From art and fashion, to history and natural beauty, it’s no wonder that Italy is one of the most traveled places on earth. No matter where you’re going or where you want to visit, it’s easy to get around Italy. Here are some transportation trips to make your journey as enjoyable as possible.
Italy has many major airports, with the biggest being Leonardo da Vinci Fiumicino in Rome, Malpensa International in Milan and Venice Marco Polo in Venice. Bologna Guglielmo Marconi in the northeast and Naples International in the southwest are also large and relatively easy to navigate. Italy is a member of the European Union, so traveling from other EU countries is simple and coming from the United States or non-EU countries just takes the usual security check and customs pass.
Getting to Italy by Boat
You can also travel to Italy by boat. Many cruises have one way options, where the cruise originates in another European country and leaves you in Italy, or vice versa. This is ideal if you want to see a lot of different countries and cities briefly. Really and truly, cruises are so prevalent that it’s almost as easy as finding a Bahamas cruise from Miami.
If not cruising, it’s also possible to take a ferry into Italy. Ferries leave from Spain, Montenegro, Monaco and many other ports. Many even allow you to take a car on board.
Driving in Italy
It’s also possible to drive into Italy from Switzerland, though not recommended. It’s much easier and more scenic to take a train, especially through the Alps. Even though Switzerland isn’t a member of the EU, they’re a part of the Schengen Area, so there’s very little border controls between Italy and Switzerland.
If you’re renting a car in one country and planning to drop it in another, that can be relatively challenging and expensive. Plus, gas prices tend to be high in Italy. This makes driving a long distance expensive.
Driving in Italy is an adventure if you’re not from the region. Driving is much more aggressive and traffic laws are only loosely adhered to. Speed limits are higher on highways and you should get used to having someone on your tail.
Driver License and Parking Logistics
If you’re traveling within the EU, any EU driver license is okay to use in Italy. If you’re coming from North America, you’ll need an international driving permit or a legal Italian translation of your license. To drive in Italy, you must be at least 18 years old.
Parking can also be a challenge, especially in cities. Most parking requires you to take a ticket when you enter the lot and pay when you leave. White lines mean free parking and yellow means you’ll pay to park.
Getting Around by Train
Trains are a great bet when getting to Italy. You can get to Italy from virtually anywhere in Europe by train. Take an overnight train through the Alps for a picturesque and fun adventure. Depending on how much you want to spend, you can have a luxurious sleeping car to yourself or be in a bunk bed situation with other travelers. Either way, this is a fun way to see grand mountains and the Italian countryside.
Train is also a great way to get from region to region in Italy. Speed rails are quick and offer a much better view of the countryside than driving. Internet access can be sparse on these rides though, so make sure you’re ready to work or play offline on long trips.
Also, many train stations don't have a hub at the airport, so you’ll need to have a plan to get from the airport to the train station. Taxis are prevalent and easy to take. Some cities, like Rome, offer metro trains that you can take from the airport to the city center for cheap.
Italian trains are reliable and you can even buy train tickets online before you leave. Making changes at the station can be daunting though. It’s best to know some Italian to make navigating as easy and safe as possible.
No matter how you’re getting there and getting around, Italy is one of the best places to visit. You’re sure to have a great trip!