Best Italy Travel Guide 2016

Italy, with its rich history, breathtaking landscapes, and delectable cuisine, has long been a dream destination for travelers from around the world. To make the most of this enchanting country in 2016, it is essential to have a reliable travel guide that can uncover its hidden treasures and must-see attractions.

In this all-inclusive Best Italy Travel Guide for 2016, we will captivate readers with the allure of discovering Italy’s hidden gems and discuss the importance of having a comprehensive guide to maximize your travel experience.

Italy is a country filled with wonders waiting to be explored. From the enchanting city of Florence, renowned for its Renaissance art and culinary delights, to the romantic canals and historic landmarks of Venice, there is something for everyone in this diverse land.

And let’s not forget about Rome, the eternal city that never fails to impress with its iconic landmarks, ancient ruins, and vibrant street life. By exploring these top cities in Italy through our guide, you can ensure that you don’t miss out on any of their highlights.

But Italy doesn’t just boast famous cities; it also hides numerous hidden gems off the beaten path that are equally deserving of attention. Cinque Terre’s colorful charm and breathtaking hikes offer a picturesque escape from reality. The scenic Italian Lakes enthrall visitors with their pristine beauty and serene atmosphere.

And Matera’s ancient cave dwellings and fascinating history will transport you back in time like no other place can. Our travel guide will take you on an adventure to these lesser-known destinations and reveal why they are unmissable.

In addition to its captivating sights, Italy is also famous for its gastronomic delights – a key component of any Italian journey. From savoring Neapolitan pizza in Naples to indulging in Tuscany’s renowned cuisine or diving into Sicily’s unique flavors, our ultimate culinary journey section will tempt your taste buds and introduce you to the diverse culinary heritage of Italy. Prepare for a mouthwatering exploration of Italy’s gastronomic scene.

In this introduction, we have only scratched the surface of what our Best Italy Travel Guide for 2016 has in store for you. From historical and cultural treasures to insider tips and tricks, accommodation recommendations, and customized itineraries for different types of travelers, we will ensure that your trip to Italy becomes an unforgettable adventure. So without further ado, let us guide you through the wonders of Italy in 2016.

Unveiling the Top Cities to Explore in Italy

Italy is renowned for its stunning cities, each offering a unique blend of history, culture, and architecture. In this essential section of the Best Italy Travel Guide 2016, we will unveil the top cities that every traveler must explore when visiting Italy. From the enchanting city of Florence to the romantic canals of Venice and the vibrant streets of Rome, these cities are sure to captivate your senses and leave you with unforgettable memories.

First on our list is Florence, a city celebrated for its Renaissance art, awe-inspiring architecture, and delectable culinary delights. Art enthusiasts can spend hours exploring the world-famous Uffizi Gallery, home to masterpieces by Michelangelo, Botticelli, and Leonardo da Vinci.

The iconic Duomo dominates the skyline with its magnificent dome, while the Ponte Vecchio bridge offers breathtaking views over the Arno River. Don’t forget to indulge in the local cuisine by sampling traditional dishes like bistecca alla Fiorentina and feasting on gelato from some of the city’s finest gelaterias.

Next up is Venice, a city unlike any other with its enchanting network of canals and historic landmarks. A gondola ride down the Grand Canal is a must-do experience that allows visitors to take in the beauty of this floating city.

Strolling through Saint Mark’s Square offers glimpses into Venice’s unique cultural heritage with landmarks such as Saint Mark’s Basilica and Doge’s Palace. Be sure to also explore the hidden alleyways or take a boat trip to Murano Island where you can witness skilled artisans creating exquisite glassware.

Last but not least is Rome, known as “the eternal city” for its enduring ancient ruins and vibrant street life. No visit to Rome would be complete without seeing iconic landmarks such as the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Pantheon which reflect Rome’s rich history.

Take a leisurely walk through Trastevere, a charming neighborhood known for its narrow cobblestone streets and authentic trattorias. And don’t forget to toss a coin into the Trevi Fountain, as legend has it that it ensures your return to Rome.

