Italy Travel Guide

Author: Crystal
Author: Crystal

“The most beautiful in the world is, of course, the world itself.” - Wallace Stevens

Table of Contents
Share this article...
Italy Travel Guide: Best Cities, Hidden Gems, and Authentic Experiences

Italy offers historical significance, artistic heritage, and cultural diversity. From ancient ruins to Renaissance treasures, the country’s rich history unfolds. Renowned museums house masterpieces by iconic artists like Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci. Breathtaking landscapes include the Amalfi Coast and the Italian Alps.

Image Collage of places to see in Italy

Culinary delights abound, from pizzas in Naples to seafood along the Amalfi Coast. Italian hospitality shines through as locals welcome visitors warmly. Italy is a hub of fashion and design, particularly in Milan. Attractions and activities are available year-round, promising an unforgettable journey.

More Travel Guides from ViaResorts

plane shadow in crystal clear water

Getting to Italy

Getting to Italy from Australia is as simple as booking a flight, with multiple airlines offering direct and one-stop flights. Flights can be taken from major Australian cities like Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth Airports to both international airports in Italy. 

Italy has over 25 International airports! We have listed 7 of the most popular below…

Located in Rome, Fiumicino Airport is Italy’s busiest airport and a major hub for international flights. It offers connections to numerous destinations in Europe, North America, Asia, and beyond.

Situated in Milan, Malpensa Airport is one of Italy’s largest and busiest airports, serving as a key gateway for international flights to and from northern Italy. It offers connections to destinations across Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas.

Located in Venice, Marco Polo Airport is one of the country’s main international gateways, providing connections to various destinations in Europe, the Middle East, and beyond. It serves as a primary entry point for travelers visiting the Veneto region and the Adriatic coast.

Serving the southern region of Italy, Naples Airport offers international flights to destinations across Europe and beyond. It is a convenient gateway for travelers visiting Naples, the Amalfi Coast, and the surrounding Campania region.

Located in Bologna, Marconi Airport serves as a major international hub for travelers visiting the Emilia-Romagna region and northern Italy. It offers connections to various destinations in Europe and beyond.

Situated in Catania, Sicily, Fontanarossa Airport is one of the busiest airports in southern Italy, offering international flights to destinations across Europe and North Africa. It serves as a primary entry point for travelers visiting Sicily and the surrounding areas.

Located in Palermo, Sicily, Falcone-Borsellino Airport offers international connections to various destinations in Europe and North Africa. It serves as a key gateway for travellers visiting Palermo and western Sicily.

Transport travel tip:

For efficient local travel in Italy, utilize public transportation like trains and buses, opt for walking or biking in cities, consider ride-sharing services, and always carry a map or smartphone with GPS. Verify ticket validity and watch out for pickpockets in crowded areas.

Transportation Options in Italy

Getting around Italy is relatively easy, thanks to a variety of transportation options. Whether you want to travel locally or domestically there are many ways for you to make your way around the small island country.

Here’s a list of the most common ways to get around Italy:

While Italy is well-connected by train, domestic flights can be a time-saving option for long distances or traveling between distant regions. Airlines like Alitalia, easyJet, and Ryanair offer domestic flights between major cities.

Domestic flight costs:

Average one-way domestic flight ticket (e.g., between major cities): EUR 50-200 or AUD 80-320

Italy has an extensive and efficient rail network operated by Trenitalia and Italo, connecting major cities and towns. High-speed trains like the Frecciarossa and Frecciargento offer fast connections between cities, while regional trains provide access to smaller towns and villages.

Train costs:

  • Average regional train ticket: EUR 10-20
  • Average high-speed train ticket (e.g., between major cities): EUR 40-100
  • Average cost of a Eurail pass for tourists: EUR 100-500+
  • In AUD: AUD 16-32 for regional trains, AUD 64-160 for high-speed trains

Buses are another popular mode of transportation in Italy, offering connections to destinations not served by trains. Companies like FlixBus and Busitalia operate long-distance and regional bus services, providing affordable options for travel within Italy.

