Taking a Day Trip to Florence from Rome

Embarking on a day trip to Florence from Rome will most definitely be tiring, and by the end of the day, all you will want to do is rest your head on a pillow–but it’s so worth it.

Here’s everything you need to know in order to take an incredible, independent day trip from Rome to Florence!

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  1. Getting to Florence from Rome Independently
  2. What to Do on a Day Trip to Florence from Rome
  3. Essential Florence Day Trip Tips

Getting to Florence from Rome Independently

Taking a day trip to Florence from Rome is relatively easy. The biggest obstacle you will have to plan out, is how to get to and from Florence. The easiest and best way to do so is by train.

Trains leave regularly from Rome throughout the day. All you have to do is choose a time and get your tickets. The train ride from Rome to Florence takes around an hour and a half. We always suggest taking the fast train as the regional trains can take twice as long. By using the fast train, you will have plenty of time to explore on your day trip to Florence!

We HIGHLY recommend booking up train tickets ahead of time, as the fast train tickets from Rome to Florence can get very pricey, and do rise in price as your dates get closer. Not only will you save money, but you also will be able to plan out your day trip better as you will know when your arrival time is and when you need to leave.

Our go-to company to book with is Trenitalia, and we have never had any issues with them. If you are new to getting train tickets in Italy, read this guide.

Your train will arrive at Florence’s Santa Maria Novella station, which is only a short walk to many attractions that Florence has to offer!

What to Do on a Day Trip to Florence from Rome

Even though just one day in Florence is no way near enough time to cover everything Florence has to offer, there’s definitely time to see enough to make the trip worth it!

Here are a few things we think you absolutely shouldn’t miss during your day trip to Florence, Italy.

Visit Piazza del Duomo

One of my personal favorite places to visit in Florence is the Piazza del Duomo–home of the magnificent Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral. This piazza has been admired by many and is a must-see during your day trip to Florence from Rome.

One thing to note about the famous cathedral is that a lot of the art and important pieces were moved to the Duomo Museum after the 1966 flood in Florence. I think it is still worth a quick look only if the lines aren’t crazy long. Our suggestion would be to visit first thing in the morning right when your train gets in.

See the Famous David Statue at the Galleria dell’Accademia

If you’re like me and have been wanting to see the infamous David statue, then the next stop should be the Galleria dell’Accademia. The gallery is small as it was specifically made for Michelangelo’s David but is absolutely beautiful and definitely worth seeing. 

As this is a compact gallery and quite famous, to ensure you get in and don’t waste time, be sure to schedule your visit with David in advance.

Statue of David

Check out Mercato Centrale and the San Lorenzo Market

Looking for a place to enjoy great food and great views? Then the Mercato Centrale is the perfect place for you! Being Florence’s central food market, you can go there to enjoy an array of Italian delicacies while enjoying great city views and stocking up on souvenirs.

Since you’re in a food market, you should get food! On the top floor, you can find all kinds of prepared food to get a quick bite.

Just outside the market is the San Lorenzo Market, a great place to shop for souvenirs and leather goods of all kinds. One thing to note is the leather items are typically not of amazing quality but are definitely worth a stroll, and checking out what they have while on your Florence day trip from Rome. 

Walk across the Ponte Vecchio

The Ponte Vecchio is Florence’s oldest bridge and is famous for the buildings that are built on it. These buildings are filled with goldsmiths and jewelers and have been since Grand Duke Ferdinando brought them in 400 years ago. 

While you must walk the bridge and admire it from the inside while you look at the shops, it’s best to also see its beauty off the bridge as well. We recommend viewing it from the nearby Ponte Santa Trinita during your day trip to Florence.

Check out the Uffizi Gallery

Uffizi Gallery

Depending on how you lay out your Rome to Florence day trip, you might have time to visit the Uffizi Gallery. 

If you’re an art lover like me – The Uffizi Gallery will be top of your to-see list. The gallery is home to one of the top Renaissance art collections in the world. While you explore you will find plenty of works by famous artists such as Botticelli and Da Vinci.

One of the only drawbacks of including this stop is that it requires several hours to complete, and it is essential to pre-book skip-the-line tickets to visit.

