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Travel to Italy
Planning on visiting Italy? Mamma mia, where should you begin? Use this page to help you get inspired and prepared for your upcoming trip. Whether you are spending your whole vacation in Italy or it is just a stop on your Europe trip, Italy is sure to leave a lasting impression on you. If you already know how you want to travel around Italy, go directly to our trains, buses, and flights pages to start booking your journey today. Travelling to and in Italy has never been easier thanks to Omio, however and wherever you want to travel you can always find your best ticket with us.
La bella vita comes at a cost, but you don’t need to break the bank for your trip to Italy! Like in most European destinations, Italy offers a wide range of prices for attractions, food, accommodation, and travel. How much you spend on your trip to Italy depends largely on what time of year you go and your travel preferences. Booking your tickets in advance with Omio can help you offset many of the travel costs.
What time of year is best for you to travel to Italy?
High season in Italy is from June to August. You’ll enjoy the height of summer with the lovely Italian sun and lots of gelato. Don't forget that seasonal prices in Italy will be inflated and expect swarms of travelers at all of the main attractions. If you’re set on travelking during high season, consider visiting less popular Italian destinations that still provide you with a unique experience while travelling Italy. Off-the-beaten-path destinations include areas outside of capital cities such as Bergamo, Como, and Parma, which are all located in Lombardy, just outside of Milan.
Nice Weather: Italy often doesn’t get much rain during this time of year. Warm temperatures make eating a slice of pizza and people-watching highly popular. Nights are often warm enough to make staying outside very enjoyable, especially with a flute of Italian prosecco or an Aperol spritz.
Long Days: The sun doesn’t set until quite late at night especially the farther north you are. You can often cram in a lot of sightseeing before having a late dinner and watching the sunset on an Italian patio.
Open Attractions: Most popular tourist attractions are open throughout high season.
Crowds: Italy is full of tourists during the summer. This means long waiting times at museums, art galleries, and crowded trains. You should prepare to spend a significant amount of time waiting in lines during high season and several pre-sale ticket options may be sold out. Train reservations may also be required in order to guarantee you get a seat.
Heat: Italy can become very hot in the summer especially in July and August. 90°F+ (32°C +) temperatures are not uncommon and air conditioning might be limited.
High Costs: Prices go up significantly during high season. Expect to pay top price for everything from flights to hostels during peak season.
Closed Shops: Since many Europeans often go on vacation during the summer, many restaurants and shops will be closed. Specifically, many businesses in Italy are closed for the entire month of August.
Low season in Italy is from November to April with the exception of the Alps and Dolomites that boast high season from late December to March. For budget travelers, low season in Italy is ideal with prices up to 30 percent less than high season. Low season is a great time to attend cultural events and do some sightseeing without the crowds. Be sure to count on several hotels and resorts near the coast to be closed.
Lack of Crowds: There aren’t nearly as many tourists during the winter months making it far easier to see the attractions. You can often visit museums and art galleries without waiting in line at all during low season. This (relative) lack of tourists also makes it a bit easier to meet locals while in Italy.
Lower Prices: Both flights and hostels are considerably cheaper during low season.
Winter Sports: Italy has a lot of great locations for winter sports and activities. Why not ski or snowboard through the Alps in Italy?
(Relatively) Mild Winters: While it can get quite cold, Italian winters are usually quite mild compared to winter in the northern United States and Canada. Most Italian cities have average temperatures between 40-60°F (4-16°C) during the winter. Regionally, the mountainous north boasts the coldest temperatures.
Short Days: It will start getting dark quite early (often around 4:30 p.m. in northern Italy) so make sure to plan your day and sightseeing accordingly.
Bad Weather: While Italian winters are usually mild, they are also quite rainy, gray, and dreary. Be sure to pack accordingly for both rain and cold if you intend on visiting Italy during low season.
Reduced Hours of Attractions: Many Italian attractions have reduced hours during the low season. Some may even be closed during the winter due to the lack of tourists. Be sure to check ahead to avoid disappointment.
Some of the best months to travel in Italy are from April to June when spring is in full swing and the onslaught of seasonal travelers haven’t arrived yet. It is also great to travel between September to November when the weather is cooling a little, along with the number of tourists at the most popular Italian attractions.
(Generally) Nice Weather: Italy’s weather during shoulder season is usually quite temperate and nice.
Relatively Few Tourists: While lines will likely be longer than in winter, travelers can still visit many attractions without having to wait at all. Similarly, hostels usually are not completely booked or completely empty during shoulder season.
