Italy Travel Guide

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Updated: September 24, 2020

Travel guide to Italy, Rome, Florence, and Venice.

A travel guide to the best hotels, restaurants, bars, nightlife, tours, and things to do in Italy.

The 2020 Italy Travel Guide

Italy Travel Guides

Where to Go in Italy

When to Go to Italy

What to Do in Italy

Where to Stay in Italy

Where to Eat & Drink in Italy

The Best Hotels in Italy

Getting To & Around Italy

Frequently Asked Questions about Italy

Where is Italy?

Italy is a large, boot-shaped peninsula extending off the southern coast of Western Europe into the Adriatic, Ionian, and Tyrrhenian Seas. It shares its northern land borders with the countries of France, Switzerland, Austria, and Slovenia. Italy also has around 450 islands, the largest being Sardinia and Sicily. Italy is the 72nd largest country in the world, with a land area of about 301,340 square kilometers. The western tip of Sicily lies about 146 km across the sea from Tunisia in north Africa. The population of Italy is 60.36 million.

Map showing the location of Italy in relation to its surrounding countries in the region.

When is the best time to travel to Italy?

Italy is wonderful to visit year-round, but the very best time to travel to Italy is in the spring (April and May, except Easter week), or fall (September and October). These periods are when Italy has some of it’s most pleasant weather, and crowds and prices aren’t at their peak. Summer in Italy can be hot, crowded, and expensive. Italian cities sometimes see thinner crowds in August, but the heat can be searing, and many family-run businesses are shut down as their owners take vacation. Winter in northern Italy is often often cold, wet, and gray, but areas south of Rome are more temperate.

Shoppers will find bargains in midwinter and late summer, during the twice-yearly sales seasons. Winter sales begin shortly after New Year and continue until around mid-February, summer sales take place in July and August. Fashion Week takes place four times yearly in Milan, bringing supermodels, industry big-wigs, and large crowds. Italian wine country is best to visit either in the spring, when it’s at its most scenic, or in the fall during harvest season – though winter visits ensure more time to meet with winemakers, who are less busy during this time.

The most popular tourist sites in Italy, like the ancient city of Pompeii, can be best to visit during the late fall and winter months, when you’ll miss most of the crowd-toting tour buses. For the best possibility of good weather during this time, plan your trip for November and April. Agriturismi – working Italian farms with guest accommodations that can range from basic to lavish, are open throughout the year, but are best to stay in during the spring and fall, when you’ll avoid the high heat of midsummer.

Graphic chart showing the best months of the year to visit Italy for a variety of factors.

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