If you’re a Renaissance lover and the Uffizi Gallery is a must for your day trip from Rome, plan ahead and visit – but understand you may have to cut a few other things from your day trip to Florence.

Admire Piazza Signoria

Another stop during their day trip to Florence from Rome is to stop by the Piazza Signoria! This is one of Florence’s most significant and beautiful piazzas.

Not only is the Uffizi nearby, so you can easily do both, but the square holds the Palazzo Vecchio, which still operates as Florence’s town hall today.

If the town hall isn’t enough for you to visit, it also has the impressive Neptune’s Fountain, along with a free open-air collection of incredible statues.

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Take in the views from the Piazzale Michelangelo and San Miniato al Monte

Want a fabulous view of Florence, with views of the Duomo, the Arno River, and the Ponte Vecchio? Then you must go to the popular Piazzale Michelangelo.

The views are spectacular, and If you have a little extra time during your day trip to Florence from Rome, consider climbing a few extra minutes to San Miniato al Monte. This 1000-year-old church has a bird’s eye view of Florence.

This spot isn’t exactly secret anymore, but it is less crowded than Piazzale Michelangelo and offers another beautiful view of Florence.

Florence Day Trip

Essential Florence Day Trip Tips

Below is our top tips so you make the most out of your day trip!

Start Early in the Day

The earlier you can get yourself ready and on the train to Florence, the better. Every hour counts on day trips, and this is no expectation when it comes to your day trip from Florence to Rome. Making sure you can get every hour out of your day will be worth it!

Since you’re in Italy, start the day with a cappuccino in Rome, it’ll help you wake up and be ready for the exciting day ahead.

Plan ahead for your Florence day trip

Remember that the train tickets between Florence and Rome will increase in price as the dates get closer. Booking farther out from your date helps you to save money.

Shop train tickets for your day trip to Florence today!

Book attractions in advance

If you plan to visit Galleria dell’Accademia and the Uffizi, it is a wise decision to book your tickets ahead of time. This will save you a lot of time since you won’t have to wait in the ticket lane. 

If you are really looking to save time and cram in all you can on your day trip from Florence to Rome, purchase a skip-the-line ticket.

Purchase your tickets to the Galleria dell’Accademia or the Uffizi today!

Only do one sit-down meal

Limiting yourself to only one sit-down meal is crucial in making sure you have enough time. Florence has many amazing quick bite options to choose from, so don’t worry about going hungry!

Paris vs Rome: Which City is The Right Choice for You?

Deciding if you want to go to Paris vs. Rome, can be a hard decision to make. 

You only have time to visit one, so what do you do? Well you can’t go wrong with either choice as they both have amazing sights, mouth-watering food, delicious wine, and plenty of activities to keep you busy.

We understand it’s a nearly impossible choice  picking either Rome or Paris above the other is not an easy task.

Let us help!

Here is what we look at when choosing to travel to Paris vs. Rome.

Paris Vs. Rome: Reasons To Choose Paris

Eifel Tower in Paris

See Amazing Art

With art museums like The Louvre and Musee d’Orsay, Paris is a great spot to see some of the most amazing art in the world. 

There is so much art to see besides just t world-famous museums that we haven’t even begun to scratch the surface of all Paris has to offer. The city is filled with dozens of art museums to explore. It is an art lover’s dream!

With just a 20 minute walk along the Seine from one another, you could easily see both one day.

It’s a Walkable City

One of the best things about Paris is that you can easily walk to your destinations. Occasionally getting to your next spot may require a subway ride, but nowhere you want to reach as a tourist will be difficult to access.

You can easily plan your trip around having to use any public transportation as Paris’ best sights are typically close together. 

Wandering around each neighborhood to fall in love with the food and the architecture is one of the best things you could do while in Paris. Each area or neighborhood holds its individual style and vibe. From the Latin Quarter to Montmartre, there is plenty to see and do while exploring and walking Paris.

Admire Views Looking Over the City

As Paris has one of the most iconic skylines in the world, it also has countless places to admire the views it boasts. Get your fill of the Eiffel Tower view from various angles from parks, rooftop bars, or Ferris wheel – you name it. There are endless places available all over Paris for all budgets and styles.

