Tips for Planning a Trip to Italy Worthy of Your Bucket List

Gondola ride down the canals of Venice on a trip to Italy
Don't forget to plan a gondola ride down the canals of Venice on your trip to Italy.

Italy remains a perennial vacation favorite because it offers so much for visitors. There’s no way to see and do everything in a single trip, so it’s best to pick your absolute must-sees when planning a trip to Italy, and resolve to return.

Your approach to Italy could be to hop across the country hitting up the major cities like Rome, Venice, Florence and Milan. Or you could dedicate your trip to a certain region like the Alps, the blissfully serene Amalfi coast or the Lake Country in the north. Travelers who want to base a trip around food and wine will find no shortage of culinary delights in Italian cuisine. Whatever method you take to planning a trip to Italy, you are certain to have a wonderful journey!

What should I do "when in Rome?"

Italy is home to more UNESCO World Heritage Sites than any other country in the world. The city of Rome could keep you busy for months with ornate cathedrals, historic sites and ancient wonders.

Trace the rise of civilization from the Etruscans to the Renaissance period as you stroll around the city. View masterpieces by Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel in world-famous Vatican City. Enter the Colosseum amphitheater in Rome: home to the Gladiators, combat sports, and the Emperors who judged them. Act like a true Roman: watch the world go by while sipping a strong espresso at a café in the Piazza Navona.

Sightseeing around Rome for days on end can get pricey, so check out our list of Free Things to do in Rome: Museums, Parks, Walking Tours and More to find some great attractions that won't cost you a penny and will give you a broader perspective on Roman history, culture, art and more.

Also read:
• Why Travel Insurance is a Smart Decision for a European Vacation
How to Choose the Best European Tour for You

How can I make the most of my trip to Italy?

Some of the best-loved sites in Italy include Milan's awe-inspiring Duomo, the Uffizi Gallery in Florence and the ruins of ancient Pompeii. Many consider a trip to Italy incomplete without a serenaded gondola ride along a tranquil Venetian canal or a daylong visit to the Vatican Museum. Art lovers will relish the opportunity to see masterworks by Titian, da Vinci and Bernini in their original placements. Your Italian vacation could include stops in Tuscan villages during their summer festival season, particularly the medieval Palio horse race in Siena which is held every July.

France is part of the Schengen Area. What does that mean? Read: What Americans Need to Know About the Schengen Area

Where can I indulge in authentic Italian cuisine?

Italian cuisine varies by region so you’ll find local specialties based on seasonal ingredients. Traditional Italian cuisine uses fresh tomatoes, game meats, fish from the Mediterranean, and an array of Parmesan and Pecorino cheeses. Taste a classic Tuscan dish like pappardelle with ribbons of pasta served in a classic meat ragu. Travel to the birthplace of pizza in Naples. Parma’s dry-cured hams are a world-class delicacy. The Chianti region offers world-famous wines with fall harvest season celebrations. Your Italian vacation will be unquestionably delicious!

Also read - Eating in Italy: The Best Food and Where to Find It

Any words of warning?

Tourists can be targets for pickpocketing and muggings in the bigger cities, particularly on trains and in crowded tourist sites. Transit workers’ strikes can disrupt travel plans with delays and cancellations. Protect your trip to Italy from certain unanticipated complications with a travel insurance plan from Generali.

Italy enjoys a position atop many vacation wish lists. These tips should help you focus on what you really want to do when planning a trip to Italy. Whether it’s an art appreciation tour of Rome, historic studies, or a search for the country’s most charming villages that inspire your trip to Italy, enjoy your time living La Dolce Vita!

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