum is perhaps Rome’s most awe-inspiring ancient monument, an enormous structure that despite the depredations of nearly two thousand years of earthquakes, fires, riots and wars, remains relatively intact.
  • Venice’s magnificent Piazza San Marco houses the Basilica di San Marco, Italy’s most lavish cathedral.
  • Hemmed in by lush hillsides and dramatic mountains, Lake Como’s captivating landscape is best enjoyed by zigzagging between shores by boat.
  • When in Florence , it’s impossible not to gravitate straight towards the square at its hears, Piazza del Duomo, beckoned by the iconic form of the cathedral’s extraordinary dome.
  • Romain remains at Pompeii and Herculaneum - these two sites, buried by the volcanic debris of Vesuvius in AD 79, afford an unparalleled glimpse into ancient Roman daily life and architecture.
  • The Amalfi coast - this rugged stretch of coastline has to rank as one of Italy’s most breath-taking routes. Secluded coves and picturesque towns punctuate the scenic journey.

Discover more great places to see in our ultimate list of things not to miss in Italy .

Grand Canal, Venice, Italy © Apple Kullathida/Shutterstock

Grand Canal, Venice, Italy © Apple Kullathida/Shutterstock

History and culture

Rome alone has enough historic attractions to warrant dozens of visits (and that’s no exaggeration). Discover more about the Eternal City’s ravishing ruins and architectural treasures, from the Colosseum and the Roman Forum , to the Spanish Steps and the Vatican .

Florence is an exquisite city of exquisite art, the jewel in its elegant crown Italy’s finest art gallery, the Uffizi, home to Botticelli’s “The Birth of Venus” and Caravaggio’s “Medusa”, to name but a few of its masterworks. Though meandering Venice’s winding alleys and canals feels like you’re exploring a museum (such is the city’s beauty and uniquely curated vibe), the Accademia museum is an absolute must-visit for art-lovers.


The extensive Italian coast offers plenty of opportunities for sailing and windsurfing. Scuba diving is popular in Sicily and off most of the smaller islands. Water-sports aren’t just restricted to the coast - they can be found in places such as lakes Como and Garda in the north, and Trasimeno and Bolsena further south towards Rome, while river canoeing, canyoning and rafting are popular in the mountain areas of the north of the country. Discover more about sports and outdoor pursuits - our Italy guide to all things active.

Of course, Italy’s coast isn’t all about high energy pursuits. Its beaches are stunning places to soak up the sun; people watch and pose; eat, drink and generally be very merry. Discover the best beaches in Italy , spanning secluded coves, lively seafronts, and dramatic cliff-backed harbours.

Skiing and snowboarding

With the Alps on the doorstep, it’s easy to spend a weekend skiing or snowboarding from Milan, Turin or Venice. Some of the most popular ski resorts are Sestriere and Bardonecchia in Piemonte, and Val di Fassa in the stunning Dolomite mountains. Find out about the best winter resorts for skiing .

Hiking and biking

All these mountain resorts are equally ideal as bases for summer hiking and climbing. The dramatic, spiky landscape of the Dolomites , for example, is perfect hiking country, with its trails often subject to snow, ice and scorching sun in the same day - this is Italy travel at its most epic. For less strenuous treks, the rolling hills of Tuscany and Umbria make perfect walking and mountain-bike country - consider booking a tour in the company of an Italy travel guide who has local hiking or biking know-how.

Varenna old town in Como lake © Boris Stroujko/Shutterstock

Varenna old town in Como lake © Boris Stroujko/Shutterstock

Italy is a truly year-round destination, so the answer to the question “what’s the best month to go to Italy?” will depend on what you want from your Italy travel experience. 

Generally speaking, though, the best time to travel to Italy is spring ( April , May and June ) or autumn ( September and October ). emperatures are warm and you’ll skirt the stifling heat of the summer months - top Italy travel advice if you want to avoid the crowds, too.

Visiting Italy in November , December , January , February and March is doable, but keep in mind that it can be cold. Especially in the north.

Find out more about the best time to visit Italy .

The best way to travel to Italy is to fly. Regular direct flights serve most of Italy from the UK, and you can fly direct from various cities in the US to Rome and Milan. Alternatively, if you travel to Italy by train, you’ll limit your carbon footprint and get to see incredible scenery too. An Interrail (European residents) or Eurail pass (non-European residents) is good value if you plan to make stops en route.

Read on for the best ways to get to Italy .

If you’re wondering how to travel around Italy, the extensive rail system is inexpensive, pretty reliable and quick, apart from regional trains, which tend to be slow and don’t necessarily extend to everywhere you might want to go, though regional buses cover the corners the trains don’t reach. For trips to the islands, you can hop on a ferry or hydrofoil, and the northern lakes region operates frequent ferries outside the winter months.

Learn more about transportation and how to get around Italy .

