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Travel guides covering numerous destinations across the globe with a focus on: must-visit cities, places of historical and culture significance including Unesco World Heritage Sites, and opportunities to see wildlife in their natural habitats.

Read up-to-date tips and advice for expats based on my own experiences of expat life including our recent move to Australia.

 

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My top ten travel tips for Italy

My top ten travel tips for Italy

MY TOP TEN TRAVEL TIPS FOR ITALY

PRE-BOOK TICKETS AND TOURS

I pre-booked a number of tours long before our last holiday in Italy. It is extremely busy in Italy in summer so if you don’t want to spend hours in queues to visit famous sites/museums I would book a tour. Skipping the large lines at the Accadamia and the Uffizi in Florence was worth the cost ten times over for us. I could think of nothing worse than standing in 35 degree heat all day in the hope of catching a glimpse of David.

david IN FLORENCE ITALY

Also be aware that you may need to book a long time in advance to secure a ticket. For example if you want to see The Last Supper – Da Vinci’s masterpiece – in Milan you will need to book well ahead.

The last supper - TRAVEL TIPS FOR ITALY

I experiences some great tours. Our Coliseum tour included access to restricted areas such as the underground chambers, the floor of the Colisuem and the third tier. The tours aren’t cheap but for me they were worth every penny. You also get guides who know their stuff! Our guide to the Coliseum had a degree in Ancient Roman History from the University of Rome.

Coliseum underground Underground AT THE COLISEUM IN ITALY

If you are interested in the tours that I took on my last visit to Rome take a look at my Viator tours page where you can book those tours that suit your needs.

READ MORE
A weekend visiting UNESCO World Heritage Sites in London

TRACY’S TRAVELS IN TIME VIATOR ITALY TOURS PAGE

CONSIDER THE HEAT

It is hot in Italy in summer…I know that sounds obvious but make sure you have a hat, slap on plenty of sunscreen and carry water with you.

Roman Forum

Some of the sites do not have shade – the Roman Forum for one. It was 38 degrees the day we were there….I had a fan, a hat, a bottle of water and just survived it!

hat modelling 2 IN ITALY

TAKE WATER WITH YOU

Talking of water…don’t bother to keep paying out for it! Fill your bottle from the 2,500 public water fountains you can find all over Rome for free!

nasoni IN ROME

Nasoni – free water fountains are everywhere!

DO SOME HOMEWORK

Please read guidelines to the places you are planning to visit…..we couldn’t believe it when one of the people on our tour of the Coliseum turned up with a massive suitcase! There is no-where to leave it and you can’t take it in with you! She ended up missing half the tour as had to find somewhere to store it.

JETLAG

Perhaps don’t book a tour on the day you arrive if you are flying in from afar…if you have arrived from America after a 10 hour flight will you really want to go on a 3 hour tour of the Vatican Museums??

Guide at the vatican

Following the umbrella!!

Apparently not as at least 10 people dropped out of the tour we were on as the afternoon wore on. Not because of the tour guide or the tour but simply because jetlag caught up with people. Tours are not cheap so unless money if no option I would advise a few hours to get acclimatized!!

nero's bath

Nero’s bath…some people missed all of it as they were too tired to do the tour!!

COVER SHOULDERS AND KNEES IN RELIGIOUS BUILDINGS

If you are intending to visit a church, a basilica, the Sistine chapel or one of the other many religious buildings in Italy remember you need to cover your shoulders and knees. We were amazed by the amount of people who seemed surprised they were denied entry when dressed in a crop top and a pair of Daisy Dukes.

St Peter's basilica

Don’t miss out on seeing all of this!

BEWARE OF PUSHY SELLERS AND SCAMS

Be aware of the rose sellers, the selfie stick sellers and all others out to annoy the hell out of you on holiday. (Ok I know they are trying to make a living but ….) One such man thrust a rose into my niece’s hand then followed us around demanding payment. They were particularly bad around the Trevi Fountain and were verging on clear harassment on a few occasions. I avoid eye contact and just shake my head. I did consider walking around with a selfie stick and a rose permanently in each hand so they would leave me alone!

READ MORE
A review of a day in Los Angeles on the Rastabus tour

Also be aware of scams…in Milan the bracelet scam seems in full force and we were approached a couple of times. Not nice.

CONSIDER THE LOCATION OF YOUR HOTEL

If you are travelling by train – as we were – try to get hotels near to the train stations. This is particularly good advice for Venice – I would not have fancied trying to cross Venice by foot (those bridges) or in a full vaporetto with a zillion other people.

bridge venice

The only city I broke this rule was Rome because I could not resist staying near the piazza Navona.

Milan train station

TRAIN TRAVEL

Talking about train travel – if you plan to travel Italy this way then consider booking your tickets direct on the Trenitalia site. I would always advise you look at seat61 when planning any train travel – I did and it saved us quite a lot of money!

trains IN ITALY

BE FRIENDLY

Talk to people! We had some great conversation with fellow travellers and you learn so much (where to eat/where to avoid etc)

smile

We met some lovely people – our favourites were Val and David from Perth, Australia. What a fantastic couple – friendly, interesting and great company. We met people from Japan, South Korea and Australia (hi Sarah!) and it was great talking to others about their lives and their travels.

Aperol

Cheers! Hope these travel tips for Italy are helpful and you have a wonderful visit! Is there anything you think I could add?


OTHER POSTS ABOUT ITALY

Visiting Florence

Visiting Venice

Top tips for Venice

Visiting Rome

A visit to the Vatican

READ MORE
My top 20 beautiful destinations in Europe to visit Part 2

The Amalfi Coast

Travel tips for Italy


PIN FOR LATER – TRAVEL TIPS FOR ITALY

TRAVEL TIPS FOR ITALY

TRAVEL TIPS FOR ITALY

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3 Comments

  1. September 12, 2016 / 6:38 pm

    Great tips, Tracy. You’re right about Venice – all those bridges are not fun with luggage (or with a stroller as we once found out :)). As for Rome, we also always stay near Piazza Navona – it’s the best location in town.
    But I cannot imagine how you did so much sightseeing in such temperatures! I love Italy, but June is as far in the season I’d go there…

    • September 15, 2016 / 6:00 pm

      Oh no I can’t even begin to imagine trying to cross those bridges with a stroller!

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HI THIS IS ME – TRACY

Hello from Australia

Traveller, teacher, train lover, and milkshake connoisseur.Now living and working in my 7th country and experiencing life in Queensland, Australia.

I write to inspire others whatever their age to explore the world - near and far!

I have travelled for over 30 years including solo in my 20's , as a single parent in my 30's and now in my 40's and beyond with my husband. House sitter and aspiring grey nomad a life of location independence is my goal.

Over 40 years ago I dreamt of a life well travelled and that is the life I live!

Dream it, plan it, do it!!

Tracy

“Once the travel bug bites there is no known antidote, and I know that I shall be happily infected until the end of my life”
-- Michael Palin