So, you’re off on an adventure to Italy? Time to get excited!
There is so much to think about when visiting any new country, from making sure you know what to pack to requirements for travelling to the EU.
To help you focus on the excitement rather than the admin, our Italy travel specialists have combined their own personal advice to answer some of the most frequently asked questions from our travellers below.
Whilst we have done our best to cover as much as possible, please feel free to get in touch if you find you’re still left looking for answers and we’ll happily help!
- How long does my passport need to be valid for?keyboard_arrow_down
In order to travel to the Schengen area, your passport must be:
- Issued less than 10 years before the date you enter the country (check the ‘date of issue’)
- Valid for at least 3 months after the day you plan to leave (check the ‘expiry date’)
- Do I need a visa to visit Italy?keyboard_arrow_down
- Do I need travel insurance for my trip?keyboard_arrow_down
Yes, we would always recommend taking out comprehensive travel insurance when travelling, especially overseas, that is suitable for your requirements and needs.
- What should I pack for a trip to Italy?keyboard_arrow_down
Italy’s Mediterranean climate makes for warm days and balmy nights from spring through to autumn. Winter brings a bit of a chill in the air so some layers are essential. We would recommend lightweight, loose clothing for the warmer months and comfortable shoes for all the sightseeing!
If you are planning on doing any hiking, trainers or walking shoes with good grip are a must and don’t forget your swimsuits for a cooling dip in the hotel pool or inviting sea.
- What vaccinations do I need to visit Italy?keyboard_arrow_down
It is always best to get the advice of a GP or travel nurse before travelling overseas to check which vaccinations you might need or if any boosters are required. The Fit for Travel website provides a comprehensive guide on all the vaccinations you should consider.
- What do I need to think about on the day of departure?keyboard_arrow_down
We know heading off on holiday is always a little bit stressful, especially on the day you leave, so we would advise doing these things before you depart:
- Check you have all your necessary documentation, including your passport!
- Take a photo of your documents and email it to yourself and travelling partners. Having a copy on your phone always comes in handy too.
- Ensure you have all your chargers and converters for any phones, cameras, tablets you are taking. A portable battery pack is a handy item to have in your hand luggage.
- Take snacks and a big bottle of water for your flight.
- Get to the airport with plenty of time to spare, we advise arriving 3 hours prior to your flight departure.
- Pack a change of clothes in your hand luggage and take a photo of your checked bag in case it goes missing en route.
- Sit back and relax knowing we have your holiday sorted!
- What language do people speak in Italy?keyboard_arrow_down
The locals speak Italian but English is widely spoken, especially in touristy areas.
Here are some key phrases that might be useful when visiting Italy:
- Buongiorno (good morning/afternoon)
- Ciao (hello/goodbye)
- Grazie (thank you)
- Prego (you’re welcome/please)
- Mi scusi (excuse me/sorry)
- Parla inglese? (Do you speak English?)
- Quanto costa? (How much does it cost?)
- Dove si trova…? (Where is…?)
- Vorrei (I would like)
- Posso avere…? (Can I have…?)
- Scusi, dov’è il bagno? (Excuse me, where is the bathroom?)
- What is the food like in Italy?keyboard_arrow_down
Italian food is famous the world over, from al dente pasta with flavoursome sauces and crisp fresh pizza. You’ll find regional specialties like seafood in coastal areas and hearty stews in the mountains and don’t leave Italy without trying their gelato!
Italian food is known for its fresh ingredients and simple presentation – bursting with bold flavours and exuding the passion of its people.
- What aspects of Italian culture do I need to take into account?keyboard_arrow_down
Italy is a passionate country – from the way they make and share their food to how they communicate with one another. Family, friends and community are very important and religion plays a major role still in daily life.
Showing respect to their religious beliefs, sense of community and ancient history is paramount and be sure to cover your shoulders and knees if visiting religious sites.
- Is it safe to travel to Italy?keyboard_arrow_down
Italy is considered a very safe country to visit. We would advise exercising caution in cities, especially Rome and Naples, where pickpockets might operate at busy tourist spots. Keep your belongings close and don’t flash expensive jewellery or cash in public. Other than taking the usual precautions as you would anywhere else, you will find most Italians friendly and welcoming.
- What do I do if I have a problem?keyboard_arrow_down
We are contactable in the UK during office hours and our local partners in destination are available 24/7 for any support or help you might need. They are in the best position as they will be on the same timezone, they should be your first contact in a case of emergency.
Tips and practical information
- What is the local currency in Italy?keyboard_arrow_down
Italy is part of the European Union (EU) so uses the Euro. You can often use a credit or debit card in tourist hotspots, larger towns and cities. Every now and then, especially in smaller shops and cafes and in remote areas, you will need to pay in cash so it is always best to have some on you. It is best to contact your bank to check on any restrictions and advice for using your cards abroad. ATMs can be found in most large and smaller towns.
- How does tipping in Italy work?keyboard_arrow_down
Tipping isn’t expected in Italy, locals usually only tip when the service has been exceptional but even then it is down to you. Some restaurants, particularly in busy tourist hotspots will add a service charge of 10%, it is up to you if you would like to leave more on top. If you do decide to leave a tip, it is best to leave the cash on the table or make clear when paying your bill that no change is required.