When you visit Italy, an immeasurable variety of accommodation awaits - boutique hotels, youth hostels, self-catering villas, family-run B&Bs, rural farmhouses, mountain monasteries. While rarely particularly cheap, standards are reliable and accommodation is well regulated. Bear in mind, though, that while accommodation is plentiful, you’ll need to book ahead to bag your ideal bunk down spot in popular resorts and major cities.

Discover how to find the best accommodations in Italy .

One of the joys of travel to Italy is sampling the variety of quality food and drink. Italian cuisine is region specific - the northwest brings a French influence, with its rich butter and cream sauces, while Umbria specialises in salamis, hams, and black truffles, and the southern diet features Mediterranean vegetables. Naples is considered to be the home of the humble pizza, all along the coast seafood dominates, and pasta is prevalent pretty much everywhere. When it comes to drink, Italians take their coffee seriously, and Italian wine is world-renowned, with Tuscany producing classic Chianti, and Veneto’s Prosecco an effervescent delight.

Read more about local food and drink in Italy .

Florence cityscape © Bob Hilscher/Shutterstock

Florence cityscape © Bob Hilscher/Shutterstock

If you travel to Italy, chances are you’ll come across a festival of one kind or another. The Italians love a party, and there are thousands of festivals throughout the year. Religious processions are widespread, Good Friday being particularly well celebrated, and carnival (the big party before the sobriety of Lent). Then there are traditional events, such as the Palio horse race in Siena , food festivals, often celebrating regional cuisine, as well as arts festivals, often taking place against a backdrop of Roman or medieval architecture.

Read more about public holidays in Italy .

The resort area of Rimini is arguably the clubbing capital of Italy, mainly concentrated on the seafront itself, and in the fashionable enclave of Misano Monte (15km south of Rimini and about 5km inland). Also home to legendary nightclubs, cosmopolitan fashion powerhouse Milan does things a little differently. Milanos like to start their evenings early, with an extended “Happy Hour” that begins around six with an aperitivo - a pre-dinner drink that typically lasts until 9pm.

Though not short of night clubs, Roman nightlife is more focussed on al fresco food-based activities. Bustling, bohemian Trastevere comes up trumps for hearty homecooked food and, while Naples lays claim to inventing it, Roman pizza is something to write home about.

The saying goes that Rome wasn’t built in a day, so you shouldn’t expect to see more than a fraction of the city’s attractions in a short visit. That said, if you’re looking for ideas for a few days in Italy, a (preferably long) weekend in Rome will deliver in magnificent style. The same goes for city breaks in Venice, Florence and Milan, and lesser-visited Bologna and Genoa.

As for ideas for a week (or more) in Italy, you might consider touring the Italian Lakes , or soaking up southern Italy , taking in Naples, Pompeii, Vesuvius, the island of Capri , and Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast. Alternatively, exploring the island of Sicily makes for an idyllic longer break.

For more inspiration see some of the Italy itineraries from our Italy travel guide and local travel experts.

  • Dining do’s and don’ts - always wish your table mates “Buon appetito!” before eating, never start to eat until everyone is seated, and always serve others before yourself.
  • Be mindful that tucking into takeaway treats on the move isn’t always welcome (or legal). Florence, for example, has banned eating on the streets around All’ Antico Vinaio, on account of the mess incurred by the popularity of the areas’s takeaway eateries.
  • Be respectful (quiet, and observe any rules around photography) when visiting churches and other religious sites.
  • Say “Permesso” when you need to pass someone on the street, as you’d say “excuse me” in English.

Positano, italy. Amalfi Coast © iacomino FRiMAGES/Shutterstock

Positano, italy. Amalfi Coast © iacomino FRiMAGES/Shutterstock

Practical travel tips for Italy

From travel safety to visa requirements, discover the best tips for traveling to Italy

  • Eating and drinking in Italy
  • Getting around Italy: Transportation Tips
  • Shopping tips for Italy
  • Sports and Outdoor activities in Italy
  • Travel Tips Italy for planning and on the go
  • Best time to visit Italy
  • How to spend 7 days In Italy - 8 unique itineraries
  • The Best 10-Day Italy Travel Itinerary
  • How To Spend 14 Days In Italy - 5 Unique Itineraries
  • How to get from Rome to Florence
  • Electricity - the supply is 220V, though anything requiring 240V will work, and plugs either have two or three round pins.
  • Italy’s currency is the euro (Italians pronounce it “eh-uro”).
  • Banks give the best exchange rate. Banking hours are normally Monday to Friday mornings from 8.30am until 1.30pm, and for an hour in the afternoon (usually 2.30–4pm).
  • Most towns and villages have at least one ATM.
  • Opening hours - most shops and businesses open Monday to Saturday from 8am until 1pm, and from about 4pm until 7pm, with additional closures on Saturday afternoons, though an increasing number remain open all day. Traditionally, everything except bars and restaurants closes on Sunday, though in large cities and tourist areas, Sunday shopping is more common.

For advice about practical matters when travelling in Italy, check the travel advice for Italy .

