6 Preparations that You Should Do Before Traveling to Italy
Italy is maybe one of the most beautiful and enticing destinations to visit in Europe due to its various attractions: diverse scenery, enticing food, unique art scene, amazing architecture and wine. As a matter of fact, there is so much potential that you will be spoilt for choice when visiting. Setting up a trip to Italy is easy: it only takes some planning and commitment. The following are six preparations you can make that will ensure your trip will turn out to be a memorable one:
1. Outline your itinerary
(a) Research on the best places to visit by reading articles and guidebooks
You will glean information on the best tourist destinations, top restaurants and hotels. Reputable websites have good articles for the best destinations: consider sites like TripAdvisor and Lonely Planet. Personal blogs of people who have an experience of travelling to Italy are worth checking out. You can also talk to people who have visited Italy so as to get extra information.
(b) Select places to visit.
The most popular places frequented by tourists include Naples, Rome, Venice, Florence, Milan and Tuscany. You have a choice of visiting one of these destinations or travelling to several of them depending on the length of your trip.
After choosing the cities you want to visit, look at the various tourist attractions that are found in each city: if you plan to travel to Rome, then a visit to the Colosseum is a must, for Venice visit the canals to have sample of the scene in Shakespeare’s book “The Merchant of Venice”, the Santa Maria del Fiore is also a major attraction in Florence. Purchase tickets for these attractions before travelling to Italy because once you get there you may find long ticket queues that will be of great inconvenience. The tickets for these attractions can be bought online at various Italian sites.
If you want to sample Italian beaches, then you have to travel to Southern Italy: Naples, Amalfi Coast, Sicily and Pompeii all have beaches. Learn a portion of the Italian language, especially how to greet people and give compliments. If you plan to visit the countryside, take a short course on Duolingo.
Length of visit: Make a decision on the length of your trip. Depending on the amount of time you have, this will help you plan on the places you wish to visit. Take into consideration the days for arrival, departure and the time it would take you to move between your target cities using train.
2. Season for travelling
Make a decision on the time of the year you wish to travel. Most tourists visit Italy from July to early September, this is the period you will encounter crowds. It is also during this time of the year that Italy experiences soaring temperatures (about 32oC). Apart from these extreme weather conditions, costs of air tickets and accommodation are high during this peak travelling season. Pleasant weather conditions are experienced from April to June and from late September to October with favorable temperatures in the range of 10oC to 15oC which also coincides with the low peak travelling season making it an ideal time to visit Italy.
3. Select a place to stay
When choosing your accommodation take into consideration the distance of the place from public means of transport and if there are any benefits like free transport from or to the airport. You can plan to stay in a hotel, agriturismo (accommodation at a farm), monastery or hostel. For a different option, consider staying at a rented apartment which can be found using Interhome. Accommodation at a farm is in the form of guest houses located at the farm and they are cheaper than a hotel. A monastery is also cheap but has stringent rules. A Hotel is more expensive than a hostel. Italian websites will give you choices that are within your grasp.
4. Make a budget money and time for your journey
Analyze all the price details: transportation (plane ticket and train ticket for intercity travel) hotel, accommodation, attraction tickets and shopping. Check current foreign currency exchange rate so as to know the value of your money in Euro which is used in Italy. The amount you allocate to your budget is relative to the attractions you want to see and the league of restaurants you plan to use.
Don’t restrict your schedule. Be flexible with your time because you may find a long queue at the attractions or your train may delay. You can also insert free hours each day for relaxation and exploring the streets.
5. Purchase a travel package through a travelling agent or company
This will allow you to book your flight and hotel collectively plus getting tickets to various destinations. You can find suitable vacation packages at various Italian websites. Be sure to contact only reputable firms: you can inquire from your colleagues, friends and family or better still check with the Business Bureau website. For a thorough check contact the Society of Travel Agents to verify the credential of the travelling agent. Ensure you have a valid passport before travelling.
6. Get in touch with your country’s embassy
By doing so, you will get current information on the security status and travelling conditions within Italy. This will make it easy for your Embassy to locate you if an emergency arises. Don’t ignore any travel advisory issued by your embassy.
Magical Italy has numerous destinations and attractions to visit: spectacular cities, vast beaches, ancient ruins, magnificent museums and towering mountains. It is good to put in mind that when planning to tour Italy no destination or attraction is mandatory. Pick your choice, make your preparations as described above and you will have a wonderful trip.