Planning a trip to Italy
Where and when
When planning a trip to Italy, the first task, obviously, is to decide when and where to go. If you know that you want to visit Italy, but would like some ideas, you can find suggestions on the Italy Heaven destinations page and under holiday ideas. On this website you can also find some inspiring itineraries for a touring holiday. If your choice of holiday is driven by the availability of cheap flights, see my guide to Italian airports for good holiday locations which are convenient for airports.
Book flights and hotels
It is usually cheapest to book flights as soon as possible, and at least four weeks before you travel - apart from arranging any necessary leave of absence, this is the earliest practical step you need to take. Hotels can be booked much closer to your time of travel, giving you time to do some research and decide on your itinerary and requirements. Booking a hotel months in advance, though rarely strictly necessary, will give you the widest choice of accommodation and it is a good idea if you have your heart set on a special hotel, are visiting a destination with limited accommodation, or are travelling during a big event - such as Venice Carnival. Using the online booking links on this website you can compare prices, and make bookings without - unless specifically stated - paying until you check out. It is worth noting that online hotel bookings can generally be cancelled up to a week before travel with no penalty, so it is possible to change your plans.
> Book a hotel in Italy
Do some research
Now that internet access is widely available in Italian hotels, it is less important to research every aspect of your trip in advance. However, you will get much more from your holiday if you do a little reading and preparation before you travel. You'll have a better idea what to expect and how to spend your time. And sometimes certain information - such as the most important things to see, how to save some money, how to plan a day trip, bus timetables - can be surprisingly hard to obtain in Italy, even nowadays.
Practical advice for travelling around Italy and for visiting individual destinations can be found throughout this website. You will also find useful information and tips for travellers, helping you to make the most of your trip to Italy.
Why are Mondays bad days for tourists? Is it easy to drive through an Italian town centre? How can you save money on admission fees? Read the answers to these questions, along with lots of other helpful tips:
> Useful information for travellers