These top cities in Italy offer an abundance of attractions that are sure to enchant every traveler. With their rich history, captivating architecture, and mouthwatering cuisine, Florence, Venice, and Rome exemplify the essence of Italy’s charm and allure. So grab your travel guide and start planning your Italian adventure today.

Adventures off the Beaten Path

Italy is known for its iconic cities and popular tourist destinations, but there are also hidden gems waiting to be discovered by adventurous travelers. In this section of the Best Italy Travel Guide 2016, we will unveil some of these off-the-beaten-path treasures that should not be missed.

One of these hidden gems is Cinque Terre, a collection of five coastal villages located on the Italian Riviera. Known for their colorful charm and picturesque beauty, these villages offer breathtaking hikes along the cliffside trails and stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea.

Each village has its own unique character, from the pastel-colored buildings of Vernazza to the vineyards and olive groves of Manarola. Exploring Cinque Terre allows visitors to immerse themselves in an authentic Italian experience away from the crowds.

Another hidden gem that should be on every traveler’s list is the scenic Italian Lakes region. Lake Como, Lake Garda, and Lake Maggiore are known for their pristine beauty and serene atmosphere. The lakes are surrounded by charming towns with historic villas, lush gardens, and picturesque promenades.

Visitors can take boat tours to explore the different islands in the lakes or simply relax by the shores while enjoying the stunning views. The Italian Lakes offer a tranquil retreat from the hustle and bustle of the more popular tourist destinations.

Matera is another hidden gem that cannot be missed when visiting Italy. Located in the southern region of Basilicata, Matera is famous for its ancient cave dwellings known as Sassi di Matera. These fascinating caves were inhabited since prehistoric times and have been declared a UNESCO World Heritage site. Walking through Matera feels like stepping back in time as visitors explore narrow streets, ancient churches carved into rock, and traditional cave dwellings turned into restaurants and hotels.

Hidden GemDescription
Cinque TerreA collection of five coastal villages known for their colorful charm and breathtaking hikes
Italian LakesLake Como, Lake Garda, and Lake Maggiore famous for their pristine beauty and serene atmosphere
MateraAn ancient city famous for its cave dwellings and fascinating history
Eyewitness Travel Italian Visual Guide

The Ultimate Culinary Journey

Italy is renowned for its delicious cuisine and culinary traditions, making a culinary journey an essential part of any traveler’s experience. From mouthwatering pizza in Naples to exquisite Tuscan dishes, exploring Italy’s gastronomic delights is a key component of the Best Italy Travel Guide 2016.

Indulging in the world-famous pizza of Naples

Naples, the birthplace of pizza, offers an authentic Neapolitan pizza experience like no other. The traditional Neapolitan pizza is made with simple yet high-quality ingredients such as San Marzano tomatoes and buffalo mozzarella, baked in wood-fired ovens to perfection.

Travelers can savor the unique flavors and textures as they bite into a soft and doughy crust topped with rich tomato sauce and creamy cheese. Visiting one of the many traditional pizzerias in Naples is a must for any food lover.

Savoring the allure of Tuscany’s renowned cuisine

Tuscany is known for its refined and rustic cuisine, which reflects the region’s agricultural traditions. A visit to Tuscany wouldn’t be complete without indulging in bistecca alla Fiorentina, a mouthwatering Florentine T-bone steak grilled to perfection. Homemade pasta dishes such as pici or pappardelle served with rich meat sauces or fresh vegetables are also a highlight.

And let’s not forget about the world-famous Chianti wine that pairs perfectly with Tuscany’s delectable dishes. Exploring Tuscany’s culinary scene will transport travelers on a journey through taste and tradition.

Tempting taste buds with the unique flavors of Sicily

Sicily boasts a diverse culinary heritage influenced by various cultures throughout history. From arancini (rice balls filled with ragu or cheese) to cannoli (crispy shells filled with sweet ricotta), Sicily offers a myriad of flavors and textures.

