Italians live la dolce vita, enjoying good food, great wine and even better conversation. Every region and city has its own culinary specialty—risotto in Veneto, pesto in Liguria, ham in Parma, artichokes in Rome, balsamic vinegar in Modena, and, of course, pizza in Naples. The Italians have a word for it—campanilismo—which means “loyalty to your own bell tower”. This philosophy ensures that local culinary traditions endure and thrive.
And away from the food, there is nothing to compare with sitting in a cafe set amongst the ruins of Rome, surveying the green and rolling hills in Tuscany, watching the vaporetti plying their trade on the canals of Venice, visiting masterpiece-stuffed museums and churches, shopping in Milan and people-watching. The Italians are a stylish bunch with a passion for fashion and an eye for fine design.
Italy is a four-season destination. Book flights to Italy for sightseeing in the big cities and small towns, skiing in the winter or basking on the sandy beaches of the Amalfi Coast, the South and on the islands of Sardinia and Sicily.
What will you get from purchasing airline tickets to Italy? Poets, painters, musicians, magicians, artists, novelists are just a few of the types of people who emerged from Italy and set the groundwork for today’s music, literature, theater, art, and cuisine. Names like Raphael, Botticelli, Michelangelo, and da Vinci evoke images of the Renaissance era, when art was the backbone of humanity and extravagance knew no boundaries. Today, travelers going to Italy find themselves immersed in history and culture. From Rome and Venice to Tuscany and the Amalfi coast, travelers touring Italy will find culinary and historical delights everywhere they turn.
Embrace Roman architecture at its finest and indulge in Italy’s vineyards. Take a drive under the Tuscan sun before boarding your Italy flight to the snow-capped mountain tops of the Dolomites. Treat yourself to the finest cuisine before immersing yourself in the romantic Venice canals. Each city in Italy has its own character and personality but one thing remains constant throughout the country: Italy has style. Whether you’re a fashionista, sommelier, struggling artist or operatic singer, book a trip to Italy and you’re sure to be inspired.
Italy’s climate changes with the region. Summers in northern Italy are warm and sometimes rainy. It’s humid in central Italy and hot and dry in the south. Winters are cold, damp and foggy in the north, near-freezing in the center of the country and mild in the south. Temperatures on the coast are the same regardless of their location. The mountain areas have a much bigger difference between summer and winter and snow can start falling as early as mid-September.
Seaside and mountain hotels in Italy are packed from June into September. The mountain ski season is December through April. Despite the heat and humidity, the cities are busy April through October, particularly June and July, and Christmas and New Year’s. Venice is also packed during Carnival (February). The crowds are less intense and the weather perfect April through May and September through October. December 15 through 24 is also a quieter time to fly to Italy.
The low season usually runs from November to mid-December, and December 25 to March 31. Most attractions go on shorter winter hours or are closed for renovation. August is when most Italians take their vacations and close their shops and businesses.
Depending on your lifestyle and hobbies, there are several different “best” times to book flights to Italy. For example if you love to hit the slopes then you should aim to book your flights to Italy a couple of months before December. If you are hoping to relax on the beaches and experience the central cities of the country, then secure your tickets a couple of months before you want to travel. If you decide to book your flights to Italy for somewhere between June and September, you might need to book your flights 3 or 4 months in advance to get the best deals. Once you’ve settled on a part of Italy to visit you’ll be able to start finding the best deals, or if you are flexible, simply compare each location and secure the flight tickets for whichever offers the cheapest flights.
Flight times to Italy depend on the exact region of the country you’re flying into, as well as where you’re flying from. If you’re planning a trip to Rome and traveling from California in the U.S., plan for a 13-hour flight. Flights from New York to Florence, Italy take just under 10 hours, while flights from Florida to Milan are approximately 10 hours. If you’re traveling to Italy from the U.K., prepare for a two to four hour flight depending on the region you’re visiting.
There are over 50 airports throughout the different regions in Italy, some of which only offer charter flights and military flights. The busiest major airports are Rome Fiumicino International Airport, Milan Malpensa International Airport, Venice Marco Polo International Airport, and the Sicily Catania International Airport. All of these airports serve major U.S. carriers such as Delta, American Airlines and United, as well as international carriers including British Airways, Asiana Airlines, EgyptAir and Singapore Airlines. Whether you’re planning a cross-country trek of Italy or you’re staying in a single region, it’s always a good idea to choose an airport that’s as close as possible to your lodging destination to ensure a reasonable travel distance once you land.
When you arrive at your chosen airport in Italy, guides are readily available to assist with airport transfers if you need to take a connecting flight to a different region, while taxis and van shuttle services can aid in transportation to hotels and lodging accommodations in surrounding areas.