In general, you’ll find the south of Italy less expensive than the north. As a broad guide, expect to pay most in Venice, Milan, Florence and Bologna, less in Rome, while in Naples and Sicily prices drop quite a lot. As an indication, you should be able to survive on a budget of about €50–60 per day if you stay in a hostel, have lunchtime snacks and a cheap evening meal. If you stay in a mid-range hotel and eat out twice a day, you’ll spend closer to €130–140 per day. Transport and food are relatively inexpensive, and room rates are in line with much of the rest of Europe, but bear in mind that in July and August, when Italians take their holidays, hotel prices can escalate.

  • Comfortable shoes - yes, even if you’re strutting around fashionable Milan. Exploring Italy on foot is fabulous fun, so you won’t want to be hindered by inappropriate footwear.
  • That said, Italians are known for their style, so even if you’re setting off for a beach or adventure holiday, you’ll want to pack something smart for the evenings.
  • Travelling from outside mainland Europe? Bring multi-plug adapter.
  • While English is widely spoken, pack an Italian phrasebook . Attempting to speak little lingo is polite, plus it could come in handy in remote rural regions.
  • Italian summers are hot, hot, hot - don’t forget the sunscreen.

Italy is relatively safe for visitors, though you can reduce the chance of petty theft by taking sensible precautions - don’t flash anything valuable, and make sure bags can’t be snatched. You’re most at risk in busy areas, where pickpockets and scippatori or “snatchers” on scooters are most likely to operate.

Read more on travel safety in Italy , and for up to date information about safety and travel requirements for Italy, check government guidelines. UK nationals should heed Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office advice , while travellers from the US should check governmental travel advisory guidelines for Italy .

Statue of Apollo, Pompeii © BlackMac/Shutterstock

Statue of Apollo, Pompeii © BlackMac/Shutterstock

  • Don’t sit down for a coffee if you’re going to down it in one - the cost of a coffee drunk at a table can be double that of drinking it at the counter.
  • Don’t ask for a cappuccino as lunchtime approaches - in Italy, the frothy stuff is only supped with breakfast.
  • Common sense this one, but steer clear of restaurants that try to usher folks inside. Italy has an abundance of excellent eateries - you don’t need to pay over the odds at joints that hustle for business.
  • Avoid depending on debit and credit cards. Lots of gelateria, street food vendors and trinket stalls only take cash - you wouldn’t want to miss out on that ice cream of a lifetime by being beholden to cards.
  • Check out The Rough Guide to Italy - our exhaustive, in-depth Italy travel guide that covers everything you need to know before you go, and while you’re on the road.
  • You can pick up regional Rough Guides to Italy too, and city guides. Explore the full range .
  • Our expert-curated (fully customisable) Italy itineraries are packed with inspiration.
  • Given that enjoying Italy’s food, glorious, food is an essential Italy travel experience, taking a food tour is a great way to sample authentic cuisine, whether you’re in Rome , Naples , or Venice .

Top image: Amalfi coast, Italy © proslgn/Shutterstock

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written by Rough Guides Editors

updated 06.06.2024


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Free Sorrento Guidebook

Free Sorrento Guidebook

Welcome to our dedicated Visit Sorrento webpage for exploring the enchanting town of Sorrento, Italy. Here you can download our comprehensive Sorrento travel guide in PDF ebook format, absolutely free. Crafted by local experts, our guide will help you make the most of your time in this captivating Italian destination in the region of Campania.

Download free guide PDF format, 24.5 MB It's truly free; your email is not required to download.

Inside this Italy travel guide focusing on Sorrento, you'll find a wealth of travel tips on various topics, including how to get there (ferries, Circumvesuviana, train station), where to stay, and how to spend a perfect day discovering the cafes of Piazza Tasso, the Mediterranean lemon groves, and other local highlights.

This ultimate guide gives you travel tips on the best restaurants, shopping spots, and beaches along the Sorrentine Peninsula in southern Italy’s Bay of Naples, including must-see attractions like the Bay of Ieranto, Mount Faito , and Punta Campanella .

In addition, our guide offers invaluable insights on day trips to nearby locations, such as Pompeii , Mount Vesuvius , Herculaneum , Capri , the Amalfi Coast , Naples , the Royal Palace of Caserta , Paestum , Ischia , and Procida .

Download our free guide now and start planning your unforgettable Sorrento adventure today!

Where to stay in Sorrento

Getting to Sorrento

Getting around Sorrento

A day in Sorrento

Restaurants in Sorrento

Shopping in sorrento.

Beaches on the Sorrentine Peninsula

The Bay of Ieranto

Mount Faito

Punta Campanella

Day trips nearby

Should I visit Pompeii or Herculaneum?

Day trip to Capri from Sorrento

Day trip to the Amalfi Coast from Sorrento

A day trip to Naples

The Royal Palace of Caserta

Day trips to Ischia and Procida

Day trip to Procida, Italy’s 2022 Cultural Capital!

The authors

This Sorrento guide was written by passionate local experts who live and work on Capri and the Amalfi Coast. Our comprehensive travel guide boasts unparalleled insights into Sorrento’s hidden gems, top attractions, and exceptional service providers, guaranteeing an authentic and truly memorable experience during your stay in this beautiful gem of southern Italy.