Travelers can also immerse themselves in the vibrant street food scene, where they can try sfincione (Sicilian pizza), panelle (chickpea fritters), and araba (street food sandwich with various fillings). Exploring Sicily’s culinary delights is a feast for both the stomach and the senses.

Exploring Italy’s gastronomic delights is an experience that should not be missed. From the iconic pizza in Naples to Tuscan delicacies and the unique flavors of Sicily, each region offers its own culinary treasures. The Best Italy Travel Guide 2016 ensures that travelers can embark on the ultimate culinary journey, discovering the authentic flavors and traditions that make Italian cuisine truly exceptional.

Navigating Italy’s Historical and Cultural Treasures

Italy is a treasure trove of historical and cultural wonders, making it a must-visit destination for travelers seeking a deep dive into the past. Navigating through Italy’s historical and cultural treasures is an essential component of the Best Italy Travel Guide 2016. This section will guide readers through some of Italy’s most iconic landmarks and provide insights into their historical significance and architectural marvels.

One of Italy’s most famous attractions is the Colosseum in Rome, also known as the Flavian Amphitheatre. This colossal structure is a testament to the grandeur of ancient Rome and is one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Built almost 2,000 years ago, the Colosseum hosted spectacles like gladiator contests, mock naval battles, and animal hunts. Today, visitors can explore its mighty arches, underground chambers, and steep seating areas that once accommodated up to 50,000 spectators.

Another captivating historical site in Italy is Pompeii, a city frozen in time by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79. This archaeological site offers a unique glimpse into ancient Roman life as it was buried under layers of volcanic ash and pumice for centuries. Strolling through Pompeii feels like stepping back in time as visitors can walk along well-preserved streets lined with houses, shops, bathhouses, and even brothels.

The Sistine Chapel in Vatican City is yet another remarkable highlight when exploring Italy’s historical and cultural treasures. As part of the Vatican Museums complex, this chapel draws millions of visitors with its awe-inspiring frescoes painted by renowned artist Michelangelo. The most famous masterpiece within is undoubtedly Michelangelo’s ceiling painting depicting scenes from Genesis. Standing within this sacred space beneath these breathtaking works of art evokes a sense of wonder and reverence.

Insider Tips and Tricks for a Seamless Italy Travel Experience – Best Italy Travel Guide 2016 Edition

When planning a trip to Italy, it’s essential to have all the information you need to ensure a seamless travel experience. From visa requirements to transportation options, here are some insider tips and tricks that will help make your visit to Italy unforgettable.

  1. Visa Requirements: Before traveling to Italy, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the visa requirements. Depending on your nationality and the purpose of your visit, you may need an entry visa or a Schengen visa. Be sure to check the Italian embassy or consulate website in your country for specific information and instructions on how to apply.
  2. Currency Exchange: The official currency in Italy is the Euro (€). It’s always advisable to have some Euros with you when arriving in the country, especially for small purchases and public transportation fares. While credit cards are widely accepted in major cities, it’s recommended to carry cash for smaller establishments and rural areas where card payment may not be available.
  3. Local Customs: Italians have rich cultural traditions and social customs that visitors should be aware of. For example, it is customary to greet people with a handshake or kiss on both cheeks when meeting someone new. Dressing modestly is also appreciated when visiting religious sites or small towns.
  • Best Times to Visit: To avoid large crowds and take advantage of pleasant weather conditions, consider visiting Italy during the shoulder seasons of spring (April-May) and autumn (September-October). These months offer milder temperatures and lower visitor numbers compared to peak summer months.
  • Transportation Options: Italy has an extensive transportation system that includes trains, buses, boats, and local metro systems in major cities. For longer journeys between cities, trains are often the most convenient option due to their speed and reliability. Consider purchasing a Eurail pass if you plan on traveling extensively by train within Italy.

Car rentals are also popular, especially for exploring rural areas and smaller towns. However, keep in mind that parking can be challenging in larger cities, and traffic regulations may differ from what you’re accustomed to.