Bus costs:

  • Average long-distance bus ticket: EUR 10-30
  • In AUD: AUD 16-48

Renting a car is a convenient option for exploring rural areas and accessing remote destinations not easily reached by public transportation. Italy has well-maintained roads and highways, although traffic congestion can be an issue in major cities.

Car Rental (per day):

  • Economy car: EUR 30-60
  • In AUD: AUD 48-96

Taxis can usually be hailed on the street, found at designated taxi stands, or booked through taxi apps. In some cities, it’s common to find licensed taxi cooperatives that offer telephone booking services.


  • Initial tariff: EUR 3-5
  • In AUD: AUD 4.80-8.00

Ride-sharing services, such as Uber, operate in several cities across Italy, offering an alternative to traditional taxis.

Ride-sharing services are available in major cities like Rome, Milan, Florence, Naples, and Turin, as well as some smaller cities and towns. However, availability may vary depending on the location and time of day.

Water taxis are primarily found in cities with extensive waterways, such as Venice, Naples, and parts of the Amalfi Coast.

Water Taxi Costs:

Costs vary, in Venice, a typical water taxi ride from Marco Polo Airport to the city centre can cost anywhere from €100 to €150. In Naples, shorter rides across the bay may be less expensive, while longer excursions to nearby islands could cost more.

Italy’s extensive coastline and numerous islands make ferries a practical choice for travel between mainland Italy and destinations like Sicily, Sardinia, and the Amalfi Coast. Companies like Tirrenia, Grimaldi Lines, and Blu Navy operate ferry services nationwide.

Ferry costs:

  • Average ferry ticket for short routes (e.g., between mainland Italy and nearby islands): EUR 20-50
  • In AUD: AUD 32-80

Italy’s scenic landscapes and historic cities make cycling an enjoyable way to explore the country. Many cities have bike rental services and dedicated cycling paths, while rural areas offer picturesque cycling routes through vineyards, countryside, and along coastal roads.

Bicycle Rental (per day):

  • City bike: EUR 10-20
  • In AUD: AUD 16-32


A view of the roof at Karma Borgo di Colleoli
Karma Borgo di Colleoli
Experience Tuscany at its finest. 7-stay stay at this historical countryside property just £199…
Valued at


Six Euro notes, 10, 20, 50, 100 and 500

The currency used in Italy is the Euro (€), abbreviated as EUR.

 Italy adopted the Euro as its official currency on January 1, 2002, replacing the Italian Lira (ITL). This transition was part of the Eurozone’s monetary union, which currently includes 19 of the 27 European Union (EU) member states.

Euros are widely accepted in Italy for cash transactions. Major credit and debit cards, such as Visa, Mastercard, and American Express, are also commonly accepted at hotels, restaurants, shops, and tourist attractions. However, it’s always advisable to carry some cash for smaller purchases and transactions in remote areas.

ATMs (Automated Teller Machines) are widely available throughout Italy, allowing travelers to withdraw Euros using their debit or credit cards. Be aware that some ATMs may charge fees for foreign card transactions, so check with your bank beforehand.


An older Italian man smiling at a lady

The official language of Italy is Italian (Italiano), which is spoken by the vast majority of the population. However, there are also several regional languages and dialects spoken throughout the country, reflecting Italy’s rich linguistic diversity. Some of the main regional languages and dialects spoken in Italy include:

Italian, Sicilian, Neapolitan, Venetian, Lombard, Sardinian, Friulian, Emilian-Romagnol, Piedmontese and Calabrian.

English is widely understood and spoken in Italy, particularly in tourist areas, major cities, and among younger generations.


Inside an Italian handbag shop

Whether browsing designer boutiques, exploring artisan workshops, or haggling at local markets, shopping in Italy is a sensory experience that celebrates the country’s rich cultural heritage and passion for style and craftsmanship.