Instant download

Download the guide in PDF format on any device and take it with you!

eBook in Italian version

More free guides: Free Amalfi Coast Guidebook Free Capri Guidebook Free Pompeii and Herculaneum Guidebook

A glimpse of Sorrento's magic

Sorrento's allure lies in its rich history, cascading cliffs, vibrant city center, and strategic location, giving easy access to surrounding areas. The famous melody "Torna a Surriento" encapsulates the town's captivating charm, making it a must-visit spot in Italy.

Arriving in Sorrento

Reaching Sorrento is relatively easy thanks to its accessible location. Whether you're coming by plane, train, or car, there are several routes to choose from, each offering a unique travel experience. Sorrento is easily reachable from Naples by train and bus. If you arrive from Naples Capodichino airport, you can take a direct bus to Sorrento. If you prefer the train instead, the Circumvesuviana line connects Naples to Sorrento in about an hour. If you're traveling by car, the A3 highway will take you straight to Sorrento.

Exploring Sorrento

Sorrento invites exploration at a leisurely pace, whether it's strolling through the historic center's narrow paths, sipping coffee in the lively Piazza Tasso, getting some sun on the beaches , or admiring a fiery sunset from the Villa Comunale terrace.

The town's historic streets are lined with shops and artisanal workshops, displaying monumental churches like the Cathedral and Basilica of Sant'Antonino, historical buildings dating back to the Middle Ages, and remnants of ancient city walls.

Sorrento is also a great jumping-off point for day trips in the area of the Bay of Naples, such as Pompeii and Vesuvius , Sant'Agnello , or Vico Equense .

Museums in Sorrento

Three museums stand out in Sorrento, each offering a unique glimpse into the town's culture and history:

Museo Correale : This museum houses a collection of artworks from the counts of Terranova, still hosted in the family residence. Paintings, archeological findings, and Capodimonte porcelains are displayed among original 1700s furniture.

Museo della Tarsia Lignea : Wood carving is one of the oldest traditions in the Sorrento Peninsula. This museum displays a wide array of objects decorated with this technique.

Villa Fiorentino : In this 1930s villa, the Sorrento Foundation organizes modern art exhibitions and theme-based shows dedicated to local crafts.

Sorrento offers a delightful shopping experience, with its main street, Corso Italia, hosting boutiques and fashion stores. The historic center's alleys (Via San Cesareo and its side streets) are home to inlay workshops, leather product stores, small limoncello factories, and food and wine shops.

What to buy in Sorrento

If you're looking for a unique souvenir, Sorrento will not disappoint. Here are some suggestions of what to buy in Sorrento:

Limoncello : Limoncello is a world-renowned Italian liqueur, and Sorrento's local version is particularly famous. It makes for a perfect gift or a souvenir for yourself, to bring the taste of the lemon groves back home with you.

Inlaid wooden box : Wood inlay is a traditional art form in Sorrento. An inlaid wooden box is a great souvenir representing this ancient craft.

Leather goods : Sorrento's artisanal workshops produce a variety of high-quality leather goods.

Eating in Sorrento

From restaurants and cafès to ice cream parlors, rotisseries, bakeries, and wine shops, Sorrento offers an almost infinite choice of places to stop for food and drink. For coffee or an aperitif, the most popular bars overlook Piazza Tasso, the town's main square. Stop in for a pleasant moment to relax and watch the world go by.

Sorrento is home to a variety of restaurants, each offering a unique dining experience. Here are some suggestions:

Ristorante Tasso : Located behind its namesake square, this restaurant is always a good choice, with its spacious rooms suitable for groups and a curated menu catering to all tastes.

Zi' Ntonio : This historic establishment in the city center offers traditional dishes prepared with excellent fresh ingredients. The staff is very courteous. The "Sorrento Gnocchi" is a must-try.

Ristorante Caruso : This restaurant is dedicated to the famous opera tenor Enrico Caruso, who spent his last days at the nearby Excelsior Vittoria hotel. It is adorned with memorabilia and offers a warm atmosphere.

More information on Restaurants in Sorrento

Getting around in Sorrento

Sorrento is often chosen as a base for visiting the Amalfi Coast, Pompeii, and Capri, so it's important to plan in advance how you'll get around once you're there. The town center is quite small and easily walkable. However, areas like Marina Piccola and Marina Grande are located below the center of town, so it can be helpful to take a bus, especially for the climb back up.

Useful travel tips for Sorrento

Finally, here are some additional travel tips for your trip to Sorrento:

Don't forget to bring a hat and sunscreen.

Remember that most of the shops in Sorrento close for siesta in the afternoon.

If you plan on doing a lot of excursions, consider purchasing a tourist card, such as the Campania Artecard, which offers free or discounted entry to many attractions in the region.

Make sure you try Sorrento's famous limoncello.

We hope this guide will help you plan a wonderful stay in Sorrento. No matter what you decide to do, we're sure you'll fall in love with this charming city!

