Italy is a treat for the senses, with cuisine that tells stories and welcoming locals who treat you like family. From Rome and Milan to Tuscany and Puglia, go with our insider guides to get under the skin of this unforgettable destination.

Sailboats in the blue waters and yellow and pink buildings along the coast of Italy in Portofino

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Italy travel tips

When you want a taste of la dolce vita, an Italy vacation is the best way to satisfy your appetite. If it’s your first Italy trip, you can easily explore Rome (a.k.a. the Eternal City), Florence (the birthplace of the Renaissance) and Venice (yes, a cheesy gondola ride is a must!). If you’ve taken an Italy vacation before and are ready to dip your toes into other Italy vacation spots, there’s no shortage of options. In the summertime, the sun-drenched Amalfi Coast and Capri beckon couples and honeymooners. Lake Como, just an hour outside of Milan, is dotted with gorgeous villas and lush gardens (if you go, say hi to George and Amal for us!). Puglia is an under-the-radar gem, but growing in popularity for those in the know, thanks to its laid-back pace, quaint towns and seaside beaches. For those looking for a little outdoor adventure, the Dolomites have an incredibly beautiful and diverse landscape that make it perfect for hiking in the summer or skiing in the winter. And then of course, there’s Tuscany. Lush vineyards, rustic villas and rolling olive groves keep the magic and charm of this region alive.

There’s a phrase in Italian - “il dolce far niente,”which translates to “the sweetness of doing nothing.” Although it’s tempting to pack your Italy vacation with all the tours and sightseeing, Italy should be savored like your favorite Brunello di Montalcino. When planning your Italy vacation, our #1 tip is to decide what types of Italian magic you want to experience: historical, religious, culinary, coastal, outdoor adventure, etc. Focusing on one or two areas of interest will allow you to really get the most out of your Italy trip. If you’re having trouble narrowing down where you want to go or what you want to experience, your Fora advisor can offer suggestions based on your preferences and their first-hand experience. You’ll likely find that your Fora advisor is like having your own personal Italy travel guide who has all the best recommendations!

One of the (many) things we love about Italy is that it’s a beautiful destination year-round, so you have flexibility when planning your Italy vacation. As a general rule of thumb, you’ll want to avoid the high summer months of June, July and August. The heat, combined with excessive crowds, can make la dolce vita taste a bit bitter. If your Italy trip is concentrated on the major cities like Rome and Florence, then fall and spring are fantastic times to visit; even early winter can have mild temperatures. The lake and coastal regions like the Amalfi Coast, Capri, Puglia and Lake Como generally start their summer season in April/May and go through October. May, September and October are the real sweet spots for an Italy vacation to the coast. The Dolomites are an excellent Italy vacation spot to visit year round – there’s world-class skiing in the winter and top-notch hiking in the spring and summer. For oenophiles, Tuscany is best explored in September and October for the grape harvest. Depending on the cities and regions you want to visit, your Fora advisor can recommend the best time of year to visit to experience the best of Italy travel.

Keeping budget top of mind for your Italy vacation? We got you! Your Fora advisor can recommend Italy vacation spots and hotels based on the budget you’d like to stick to. Traveling during the low tourist or ‘shoulder season’ can also help keep your wallet happy. For the lake and coastal regions, that means at the beginning of the season (April) or end of the season (October). Cities like Rome and Florence will always have tourists, but noticeably less so during the winter. If you’re visiting multiple cities or regions during your Italy tour, you can easily travel by train (this is one of our favorite ways to see more of the country!). Flying into/out of the same city is another really helpful way to save money on your Italy vacation, even if you’re visiting multiple spots. You’ll also find airfare prices to be more budget-friendly when flying in/out of a large city, like Rome. Knowing where you can save money on your Italy trip means there’s more money for, oh, we don’t know, a nice leather handbag perhaps?

Your Fora advisor can alert you to Italy’s specific entry and exit requirements, and you can also check out official government websites for more information. One of the most important requirements to keep in mind is that your passport should be valid for at least six months from your date of departure.