Rick Steves Italy Travel Tips
Rick Steves is the renowned author of thirty European travel guides, including Europe Through the Backdoor, and the host of the PBS series Rick Steve’s Europe. He is a pioneer in promoting enriching and culturally sensitive travel, and has taught many travelers that taking the "back door" and meeting people wherever you go is the way to get the most out of every traveler dollar. Smart European travel has been Rick Steves' dedication and he has taught him exactly that for thirty years.
Italy is one of the best places to travel and vacation, a combination of great art, incredible places, interesting culture, delicious cuisine and superlative wines. Rick Steves considers Italy one of his favorite countries, from Rome to the villages of the Riviera, from gazing at Michelangelo's David to savoring its delicious cuisines. Rick Steves Italy travel tips will help you get the most out of your Italy trip and help you understand that traveling smart and enjoying Italy on a budget just requires a little planning and a willingness to go local. Here are some basics of Rick Steves Italy travel tips:
Rick Steves Italy Travel Tips n. # 1: when to go
The best months to travel to Italy are May, June, September and October. The months of April and November have pleasant weather and generally none of the stress and sweat of the tourist season. During the off-season, anticipate shorter hours, fewer activities, and more lunch breaks.
Rick Steves Italy Travel Tips n. 2 - Language barrier
Many of Italy's largest cities and those in the tourism sector speak at least some English, however using Italian jokes will achieve more smiles and results. Italian is the norm in smaller cities. Get a phrase book and practice as Italians greatly appreciate efforts to speak the language.
Rick Steves Italy Tips # 3 - Italian Tourist Offices in the US
Contacting the nearest Italian tourist office before your trip will be of great help. Your itinerary description and information request will get you the overall package, and requesting details like individual city maps, festival calendar, wine tasting information, and more will get you an impressive amount of help. They are also a good source of sympathy if you have a specific problem.
Rick Steves Italy Travel Tips # 4 - Tourist Information
The best first stop on your trip to each town is the tourist office. Italian tourist offices, like those in other countries, are half as useful, but their information is twice as important. Be prepared to list your questions and check. Italian office opening hours may vary from month to month, so be sure to get the current list of places of interest and their hours. Call the office in advance to ask your questions if you are late. Avoid travel and reservation agencies that pretend to be tourist offices, as they serve luxury hotels and tourism companies and you will end up selling what you don't need. Tourist offices will be eager to reserve you a room, but use it as a last resort, use a good guide to find friendly, clean, affordable and centrally located accommodation.
Rick Steves Italy Travel Tips n. 5: by car or train
The affordability of Italy trains and buses is advisable for traveling in Italy. Traveling from one city to another is easier, cheaper and faster by train than by car, giving you the convenience and economy of making long stretches overnight. Cars can be fun in rural areas if you want to explore mountain towns, and especially important for heavy packers as they can carry your luggage for you, usually door to door.
Rick Steves Travel Tips # 6 - Sleep and Eat
You can get a good deal on your hotel if you do the following: arrive directly and do not use an intermediary; offer to pay in cash with at least three nights of stay or visit out of season; breakfasts are legally optional although some hotels insist that they are not; initial prices quoted often include breakfast and a private bathroom; For a better price, offer to skip breakfast.
When it comes to eating, Italians are masters of the art of the good life, including lengthy multi-course lunches and dinners and endless hours sitting in sidewalk cafes. For Italians, food is an end in itself and only rude waiters rush it, so if you're in a rush, ask for the check when receive the last ordered item.
Rick Steves Italy Travel Tips n. 7: tourism
Don't forget to include churches in your sightseeing tours as they generally offer amazing art and a cool refuge from the heat. Dress codes must be highly respected, with no bare shoulders or shorts. Make reservations at popular landmarks whenever possible to avoid queuing.