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Italy Travel Guide

Everything you need to know for visiting italy.

The one-stop shop for everything you need for planning a trip to Italy.

You’ll find helpful guides, itineraries, Google Maps, travel apps, and FAQs!

This post may have affiliate links. When you click on a link we receive a small commission. This is at no extra cost to you. See  Our Affiliate Policy  for more info.

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Travel Safety Information

Traveling in Italy is generally safe , with lower crime rates than other countries.

However, it’s wise to be cautious of pickpocketing in crowded areas like any tourist destination.

General Information

  • Currency: Euro
  • Language: Italian

Google Maps

For navigation and finding your way around cities and rural areas. Don’t forget to download offline maps.

The official app for Italy’s regional train services, as well as other nearby countries.

A language learning app with games and quizzes to pick up basic Italian phrases.

XE Currency

For easy currency conversion, helping you keep track of your expenses.

Widely used in Italy for communication. Free calling and text!

To discover the best local restaurants and make reservations.


All my maps are pre-pinned and ready to use! I saved all my recommendations you can find in the post!

Best 15 Pictures of Bologna Little Venice in Bologna

Bologna Map

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Puglia Region Map

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Catania Map

At a glance information for travelers

You might be wondering about getting around and keeping your items powered up. Here is a short section to keep you informed.

Uber & Ride Share

In most cities in Italy, ride-share options such as Free Now and Bolt are available. I didn’t have as much luck with Uber.

Car Rentals

Everything you need to know to rent a car in Italy can be found in our exclusive guide below.

Plugs & Outlets

Type C and F plugs. Standard voltage is 230 V with a frequency of 50Hz. Bring a universal adapter.

Best Time To Visit

  • Winter: Cool and occasionally rainy. In the southern regions, temperatures range from 8°C to 15°C (46°F to 59°F). In the northern regions, expect colder weather with temperatures from 5°C to 10°C (41°F to 50°F).
  • Spring: Delightfully mild and pleasant. Southern Italy enjoys temperatures between 12°C to 20°C (54°F to 68°F), while the north experiences a range from 10°C to 18°C (50°F to 64°F).
  • Summer: Warm to hot across the country. Southern Italy sees temperatures from 22°C to 35°C (72°F to 95°F), often tempered by coastal breezes. In the north, temperatures vary from 18°C to 25°C (64°F to 77°F).
  • Autumn: Mild to warm, perfect for witnessing the fall foliage. In the south, temperatures range from 15°C to 25°C (59°F to 77°F), whereas in the north, they range from 13°C to 20°C (55°F to 68°F).

FAQs for Italy

Most commonly asked questions among travelers

Yes, tap water in Italy is generally safe to drink.

In Italy, tipping is not mandatory, but it is appreciated for good service. In restaurants, a service charge might be included in the bill, but if it is not, rounding up the total or leaving a few euros is a courteous gesture.

The safest city in Italy can vary depending on various factors such as crime rates, infrastructure, and local governance. However, some cities often cited for their safety include Verona, Bologna, and Trento.

In my experience, you are going to be limited when it comes to vegan options in Italy. Big cities like Rome and Florence have a lot more options, but in the smaller cities, dairy is very present. You can always get pasta with red sauce, and salads.

Italy Travel Resource Books

Rick steves, italian phrase book, itay for food lovers, dk eyewitness, europe by train, looking for a solo travel community.

It’s all about community! There is something here for everyone, whether you are just getting started or consider yourself a veteran solo traveler.

Find support, inspiration, and friendship by joining our community!

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Tuscany in 10 Minutes

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Discover the best of Tuscany, plan your perfect itinerary. At Tuscany Now & More we have welcomed guests to our Tuscany villas for almost three decades. We know this region’s villages and hiking trails; the best food and museums, vineyards and spas; and many of its artisans by name. We created our short Tuscany travel guide to give you a taste of what goes into the best Tuscany vacations.

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Rome, Italy – Free PDF Travel Guide Book

Enjoy a Spectacular Vacation in Rome. Rome is the capital of Italy, as well as the Lazio region of the country. The city happens to be just over seventy-five square miles, and more than two million people live there. Rome is quite unique because there is a country inside the city, and it is the only area in the world that has that feature. Due to that extraordinary feature, Rome has often been said to be the capital of two different states.

People have been calling the city of Rome home for more than twenty centuries now, which makes it the oldest area in the world to have been continuously inhabited. Quite a bit of the history of those years can be found amongst the attractions that are scattered and preserved throughout the city.

The weather throughout Rome varies according to the seasons. The winters are cool yet humid, and the summers are warm and quite dry. Very little rain falls during the hottest summer months, and when the temperatures reach their coldest, a few snow flurries do appear. However, those flurries never stick around long and barely stick to the ground.

Those who visit Rome will find that this city has an abundance of history, culture, and long-standing traditions. At almost every turn, people will discover one historical attraction or another, yet nearby, there is some ornate structure adding a little pizazz to the streets. The medieval piazzas, historic churches, and fountains are all surrounded by fantastic works of art that were created by masterful artists.

