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Italy

Italy

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Italy in a nutshell

Italy lies in the middle of the Mediterranean and is protected from the rest of Europe by the Alps. This country in the shape of a boot is actually intersected from north to south by the Apennines mountain range. With thousands of kilometres of coastline on the Mediterranean and Adriatic Seas, there are beautiful resorts everywhere.

Italy is a fantastic holiday destination for everyone. Culture, nature, atmosphere, food and drink, shopping, everything is possible here. There are few countries in Europe that have such a beautiful heritage of art and culture. Many ancient traditions are still applied here. Moreover “la dolce vita” can be experienced here in every possible way. Within Italy you will find two separate mini-towns: Vatican City in Rome and San Marino. Every region of the country has so many highlights that it is impossible to name them all.

Accommodation in Italy

For every budget and quality level Italy offers sufficient accommodation. There are many campsites, inns, guesthouses, hotels and agriturismos (farms designed to receive guests) in the country. There are also small-scale, authentic apartments, holiday homes and B&Bs. For every budget and for every taste Italy offers so much beautiful accommodation.

Strena, Italy

Travel advice for Italy

There are no special safety regulations for Italy. The whole country is safe to travel in. Current travel advice can be found here.

Healthcare

No vaccinations are compulsory or recommended for Italy. Tick encephalitis is a viral infection that causes inflammation of the brain. This can occur in certain areas of the north. Contamination can be caused by the bite of an infected tick or by drinking unpasteurised milk. Depending on travel conditions, vaccinations may be recommended. Tick encephalitis is not the same as Lyme disease.

Best time to visit Italy

Italy is actually good to visit all year round. In winter it is a fantastic country for skiing. The Dolomites, the Aosta Valley, Livigno and Sestriere are definitely worth a visit. In the spring the country turns a beautiful green and shows nature is at its best. In the summer it can be hot. It is not for no reason that the Romans flee Rome in August. But along the vast coastline by the Mediterranean Sea and the Adriatic Sea it is generally easy to survive. It is also really nice in the autumn. The weather is often still good and there are many festivals to celebrate the harvest of the many delicacies the country offers.

Rome, Italy

Visa

To visit Italy, a valid passport or identity card from another Schengen country is required. You’ll need to obtain a visa if you aren’t from another EU state or an EEA (European Economic Area) country. The best way of finding which category you fit in is by using the Visa Checker Tool provided by iVisa. Just select your nationality from the drag-down menu on the left, and choose Italy as your destination. In seconds you’ll know if you need a visa. Plus, if you do require one, iVisa offers a list of the nearest embassies where you can apply in-person since Schengen visas are not available online. iVisa offers a free 24/7 support service to answer any questions you may have about the visa process.

North of Italy

Food and drinks

Italy is the culinary Walhalla. There are so many delicious dishes to be found that we can’t mention them all here. Every region has its own specialties and you can find them in all restaurants. Food is a feast for Italians and they like to spend hours at it. Enjoy the antipasti, starters, main courses and the delicious sweets. Finish off with a freshly roasted cup of coffee, accompanied by a grappa or limoncello (fruit liquors).

Italy is also a wonderful country for wine lovers. Almost every region produces top wines and the owner of the restaurant can talk lyrically about the wines he has especially for you.

Getting around in Italy

Travelling in Italy is easy. There is a large network of autostrada (motorways) and the train connections are fairly good too. In the south, the infrastructure is a bit inferior than in the economically important north, but you can easily get from A to B here as well.

Electricity

The mains voltage in Italy is 220 volts/50 Hz. You need a power plug adapter when living in the UK or Ireland.​

Money matters

Italy, like the Netherlands, has the Euro as its legal tender. Pinning and payment by credit card is possible almost everywhere. Withdrawing money is not a problem either. Only in the very small farming villages in the less touristy south is the chance that there is not an ATM in every village. The price level is generally slightly higher than in the Netherlands. Eating out is cheaper, but shopping in the supermarket costs more than for us.

Highlights of Italy

There is plenty to see and do in Italy. As one of our favourite countries in Europe, we will regularly be mentioning highlights on our blog in the Active, Culture and Nature sections. For the moment we have selected some active highlights.

These are the attractions of Lucca in Tuscany

These are the attractions of Lucca in Tuscany

  Lucca in the north of Tuscany is much less known than Florence, Siena, Pisa or San Gimignano. But you will certainly not be bored in the birthplace of the composer Puccini. After our visit, we were impressed by the atmosphere, picturesque...

Highlights of San Gimignano, the town with the towers

Highlights of San Gimignano, the town with the towers

  In Tuscany, between Florence and Siena, lies the beautiful town of San Gimignano. The town is famous for its many towers, which can be seen from far away. It is not without reason that San Gimignano is on the UNESCO World Heritage List....