The weather in all of Italy’s regions tends to range between 40 degrees Fahrenheit during the winter months, to 80 degrees Fahrenheit during the spring and summer months, with the sun shining year round. When traveling to Italy during the colder seasons, pack items such as long-sleeved shirts, long pants and sweaters for easy layering. During the warmer months, light, breathable clothing is essential, especially if you plan to take a lot of walking tours. Make sure to pack a few light sweaters and a light jacket as well during this time, as the temperatures can drop in the evening.
There is a direct train, the Leonardo Express, which operates between the airport and the center of Rome around every half an hour. You can buy your ticket either from the platform or from newsstands and shops. You’ll need to use the validation machines at the station or onboard before your journey begins otherwise you’ll face a fine. There are also bus services available from outside of the airport. You can find out about the timetables and which number is best for you once your flights to Italy land. As a final option, you can hail a taxi although these are a lot more expensive than the train.
The airport is located just 2.5 miles away from the city center and is easily accessible via public transport. There is a bus service that operates to and from the airport. The service runs daily and is very frequent, with a journey time of around 20 minutes. The shuttles stop running around midnight so it is more convenient to hail a taxi from then on; just make sure you agree on a fee before you get in. You can get taxis during any point of the day but they are a lot more expensive than the bus shuttles.
Trains are extensive, throughout Italy. The north is better connected with all types of transport (trains and low-cost airlines) than the south.
Most Italian cities’ historic centers are best covered on foot. When walking around Venice, allow extra time for getting lost—it’s bound to happen. For all cities, bring comfortable and sturdy walking shoes as there are lots of cobblestones. Public transportation is the best way to travel in a city. Rome and Milan have underground trains, buses, and trams, and Florence and Bologna have buses. Venetian public transportation is water buses and ferries.
Taxis are available in most cities in Italy, and water taxis in Venice. Either call for one or hail one at a taxi stand. In Bologna, the network of one-way streets is so convoluted that taking a cab can be very expensive.
Mopeds are popular in Rome and Florence. Bicycling is difficult in Florence, but possible.
Ferry service between the mainland and the islands is good and regular but slow.
From viewing beautiful natural landscapes and touring historic cathedrals to shopping and enjoying delicious food and drink, Italy offers an abundance of activities in every region for individuals of all ages. If you’re visiting Rome, the historic Colosseum and Forum tour is an absolute must. Built between 72 and 80 A.D., these breathtaking landmarks provide an amazing history lesson of earlier times, when local citizens gathered by the thousands to watch performances and gladiator fights.
Florence is another region of Italy with a rich history and amazing architecture. If Florence is on your itinerary, sign up for a guided Florence Walkabout tour to view structures over 3,000 years old and enjoy a homemade Tuscan lunch at a local farmhouse with lovely views of Tuscany and Pisa. When visiting Milan, stop by the sacred Duomo di Milano Cathedral, a historic landmark located in the central point of Duumo Square. When you’re finished taking in the intricate and beautiful architecture, head into the Square for a bite to eat or to browse souvenirs offered by local vendors.
If Venice is your travel destination, you can’t leave without taking a gondola ride down the romantic Canal Grande. Enjoy views of the city and the two main islands in Venice while leisurely cruising through the water with your own personal gondolier. When the tour is over, head to one of the nearby gelato shops along the canal for a memorable frozen treat, then take a seat along the bank and take in the sights and sounds of this amazing city.
Rome Fiumicino International Airport, Milan Malpensa International Airport, Venice Marco Polo International Airport, and the Sicily Catania International Airport serve a wide variety of U.S. and international carriers, so if you’re planning to take another journey outside of Italy, finding an outbound flight is simple.
If you’re looking for convenient and reliable transportation to the airport, there are several options available to ensure you arrive in plenty of time for your departure flight. Taxi services are available in all the major regions, and booking your ride in advance will help guarantee a timely pick-up. When traveling to the Marco Polo Airport in Venice, ATVO Bus Service offers shuttle service that runs every 20 minutes, while the Rome Airport Shuttle Express offers van service pick-ups from your hotel to the airport.
If you need a lift to Sicily Catania Airport, Taxi Sicily Catania offers flat rate ride service. For transportation to the Milan Airport, the Malpensa shuttle coach bus picks up passengers every 20 minutes at Milan Central Station. For travelers staying in one of Italy’s major cities, transportation through ride-share services such as Lyft and Uber is also available.
To learn more about the airports in Italy, take a look at our online international airport guide:
(prices quotes are from London)