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Italy - Traveling

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Entry requirements

Organizing your trip

Means of transport recommended in town

The metro is not extensive, even in large cities. Taxis are expensive but there are a lot of them on the streets. If the light is green, they are free; if it is red, they are taken. Not all drivers speak English; have the address you are going to written down in Italian on a piece of paper.
Maps of urban networks: Rome metro map

Means of transport recommended in the rest of the country

The train remains the easiest means of transport for travelling around the country. The tariffs per kilometer are more reasonably priced than in most European countries. The large cities are linked with each other: Turin-Milan-Venice, Milan-Bologna-Bari, Rome-Genoa-Turin, and Rome-Naples-Palermo. Apart from the "Pendolini' and "Euro star", trains do not always keep to the timetable.
Rail companies: Italian railway company
Airlines
Name Type Domestic flights International flights
Alitalia(AZ) Major Yes Yes
Air One Low Cost Yes Yes
Alpi Eagles Low Cost Yes Yes
Blu-express Low Cost Yes Yes
Meridiana Low Cost Yes Yes
eVOLAvia Low Cost Yes No

Traveling by yourself

Recommendation: Most of the road network is good. However, the lanes are very narrow and the curves very sharp on some motorways (Salerno-Reggio di Calabria for example) and this can make them dangerous when driving at excessive speed.
Find an itinerary: ViaMichelin.

Visiting

Different forms of tourism

Historical: Italy is famous worldwide for its many tourist sites.
A great number of the most well-known and visited historical monuments are in Rome, among them: the Coliseum, the Trevi Fountain and the Vatican.
Other cities have many visitors, such as, for example, Venice and its famous canals, Florence and its Uffizi gallery, Pisa and its Tower.
Cultural: In Italy, you can walk around very typical historical centers such as those of Rome, Naples or Florence and you can also visit the towns of Tuscany and Umbria. The Reggia de Caserta (Palace of Caserta), the Villa d'Este, Villa Adriana, the Necropolises of the Etruscans are also very well known.
Night life in Italy caters for all tastes: Opera and theater, as well as many bars, discotheques and night clubs.
Nature: The places of natural beauty popular with tourists include the Aeolian islands, the island of Asinara, the Maddalena archipelago and the Strait of Bonifacio, the Cascades of the Marmore, the vineyards of Langhe, Monferrato and Valtellina. Mount Etna in Sicily is one of the biggest volcanoes in the world.
Religious: The heart of Italian religion is the Vatican and Rome with its churches and basilicas.
Thermal: Italy has numerous spas, some of which were already famous in Antiquity. The biggest and best equipped spa and therapeutic resorts in Italy are Abano Terme and Montegrotto Terme (Veneto), Acqui Terme (Piedmont), Chianciano and Montecatini Terme (Tuscany), Fiuggi (Lazio), Porretta Terme and Salsomaggiore Terme (Emilia-Romagna), Sciacca (Sicily) and Sirmione (Lombardy).
Beach: Italy has countless beautiful beaches: in all the islands, Liguria, Tuscany, Puglia and Sicily.
Winter sports: The Alps make up Italy's northern border and the Apennine chain runs the whole length of the country: that is enough to highlight its vocation as a mountain holiday destination, ideal in winter for those who love snow and winter sports. For further information, consult the Skiinfo website.
Outdoor activities: In Italy golf is played quite a lot. Other available outdoor activities are climbing, sailing and trekking.
Shopping: Many Italian products are recognized all over the world for their class and high quality; some are made by craftsmen, at attractive prices. Florence, Milan and Rome are the fashion centers. Some places are known for their products: Como (Lombardy) for silk, Prato (Tuscany) for textiles, Empoli (Tuscany) for the production of bottles and glasses in green glass, Deruta (Umbria) and Faenza (Emilia-Romagna) for pottery, Carrara (Tuscany) for marble, Torre Annunziata (Campania) and Alghero (Sardinia) for coral crafts, Cremona (Lombardy) for violins, Castelfidardo (Marche) for accordions, guitars and organs, Valenza (Piedmont) for goldsmiths, Vietri sul Mare (Campania) for ceramic tiles and Ravenna (Emilia-Romagna) for mosaics.
Tourism organizations: ENIT, National Tourist Office

Living conditions

Health and safety

Health precautions: There is no compulsory vaccination. Water is of good quality in Italy. However, it is advisable to use bottled water in the Naples area.
For further information on sanitary conditions: The World Health Organization web pages devoted to Italy.

Time difference and climate

Map of the time zone: Rome, Milan (GMT+1 in winter, GMT+2 in summer)
Summer time period: Summer time from March to October.
Climate: Mountain climate in the North, continental on the plains and Mediterranean in the coastal regions. On average, temperatures vary between 11°C and 19°C.

Eating

Food specialties: Italian cuisine enjoys great international renown and is well-known for its use of olive oil and for its pasta.

Antipasti : this is the traditional hors-d'oeuvre, vegetables marinated in olive oil (artichokes, aubergines, mushrooms, olives, peppers, dried tomatoes, etc.).

Typical dishes: marinated aubergines, aubergines Parmigiana (Melanzane alla parmigiana : aubergines baked with Parmesan and mozzarella), asparagus with Parmigiano Reggiano, broccoli alla romana, scalopina alla milanese (veal escalops), pizza, risotto alla milanese (risotto is served as a starter but it can become a main dish. It is a round-grained rice flavored with saffron).

Pasta: Lasagne, spaghetti, ravioli...

Desserts : Tiramisu, Zabaione (Zabaglione) and Italian ice-creams.

There is a wide variety of cheeses in Italy such as gorgonzola, Parmesan, mozzarella, mascarpone, ricotta and many others.
Drinks: Italian wines are well-known abroad. They are named according to region of origin and type of grape.

The most famous is Chianti from Tuscany. In the Rome region, the greatest wines are Frascati and Albano. In the Valle d'Aosta it is Barolo; Valpolicella in the Veneto; Pinot Bianco and Pinot Grigio (white wines); Cabernet and Pinot Nero (red wines) in Friuli-Venezia; and Chianti, Nobile di Montepulciano and Brunello in Tuscany.

The most well-known aperitifs are Campari and PunteMes ; among the liqueurs there are Amaretto, Limoncello, Grappa and Strega.

Italians enjoy drinking a coffee or a cappuccino in a bar, usually in a hurry. Young people like going to bars in the afternoon for a tea or an aperitif. You can find plenty of bars, wine bars, pubs, etc. ready to serve aperitifs from 6pm until dinner time.

Dietary taboos: There are no dietary restrictions in the country.

Speaking

Getting some knowledge: Use the travlangwebsite
Free translation tools:
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