Planning a Trip to Italy 2024: 7 Tips to Enhance Your Travel

By Chris Quan | Updated Jan. 2, 2024

This article aims to help you plan your Italy trip in seven easy steps. It covers itineraries, costings, choosing the right time to go, and more.

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1. Choose Where to Go

In this section, you could get some ideas to help you choose the cities you want to go to based on the different features of each city, which we have listed below.

1) Rome — a Must for First-Timers

Rome is a must for a trip to Italy especially for first-timers and history and architecture lovers. A trip to Rome usually takes 2 or 3 days.

We recommend dedicating one day to exploring the highlights of Rome including the Colosseum, Rome Forum, and the Vatican, a country within a country.

To feel the atmosphere of the city, a walking tour is recommended. Take a stroll through the streets, passing by some of the beautiful squares such as the Spanish Steps and the Trevi Fountain, while immersing yourself in Rome's vibrant street culture.

If you are active and have a keen interest in Roman history, you could go on a bike tour to explore the oldest road in Rome (the first Roman Avenue) — Appia Antica.

Italy Travel Map, Best Places to Visit in Italy

2) Florence — Best for Culture Lovers

If you are interested in Renaissance culture, Florence is a must. A trip to Florence usually takes 2 or 3 days.

Embark on a one-day walking tour to delve into Florence's heritage, art, and food, including the David statue, Dante's House, Palazzo Vecchio, and the renowned San Lorenzo food market.

If traveling with kids, you could consider taking an Italian gelato and pizza cooking class or embarking on a food tour, strolling through its characteristic streets and savoring authentic Italian delicacies.

Allocate one or two days to explore the region of Tuscany, where Florence is located. It is famous for its wine and pastoral scenery. You could explore some of the charming towns in the area. Revel in the postcard-perfect vistas of the Chianti region through a hot air balloon ride, savor a private dinner paired with wine tasting at Chianti's vineyards, and soak in the breathtaking sunset over San Gimignano...

3) Venice — Best for Families

Venice is like a Disneyland. It offers many interesting water-themed activities, such as sitting on a gondola (a pointed boat with Venetian characteristics) as you cruise on the Grand Canal, listening to the boatman singing Italian folk songs, and enjoying the view of the city as you see the old buildings on both sides of the canal and observe the daily lives of the pedestrians.

A trip to Venice usually takes 1 or 2 days. Spend one day on a city tour including a boat ride. For families with kids, some hands-on experience would be a good arrangement, such as learning glass-making with a craftsman or making Venetian masks, which are indispensable props for the Venetian Carnival.

You could also spend one day exploring some interesting lagoon islands, such as Murano where you could witness the process of glassblowing, and Burano which is famous for its colorful houses, making it an ideal spot for capturing Instagram-worthy photos. If your child enjoys posting on Instagram, she/he might find this place appealing.

Check out our recommended 10-Day Italy Highlights Tour for Families with Teenagers

4) Amalfi Coast — Best for Relaxing Coastal Views

If you want to feel Italy's coastal views with a relaxing vibe, we recommend a trip to the Amalfi Coast. You may need 3 or 4 days to explore the Amalfi Coast.

Your private guide will drive you along the stunning Amalfi Coast. There, you could explore some of the laid-back seaside towns such as the Positano. Relax in a cafe, stroll the streets to find some hidden art galleries and boutiques, and visit some historical architecture.

You could also take a day trip to the nearby island of Capri. There, you could take a boat trip to see the iconic Faraglioni Rocks, three towering sea stacks that are a symbol of Capri, stroll through the charming streets of Capri Town, and enjoy a tasty seafood lunch.

See our 7-Day Rome and Amalfi Coast Tour

5) Naples — Best for History Lovers

Naples is recommended for people who are interested in exploring historical ruins. A trip to Naples takes about 1 or 2 full days.

Naples is the birthplace of pizza. No trip to Naples is complete without enjoying the authentic Italian pizza. We could arrange a walking food tour for you to explore local and traditional street food and also visit the city's iconic landmarks. If you are very interested in Italian pizza, we could arrange a pizza cooking class for you.

If you want to create a memorable experience for special celebrations like a birthday or wedding anniversary, we can arrange an elegant dinner for you with delicious dishes and stunning panoramic views of the Gulf of Naples.