The locals and tourists love to spend time out on the streets as they watch the world pass them by, but they are equally as happy to participate in the numerous cultural activities that take place throughout the year. Fun-filled days turn into even more exciting evenings, as long dinners turn into long walks to find the best gelato. There is so much to see and do in Rome, which means that it can be challenging for anyone to know exactly where to start when they arrive.

Here are the 7 top destinations that should be on everyone’s must-see list for a visit to Rome:

  • The Colosseum – One hundred games were played immediately when this structure opened back in 80 A.D. While no one can watch those games now, they can still see the fifty thousand seats where the spectators sat and the massive stage where the games took place.
  • The Pantheon – This majestic temple was constructed between 118 and 128 A.D., and it is now where many Roman kings and other famous people are buried. One of the most notable tombs is the one where Raphael was placed.
  • The Spanish Steps – These steps lead to the Trinitàdei Monti Church, and it is recommended that visitors climb them for the spectacular view of the piazza and the fountain below.
  • Trastevere – Trastevere is the place to be in the evenings, as the bars and clubs are filled with people drinking and dancing the night away. Those who choose to visit earlier in the day will find plenty of boutiques filled with perfume, jewelry, and handicrafts.
  • The Trevi Fountain – is the most popular fountain in all of Rome due to the legend that has been passed down through the generations. According to the legend, anyone who tosses a coin into the Trevi Fountain will return to Rome, while those who throw in more than one coin will fall in love with a Roman and marry them.
  • The Roman Forum – These ruins are considered one of the most famous in the city. Multiple temples, squares, and arches were located in this area, and many of those structures are still standing today.
  • Palatine Hill – This is one of the most ancient areas within Rome, and it is the perfect spot to visit and look out over the entire city and the Roman Forum.

One of the best places to visit within Rome is Vatican City, although everyone must be prepared to spend at least a day or two there in order to see everything on their list. The Vatican Museums is comprised of the museum, art galleries, the Sistine Chapel, and a few sections of the papal palace. There are more than fourteen hundred rooms in total, which means that people would need to explore for hours to see and appreciate it all!

Those who visit Vatican City usually are better off participating in one of the guided tours of the museums, as that is the only way that they are guaranteed to see everything that is important. There are four different itineraries, each one showing different things, but they all end up at the Sistine Chapel at the conclusion of the tour. Everyone will love the frescoes that Michelangelo painted on the ceiling inside the Sistine Chapel, but the biblical scenes that were painted on the walls by other infamous artists are worth a glimpse as well.

After thoroughly exploring the museum complex, visitors will want to make their way to St. Peter’s Square and St. Peter’s Basilica. The basilica was constructed at the site of the church that covered St. Peter’s tomb, and it is one of the largest churches in the world. Inside the church, people can marvel at the art, including Michelangelo’s Pieta, and visit the tombs of the Popes that are buried there. The square is right outside the church, and many people love spending time out there, soaking in the ambiance of the area.

Rome is such a historical destination, and everyone must visit to learn that history firsthand. This city can be slightly overwhelming at the beginning, which is why everyone will need to have a plan in place before they arrive. That plan will prevent them from missing any of the essential attractions on their list!

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An Easy Travel Guide to Rome, Italy

V isiting the Eternal City for the first time? Rome is one of the most visited cities in Italy and we created an easy travel guide to Rome so that you know the best things to see and do.

In this post, we’re sharing all we’ve learned from our vacations in Rome to help you plan your getaway. We’ll cover the most popular neighborhoods, the best things to see and do, how to get around in Rome, the best time of the year to visit, how to get to central Rome from FCO Airport, and tips for traveling.

Where is Rome

Rome is located in the region of Lazio, near the and is undoubtedly one of the most popular destinations in Italy. It has the highest population of all cities in Italy and sits about 1 hour from the western coast.

And when it comes to tourism, it’s no surprise that visitors from around the globe travel to Rome to see its beauty and Renaissance art, experience Roman cuisine and Italian cooking , shop the fashion capital, discover the piazzas and fountains, explore the historical landmarks, or even practice Italian phrases that they’ve learned.

The various neighborhoods are the most widely visited by tourists because they are where most attractions can be found. Traveling through the city is easy on foot, but you should also consider the Rome sightseeing bus or the Rome golf cart tours .

The Best Time of Year to Visit Rome

Rome can be extremely uncomfortable in the summer months (primarily June through September). In April and May, the spring temperatures are nice, the mornings are cool, and by noon you probably won’t need a jacket.

The Best Things to See and Do (by Neighborhood)

Each neighborhood of Rome has museums, churches, gardens, parks, and iconic spots to visit. This list gives a brief description of each district, and helps you understand what to see in each neighborhood. It will come in handy for deciding where to stay in Rome while planning your trip.

You may need to take public transportation to reach a specific neighborhood depending on where you stay. However, once you arrive, the area is completely walkable and getting from one point of interest to another is easy.

