Monday 6 July 2020

First-Timers’ Guide to Visiting Italy in the Summer

Photo by Flo P on Unsplash
{This post is written in collaboration with Emily Jones}

Even though there is a lot of uncertainty due to COVID-19 right now, one can still plan and dream. It’s actually fun and refreshing to talk about going somewhere with your family, even if it may not be for a bit. One wonderful destination to go to is Italy, especially with kids. The food is incredible, the locals are friendly, the natural landscapes are stunning, there is so much history and culture here, and there is something for everyone.

So if you are looking to go to Italy for the first time, here’s your guide to visiting Italy in the summer!

Travel tips for Italy in the summer

Plan ahead
You know how important planning is to me and with so much to see and do in Italy, it is crucial to make a list of ‘must-see’ spots before you go. Especially when you are travelling as a family, you want to see the beautiful sites, visit some museums, and also experience life around the places you visit. Plus, while you are in Italy. you don’t want to be planning what next, you just want to make the most of your time there!

Book in advance
While it can be fun to stay as you go, when you are travelling as a family there is a lot to be said for knowing where you are sleeping and where you are going. Book museum visits, hotels, activities, and restaurants ahead of time if possible to skip lines.

Pack light
Italy is well known for its fashion and delicacies such as food and high-end goods, so save some space in your suitcase for things you might want to pick up along the way. You want enough for hot summer weather, but if you pack items that wash well and don’t wrinkle too much you can re-wear a lot of items. This will make trekking through the airport and getting to your accommodation a lot easier, as well.

It is highly recommended to buy a universal adapter (with surge protection) as well as a converter for your hair appliances. You'll want to look your best after all!

Learn some basic phrases in Italian
While English is widely spoken in Italy in tourist areas, the main language spoken is Italian. Learn some basic phrases and words before you so you feel more comfortable and confident getting around as well as interacting with locals! You can learn Italian for free by using apps like Babbel for example and dedicating time to learn a set number of phrases every week before your trip! This way, you can have fun with ordering your coffee, gelato, and delicious food in Italian.

Italy is generally a safe country to travel in. However, pickpocketing is something to look out for. Keep your bag zipped, wear it cross-bodied, and keep a hand on it, especially when walking through crowded places. If you use a backpack, opt for an anti-theft backpack.

Photo by KaLisa Veer on Unsplash

Where to go in Italy

While there are so many beautiful places to see in Italy, but some of the “classic” summer destinations are Amalfi, Dolomites, Sardinia and Sicily.

Amalfi is a town along the Amalfi coast that is well worth a visit. With incredible views, the beautiful sea right there, delicious seafood, and coastal way of living, Amalfi is a must. It is also much more comfortable to be at the seaside rather than in the big cities during the summer heat.

Located in northern Italy, the Dolomites are set in the South Tyrol region. It is cool here in the summer as you get further into the mountains, making it a comfortable and adventurous destination for families. You can go hiking, visit the Lago di Braies, visit castles, and see some quaint villages along the way. The city of Bolzano is a great starting off point or somewhere you can stay and explore from.

While Sardinia is not one of the most popular destinations to go to for first-timers’ to Italy, it is gorgeous with its white sand beaches and it is a popular spot for holiday packages. If you want to spend your time on an island where you can relax and enjoy being at the sea with your family, this is a beautiful spot to go to.

Sicily is an island located in the Mediterranean that is Italian but also has a mix of cultural influences due to its history. Popular things to do and see here as a family are: visit Mount Etna (an active volcano), explore the food markets in Palermo, visit Taormina and explore the islands.

Have you ever been to any of these places? If so, what was your experience like?

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