The ruins of Pompeii and the Vesuvius Volcano are close to Naples. You could also allocate one day to exploring them. Through the excavated sites of buildings and animal and human remains in Pompeii, you could learn about how the once bustling city was buried by a volcanic eruption.

Climb one of the only two active volcanoes in continental Europe with our guide's accompany. It could be an unforgettable experience on your Italy trip.

6) Sicily — Best for Beach Lovers

If you are looking for a lively beach holiday in Italy, you could consider its largest island, Sicily. Usually, spending 5 to 7 days in Sicily is recommended. If you want a more immersive experience at a leisurely pace, you could take more days.

Palermo and Taormina are two main towns to explore. In Palermo, you could take a bike tour to discover its streets and heritage, go to the nearby hilltop town — Monreale to see the largest Norman building in Sicily, the majestic Duomo, or take a CuiserCar to explore the whole town's landmarks, food, and scenery.

In Taormina, you could explore the village in the movie Godfather, learn about the history of the real Sicilian Mafia, and taste the food that appears in the movie. If you love the outdoors, take a trip to the Etna Volcano, climbing up to a dead crater 2,000 meters above sea level and exploring lava caves.

7) Milan — Best for Fashion Lovers

If you are interested in fashion and art, or like shopping, Milan is for you.

You could see the largest Gothic church in the world, Milan Cathedral, witness the authentic work of Leonardo da Vinci's Last Supper, and get lost in various shopping malls and streets.

A trip to Milan could take about 1 to 2 full days.

See our 10-Day Italy Food, Wine, and Ferrari Adventure Tour

2. Decide How Long to Stay

Generally, a classic Italy itinerary takes about 1 week, covering the top 2 or 3 cities, such as Rome & Florence, Rome & Venice, or Rome, Florence, and Venice, which mainly focuses on central and northern Italy. You could get more ideas on our Plan Your 7-Day Trip to Italy (5 Top Itineraries)

If you want to cover southern Italy, such as Naples, or spend time exploring the countryside or coastal towns, you may need about 10 to 14 days. See our 10-Day Rome, Naples and Amalfi Coast Tour

If you have 3 weeks or more, you could explore Italy from north to south with one or two island trips. You could also consider connecting Italy with nearby countries such as Greece. See How to Plan a Trip to Italy and Greece

Feel free to contact us if you want help with planning your Italy trip. We would create your itinerary based on the length of your trip, group size, interests, and other requirements. An efficient and professional reply within 24 hours is our basic promise.

Find more ideas in our How Many Days Are Needed for a Trip to Italy?

3. Choose When to Go

If you have flexibility in choosing the timing of your travel, we recommend opting for spring (April to May) or autumn (September to October). These months offer comfortable temperatures and relatively fewer tourists, enhancing the overall travel experience.

June is also a good time. The temperature at this time is not as hot as in July and August, and there are relatively fewer tourists.

Other times are still suitable for exploring Italy but additional considerations may be necessary in the planning process. July and August are the peak months in Italy so if you plan to travel during these months, it is advisable to anticipate crowds and make advance reservations for popular attractions. Booking online in advance could help you to minimize the time spent in long lines in the hot sun waiting to buy tickets. On our tour, we will prepare skip-line tickets for you in advance.

For those planning to travel during winter including the Christmas season, taking an umbrella is advisable to handle the rainfall, but the quiet streets and reduced wait times are the rewards.

To find more information on how to choose the best time for your visit to Italy, see our article Best Times to Visit Italy.

4. Consider the Budget

Travel expenses in Europe tend to be relatively high, but Italy is one of the countries where costs are more affordable.

One major expenditure is paying for international flights. During the off-peak season, direct flights from the United States to Italy are approximately $700–800, while in the peak season (June to August), prices could double.

The differences in hotel accommodation costs between the off-peak and peak seasons are also noticeable. Generally, a 4-star hotel in the off-peak season is about $200 but during the peak season, prices may double.

The cost of our private tour in Italy is about $400–500 per person per day. It would include flights/train journeys within Italy, 4-star hotels, attractions, guides, and private transfers. See more on How Much Does a Trip to Italy Cost?

Our private tours provide you with many options for balancing price and quality perfectly. You could obtain relatively high-quality services, experiences, and privacy within the most reasonable price range. Feel free to contact us if you need help planning a trip to Italy.