Gardens & Parks: Many parks and gardens in Italy will be in bloom during spring shoulder season or full of colorful leaves during fall shoulders season.
Lower Prices: Prices often remain low during shoulder season.
Some Attractions Closed/Shortened Hours: The vast majority of attractions will be open; however, some may still be maintaining winter hours of operation.
Inconsistent Weather: The weather in Italy can be quite variable during shoulder season. Make sure you pack layers and a rain jacket/umbrella to be prepared for anything.
Tips for how to travel Italy on a budget and save money
Avoid high season for lower prices and fewer crowds
Opt out of staying in hotels and instead stay a hostel or Airbnb
North Americans travelling to Italy are sure to enjoy the art and culture, ranging from the food and wine, beaches and skiing, to fashion and opera. Exploring the wonders of Ancient Rome and the Renaissance, the cities of Rome, Florence, Perugia, and Pisa, are a must for all travelers visiting Italy. Tastes of Italy can be discovered with seafood in Sicily, pizza in Naples, and pasta in Bologna, along with the wine regions of Chianti and the Piedmont. Opera and fashion come together in Milan, while Rome and Florence are full of world-class art and Renaissance buildings. Visit popular Italian destinations with Omio!
Known as the birthplace of the Renaissance, Florence features master pieces by Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci at the Uffizi and dell’Accademia galleries as well as the iconic Duomo Cathedral which dominates city's skyline. Stroll along Florence’s the historic city center, which was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Be sure to check out the Arno river that cuts through the old city, and continue your walk along the Ponte Vecchio bridge before shopping for some of Florence's world-famous leather goods.
To further enrich your visit to Florence check out one of its many year-round events. Early Summer and Fall lend itself to seasonal food festivals. Local produce to look out for includes chestnuts, truffles, and olive oil. Wine festivals are also another highlight, which are typically held from September to early December.
Outdoor cinema season in Florence screens a mix of contemporary and international films starting in late June until early September.
Calcio Storico Fiorentino is a combination of soccer, rugby and big time wrestling that originated in 16th century Florence. Celebrated on June 24 the sport is still played today in historical costume.
Festa della Rificolona is a huge celebration held on September 7th complete with a children's procession, street performances, and a big parade.
Admire the city's iconic attraction with one of Europe's most stunning catherdals "Duomo Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore". Located in the historic city center, the cathedral is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as well as a must for any tourist visiting Tuscany.
Milan is the home of Armani, Prada and Dolce & Gabbana design houses- making it a must-visit for all fashionistas travelling in Italy. Those who aren't interested in haute couture will be glad to know that the city has a lot more to offer and is the headquarters of the Italy’s Stock Exchange and largest international companies. Milan is chalked full of beautiful architecture, delicious Italian cuisine, historical museums, and artistic experiences. From the Castello Sforzesco art gallery to the Piazza Duomo, Milan is full of breathtaking sights that will delight the senses. Be sure to live like a local and sample an espresso in the Piazza after a long day of exploring the city!
There is always something going on in Milan! With many year-round events, and world-famous landmarks and museums, Milan attracts over 9 million visitors annually. Discover the city’s culinary excellence in one of its many extraordinary restaurants, boasting one of the highest numbers of accredited stars from the Michelin Guide among Italian cities. When you aren't going to museums or trying out new restaurants check out these events.
Cultural Heritage Week, known as Settimana della Cultura in Italian, happens once a year in April or May where state-owned museums and monuments open their doors to the public free of charge.
Fashion Week in Milan is held twice a year. Autumn/winter collections are shown in February-March, and spring/summer events are held in September-October.
Oh Bej! Oh Bej! is one of Milan's top festivals held at Piazza Sant’Ambrogio on December 5 .This street market is held on the feast of the city’s patron saint, Ambrogio. Expect the streets to be filled with crowds sampling traditional food such as pancakes, roast meat, chestnuts and mulled wine, as well as local vendures selling crafts and antiques.
Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper, "Il Cenacolo", is the ultimate attraction to see in Milan. This iconic fresco is located not far from city center in the Santa Maria delle Grazie church. Be sure to book a ticket in advance, as tickets sell out quickly and cannot be bought on the day.
The famed Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is a magnificent 5-story shopping arcade in Milan, conveniently situated in the heart of the city. Be sure to discover true Milanese luxury here and purchase some authentic souvenirs!
