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Discover Italy
Italy is a country famous for its historic landmarks, iconic cuisine and rugged coastline and beautiful beaches. It is very easy to get around, with budget airlines flying between major cities for pocket change. Trains & busses also cover most of the country, and ferries depart every day from the western ports to islands such as Siscily and Sardinia.It is a country that takes great pride in its heritage and cuisine, and that is apparent from the moment you step foot here. 

Viva Italia. 
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MORE FOR YOUR MONEY:
 Italy can be very cheap or very expensive, depending on how you decide to travel. Major cities such as Rome or Milan can be pricey, as can tourist traps like the leaning tower of Pisa and the Colosseum. While we absolutely recommend visiting these sites while you're there, if you are looking for value for money, and the real Italian experience, then heading further afield to lesser known places can be very rewarding. 

How to plan your trip:
As with most Mediterranean countries, Italy is much busier and more expensive during the summer months. We usually plan our trips to this area in late April or early May to avoid the crowds, while still catching the first days of the hot Italian summer. The type of trip you plan depends on your personal interests. Head up north to the quaint canals of Venice or the historic city of Milan for some retail therapy, or to visit museums and immerse yourself in culture. The Amalfi coast further South is famous for its dramatic rugged coastline, picturesque villages and sprawling forests. It is perfect for exploring, hiking and getting away from the crowds for a while. The winding bus ride from Salerno to Sorrento will have you glued to the window in awe, and is definitly not to be missed if you're in the area.

Grand Canal, Venice

Transport:
All the major cities in Italy have extensive public transport systems. Rome, Milan, Naples and Turin all have subways (metros), most other cities rely on above ground trains and busses. Venice relies on a network of passenger ferries (vaporetti ) as the main public transport option as well as the more romantic option, the gondolas.
Trains are a relatively cheap and fast way to get around between cities. Most trains offer first and second class carriages, and tickets can be bought in advance, or on the day at the station. The Alta Velocità, a high speed train connects the major cities and can get you around much quicker. They do tend to be more expensive as well.
For the budget traveller, we recommend taking the Regionale trains as they cost much less. These trains take their time, meandering through the country stopping at most stations on the way. As long as time is not an issue, it is a great way to see the country at a more leisurly pace. Ryan Air, EasyJet and other budget airlines operate between most cities as well, and can be spectacularly cheap if booking in advance.

Accommodation:
Accomodation in Italy for the most part is relatively expensive. Hostels range from 15-60 Euros a night, with hotels reaching prices far above that, especially in the big cities. During the slow season (September to May) you can find places much cheaper, as hotels look to fill rooms. 
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Ravello, Amalfi Coast


Urban nights:
If money is not a concern, you can rub shoulders with the rich and famous at the St Regis in Rome for about $1400 a night. For a more realistic budget, check out the large number of hostels and midrange hotels across every city. Another good option is to book your own apartment or studio, which can be a smart and cost effective solution if you are travelling in a group or with your family. 

Stay in nature:
Camping is a very popular and inexpensive option, as well as a great way to experience Italy. There are hundreds of campsites across the country, most of which charge a small fee to stay. campingitalia.it and eurocampings.co.uk are two good resources to look up spots.

Our favorite way to travel has always been renting a small van and heading off into the unknown. In a pinch, you are always able to find a secluded spot somehwhere to camp up for free, although it's not allowed in many areas and you may have to move if the police find you. We have never had any problems with this, and as long as you are respectful of the land and the people living there, we absolutely recommend trying this. 
wickedcampers.co.uk  has pickup points in both Rome & Venice and can cost as little as $300-$400 for a week. Bear in mind that you will have to pay for insurance and gas on top of this, but even so, with a few people this can be cheaper (and way more fun) than a hotel or apartment.

Margherita Pizza 

Where to spend your money:
Do:

 As always, make your trips to tourist spots brief, and spend the rest of your time getting to know the real Italy. We recommend staying in a few different cities, and taking day trips out to the surrounding areas.  
From Naples you can easily get to Pompeii & Vesuvius, the Amalfi Coast or just spend a day at one of the many local vineyards.
From Milan you can take a trip to Lake Como, Cinque Terra, or even head up into Switzerland for the day on the Bernina Express . It is also possible to take a whirlwind tour of Venice, although we would recommend setting aside a few days to truly experience it.
The 2 main islands, Sicily and Sardinia are quintessentially Italian, yet have their own unique feeling to them. Alghero, in the north of Sardinia is a great place to relax and unwind in the sun. It has a distinct Catalan feel, and is often less busy than many of the more touristy cities. From here you can explore the islands vineyards, head to Neptunes Grotto, or just watch the sunset from the city wall. In our opinion, the best way to experience all these places is to avoid expensive and overcrowded organized tours and head out on your own. The luxury of taking your time and seeing what YOU want to see is worth the small headache of renting a car or figuring out bus routes.

Eat:

 If there is one thing Italy does better than anyone else it's food.
Just ask any Italian ever, they'll tell you! 
In mountainous North of the country, pizza & pasta take a back seat to more hearty dishes such as Polenta & rissotto. The Emilia-Romagna region produces classics such as parmiggiano reggiano, mortadella & prosciutto, with its capital Bologna offering some of the best.
Further south in Tuscany and Umbria you can find mouthwatering steaks & sausage as well as famous dishes such as Carbonara (Pasta with egg & pancetta) and Lampredotto (cow stomach cooked in broth and served on bread). Tuscany is also the worlds top producer of olive oil, and a snack of Panzanella (tomato salad with bread) drizzled in some extra virgin olive oil is not to be missed.
In the South of the country pasta is king. The heavier creamy sauces are replaced by a tomato based version, often spiced with the peperoncino, a spicy red pepper. These regions are also well known for salami's and other cured meats as well as calzones, arancini (fried risotto balls) and terrific seafood.
For pizza head to Naples, where it is claimed to have been invented. Try the "Pizza Margherita", tomato, buffao mozzarella & basil.


Drink:

Italy is known for its wine, and is the worlds top producer of wine by volume. Over one million vineyards work year round to produce 1/3 of the worlds wine. So it goes without saying that no trip to Italy would be comlete without sampling as much as possible. Perhaps the most picturesque & popular vineyards are located in Tuscany, and many wine tours leave from Florence or Siena every day.
Also try grappa, a strong spirit made from grapes. Be warned, it can range from 70-120 proof, so learn from the locals and enjoy it with a plate of bread & salami .

Now that you’re in Italy:
Stay here.

No really, there is not enough time in the world to explore everything this country has to offer. If you do want to explore further, Switzerland, France & Austria are easy to get to from the north of the country. Taking a ferry from Salerno, Catania or Augusta to Malta for a few days is also a fun option if you're feeling adventurous.

  


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Natural Wonders

Urban Wonders

Curios

  1. amalfi coast
  2. alghero
  3. pompeii
  4. lake como
  5. venice
  6. cinque terre
  7. neptunes grotto
  8. florence
  9. valle dei mulini

The Amalfi Coast

Alghero, sardinia

Pompeii

Lake Como

Venice

Cinque Terre

Neptunes Grotto

Florence

Valle Dei Mulini