Last Updated on January 24, 2019 by Jo Fitzsimons
It’s fair to say that I’ve visited Italy more than any other country in the world and I’ve picked up a few travel tips along the way. I know that many of you will be visiting the Prosecco region of Italy as part of a broader trip to Italy and, even, Europe. So, I thought you might find it helpful if I shared with you a few of the other Italy travel blog posts I’ve written about visiting various parts of Italy. These are posts that I’ve written over on my travel blog, Indiana Jo.
Courtesy of the fact that I spend more time travelling and sipping Prosecco than I do sat down writing (naughty, I know), there are several other parts of Italy I have visited and not written about. Yet. I’ve included details of a few of these below. And if you do have questions about visiting those parts of Italy, drop me an email and I’ll see if I can help.
+10 Italy Travel Blog Posts To Help You Plan Your Italy Trip
This list is broadly geographical radiating out from Italy’s epicentre (the Prosecco region, of course). I hope these Italy travel blog posts are help when you’re planning your trip to Italy.
In brief: If it’s possible to love and place and hate a place in the same breath, I have that relationship with Vence. The why I love it part is obvious – just look at any picture online and you’ll understand. The hate part – the tourism. Yes, I know I’m part of the problem but so much of me wishes I could have all of Venice to myself. Actually, that is achievable to some extent, if you wander around the city at night. In this post I’ve given 10 tips on what not to do in Venice and what to do instead. This is designed to help you have a more local experience in what must be one of the world’s most romantic cities. It’s no surprise this is still one of the most popular Italy travel blog posts I’ve ever written (it’s been shared over 35k on social media).
The Italy travel blog post: Alternative Venice – 10 Things NOT To Do And 10 TO DO Instead
Top Venice Tip: Take a food tour. I didn’t think it was possible to have bad food in Italy, until I got to Venice. So much of the food is overpriced and underwhelming in Venice. Taking a food tour early on means a local will point out some good, non-touristy options, which will save you for the rest of your trip. I really enjoyed this tour with Walks of Italy. Beware, you’ll be chomping on chichetti and slugging wine back before the clock hits noon.
You’ve not heard of it, have you? That’s a good thing in a country that’s busting with tourists. If you’re looking for a low-key, chilled out version of Italy complete with piazzas, porticos and passatelli (a local dish), get to Urbino. It really is one of Italy’s best kept secrets. I was actually a bit reluctant to write a blog post about this part of Italy, but I figured you deserved to know. Bonus: you’ll be taking home photos that most tourists never get to take.
The Italy travel blog posts:
Top Urbino Tip: While there is plenty to keep you busy in Urbino, the main attraction is slowing down and enjoying la doce vita (sweet life). Sip an Aperol Spritz (anyone else think we should start calling this a Prosecco spritz?), get lost in the winding streets (very hilly – don’t wear heels) and breathe in the scent of a slower pace of Italian life.
Second after the Prosecco region, I vote for Florence – or Firenze as it’s know locally. Yes, it’s flooded with tourists, especially in summer but you can’t deny the postcard perfect beauty of all that Renaissance architecture. Plus there are more museums and cultural options than you’ll know what to do with. I’ve spent over a month in Florence across a few trips tracking down the best, hidden gelato spot as well as discovering less well-know museums.
The Italy travel blog posts:
3 Days in Florence – The Itinerary I Give My Friend (the gelato tip is in this blog post)
10 Best Sights in Florence and 10 Alternatives (for the less busy but still incredible museums)
Top Florence Tip: Let’s talk gelato. In fact, this applies throughout Italy. The best quality gelato is kept in stainless steel tubs with lids on. You can’t see the gelato until it’s being served. There are no ‘pull you in’ cases piled high and decked with fruit – that’s tourist gelato and it’s made from buffalo dung. Just kidding. But it’s not the best.
Just one hour outside Florence lies beautiful Tavarnelle val di Pesa. If you’re looking to get a bit more of a rural Tuscan countryside feel without venturing too far from the city (you can still travel back each day to see the sights), Tavarnelle val di Pesa is the perfect compromise.
The Italy travel blog post: Tavarnelle val di Pesa – A Place Worth Leaving Florence For
Top Tuscany Tip: Although it was a few years ago so prices may have increased, I spent a wonderful afternoon learning how to make pasta with a lovely lady called Vilma in her shop, Pasta Fresca, and for just €25. Considering most Italian cookery courses start in the hundreds, this was a steal. After we’d finished, we sat down to dine on my creation with a bottle of Chianti.
