Are you planning a holiday in Italy and would like to visit our country on your own? Maybe you do not want to use a travel agency because you would like to customize your holiday in Italy and maybe also save some money. Ok, perfect. In the internet era, unless you have little time to plan, you can organize a holiday in Italy on your own. But I can understand that sometimes planning from the other side of the pond can be overwhelming. Ok, so let’s see what you need to know to explore the boot just like an Italian.
Where to land in Italy
Every region has its airport, so choosing the closest to your first destination shouldn’t be difficult. The biggest airports for international flights are Rome Fiumicino and Milano Malpensa. Decided Rome to visit the center and the south and the second for Northern Italy.
How to reach the city centre
Once you land, airports are connected with the city centre via train or bus. Public transports are very convenient (5/10 euros). Have a look at the airport website, where you generally can find a section dedicated to city transfer. Of course, you can choose a taxi or a private shuttle. In these cases expect the prices to increase quite a bit.
Cars to move during your journey
Cars are not necessary but in some regions highly recommended. Public transport can be less frequent in south Italy. If you visit Basilicata, for example, rent a car as sometimes covering short distances with buses might take forever.
Trains are an amazing way to explore Italy.
The main lines of the trains are Trenitalia and Italo. The sooner you book, the better it is to find good rates. Both companies have a newsletter with offers. I prefer Italo. Its fares are always cheaper than that of Trenitalia.
Italy is also served by an extensive net of regional trains. Trenord is convenient when visiting Lombardia. There are also panoramic local trains like Centovalli Vigezzina which allows you to visit wide areas from the train.
Plan where to sleep during your vacation
Booking and AirBnB are the websites I used the most when I have to find a hotel or a house. There is an Italian website called Pirati in Viaggio which provides incredible solutions. Unfortunately, it is only in Italian.
And also plan where to eat
Yes if they are popular or in very touristic areas. If you want to eat in the ancient part of Matera, maybe in August, o a Saturday night, I highly recommend you to book in advance. The sooner, the better. And in general, always book a table during weekends, as this is the moment when Italians love to eat out, all year long.
You can book a table by calling directly the venue, by asking your hotel, or even via the tourist board. Some tourist offices provide this service but they generally suggest restaurant members of the tourist board.
And if I want a travel agent?
Well, that depends on you of course. Why not, if you feel overwhelmed with the many options or with the fact that you are planning a holiday on the other side of the world. Of course, choosing a travel agent in your country is the best choice, but in case you want a local one, I have used Alpitour in the past with great satisfaction.