Here is what to expect when shopping in Italy:

Luxury shopping

Luxury shopping in Italy is epitomized by iconic destinations like Milan's Quadrilatero della Moda, Rome's Via dei Condotti, Florence's Via de' Tornabuoni, and Venice's Calle Larga XXII Marzo, each offering exclusive boutiques and flagship stores from renowned fashion houses.

Italian Restaurants

Italy's restaurant scene is diverse, offering traditional trattorias to Michelin-starred fine dining. Try Osteria Francescana (Modena) for avant-garde cuisine, La Pergola (Rome) for panoramic views, and Antica Osteria Cera (Venice) for Venetian classics. Sample regional specialties at spots like Il Duomo (Ragusa) and Le Calandre (Rubano).

Shopping Malls

Italy boasts several notable malls. Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan and La Rinascente offer luxury shopping experiences. Centro Commerciale Campania near Naples and Euroma2 in Rome provide diverse options. Fidenza Village and Serravalle Designer Outlet offer discounted designer brands. I Gigli in Florence is among Tuscany's largest malls.

Convenience Stores

Italy has convenience stores like Carrefour Express, Coop Voce, Pam Panorama, and Simply Market, offering groceries, snacks, and household items. They provide convenient options for travellers to pick up essentials while exploring the country.

Local Italian Markets

Italy's markets offer a vibrant tapestry of flavours, colours, and aromas. From bustling food markets like Mercato di San Lorenzo in Florence and Mercato di Rialto in Venice to artisanal crafts markets in Rome's Campo de' Fiori, visitors can immerse themselves in the country's rich culinary and cultural traditions.

The Highlights:

Italy is an amazing place with so much to see and do, you must be very excited to add famous and interesting locations to your list of places to explore!

Here are some highlights to add to your to-do list when planning your next vacation in Italy:

  • Colosseum (Rome): An iconic symbol of ancient Rome, the Colosseum is the largest amphitheatre ever built and a UNESCO World Heritage site.
  • Venice Canals (Venice): Explore the picturesque canals, bridges, and historic architecture of Venice, known as the “City of Canals.”
  • Florence Cathedral (Duomo) (Florence): Marvel at the stunning Renaissance architecture of the Florence Cathedral, with its iconic dome designed by Brunelleschi.
  • Trevi Fountain (Rome): Toss a coin into the Trevi Fountain to ensure your return to Rome, according to tradition, and admire the Baroque masterpiece.
  • Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius (Naples): Discover the ancient city of Pompeii, frozen in time by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD, and hike to the crater of the volcano for panoramic views.
  • Cinque Terre (Liguria): Explore the rugged coastline and colorful villages of the Cinque Terre, a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its hiking trails and scenic beauty.
  • Sistine Chapel and Vatican Museums (Vatican City, Rome): Admire the exquisite frescoes by Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel and explore the vast collections of art and artifacts in the Vatican Museums.
  • Amalfi Coast (Campania): Drive or take a boat along the stunning Amalfi Coast, known for its dramatic cliffs, charming towns, and panoramic views of the Mediterranean Sea.
  • Leaning Tower of Pisa (Pisa): Pose for a photo with the Leaning Tower of Pisa, one of Italy’s most famous landmarks, and visit the nearby Cathedral and Baptistery in the Square of Miracles.
  • Uffizi Gallery (Florence): Experience one of the world’s greatest art collections at the Uffizi Gallery, home to masterpieces by Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and more.
  • Capri (Gulf of Naples): Escape to the glamorous island of Capri, known for its luxury boutiques, stunning views, and the famous Blue Grotto sea cave.
  • Palazzo Vecchio (Florence): Visit the Palazzo Vecchio, Florence’s town hall, and explore its ornate chambers, courtyards, and the iconic Hall of the Five Hundred.
  • Sorrento (Campania): Relax in the charming coastal town of Sorrento, known for its lemon groves, sea views, and delicious limoncello liqueur.
  • Villa d’Este (Tivoli): Wander through the magnificent gardens of Villa d’Este, a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its Renaissance architecture, fountains, and terraced landscapes.
  • Piazza del Campo (Siena): Experience the vibrant atmosphere of Siena’s central square, Piazza del Campo, and visit the Gothic masterpiece of the Siena Cathedral nearby.
  • Piazza San Marco (Venice): Take in the grandeur of Venice’s main square, Piazza San Marco, surrounded by iconic landmarks like St. Mark’s Basilica and the Doge’s Palace.

