Italy Travel Information

The country which gave us the Roman Empire stretches from the snow covered Alps in the North to the sun kissed island of Sicily in the extreme south.

It is hard to imagine a country with more to offer.  Centuries of history and culture surround you and a visit would not be complete without experiencing the wonders Italy has to offer.

You can visit Roman Ruins and Greek temples, marvel at superb Renaissance art and Byzantine mosaics, and experience the architectural and artistic magnificence of cities such as Rome, Naples and Verona.

Basking in glorious Mediterranean sunshine, Italy has an appeal which attracts sun worshippers, food and drink enthusiasts and culture seekers alike.

Get a quote on a all types of holidays to Italy with Hessle Travel, from city breaks and escorted tours to lakes and mountains and flights.

Italy Travel and Flight Information

Visas: Italy, along with Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain, forms part of the border-free travel zone subject to the Schengen Agreement. EU passport holders can come and go as they please. Citizens of the USA, Australia, Canada, Japan and New Zealand are among those who may enter Italy as tourists without a visa and stay up to 90 days.

Health risks: Rabies (only found in the Alpi), Leishmaniasis (in coastal regions) and Lyme Disease

Time: GMT/UTC plus one hour (two hours ahead in summer)

Weights & measures: Metric

Those seeking culture and history will love Italy, it boasts more UNESCO World Heritage sites than any other country. Rome is home to inspiring architecture at every turn, and countless cultural attractions. In magical Venice, canals replace roads and gondolas replace cars.

Northern Italy is a worldwide centre for fashion and style, while the rolling vineyards of Tuscany are a perfect place to relax. With skiing in the Alps, swimming in the lakes, culture in Florence, Italy appeals to all. The renowned food and great wines compliment the experience.

General Information

Capital City: Rome

Major Cities: Bologna, Florence, Genoa, Milan, Naples, Turin, Venice.

Population: 59.5 million

Area: 116,305 miles | 301,230 kilometres

Languages: Italian

Electricity: 220V AC 50Hz

Tipping: A service charge is normally added to the bill, tips are not necessary but it is customary to leave small change, min EUR 0.50 or around 10%. Taxis round-up their fare, therefore tips are not necessary

Hints: Business is conducted in Italian, many executives speak French and English. Smoking is prohibited in public places, buildings, restaurants and offices, check if a smoking section is available. On social occasions, eg invitation to restaurants, be reasonably punctual and dress as for business meetings unless otherwise indicated. The minimum drinking age is 16 years

Clothing: Lightweights in summer, except in mountains. In winter, light or mediumweights in the south with warmer clothing required elsewhere. Alpine wear is advised for winter mountain resorts

Italy can be divided into three climatic regions: Alpine, Po Valley & northern plain and peninsular region & islands. The Italian side of the Alps has rather more rainfall than the Swiss and Austrian side and the lower slopes are warmer in both summer and winter. The wettest time is between seasons and thunderstorms are most frequent in spring and autumn. The Po Valley and northern plain has well distributed rainfall throughout the year. Summers are hot and winters surprisingly cold with frequent fog, frost and snow. Peninsular Italy and the islands climate differs between the coastlands and the interior. During winter the higher areas are cold, wet and often snowy, the coastal areas mild. Summers are usually hot and dry and changeable weather is common during autumn, winter and spring.

What to Wear
Lightweights in summer, except in mountains. In winter, light or mediumweights in the south with warmer clothing required elsewhere. Alpine wear is advised for winter mountain resorts.

When to go
Italy is at its best in spring (April-May) and autumn (October-November). During these seasons, the scenery is beautiful, the temperatures are pleasant and there are relatively few crowds.

Try to avoid August, as this is the time that most Italians take their vacations, and many shops and businesses are closed as a result.

The ski season generally lasts from December to late March; sea swimming is best between June and September; and July and September are the best months for walking in the Alps.

The further south you go, the longer you can linger into November and December without feeling the pinch of winter. Italy's multitude of festivals and traditional events may be a factor in planning your visit. Easter, in particular, is celebrated fervently, and every second town has a festive Saint's day.

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