Local transportation within cities is usually efficient and reliable. Most major cities have comprehensive bus networks and metro systems that provide easy access to attractions.

CityAverage Temperature (Celsius)
RomeJanuary: 8°C; July: 25°C
FlorenceJanuary: 6°C; July: 31°C
VeniceJanuary: 3°C; July: 26°C

Accommodation Recommendations

Italy offers a plethora of accommodation options to suit every traveler’s tastes and preferences. Whether you’re seeking luxury, charm, or affordability, the Best Italy Travel Guide 2016 has got you covered with its carefully curated recommendations.

Deluxe Hotels

For those who want to indulge in opulence and luxury during their Italian getaway, deluxe hotels are the perfect option. Italy is renowned for its world-class hospitality, and many cities offer a range of five-star accommodations that cater to discerning travelers. From stunning rooftop views of iconic landmarks to exquisite spas and Michelin-starred restaurants, deluxe hotels provide an unforgettable experience.

Boutique B&Bs

If you prefer a more intimate and personal stay, boutique bed and breakfasts (B&Bs) are a fantastic choice. Italy is dotted with charming B&Bs that offer cozy rooms with unique decor, personalized service, and homemade breakfasts made from local produce. These accommodations often exude a home-away-from-home atmosphere and allow guests to immerse themselves in the culture of the destination.

Charming Agriturismos

For an authentic Italian experience nestled in the countryside, consider staying at an agriturismo. These farm-stays offer rustic charm combined with modern amenities. Guests can enjoy stunning vistas of rolling vineyards or olive groves while savoring traditional farmhouse meals made with fresh ingredients produced on-site. Agriturismos also provide opportunities for getting involved in farm activities like wine-making or olive harvesting.

How to Communicate When Traveling in Italy

Traditional Italian Villas or Farmhouses

If you prefer ultimate privacy and autonomy during your stay, renting a traditional Italian villa or farmhouse might be ideal. These properties often feature ample space for families or larger groups and come equipped with kitchens and outdoor areas for enjoying al fresco dining. Immerse yourself in the picturesque landscapes of Tuscany or the Amalfi Coast while enjoying the comforts of a private home.

Budget-Friendly Accommodations

Italy also boasts a range of budget-friendly accommodations for travelers looking to save on their stay. Backpackers and budget-conscious travelers can find affordable hostels or guesthouses throughout the country, particularly in popular tourist destinations. These accommodations provide basic amenities, clean rooms, and convenient locations that allow visitors to make the most of their limited travel budgets.

Itinerary Suggestions for Different Types of Travelers

Italy is a country that offers something for every type of traveler, whether they are art enthusiasts, food lovers, or families with children. In this section of the Best Italy Travel Guide 2016, we will provide itinerary suggestions tailored to different types of travelers, helping them customize their dream trip to Italy.

For art enthusiasts, Italy’s rich artistic heritage is a treasure trove waiting to be explored. A suggested itinerary for art lovers would include visits to prominent museums and art galleries in Florence, Rome, and Milan. In Florence, travelers can marvel at masterpieces such as Michelangelo’s David at the Accademia Gallery and Botticelli’s Birth of Venus at the Uffizi Gallery.

In Rome, highlights include the Vatican Museums and the Borghese Gallery. Finally, in Milan, art enthusiasts can visit iconic institutions such as the Pinacoteca di Brera and the Leonardo da Vinci Museum.

Food lovers will find themselves in gastronomic heaven in Italy. For a culinary-focused itinerary, we recommend visiting cities such as Bologna, Modena, and the Amalfi Coast. Bologna is known as the food capital of Italy and is famous for its tortellini and mortadella. Modena is home to traditional balsamic vinegar production and offers opportunities for tasting this exquisite condiment. The Amalfi Coast is renowned for its fresh seafood dishes and limoncello liqueur made from local lemons.

Families traveling with children can create unforgettable memories by including family-friendly activities in their itinerary. Amusement parks such as Gardaland near Lake Garda or Rainbow Magicland near Rome offer thrilling rides and attractions for all ages.