Modern Center

This neighborhood is located around Via Veneto and the Spanish Steps, the Modern Center neighborhood combines classic and contemporary influences. It has a mix of upscale boutiques, trendy cafes, and luxurious hotels, making it a hub for shopping, dining, and experiencing the modern side of Rome.

Palazzo del Quirinale

Complesso delle Quattro Fontane

Trevi Fountain

Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Antica a Pallazo

Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri

Castro Pretorio

Chiesa di Santa Maria della Vittoria

Museo e Cripto dei Frati Cappuccini

The heart of Rome’s historic center, the Old Rome neighborhood captivates with its cobblestone streets, charming piazzas, and awe-inspiring landmarks like the Pantheon and Piazza Navona.

Scalinta di Trinita dei Monti (Spanish Steps)

Museo dell’Ara Pacis

Campo de’ Fiori

Palazza Farnese

Piazza Navona

Museo di Roma Palazzo Braschi

Chiesa di San Luigi dei Francesi

Chiesa di Sant’Agnese in Agone

By far this is the most popular neighborhood in Rome for travelers. Trastevere is a bohemian neighborhood located on the west bank of the Tiber River. It is known for it narrow, winding streets, nightlife, and charming piazzas. Trastevere has a lively atmosphere with trendy bars, and traditional trattorias.

Villa Farnesina

Galleria Corsini

Basilica di Santa Maria

Orto Botanico

Home to the iconic Colosseum, the Colosseum neighborhood in Rome immerses visitors in ancient history as they explore the grandeur of the Roman Empire, marvel at ancient ruins, and soak in the architectural splendor of this UNESCO World Heritage site.

Roman Forum

Palatine Hill

Bocca della Verita

Circo Massimo

Piazza Venezia

Altare della Patria

Aventino – Tastaccio

Testaccio is a historic working-class neighborhood that has transformed into a culinary hotspot. It offers a vibrant food scene with traditional trattorias, gourmet restaurants, and a bustling food market.

Basilicia di San Giovanni

Terme di Caracalla

Knights of Malta Keyhole

Esquilino – San Giovanni

Located near Termini Station, the Esquilino neighborhood is a melting pot of cultures and flavors. Known for its diverse immigrant communities, Esquilino is a mix of ethnic restaurants, colorful markets, and architectural gems like the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore.

Basilica Papale di Santa Maria Maggiore

Palazzo Massimo alle Terme

Museo Nazionale Romano

Basilica di San Pietro in Vincole

Nomentano combines residential tranquility with commercial areas. This neighborhood is characterized by its leafy parks, elegant villas, and the iconic University La Sapienza. There is a mix of students, locals, and dining. Nomentano has a relaxed and intellectual atmosphere.

Sapienza University

North Center

The North Center neighborhood of Rome, encompassing areas like Villa Borghese and Parioli, presents a more tranquil and residential atmosphere. With its leafy parks, elegant villas, and cultural institutions like the Galleria Borghese, this area provides a peaceful retreat from the city center.

  • Museo e Galleria Borghese
  • Villa Borghese
  • La Galleria Nazionale
  • Museo Nazionale Etrusce di Villa Guilia

Vatican City

Vatican City is the smallest independent state in the world and the spiritual center of Catholicism. Home to St. Peter’s Basilica, the Vatican Museums, and the Sistine Chapel, this iconic neighborhood offers a rich blend of religious significance, magnificent art, and awe-inspiring architecture.

St. Peter’s Basilica

Vatican Gardens

Vatican Museums

Castel Sant’Angelo

Southern Rome

The southern part of Rome is less touristy and has an authentic atmosphere that portrays a taste of local Roman life. From food markets and traditional trattorias to vibrant street art and a strong sense of community, Southern Rome provides a glimpse into the city’s everyday charm.

Via Appia Antica

Catacombe di San Sebastiano

Catacombe di San Callisto

Museo Capitoline Centrale Montemartini

How to Get Around Rome

Getting around the cobbled-stoned streets of Rome is not hard. I’ve walked, biked, and bused throughout Rome and loved it! All are great ways to get around and the method you choose depends on how much time you have and your personal preference.

I recommend the  Big Bus Tour  or a Golf Cart Tour in Rome if you are short on time or if you booked your travel in the dead heat of summer (which can be intensely hot).

With these tours, you’ll see all the top Rome attractions with audio commentary in your language of choice. If you choose an open top tour bus, the added benefit is free wi-fi and for 3 extra euros, you can use your ticket for two days (it is worth it).

When it comes to seeing Rome, walking can not be avoided especially when getting to an attraction that require climbing hilly pathways or navigating ancient streets. In my opinion, being on foot is one of the best ways to travel in Rome.

Exploring the narrow streets can lead you to the most marvelous pasta, the creamiest gelato, or the most perfect pasta! I highly recommend visiting the Trastevere neighborhood for  Italian street food . 

