How to Travel Through Italy

How to Travel Through Italy
Traveling through Italy offers the chance to see stunning landscapes and beautiful coastal views. There are many opportunities across the country for hiking the rocky coastlines, exploring vineyards and olive farms, and swimming in the stunningly clear blue water. If you are traveling city to city, trains are the best way to get around. But if you don't speak Italian, planning a trip may feel daunting. Use these tips to plan your perfect Italian adventure.

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderately Easy

How to Get Around

Things You’ll Need:
  • Italian phrase book
  • Italian phrase book
Step 1
Choose your mode of travel. There are several ways to get around Italy, including by train, bus or on foot.
Step 2
Buy your train or bus tickets. You can find tickets at trenitalia.com. Buy them in English by clicking "English" at the top of the page. Raileurope.com is also a helpful site where you can book tickets.

You can also buy tickets at a train or bus station, though this can be confusing with a language barrier. An easier way is to find a travel agent, which are well marked around most cities. There, the agents often speak English and you can easily tell them where and when you want to travel, and they will give you the ticket you need.
Step 3
Plan your Itinerary. Get out a map and decide which cities/regions you would like to visit. Find out the duration between each city at trenitalia.com.

If you plan to backpack, websites such as backpackitaly.com or backpackeurope.com can help you plan your itinerary.

Find Accommodations

Step 1
Decide what kind of accommodations you would like. Hotels, hostels, camping and couch surfing are all good options for traveling through Italy.
Step 2
Do your research before you travel. The best way to find a place to stay is to read reviews beforehand of hostels and hotels, which you can find online or in a guidebook.

Camping in Italy is also an option. Campeggi.com gives complete listings of Italian official campsites in English. Camperado.com also gives campsite information and reviews in English.

Couch surfing in Italy is also a cheap way to travel. Couchsurfing.org offers a community of people who can offer to host you on their couch or extra bed for free. Read reviews to find out which host may be good for you, and you may often find not only a couch to crash on, but a new friend and local guide.
Step 3
Book your accommodations in advance, online or by phone.

If you are planning on taking a longer trip, it may be easiest to get a pay-as-you-go Italian cell phone for making reservations while you travel. To do this, find a local "Tim" store. This is the major Italian phone company, and their stores are well marked all around both larger and smaller cities. Phones can cost as little as 25 euros. Ask for 30 euros worth of minutes for your phone and use it to make arrangements as you travel.

Find the Local Tourism Office

Step 1
Find the local tourism office where you are. These offices are extremely helpful and can set you up with tours, hikes or just tell you the best places to see.
Step 2
Start by looking for the address in a guidebook. If you don't have a guidebook, ask around the train station for "L'ufficio di turismo."
Step 3
When you find a local tourism office, you will find that they usually speak good English. Ask for recommendations on anything from restaurants to walking and biking tours.

Tourism offices in Italy not only have information on things to see and do, but can often sign you up for these activities, as well as provide you with tickets for sightseeing and events.

Learn Some Key Italian Phrases

Step 1
Buy a phrasebook or pocket Italian dictionary and carry it with you at all times. Learn how to say the following phrases: "I would like to buy a ticket" ("Vorrei comprare un biglietto"); "Do you know where the tourism office is?" ("Sa dov'e l'ufficio di turismo?"); "where is the ..." ("Dov'e il ..."); "please" ("per favore") and "thank you" ("grazie").
Step 2
Make a list of 10 to 20 nouns you'll need on your trip, and learn their Italian counterpart. For instance, general words like "bathroom" ("Bagno") are important in case you need to ask where one is. If you plan on biking, you may want to learn how to say the word "bike" ("Bicicletta").
Step 3
Make a list of 10 to 20 verbs you'll need to know, and look those up too. Even if you don't know how to conjugate the verb, knowing the infinitive can get you a long way when you need to communicate. Important verbs may include "to buy" ("comprare") or "to hike" ("fare un'escursione a piedi in campagna").

Tips & Warnings

 
Do not be afraid to use the Italian phrases you have learned. Locals really appreciate when foreigners at least attempt to speak Italian and will usually be even more willing to help you if you do. Plan ahead. While buying train tickets can be done minutes before a train leaves, it is helpful to have at least a rough Itinerary and list of places you would like to stay in the places you are going.
 
Do not be afraid to use the Italian phrases you have learned. Locals really appreciate when foreigners at least attempt to speak Italian and will usually be even more willing to help you if you do.
 
Plan ahead. While buying train tickets can be done minutes before a train leaves, it is helpful to have at least a rough Itinerary and list of places you would like to stay in the places you are going.

Resources

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