Italy is the birthplace of the historic Roman Empire and the seed of the Renaissance. Here you will find magnificent creations by Michelangelo, Botticelli, and Leonardo da Vinci, the lost-and-found city of Pompeii, and so many other treasures. It is a melting pot of history, arts, culture, fashion, and natural beauty.
This is a country where Dante and Prada, Titian and Versace, and Verdi and Armani can mingle peacefully. Explore the endless natural diversity, immerse yourself in art and culture, or indulge in the delightful local cuisine. The time spent in this extraordinary place will be worth every minute.
Your Italian vacation starts with making a plan. You'll need to lock down a date, purchase airfare and accommodations, and be sure to get
travel medical insurance or
before you go.
Italy's Most Popular Cities for Travel
Every city in Italy has something new for the traveler to experience. Read on to learn more about some of the best cities to explore while you're in Italy.
The City of the Seven Hills, Rome is a bustling and sleek metropolis that is steeped in ancient and medieval history. The gorgeous Vatican City, the imposing Colosseum, the Pantheon, and the numerous churches will not cease to amaze you. And once you are through experiencing Roman history, explore the vibrant nightlife of the city. And, don't forget to savor the mouthwatering pasta and gelato in any of the numerous roadside trattorias.
Among Europe's wealthiest cities, Milan is synonymous with high fashion and elegance. But apart from arguably being the world's fashion capital, Milan also has splendid history to offer. The magnificent "The Last Supper" painted by Da Vinci is one of the treasures here, along with the marble structure of the Gothic Duomo. The city is dotted with stylish galleries and restaurants where you can take a break from walking around during the day.
No trip to Italy can be complete without visiting Venice. The floating city, built over a lagoon, is a unique sight to behold. Glide through canals in the gondolas to the Piazza San Marco that houses Saint Mark's Basilica. The Byzantine-era architecture of the city speaks to its position as a historical meeting point between the East and West. There are other numerous palaces and churches here that you will discover while wandering around.
You can't possibly miss savoring a pizza in its birthplace. Soccer enthusiasts can identify this city with S.S.C. Napoli – the club where the iconic Argentine footballer Diego Maradona spent several years. After lunch, head for the National Archeological Museum and the 800-year-old Gothic cathedral.
Naples is a great shopping destination, too. Check out the numerous shops lining the streets of this vibrant city for authentic memorabilia. Naples is also a good base to make a trip to the legendary twin cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum, along with the Amalfi Coast.
Who can forget the picture of the "Leaning Tower of Pisa" that we've read about in our school books? Now is the chance for you to explore this iconic structure in person. While the tower is Pisa's most famous landmark, there's more to this city. Pisa houses the University of Pisa, among the most coveted for students in all of Italy. The Mediterranean coast is also a short distance away, so you can cool off there after a hard day's walk. And don't miss out on visiting the numerous food markets.
Key Guidelines for Travelers in Italy
Italy is very safe destination for tourists, sitting ahead of both the U.S. and the U.K. in global safety rankings. That said, there are precautions you should take to enjoy a hassle-free visit.
Protect Your Pockets
Tourist destinations in Italy stay busy all year long, and they tend to attract pickpockets. Keep your valuables close at hand in these places, and don't let strangers stand too near you.
ATM and credit card fraud are possible anywhere, and Italy is no exception. Try to use ATMs in secure places like banks and shopping malls, and never allow a clerk to take your card out of sight when making a payment. Check the currency notes you receive carefully to ensure they aren't fraudulent. Contact local law enforcement if there's ever a question.
Thefts from Vehicles
Renting a car to tour Italy is a fun and popular option, but be mindful of theft. Never leave valuables unattended in a vehicle, and use secure parking facilities whenever possible, especially at night.
Italy is a gorgeous country to drive through, but you must be careful. Roads such as Stelvio Pass and SS 106 can be narrow, have sharp turns, and steep drop-offs. Try to avoid driving these roads at night or during inclement weather.
Involve Local Guides
Planning to visit Mt. Vesuvius or Etna? Or is skiing on your mind? In both cases, have an authorized guide to accompany you. Avalanches can occur without warning in the mountains in winter, and there are restrictions on areas that you can visit in the vicinity of the volcanoes. Only a local guide will be aware of them.
Travel Medical Insurance for Travelers in Italy – FAQs
If you're traveling from the USA, Canada, Australia, or any other country whose residents don't need a Schengen visa to visit Italy for less than 90 days, travel medical insurance is not mandatory, but it is highly recommended.
For travelers with a Schengen visa, compliant health insurance is a requirement. However, due to the high cost of medical treatment in Italy, all visitors should carry travel medical insurance, regardless of requirement.
Why buy travel medical insurance before traveling to Italy?
Think about the last time you got sick or injured. Did you have any sort of advanced warning that it would happen? Most likely not. The same will likely hold true on your trip to Italy. Illnesses and injuries can come out of nowhere, and suddenly you need to seek medical attention.
The difference is, outside of your home country, there's a good chance your domestic health insurance won't be applicable. When medical care is a necessity and you don't have insurance, you could end up stuck with a bill totaling many times what you spent on your entire trip.
Italy has wonderful medical facilities that can provide excellent care, but you'll need a way to pay for your treatment. Travel medical insurance is designed to provide coverage for necessary medical treatment during your trip to Italy. A comparatively small investment in insurance can save you a lot of money.
What Should I Look for in My Italy Travel Medical Insurance?
If you're visiting Italy on a Schengen visa, you need to purchase insurance that provides at least €30,000 in medical coverage, as well as coverage for emergency medical evacuation and repatriation of remains in order for it to be compliant.
You also need to consider what you plan to do in Italy. Different activities carry different levels of risk, and you may need specific insurance to cover them. For instance, if your Italian trip includes skiing in the Alps or sailing off the coast, you'll want to make sure to get insurance that provides coverage for those activities.
Trip Cancellation Insurance for Travelers in Italy – FAQs
Even a well-planned trip can be derailed at the last minute. It's disappointing to be sure, but there can also be financial losses involved. Luckily, trip cancellation insurance can protect your finances in these situations.
Why Should I Get Trip Cancellation Insurance for My Italy Travel?
Much of the amount that you have paid beforehand for your trip such as flight bookings, hotel bookings and event tickets can be nonrefundable. A sudden trip cancellation could result in you losing all of these deposits. This is why opting for the trip cancellation insurance is always recommended.
You may think that the chances of your trip being canceled are slim, but not everything is under your control. Natural disasters can make travel impossible, and illnesses or family emergencies can crop up at the last minute. Whatever the case, you'll want to make sure you can have the opportunity to be reimbursed for your prepaid trip expenses with trip cancellation insurance.
What Should I Look for in My Italy Trip Cancellation Insurance?
The exact coverage offered by each travel insurance plan will be detailed in its policy wording, so it's important to read through them carefully before purchasing. Most travel insurance plans will offer trip cancellation coverage, but there are other benefits available as well, such as:
Take a detailed look at the travel insurance plans available to you, and purchase a plan with coverage that meets your needs.
Before You Travel to Italy - Do This
Learn some basic Italian. Not everyone knows English, especially outside of larger cities. It can be a big help when ordering food or getting directions.
Take the train. Rail service between Italian cities is fast and comfortable, with beautiful views to boot.
Insure your trip. Buy
travel medical insurance or
to help mitigate your financial losses in case of the unexpected.