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Italy holidays

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Italy enjoys a varied climate; with hot summers in areas like Sicily and Sardinia, and perfectly warm temperatures from April onwards in the Bay of Naples. The conditions in the Alps during winter are also perfect for skiing. 

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The main international airports in Italy are Malpensa Airport in Milan and Leonardo da Vinci Airport (also known as Fiumicino) in Rome, although visitors also frequently fly to smaller airports, including Venice Marco Polo, Naples, Olbia and Comiso.

Weather and climate in Italy

Depending on where you go on your holidays to Italy, the climate can vary, particularly between the north and south. In general, summers are warm and bright, with temperatures climbing quickly to around 30°C in southern spots like Sicily. The spring and autumn months offer plenty of sunshine and comfortable temperatures for sightseeing, while, in winter, temperatures can drop to below freezing in the Alps, providing the perfect conditions for a winter skiing holiday.

Cities like Rome, Florence and Venice can be pretty crowded during the hot, dry summer months, with temperatures peaking between 26°C and 30°C. If you prefer fewer queues at tourist attractions and cooler temperatures, the best time to visit Italy is in the spring from April to June or in September or October, when temperatures range from 15°C-23°C on average.

The weather can vary depending on where you are in the country, but generally speaking, autumn in Italy can be rainy, while winters, especially in the north, can be cold, damp and foggy, especially if you’re visiting the coast. Head up to the Italian Alps during the winter and you’ll encounter good skiing conditions. For sightseeing or winter sports, the autumn and winter months are particularly popular, while coastal resorts or cities such as Venice are best visited in the spring and summer months.

Italy Weather Overview

Jan | Feb | March | April | May | June | July | Aug | Sept | Oct | Nov | Dec

 

Italy is best for...

Foodies: Italy’s world-class reputation as a culinary hotspot is on show in everything from the finest restaurants to rustic trattorias. Try some fresh, authentic pasta and you’ll never want to leave. Each region has its own specialities, and washed down with a glass of the local wine, it’s the perfect meal.

Couples: Italy is one of the most romantic countries in the world, inspiring Shakespeare to write Romeo and Juliet. You can experience a relaxing sailboat ride over to the island of Capri, enjoy candlelit dinners in Sorrento, or get your glad-rags on for the glamour of Sardinia’s exclusive Porto Cervo.

Nature lovers: The lakes, islands and scenery are a treasure trove of adventure on your Italy holidays.

Fast facts for Italy

Language: The language spoken in Italy is Italian. While most of the staff in hotels, bars and restaurants speak some English, a casual ‘per favore’ and ‘grazie’ can go a long way.

Currency: You’ll need to change your pounds and pence for Euros before taking your holidays to Italy.

Local time: Italy is 1 hour ahead of GMT/UK time.

Fly to: Naples International Airport for Sant'Agnello (transfer 1 hour) and Amalfi, Sorrento and Ischia Porto, around 1.5 hours away. Verona Villafranca Airport for Lake Garda, around 1.5 hours away. Venice Marco Polo Airport serves Venice, Olbia Costa Smeralda Airport serves Sardinia and Comiso Airport serves Sicily. 

Flight time from UK: The flight time to Italy is 2.5 hours. 

Tourist information: Further Italy tourist information can be found at www.italia.it/en/home.html.

Local tax: In most areas of Italy you’ll be charged a local tax fee and pay approximately 1.5 - 4 euros per person, per night, to the hotel. Children under 18 don’t pay the tax. Charges can be higher if you’re staying in one of the major Italian cities.

Visa / health: Before you travel, visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/italy for recommendations and advice on visas and health for your holiday to Italy.

 

Holiday destinations related to Italy:

 

Getting around Italy

By bike: Italy’s smaller towns offer excellent sightseeing opportunities from the saddle of a bicycle. Bring your own or rent one when you arrive; the trains and ferries transport them free of charge.

By train: For longer journeys, there’s no beating the incredible views that roll past your window from the country’s speedy and affordable train network.

By taxi: When you need a cab, remember that authorised taxis are white and fitted with a meter, and you can hire one from the yellow taxi ranks.

Events in Italy

Classic carnival: February sees carnival fever erupt across the country, with all the colour and celebration you might expect from the Italians. If you really want to immerse yourself in the experience, head to Sardinia’s Festival of the Madonna Del Rimedio, which can sometimes last up to 18 days, taking place in the town of Orosei from the first Friday in September.  

For wine buffs: Each area of Italy has its own wine speciality, from the crisp and refreshing white Lacrime di Cristo, found in the Sorrento Area, to the rich red Nero D’Avola, which is widely enjoyed in Sicily. Whatever your taste in wines, there are so many to sample during your stay. 

Lights, camera, action: The legendary Venice International Film Festival occurs between August and September. Unlike many film festivals, there are tickets for film screenings open to the public, plus the chance to put on your best clothes and do some serious celebrity spotting by the red carpet. The summer film festival in Taormina, with many exclusive premieres, takes place in the open-air amphitheatre in June, every year.

Italy safety and security

Do I need a passport?

Anyone travelling to Italy will need a passport. Your passport will need to be valid for the entire length of your stay, but it doesn’t need to be valid for any specific period of time beyond this.

For more information on passports for Italy and details of the country’s entry requirements, head to https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/italy/entry-requirements.

Do I need a visa?

British citizens visiting Italy as tourists do not need a visa. If you’re unsure whether or not you will need a visa, it’s best to check with the Italian embassy.

For more Italy visa information as well as details of entry requirements to the country, head to https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/italy/entry-requirements.

Should I get travel health insurance?

Comprehensive travel and health insurance cover is always recommended for any trip abroad. If you have an accident on holiday or fall ill, you may need emergency medical treatment, which could cost you a fortune if you don’t have insurance. You should check through your policy paperwork before your trip to ensure you’re aware of what is and what isn’t covered. It’s also a good idea to check whether or not you’ll be covered for any activities you’re planning for your trip.

Any other tips?

  • The currency here is the Euro. Cash machines are generally easy to find, especially in larger towns and cities, but your card issuer may charge you a fee to withdraw cash using your credit or debit card.
  • When travelling in large cities such as Rome or Naples, exercise caution and keep sight of your belongings. Don’t leave valuables or large sums of cash unattended in public areas.
  • In Italy you must be able to show some form of ID at all times, so it’s a good idea to carry your passport or a photocopy of the main page of your passport with you.
  • Although many Italians speak English, it’s polite to learn a few words of Italian and you’ll find the locals will warm to you if you try to talk to them in their language, no matter how bad your pronunciation.

For up to date advice on travelling to Italy, please visit https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/italy/safety-and-security

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