You’ve looked forward to an Italian vacation for your entire life – you deserve to experience the country like a local, not a tourist! Being just another number making your way through a sea of tourists checking another item on their bucket list at a crowded Italian destination sounds like a buzzkill. Instead, you want to spend the perfect amount of time relaxing and experiencing the real Italy – you want to be Italian for a week! 

But you secretly know that planning an Italian vacation that will exceed your expectations isn’t accomplished by sticking to what you’ve seen on television or social media. With this guide, you’ll learn how to experience the Italy you’ve always dreamed of without the overwhelm.

Limit your destinations & distance 

Unpacking and repacking every few days is no way to experience Italy. It’s a one-way ticket to vacation burnout, also known as needing a vacation from your vacation! 

Whirlwind trips that many larger Italian touring companies sell will leave you with several sites checked off your bucket list but no time to truly experience the places you’re visiting like a local. You’ll cross locations like Rome, Florence, or Venice off the list but leave feeling like you missed out on the authentic Italian experience you were promised.  

We know that you want to experience Italy as locals do and immerse yourself in the culture – and that’s difficult to do when you spend most of your time packing and re-packing your bags to haul on and off trains. This is exactly why The Italian on Tour® carefully selects a home base, ensuring you have access to all the amenities you need and, most importantly, to the people essential to guiding you on your trip. 

When you have us in your back pocket, not only will you get to visit UNESCO heritage sites and some of Italy’s Most beautiful villages, but you’ll also get to connect with locals who call the area home. Our guests always return home with a new appreciation for local Italian culture, culinary delights, and memories that will last a lifetime!

how to have a better italy trip

Go for the experience, not the bucket-list sites

Whether you’re dreaming of summer evenings sipping Aperol spritz in the piazza or have always wanted to experience the olive harvest, Italy is a country that can and should be experienced all year round. When it comes to having a better trip to Italy, it’s important to determine the seasonal cuisine and cultural bucket-list experiences at the top of your list – and that doesn’t always line up with the most popular locations you often read about! 

When you travel for the experience, you will get more out of your trip to Italy than simply crossing famous landmarks off your bucket list. You’ll come away with experiences and memories that are unique to you and will last a lifetime and a greater understanding of the Italian people and their cuisine. Letting go of the bucket list sites allows you to connect with the local culture, opening you up to spontaneity and adventure while living your La Dolce Vita in Italy! 

The best way to fully immerse yourself in Italian culture and live as locals do is to have someone who can translate the Italian experience for you! When you book a Italy tour with Italian locals Chantelle and Giovanni, you’re part of the family for the duration of your Italy trip. We’ve got your back, and you will experience all of the best parts of Italy with no tourist traps or DIY vacation planning mishaps. 

how to have a better italian vacation

Select accommodations based on ease of travel

There’s nothing worse than spending your Italian vacation packing and re-packing your bags every other day. Worse yet, leaving an important item behind! Rather than staying at many hotels over the duration of your Italy trip, choose one that allows you to make day trips and enjoy your evenings unwinding the Italian way with a relaxed dinner and a glass of wine. 

Not only will you have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the region as you drive through the countryside, but you won’t need to stress about leaving your belongings behind when you travel. Less unpacking means more unwinding time for you! 

Whether you want to restaurant-hop every night or end your evenings sipping vino as the sun sets over Italy’s bucolic landscape, we have a tour fit for you! Click here to discover how we can help you have a better Italy trip. 

better italian vacation

Don’t limit yourself to big-name historic sites and famous cities

Italy is home to the world’s highest concentration of UNESCO heritage sites, meaning there’s a lot more for culture seekers to visit than just Rome, Florence, Venice, and Milan. There is much to discover and explore in Italy’s hidden regions – and you probably have never even heard of them! 

Whether you’re into arts, such as that of Fabriano (one of Italy’s UNESCO creative sites), famed for its papermaking, or you’re dreaming of visiting natural UNESCO sites like Veneto’s stunning Prosecco hills, we’ve got you covered. 

On select tours, you can escape the crowds of the cities, immerse yourself in some of Italy’s most culturally rich locations, and have a better Italian vacation by taking the guesswork out of your Italian vacation when you book your Italy trip with The Italian On Tour®.