The sights of Pisa in Tuscany

The sights of Pisa in Tuscany

  Everyone who hears the name Pisa immediately thinks of the leaning tower. It is of course the city’s main tourist attraction. More than a million tourists visit it every year. Many of them only make a short stop at the tower just to get a...

Ravenna, the beautiful Italian capital of mosaic

Ravenna, the beautiful Italian capital of mosaic

    Recently we visited the beautiful Adriatic coast of north-eastern Italy. We chose Ravenna as our base from which to explore the area. A perfect choice because Ravenna turned out to be not only a cultural-historical pearl in this part of...

City break to Bologna, the culinary capital of Italy

City break to Bologna, the culinary capital of Italy

    At the beginning of October last year, we went on a fantastic tour of the beautiful Adriatic coast of north-eastern Italy. With Ravenna as our home base, we visited beautiful cities in the area, including Bologna. In this beautiful and...

City break in the ancient Roman town of Rimini

City break in the ancient Roman town of Rimini

    At the beginning of October last year, we went on a fantastic tour of the beautiful Adriatic coast of north-eastern Italy. With Ravenna as our home base, we visited beautiful cities in the area, including Rimini. We only knew the city...

The highlights of Siena, the most beautiful city in Tuscany

The highlights of Siena, the most beautiful city in Tuscany

    As far as we are concerned, Siena is the most beautiful city in Tuscany. The competition is great with so many beautiful places in the region but the highlights of Siena are so numerous that the city really deserves this honorary title....

All the cultural highlights of Florence

All the cultural highlights of Florence

    In our opinion, nowhere in the world will you find a city with so many cultural treasures per square kilometre. Indeed, the cultural highlights of Florence are many. If you wish to visit Florence, we think the below are the must-sees....

Most beautiful cities in Tuscany that you simply must see

Most beautiful cities in Tuscany that you simply must see

    Tuscany is perhaps the most beautiful region in Italy. On beautiful winding roads, lined with cypress trees, you drive to the most extraordinary medieval towns. Along the way, you see many vineyards and olive groves. And the country’s...

Verona, the perfect stop on your tour of northern Italy

Verona, the perfect stop on your tour of northern Italy

    Even before corona, we went on a beautiful car trip through Austria, northern Italy and France. In order not to drive too many kilometres in one day, we planned a stopover in Verona. We only knew of the city by hearsay. The greater our...

Visit to San Marino, the oldest republic in the world

Visit to San Marino, the oldest republic in the world

San Marino, the capital of the world's oldest republic of San Marino, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The highlights are the magnificent views.    Last autumn, we visited the beautiful Adriatic coast of north-eastern Italy. One of the...

The highlights of Venice, a true bucket list destination

The highlights of Venice, a true bucket list destination

    During our last tour of northeast Italy, we also visited Venice. It became one of our absolute highlights of the trip. To be honest, we were not expecting that. More than 5 years ago, we visited the city in early spring. At that time,...

San Marco Square: one of the many highlights of Venice

San Marco Square: one of the many highlights of Venice

    During our visit to Venice, we naturally visited "Piazza San Marco". This largest square in the city is the heart of Venice. Not only now, but also in the past. It was the location of the important government buildings and other...

The 10 most beautiful coastal towns in northeast Italy

The 10 most beautiful coastal towns in northeast Italy

    We simply cannot get enough of Italy. This country offers something for everyone in every season. In September, we were still in the Dolomites and Tuscany. We did some beautiful hut tours and visited the most beautiful cities. In...

The many highlights of Rome

The many highlights of Rome

    Actually, your superlatives are too short to describe Rome. What a great city with all its cosy squares, the most beautiful churches, the large number of museums and the fantastic atmosphere. A visit for a few days is certainly not...

Walking tour along the Cinque Terre

Walking tour along the Cinque Terre

    One of our favourite regions in Italy is the 'Riviera di Levante', the part of the Ligurian coast between Genoa and La Spezia. You'll find picturesque towns and idyllic villages like Portofino, Sestri Levante, Portovenere and San Remo. Between the...

Climbing Mount Etna in Sicily

Climbing Mount Etna in Sicily

    Sicily is a rugged, beautiful and huge island south of the 'boot' of Italy. The island has a long, particularly rich history of foreign domination by the Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Normans and Aragonese. As a result, Sicily offers great cultural diversity....

Winter sports in Val Gardena

Winter sports in Val Gardena

    Every year, millions of people in Western Europe head to the snow to go skiing, cross-country skiing or hiking in Austria, France, Germany, Italy and Switzerland. For some reason Italy is less popular than for instance Austria and France. We find this...

Hut tour in Mont Avic Nature Park

Hut tour in Mont Avic Nature Park

    Mont Avic, less known than Gran Paradiso In the Aosta valley in the northwest of Italy you can go hiking. Most people do this in the Parco Nazionale Gran Paradiso. A wonderful area, but busy in the high season. Especially at weekends many Italians visit...