The home of the pizza has a special place in everyone’s heart. Naples’ historic center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which attracts lots for visitors to see and explore one of the largest collections of historical monuments and churches in the world. Movie buffs also have a great appreciation for the city that has served as a backdrop from many famous films in Italian cinema. The Naples dialect, often referred to as the "Neapolitan language" to describe the language of all of the region, further distinguishes the city apart from the rest of Italy.
Located in southern Italy, the cultural significance of Naples is often represented through a series of festivals held in the city. Naples is a fascinating place to visit, as well as a good base for exploring the ash-covered remains of daily Roman life at Pompeii.The following is a list of several festivals that can help guide your trip!
Giffoni Film Festival is the second most important film festival in Italy, second to Venice, and is held July-August.
Festa di Piedigrotta is a musical event held in memory of the famous Madonna of Piedigrotta, bringing tens of thousands of Neapolitans go to the streets every September to listen to live music.
Pizza Village is a week long celebration every June dedicated to pizza, including an international pizza making competition. Naples celebrates its most famous dish with visiting chefs, pizza-making workshops and shows.
Pompeii was an ancient Roman town-city near modern Naples that was mostly destroyed with eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79. The ruins of Pompeii is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Italy with approximately 2.5 million visitors every year.
The Egg Castle, "Castel dell'Ovo", is picturesque free attraction with a great view of the Bay of Naples. A walk around the castle is well-worth it with great pictures opportunities, and several art exhibitions on display.
The Spaccanapoli,"Naples splitter", is the straight and narrow main street that traverses the old, historic center of Naples. Walk down the main promenade to see find main tourists sights, shops, and restaurants.
Rome, the Eternal City, is a world-famous center of history, fashion, art, and cuisine even three millennia after its mythical creation. From the Colosseum to the Villa Borghese to the Spanish Steps, Rome's timeless splendor will be sure to captivate travelers from around the world. No trip to Rome would be complete without a visit to Vatican City, which is located entirely within the city of Rome.
Rome is the third-most visited city in the EU, after London and Paris. It receives an average of 7–10 million tourists a year, which sometimes doubles during holy years. You will never run out of things to see and do in the Eternal City. Participate in seasonal events to further get to know Italian culture, history, and folklore.
Rome's Birthday Celebration, known as Natale di Roma, is held every year on April 21 at Campidoglio. Not all cities celebrate their birthday... but Rome, 'born' in 753 BC, is no ordinary city. The bulk of the festivities take place at the Campidoglio.
The Noantri Festival is a two-week celebration in of Madonna del Carmine, located in Piazza Santa Maria in Trastevere/Piazza Mastai. From mid-July participants can expect art events and street performances and fireworks to round off the closing night.
Chestnut festivals are held in Rome hosts from September–October, mainly held in the north part of the city.
Venice is a must for any Europe trip! Situated in the Northeastern Region of Veneto Italy, Venice was founded in 5th century AD. Spread over 118 small islands, the city and its lagoon is officially a UNESCO World Heritage protected Site. Don’t expect to be the only tourist there though. Tourism makes up a major sector of the Venetian economy with over 50,000 estimated tourists a day.
Several events in Venice are world famous, including the annual film festival and carnival extravaganza. Whether you are interesting in going to a local market or the event of the year, Venice is sure to have something just right for you.
Venice Carnival is the world’s largest and most famous masked ball, which is celebrated during late January–early February at Piazza San Marco. Venice’s pre-Lenten Carnevale had been celebrated since the Middle Ages. Carnevale is a fun outlet for everyone in the city to let loose and show their pagan side.
Festa del Redentore is the oldest continuously celebrated date on the Venetian calendar. Every July 3rd, a pontoon bridge is built across the canal that separates the Giudecca from Venice proper. People can make the pilgrimage to the church, which was built at the end of the terrible plague of 1576, which killed 50,000 people, and the party ends with an amazing fireworks display.
The Historical Regatta is a main event of rowing season in Venice, which includes four races, and a spectacular historical water pageant that precedes the race. On Spetember 3rd pectators can expect scores of typically 16th century-style boats with gondoliers.
Located in St Mark's Square, no trip to Venice is complete without going to St. Mark's Basilica. Arguably one of the most recognizable churches in the world, expect to be amazed with the opulent Byzantine artistry.
The Rialto Bridge, "Ponte di Rialto", is the most famous of the three bridges that cross the Grand Canal. This landmark bridge, characterized by its 24-foot arch, and offers a great vantage point for pictures.