5. Accommodation Tips

It is not a big problem to find a hotel in Italy. Italy offers a diverse selection of hotels for you to choose from. However, if you're looking for a hotel that meets your preferences, such as good value for money or family-friendly rooms, it might take some effort. See How to Plan a Family Trip to Italy

In terms of area selection, we recommend avoiding staying near the train stations as much as possible because the environment would be more chaotic.

Here are some of our recommended accommodation areas in major Italian cities.

Recommended Areas to Stay in Rome

1. Centro Storico & Monti

  • Pros: Situated in the city center, close to all attractions, making it the most convenient area for sightseeing.
  • Cons: Crowded with tourists, noisy, and relatively expensive.

2. Trastevere

  • Pros: A residential area where locals reside, offering convenience in dining, entertainment, and safety.
  • Cons: Not as centrally located, and lacks a direct metro connection to the train station.

3. Prati

  • Pros: Close to the Vatican; a safe neighborhood with local residents; convenient dining and drinking options, with attractions easily accessible by metro. Direct metro connections to the train station.
  • Cons: Relatively limited hotel choices.
Where to Stay in Rome

Recommended Areas to Stay in Florence

The historic city center area (Centro Storico) is the most recommended to stay in Florence. Florence is not a big city. The major attractions such as the Duomo, Uffizi, and Ponte Vecchio are concentrated in this area.

Where to Stay in Florence

Recommended Areas to Stay in Venice

1. City center areas (San Marco & Castello)

  • Pro: Offering easy access to most major attractions.
  • Con: To reach Venice Island from Venice Airport, you'll need to take a water taxi. If the boat cannot dock directly at your hotel, you may need to carry your luggage along the flagstones for some time on foot.

2. Lido

  • Pro: Offering a quiet atmosphere and more affordable price.
  • Con: Lido Island is situated around Venice, so visiting attractions in Venice may not be very convenient.
Where to Stay in Venice

Recommended Areas to Stay in Naples

1. City center (Centro Storico)

  • Pros: Convenient for sightseeing, dining, and drinking, with slightly lower prices.
  • Cons: Can be a little crowded.

2. Waterfront area (Ovo Castle & Chiaia)

  • Pros: Quiet and safe, with a better surrounding environment, and convenient for sightseeing.
  • Cons: Prices may be higher, and it's a bit of a walk to the city center attractions.
Where to Stay in Naples

In the Amalfi Coast Region

Sorrento is the recommended area to stay in the Amalfi Coast region. Accommodation and dining prices along the coast are slightly lower at both ends (Sorrento, Amalfi) and higher in the middle (Positano). Additionally, considering the easy access to flights or trains, staying in Sorrento is recommended.

Where to Stay in the Amalfi Coast

You could tell us about your hotel requirements, such as a preference for a quiet area or the need for family rooms. Our advisors would find the right hotels for you.

Italy also offers some unique accommodation experiences, such as castle hotels in Tuscany. These hotels are typically located in small towns or estates that are further away from the city center, offering a serene yet luxurious environment.

6. How to Get Around Italy

Italy offers a developed transportation network. High-speed rail connects the major cities. It takes 1½ hours to travel from Rome to Florence and about 2 hours to get from Florence to Venice. If you want a more comfortable ride, especially if you are traveling with children, Prima (first class) seats are recommended.

City sightseeing primarily involves walking. Most of the city attractions are within walking distance. Therefore, wearing comfortable shoes is necessary.

If you want to explore the Amalfi Coast region or the countryside and towns, you would need a car service. We would manage all of your transportation within Italy, including booking and scheduling your tickets and transfers.

7. Check Out the Visa Requirements

If you have an American, UK, Canadian, Australian, etc. passport, you could travel to Italy without a visa for up to 90 days for tourism or business purposes.

Make Your Italy Trip a Customized One

All of our tours can be customized based on your interests and requirements. Feel free to contact us. Here are some of our popular Italy tours:

Get Inspired with Some Popular Itineraries

7-Day Flash Family Adventure in Rome and Venice 14-Day Best of Italy and Greece Tour 10-Day Italy and Greece Family Essence Tour 7-Day Essential Italy Tour | Venice, Florence and Rome

More Travel Ideas and Inspiration

How to Plan a Trip to Switzerland and Italy 2024 Planning a Trip to Italy 2024: 7 Tips to Enhance Your Travel How to Plan a Trip to Italy and Greece: 6 Tips (2024) How to Plan a Family Trip to Italy 2024
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