These highlights offer a glimpse into the rich history, culture, and natural beauty of Italy, providing unforgettable experiences for travelers from around the world.

A view of the roof at Karma Borgo di Colleoli
Karma Borgo di Colleoli
Experience Tuscany at its finest. 7-stay stay at this historical countryside property just £199…
Valued at
A sign in the front of a restaurant in Italy


These are just a few of the must-try foods when visiting Italy, each representing the diverse and flavorful culinary traditions of the country. Be sure to explore local markets, trattorias, and gelaterias to discover even more delicious Italian delicacies during your visit.

Local cuisine to try in Italy

Bowl of Cacio e Pepe pasta


We all know and love pasta but it's just different when you're in the motherland of Italian food. Try something different like Linguine alle Vongole or Cacio e Pepe.

Pane e Salumi - Italian cheese and deli meat board

Pane e Salumi

Bread and cured meats are often consumed as a quick snack or light meal. Locals might enjoy a simple sandwich with prosciutto, salami, or mortadella paired with a slice of fresh bread.

Insalata is tomato and basil on a slice of mozzarella


Salads featuring fresh, seasonal ingredients are commonly eaten as appetizers or alongside main courses. Classic options include Insalata Caprese (tomato, mozzarella, basil) and Insalata Mista (mixed greens).

Cicheti local Italian snacks


In Venice, locals enjoy cicchetti, small bites or snacks often served in bars and taverns. These can include crostini topped with various spreads, fried seafood, or small sandwiches.

A bowl of Polenta with Mushroom topping


In northern Italy, polenta (boiled cornmeal) is a staple side dish often served with stews, braised meats, or sautéed mushrooms.


In coastal regions like Liguria, Sicily, and Puglia, locals frequently enjoy fresh seafood dishes such as spaghetti alle vongole (spaghetti with clams), fritto misto di mare (mixed fried seafood), and grilled fish.

Pizza at a restaurant in Italy overlooking a canal in Venice


Italians frequently enjoy pasta dishes as part of their daily meals. This includes classics like spaghetti with tomato sauce, penne all'arrabbiata (spicy tomato sauce), and orecchiette with broccoli rabe.

Three people wearing Italian carnival masks and outfits

Culture & Customs

These cultural aspects and customs contribute to the unique charm and allure of Italy, making it a captivating destination for travelers seeking to immerse themselves in its rich tapestry of history, art, and traditions.

Learn more about the Italian Culture and Customs:

Greeting Customs

Italians typically greet each other with a handshake, followed by a kiss on the cheek (often two or three times) between friends and family members. It's customary to use formal titles when addressing elders or strangers as a sign of respect.

Family-Centric Society

Family plays a central role in Italian culture, with strong ties among relatives and extended family members. Family gatherings are frequent and important occasions for sharing meals and celebrations.

Food and Dining

Italian cuisine is celebrated worldwide for its emphasis on fresh, high-quality ingredients and regional specialties. Meals are a social affair, often enjoyed leisurely with family and friends. It's customary to linger over multiple courses and engage in lively conversation.

Art and Architecture

Italy boasts a wealth of artistic and architectural treasures, from ancient ruins and Renaissance masterpieces to Baroque churches and contemporary installations. Art galleries, museums, and historical sites are integral to Italian culture and draw visitors from around the globe..

Religious Traditions

Roman Catholicism has long been the dominant religion in Italy, and religious traditions and festivals are deeply ingrained in Italian culture. Important religious observances, such as Easter and Christmas, are marked with special Masses, processions, and rituals.

Fashion and Design

Italy is renowned for its contributions to the worlds of fashion and design. Italian designers and brands are revered for their craftsmanship, creativity, and innovation in fashion, furniture, automotive design, and beyond.