Most visitors make the same mistake in Pisa. They arrive, go to see the leaning tower, and then they leave. Of course, the tower is architecturally astonishing but Pisa has so much more to offer. Radiating out from the tower, the crowds disperse and the everyday life of this university city appears. Do more than the average tourist and Pisa will repay you with great food, wonderful hospitality (beyond the perimeter of the tower) and one of the most relaxed vibes you’ll find in a city that sees such a volume of tourism. Also, isn’t it nice to give a little something back (a night in a hotel and a few meals) to a city that lets millions of visitors stampede through its streets every year just to see one thing.
The Italy travel blog post: One Day in Pisa
Top Pisa Tip: Go and see the tower at night. Lit up, with a fraction of the crowds, it really is spectacular. Better: stay in a tower view room like the x.
Lucca was another of those pleasant surprises. It’s also an illustration that the further you travel from Florence, the thinner the crowds get. With no apparently obvious attraction (in the form of a leaning tower or naked statue of some guy called David), Lucca is often overlooked, which is crazy. Not least because of its proximity to Pisa and Florence but also because it has one of the most beautiful walks around the walls of the city. Oh, and the small fact that Lucca is the home of Puccini.
The Italy travel blog post: One Day in Lucca – What To See and Do in The Home of Puccini
Top Lucca Tip: I do love a low-cost version of an activity that can costs hundreds of euros and, in Lucca, that attraction is opera. I once went to the opening night of the opera in Verona and the tickets were, ridiculously, hundreds. The recital in Lucca, albeit less dramatic, cost under €50.
I can’t count the number of times people have told me that I must never, ever, ever go to Naples. It’s just not safe. Most of these people issued this directive long after I’d visited and had a wonderful, trouble free stay in the city. Just don’t hang around the station with your Rolex hanging off your wrist. Put aside the stereotypes of Naples and it’s a wonderful city to explore. Right on the coast, it’s ‘real’ Italy and its got the pizza to prove it. I wrote this Italy travel blog post to give an account of what Naples is really like. On the top do list – a summary of what to see Naples as well as where to eat.
The Italy travel blog post: Is Naples Safe? The Answer From Someone Who’d Been
Top Naples Tip: Don’t leave the city without trying the pizza. But you knew that already, right? In fact, it’s the main thing that’s making you want to go? You won’t be disappointed.
Italy changes from region to region and Puglia is by far one of the most un-discovered regions of of the country. From agriturismos serving farm to plate, maserias (farmhouses turned B&Bs) and the unique trulli, white conical houses with thatched roofs, Puglia takes everything you think you know about Italy and throws it up in the air. Bonus: blissfully sparse on the tourist front. So far, I’ve only committed my food thoughts to a post but I have itinerary recommendations I need to write down.
The Italy travel blog post: Regional Food in Puglia – What And Where To Eat
Top Puglia Tip: Spend a night in one of the original trulli houses in Alberobello. It really, truly is an experience like no other (sorry – couldn’t resist).
In brief: Sardinia is so much more than beaches (although the beaches are an attraction all on their own). I took a wonderful journey through the heart of Sardinia stopping at several hilltop towns along the way. This small Italian island offers a very different experience of Italy where you can get up close to rural life and taste new flavours you’re less likely to find on the continent. Sardinia is also one of those ultra-healthy blue zones where the people live very long and healthy lives. More pecorino cheese, anyone? It’s probably going to make you live 10 years longer. Probably.
The Italy travel blog posts:
Top Sardinia Tip: Try the culurgiones. Sardinian ravioli stuffed with pecorino and potato tossed in a simple tomato sauce, you’ll struggle to find this (or find it as good) off the island.
How to Order Coffee in Italy
In brief: My Italy travel blog posts extend to travel tips too. For example, did you know that ordering coffee in Italy is much more complicated than you think? If you don’t want to stand out as a tourist, or pay €5 for a drink that’s usually €1.20, do coffee the local way.
The Italy travel blog post: How to Order Coffee in Italy
Top Italian Coffee Tip: Italian’t drink their coffee in short strong espresso shots stood at the cafe counter. Also, that cappuccino after dinner. Big. No. No. Why? I explain in the post above.
Here are the other places I have been that are on my list of spots to write about (until then, message me for tips):
- Treviso (post coming very soon on this site)
- Rome – yes, I’ve been a few times, no I’ve not written about it yet
- Amalfi coast including Amalfi, Sorento and Positano
- Naples area including Vesuvius and Herculaneum but not Pompeii
So, that’s my +10 Italy travel blog posts to help you plan your trip to Italy. More will be coming soon. As soon as I can put down my glass of Prosecco long enough to find my laptop. If you’ve got any other Italy travel tips or recommendations to share, let me know in the comments below.