Italy Holidays: Quick Travel and Dining Tips

If you are planning a trip to Italy, here are a few travel tips and suggestions that might help to make your holiday a truly memorable one – for all the right reasons!

 

Talk to the experts

Italy is a big, immensely diverse and fascinating country, meaning it can be difficult to know quite where to start if you are travelling there for the first time, or even after several previous trips that have left you hungry for more.

There are so many things to see and do in Italy that it is more than worthwhile consulting travel experts with an intimate and inside knowledge of the country, its people and major events to make the most of your time away.

This is the expertise that we have built up here at Bellarome, where our Italy multi centre holidays are designed to make the very most of any single trip to the country by allowing you two, three or four different bases from which you can get to know the place.

 

Travel by rail

The Italian state rail network – Trenitalia Ferrovie dello Stato – operates fast and generally efficient services, especially between the major cities, making intercity travel easy.

Centres such as Naples and Salerno, Florence, Rome and up to Venice, Turin and Milan are all connected by fast “bullet” trains, with many trains taking just one or two hours, allowing you to make the most of your time.

One thing to note is that the high-speed trains are popular so we highly recommend booking train tickets in advance so that you can be sure of travel. The safest way to book train tickets is part of a package holiday – all of our multi-city vacations include train transfers as standard and we offer a range of ticket options, including first-class tickets. We are also ATOL protected, meaning you holiday is safe and secure no matter what.

 

Hire cars

Once you have arrived in Italy, you might want to hire a car to get out and about.

Motorways are of a high standard in Italy, with autostrade being toll roads and superstrade free to use. Generally, you pick up a ticket when entering the motorway, which you must keep handy as you will need it to pay the toll when you exit. The toll booths accept cash and some also accept credit cards.

However, if you are thinking about hiring a car to drive to your hotel, keep in mind that historic towns – centri storici – have strict rules about where you can and cannot drive, let alone park your hire car. With this in mind, it is best to speak to your hotel before travel to find out about parking arrangements.

 

Wine

One of the great attractions of practically any region in Italy is the local wine, especially in the wine regions.

Buying a bottle before you venture out is likely to be a lot cheaper than paying the price for a glass at the bar and, if you have a hotel room with a balcony, why not enjoy an aperitif while taking in the local sights from the comfort of your hotel room?

However, if you do want to enjoy wine at a restaurant with your meal, then look out for the local house wine served in a carafe. This is usually cheaper than buying a bottle of wine and carafes are available in a range of sizes.

 

Eating out

No trip to Italy is going to be complete until you have sampled the dishes of the region or regions you are visiting – Italian cuisine is still largely characterised by the region from which it comes.

But do you know the difference between a ristorante, a trattoria, or an enoteca? Distinctions may have become blurred as more people become accustomed to eating out, but a ristorante tends to be the most up-market (and therefore pricey), whilst a trattoria traditionally offers simpler dishes of the day and an enoteca is somewhere you might go for a snack. Then there are also the pizzerie, which usually have a wood oven and specialise in pizza, and the alimentari, which are a little like corner stores, where you can buy a few groceries.

Just to confuse things still further, if you want to buy your pizza by the slice, look for a bar selling pizza al taglio.

 

Travel tips for those holidaying in Italy are generally little more than a mixture of common sense, trial and error. It might help if you have a smattering of the language – which is likely to help you make more friends more easily – but many locals are going to understand what you say in English, by mouth or gesticulating!

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