Festivals and Celebrations

Italians love to celebrate, and festivals are an integral part of Italian culture. From historic reenactments and religious processions to food and wine festivals, there's always something to celebrate throughout the year.

Cultural Heritage

Italy's cultural heritage is safeguarded and celebrated through UNESCO World Heritage sites, intangible cultural heritage practices, and local traditions passed down through generations.


The weather in Italy varies throughout the year, with distinct seasons characterized by different weather patterns.

The best time to visit depends on personal preferences, with spring and autumn generally considered ideal for pleasant weather, fewer crowds, and a variety of outdoor activities.

Here’s an overview of the seasons in Italy:

Spring in Italy generally spans from March to May. During this season, temperatures gradually rise, and the landscape comes to life with blooming flowers and lush vegetation. Spring weather can vary from mild and sunny to occasional rainfall, especially in the early months.

Summer in Italy typically lasts from June to August. This season is characterized by hot and sunny weather, with temperatures often reaching their peak in July and August. Coastal regions and cities can experience high humidity levels, while inland areas may be slightly cooler. Summer is a popular time for beach vacations, outdoor activities, and cultural events.

Autumn in Italy usually spans from September to November. During this season, temperatures gradually decrease, and the landscape transforms with vibrant autumn colors. Autumn weather is generally mild, with pleasant temperatures and occasional rainfall, particularly in October and November. It’s a beautiful time to explore Italy’s countryside, vineyards, and historic sites.

Winter in Italy typically lasts from December to February. This season varies depending on the region, with northern Italy experiencing colder temperatures and occasional snowfall, while southern Italy remains milder and sunnier. Ski resorts in the Italian Alps attract winter sports enthusiasts, while cities like Rome and Florence offer fewer crowds and festive holiday markets.

Tourist & Visa Information for Italy

Australian citizens do not typically need a visa for short-term tourist stays (up to 90 days within a 180-day period) in Italy or other countries within the Schengen Area, which Italy is a part of. This visa-free travel applies to tourism, business trips, and visits to family or friends.

  1. Passport Validity: Australian passport holders must have a passport that is valid for at least three months beyond their intended departure date from the Schengen Area.

  2. Proof of Travel: Travelers may be asked to provide evidence of their return or onward travel plans and proof of sufficient funds to cover their stay in Italy.

  3. Schengen Visa Waiver Program: Australia is part of the Schengen Visa Waiver Program, allowing citizens to enter the Schengen Area for short stays without a visa. However, the rules and regulations regarding visa-free travel can change, so it’s essential to check the latest information before traveling.

  4. Longer Stays or Other Purposes: For stays exceeding 90 days, or for purposes such as work, study, or residency, Australian citizens may need to apply for a visa or permit before traveling to Italy.

As of 1 June 2022, COVID-19 green certification is no longer required for entry into Italy from EU and non-EU countries.


In conclusion, Italy is a captivating destination that enchants visitors with its diverse landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and unparalleled charm. From the historic streets of Rome to the romantic canals of Venice and the scenic coastlines of the Amalfi Coast, each region offers a unique and memorable experience.

Whether savouring authentic Italian cuisine, admiring world-renowned art and architecture, or simply basking in the warmth of Italian hospitality, travellers are sure to be captivated by the beauty and allure of Italy. With its timeless appeal and endless treasures to discover, Italy remains a top destination for travellers seeking an unforgettable journey filled with history, culture, and culinary delights.

Image Collage of places to see in Italy

Share or print this article...

Find an Airfare to Explore Italy!

Please ensure you have a confirmed booking with the resort before paying for flights.

More Travel Guides
Italian Landmarks in a collage
Italy Travel Guide

Explore Italy’s charm with our travel guide. From Rome’s history to Venice’s canals & Amalfi’s coast, discover culture, landscapes & cuisine tips!

Read More »
Collage of places in Fiji
Fiji Travel Guide

Beaches, Islands and Relaxation! Fiji is the place to be! Discover top destinations, cuisine, and local insights in our Fiji Travel Guide.

Read More »