Zoos like Zoom Torino or Oasi Park in central Italy provide opportunities to get up close with various animal species. Interactive museums like the Museo della Scienza e della Tecnologia Leonardo da Vinci in Milan or Explora Children’s Museum in Rome engage children through hands-on exhibits and educational activities.

By providing customized itineraries for different types of travelers, the Best Italy Travel Guide 2016 aims to help readers plan their dream trip to Italy. Whether they are art enthusiasts, food lovers, or families with children, there is an itinerary that caters to their interests and preferences. With these suggestions in mind, travelers can embark on an unforgettable Italian adventure filled with art, culture, gastronomy, and family fun.


In conclusion, the Best Italy Travel Guide 2016 offers an all-inclusive resource for exploring the hidden gems and must-see attractions of Italy. By providing insights into top cities like Florence, Venice, and Rome, readers can gain a deeper understanding of the art, culture, and history that these destinations have to offer.

Additionally, the guide uncovers adventures off the beaten path, allowing travelers to discover picturesque coastal villages like Cinque Terre or explore the serene beauty of the Italian Lakes.

One of the key components of this travel guide is its exploration of Italy’s gastronomic delights. From indulging in Naples’ world-famous pizza to savoring Tuscany’s renowned cuisine or sampling Sicily’s diverse culinary heritage, readers are treated to a mouthwatering journey through Italy’s flavors.

Moreover, this comprehensive guide ensures that readers can navigate their way through Italy’s historical and cultural treasures with ease. From visiting iconic landmarks like the Colosseum in Rome or stepping into the grandeur of the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City, travelers are provided with valuable insights to enhance their experience.

Lastly, this travel guide offers valuable tips and recommendations on various aspects such as visa requirements, transportation options within Italy, and accommodation suggestions tailored to different budgets and preferences. Whether you’re an art enthusiast seeking prominent museums or a food lover looking for culinary destinations, customizable itineraries cater to all types of travelers.

In embracing this Best Italy Travel Guide 2016, readers are encouraged to make the most of their Italian journey by immersing themselves in its rich history, vibrant culture, and gourmet delights. By taking advantage of the resources provided in this travel guide, an unforgettable adventure through Italy awaits in 2016.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best guide to Italy?

When it comes to choosing the best guide to Italy, there are several options available. One popular choice is the Lonely Planet Italy guidebook, which offers comprehensive information on various destinations, transportation options, and cultural highlights. It provides insightful tips and recommendations for travelers of all budgets and interests.

Another highly regarded guide is Rick Steves’ Italy, known for its practical advice, detailed maps, and suggested itineraries that help visitors make the most of their time in the country. Ultimately, the best guide to Italy will depend on individual preferences and specific travel needs.

What part of the year is best to go to Italy?

The best time to visit Italy largely depends on personal preferences and interests. However, many travelers find that the spring months of April to June or the autumn months of September to October offer pleasant weather and fewer crowds compared to the peak summer season.

During these periods, visitors can enjoy mild temperatures suitable for exploring various cities, landmarks, and outdoor attractions without feeling overwhelmed by large crowds of tourists. Moreover, going during off-peak seasons often results in more affordable accommodation rates and airfare options.

How long is an ideal trip to Italy?

Determining an ideal trip duration for Italy can vary depending on factors such as personal interests, budget constraints, and available vacation time. However, a recommended timeframe for visiting Italy is typically around 10 to 14 days. This allows enough time to explore multiple regions of the country while still being able to appreciate each destination without rushing through everything.

In this duration, one can spend a few days in iconic cities like Rome or Florence before venturing into other regions like Tuscany or the Amalfi Coast. With a longer trip duration, visitors can delve deeper into Italian culture by exploring smaller towns or even incorporating visits to nearby countries like Switzerland or France if desired. Of course, shorter trips can also be enjoyable; it simply depends on how much time one has available and what they hope to experience during their visit.

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