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Travel with like-minded people

Italy is renowned for its food and wine, making it no surprise that so many people flock to the Bel Paese to sip and savor everything the country has to offer. There’s no better way to embrace the local culture and its conviviality than to go with like-minded individuals who want to share in experiencing Italy’s cultural and culinary traditions with you. 

This is why so many food and wine lovers who join us for a Small Group Tour in Italy become friends and choose to travel with us again and again! Sharing a bowl of handmade pasta and tasting award-winning wines with people who appreciate and value these things as much as you do makes your trip to Italy a life-changing experience. 

If you stick to popular, crowded tourist destinations, finding these types of people will be difficult. Even if you plan your Italian vacation yourself in some of the lesser-known hidden gems, it’s not easy to put yourself out there to find like-minded individuals. The easiest way to do this is by joining a Small Group Italy tour hosted by local Italian food and wine experts of The Italian On Tour®, where you’ll be our honored guest and friend! 

how to have a better italian vacation

Leave the logistics up to the right locals

If you want a better trip to Italy, it’s best to leave the logistics up to the locals – but not just any locals! You need the advice of savvy Italian travel experts with extensive knowledge of food, wine, landscapes, and the unique local culture of each region. 

When you spend a lot of time in Italy, you will quickly realize that most Italians do not travel far from their hometown, meaning many locals do not have the expertise to plan a seamless trip to Italy. Each Italy itinerary with The Italian on Tour® has been personally hand-picked by Italy travel experts Chantelle and Giovanni, meaning you get the best experiences without hours of research or planning! With the added bonus of knowing you get to experience the best highlights of the hidden regions they take you to.

better italy trip

Make a positive impact

Unfortunately, the massive crowds at many famous bucket-list locations in Italy, including the Colosseum and the David, negatively impact the local communities in these regions. A prime example is the summer of 2023 when Tuscany welcomed more tourists than its population during the peak season. 

This constant influx of tourists in mass numbers has hurt the quality of life for many locals living in the area, not only due to the high cost of rent but also the conversion of many rentals to Airbnb-like accommodations for tourists. This problem isn’t new, and it isn’t limited just to Florence, Venice, Rome, or even Italy, for that matter. 

So, what can you do to help local Italian communities?  

Seeking out lesser-known destinations beyond the major sites, like select areas in Veneto, Abruzzo, Umbria, and Le Marche, is a great start. Le Marche has all the charms of its surrounding regions of Tuscany,  Abruzzo, Emilia-Romagna, Umbria, and Lazio but without the weight of the crowds, which is exactly why we’ve based multiple tours out of Le Marche. A region considered to be all of Italy wrapped up into one region, you can learn more about Le Marche by clicking here.

have a better italian vacation with lesser known destinations

Seek out undiscovered hidden gems

It’s easy to get sucked into the latest CNN special on Italy, but the truth is these places are not “undiscovered.” If you’re watching or reading about a location on TV or in famous travel magazines, chances are that the number of eyes and viewers watching the same thing in the media outlets reaches millions across the globe – meaning everybody else knows about these “hidden gems” now, too! 

Instead, go to places that are completely new to your radar. And don’t be afraid to learn some Italiano before you take a trip to one of these locations. Where there is little tourism or commerce with the U.S., you’ll find few people speak English well, even in towns only an hour from mega tourist hot spots like Venice. 

Don’t want to worry about the lingo? Click here to book your trip with what Forbes says “are the perfect guides to translate the Italian experience.”

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Choose transparent, sustainable food and wine producers

On the same note as making a positive impact with Italian travel, seeking out food and wine producers that are not just organic but committed to practices that support the local biodiversity and make their products in full respect of the land is another great way for you to have a better trip to Italy. 

When you feel good about your Italy trip and the positive impact you are making on local communities and the environment, you will see that reciprocated throughout the duration of your Italian vacation. We are proud to support local, family-owned businesses on all of our Italy tours, an ethos allowing you to leave the places you visit on your Italy tour with us better than before you visited.

Implement all these tips when planning your Italian vacation, and you’ll surely have the once-in-a-lifetime authentic Italian experience you’ve dreamed of. 

Grab your free Italy Travel Guide and get started planning your vacation today! 

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How to Have a Better Italian Vacation

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