So, you’ve been planning that awesome vacation to Italy for a while now, you are almost set to go and you think you have everything ready? Not before you read these direct experiences of traveling to Italy from people who travel A LOT, some even do it for a living!
We asked some of the top travel bloggers who have visited Italy to reveal their best kept secrets. They will guide you through what to eat, where to go, what to avoid and what you should definitely pack for when you’re going to Italy for the first time.
Here are 9 of the best travel bloggers and their advice for a perfect trip to Italy:
Laurel from monkeysandmountains.com says:
I’m a big fan of Italy! My best kept secret about Italy is to get outside the big cities to experience a much different side of Italy. One of my favorite places in Italy is the Dolomites. They offer some of the most spectacular scenery and hiking in Europe. For a very local experience, stay in one of the mountain huts. The food is out of this world – better than what you’d find in many cities and the sense of camaraderie with other guests creates a life time of memories.
Kristin from bemytravelmuse.com says:
The best thing to do in Italy is to head off the beaten path. Italian hospitality is legendary for a reason. People in small towns are so welcoming, and the food is so fresh and fantastic. Definitely check out the popular attractions like Rome and Florence, but leave some room in your schedule for some places that are unexpected.
Sofie from wonderfulwanderings.com says:
When you visit Rome, the historical center is a must-see, but that doesn’t mean you have to stay there. In fact, it’s even better to get away from the center a bit if you want to get a good meal without paying a tourist price for it. Cross the water to the Trastevere area and have dinner where the Romans go.
Becki from bordersofadventure.com says:
Drink coffee and learn everything there is to know about the coffee culture. It’s a huge thing in Italy and one that is key to socialising. Stand at the cafe bar and talk with locals, know when to drink what particular coffee and when (milk laden coffee vs espresso) and…teach yourself how to love quality coffee, even if you’ve never liked it before.
Alex Berger from virtualwayfarer.com says:
Mid-level and high end Italian food is absolutely spectacular. The fresh, locally sourced, meals and wine you’ll find in Umbrian and Tuscan Agriturismos will leave you in culinary bliss. Time it with April or May when the flowers are in bloom and spring is winding its way across the central Italian landscape and you’ll experience a dreamy Italian trip straight out of the movies.
Zorica from aussieontheroad.com says:
to pack: travel adapter
to visit: Appian Way
to buy: foodstuffs. Rome is especially a deli heaven.
eat: Besides the classic pizza, pasta and gelato I recommend travelers to try Roman-Jewish cuisine.
avoid: The queues. You can buy tickets for many attractions and museums online which can save time significantly.
Diana from dtravelsround.com says:
I would recommend people to pack something fashionable/dressy for Italy. The country is filled with smartly dressed people and making that extra effort to dress up for a dinner, etc. always plays well. Avoid the tourist traps like San Marco in Venice and the over-priced food and drinks. Head for the little, quiet side streets to find the true gems.
Annette from bucketlistjourney.net says:
Don’t only indulge in the Italian dishes that you can find in every town throughout the country, but also try the cuisine specialized for a city or region. Eat a Lampredotto sandwich while traipsing through Florence, a Florentine street food tradition. This quick and easy meal is a soft roll stuffed with tender slices of tripe (beef belly), salsa verde, a spicy sauce and dripping with its own juices. Fill up on Pici pasta while in Siena, a long hand-rolled pasta, thick like spaghetti. If cheese and potatoes is more your thing than try frico with toast, the typical dish in Friuli. The shredded ingredients are mixed together than fried in a skillet until the sides are brown and crispy. Find out what dishes are unique to the area you are visiting and make it a personal mission to sample them all.
Angela from chasingtheunexpected.com says:
Italy is a small but incredibly diverse country, so it’s hard to give tips that can fit every single place. As a general rule, I would recommend to arrive with at least a few sentences in Italian since in many places locals don’t speak English, especially in non-tourist areas.
Also, when it comes to eating out, I would suggest, especially when visiting very popular cities like Rome, to either go a bit far from the very city center or ask some locals where you can eat truly traditional near tourist landmarks. I live in Rome and I can say that apart from some exceptions, it’s quite hard to find very good and genuine food around the Pantheon or Piazza Navona! Your best bet is always to ask locals, now through social media or native travel bloggers is way easier than before.
One more suggestion I would give when traveling to more offbeat Italian destinations such as the island of Sardinia (where I originate from), is to rent a car rather than rely on public transport. Unless you have a lot of time, you are going to waste much of your holiday waiting for buses and trains.
Finally, there is no “one” product I would recommend to buy in Italy, every place has its own character, handicraft and local produce, so wherever you are, make sure you research first on what makes it special and go for it, no point in buying in Milan something typical from Sicily, better to visit Sicily directly!
So what do you think? Do you feel ready for that Italian Vacation now? Armed with the best tricks and tips in the book, we think your are definitely going to enjoy Italy at its fullest.
And remember: Money spent on traveling and seeing this beautiful world of ours is never wasted.