Public Transportation

This is the best option for getting to a part of town that is more than 20 minutes on foot, especially if visiting a museum or park. Save your energy and use public transportation for less than 2 euros. You can purchase them at the tobacconist store.

You will need to validate your ticket upon boarding the bus (it’s an honor system). Getting caught with an un-validated ticket can result in a fine. You should also use a really good map of Rome. 

Bike or Vespa

Peddling around the city on your own time feels so liberating. Bike rental is very affordable and is an enjoyable way to experience the outdoors, get some exercise to make up for all the  Italian breakfasts  that you eat, and explore Rome.

You can find rentals for as little as 13 euros for 24 hours, complete with lock, for a standard bike. The price for e-bikes is higher.

Getting around on a two-passenger scooter is loads of fun!  Rent a Vespa to skirt traffic or explore outside the city. They can be rented by the hour or day. This will make your trip to Rome memorable as you travel in true Italian style!

How to Get to Central Rome from FCO Airport

There are several options to get from Leonardo da Vinci International Airport to the center of the city. I found the train to be the quickest and most affordable especially if you’ve had a long day of travel and want to get to Termini station.  

The most economical way to get from the airport to the city center is via a shuttle bus service from the airport. You can travel conveniently between Rome’s city center and the airport and take pleasure in a stress-free arrival or departure from the city.

The ride takes about 50 minutes and departures run from the airport every 30 to 40 minutes so you have time to collect your luggage. Shuttles stop in Terminal 3’s arrivals section. Look for the respective service at the arrival platform.

Terravision offers a shuttle service for less than 8 euros it’s quite popular. The buses are air-conditioned and there is no cost to bring your luggage aboard. It goes directly to Termini station with no extra stops. 

Another option is the public transportation system, which costs about 6 euros. The bus stops multiple times in the city center, including one close to the Vatican and one at Termini Station, throughout the 45- to 1-hour one-way trip.

Buses halt in Terminal 3’s arrivals section, at number 14. You can purchase tickets at the airport desk or online. 

A taxi is quite expensive. It will set you back almost 50 euros and the ride takes just as long as a shuttle service (about 50 minutes). You can find the taxis at the arrival level of Terminal 1 and Terminal 3.

The Leonardo Express train is less than 20 euros and runs every 15 minutes during peak periods. It is operated by Trenitalia and the ride takes about 30 to 40 minutes.

If you wait to collect your luggage, and then make your way to the window or kiosk to purchase your ticket, note that many others will be doing the same. Hate long lines? You can purchase tickets in advance and be ready for validation after boarding the train.

I can’t recommend a car rental unless you plan a day trip and need a set of wheels. Rome is completely walkable. Not to mention, even Italians know that finding a parking space can be a hassle.

Tips for Visiting Rome

I adore visiting Italy. And no trip would be complete without seeing some of the most iconic and historic spots in the Eternal City.

Don’t make the mistake (that I made on my first trip) and skip these incredible spots! Fortunately, I was able to see them on return visits!

Whether you are visiting the Vatican for the first time or returning because you tossed a coin into the Trevi fountain, these Rome travel tips will come in handy to make your stay enjoyable.

  • Be prepared! Read these tips on the essentials for an international flight .
  • Think comfort when flying coach , it will help you stay calm and confident.
  • Beware of scammers, pickpockets, and panhandlers. It’s a thing in Europe and it can happen when you least expect it. 

So, what are you waiting for? Book that flight to Rome and thank me later.

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    Table of Contents. 10 days in Italy - itinerary overview. Day 1 - 3: Rome. Day 1 - Fountains and statues. Day 2 - Colosseum and Roman Forum. Day 3 - The Vatican. Day 4 - 5: Florence. Day 1 - Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral and Accademia (statue of David) Day 2 - Uffizi, Ponte Vecchio and Boboli Gardens.

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    Ten minutes is all you need to read this Tuscany travel guide on your iPad, smartphone, laptop or any other PDF compatible device. Just fill in the short form to receive your free Tuscany travel guide. No strings attached. Discover the best of Tuscany, plan your perfect itinerary. At Tuscany Now & More we have welcomed guests to our Tuscany ...

  17. PDF Best of Italy in 17 Days

    Day 1: Welcome to Italy Meet your tour guide and group around 5 p.m. • Varenna orientation walk • Sleep in Varenna 2 nights 0 Day 2: Cruising Lake Como The day is all yours to explore the vil-lages and waterways of Lake Como with your included ferry pass 0 Day 3: Verona and the Dolomites Travel to the Dolomites • Walking tour

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    Important: My #1 tip for packing for Italy - make sure you have comfortable shoes and pack the right shoe style for you. If you are most comfortable in athletic sneakers, bring them - your feet will thank you. Don't stress about 'blending in.'. Every Italian you see knows you aren't Italian.


    This ebook contains the advice we give to our travel planning clients. It may seem like a lot of information about a fairly straightforward topic, but I guarantee that if you take this advice, driving in Italy will definitely be less stressful. I hope you'll find the information useful! The Traveler's Guide to Driving in Italy - Chapter 1

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