Paris

Where To Stay in Paris

One of the best things about traveling in Paris is that things are so close to each other that even if you want to stay in any area, as long as you are close to a metro station, you will easily be able to get anywhere within the city.

Like any city, luxury hotels are typically closer to the center of the city, while budget travelers can find good deals further from the center. 

If you’re looking to save a bit on lodging on your trip to Paris, the best thing you can do is try and schedule your visit outside of the summer months, as this is known to be a high tourist season and hotel prices are often cheaper in fall and winter.

Related: 5 best day trips form Rome.

Paris Vs. Rome: Reasons To Choose Rome

Paris Vs. Rome: roman forum

To Experience the History of the Roman Empire.

The Roman Empire’s history is well known, as at one point it stretched across most of Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East. One of the best parts about Rome is that you can see much of the remaining history still in the city.

Sites like the Colosseum, the Pantheon, the Roman Forum, Palatine Hill–are just a few of the amazing sites you can walk through in Rome. 

Both Paris and Rome have impressive cathedrals and a deep history with Catholicism, of course, but when it comes to touring Catholic sights, you just can’t really top the Vatican.

Immerse yourself in the archaeological sights.

If Paris is the city of art, Rome is the city of archaeology: archaeological sites like the Colosseum and Roman Forum are located right in the middle of the city center, just begging to be admired from all angles.

Eat all the Italian food.

While you can’t go wrong with French food. We LOVE Italian food.

So while it may be a tiny bit biased, if you’re like us and are obsessed with Italian pasta and pizza, Rome is the place for you.

Not to mention, you can have amazing desserts like Gelato and Cannoli!

Paris: Vs. Rome: Pasta

It May Be Cheaper

Paris and Rome are both iconic, incredible cities that rank among the foremost touristic cities within the world–in other words, neither one is strictly cheap.

However, if budget could be a concern, Rome is slightly cheaper than Paris, particularly when it involves lodging.

Related: 4-day itinerary in Rome.

Where to Stay in Rome

Deciding where to stay in Rome depends on what you’re specifically looking for.  Do you want to be in a cute local neighborhood? Do you want to be closer to the tourist activities? Or are you looking to save money and use the metro to get around?

For us, we choose what has the best value and how easy it is to get to the activities we want to do. For example, as a rule of thumb, we choose a location that is either walkable to most of the things we have planned or a metro stop that is within a 5-10 minute walk.

Having a metro in close proximity to your hotel, allows you to visit all the places of Rome regardless of where you are. Rome is a city that is easy to get around in and we think you’ll end up happy with most any location in Rome.

Here is a guide to the train system in Italy.

If Time Permits, don’t decide Paris vs, Rome, visit both!

The Ultimate Guide to Visiting the Vatican City

If you’re planning a trip to Italy, the Vatican City should be at the top of your must-visit list. As it is home to various historical sights and some of the most famous works of art in the world. This guide to visiting the Vatican City will help you figure out the best way to visit while navigating the vast amounts of tourists and the strict dress code.

We have compiled the perfect guide for everything you will need to know to have the best trip to the Vatican.

What to See When Visiting the Vatican

Here are the parts of Vatican City to consider when planning your visit.

Peter’s Square

St. Peter’s Square is beautiful and very easy to visit, you simply just walk in like any other square and enjoy the beautiful scenery of the Basilica and square. No advanced planning or waiting in lines needed.

Peter’s Basilica

Right inside the square is St. Peter’s Basilica, known to be the largest church in the world, and is filled with amazing pieces of Renaissance architecture.

The basilica is free to enter, however in order to go in, you must pass a security checkpoint, and the lines for that can get very long.

If you decide not to visit St. Peter’s Basilica with a tour, we recommend arriving right when it opens at 7 am (unless it’s Wednesday) or before it closes in the evening as crowds tend to die down a couple of hours before closing.

Visiting The Dome

Another cool thing to do that is right in the square as well is to visit the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica, where you can look at the incredible views of St. Peter’s Square. The view overlooking the square from the cupola is amazing and the views of the interior of St. Peter’s Basilica from above are definitely worth the climb.

Climbing the dome for the views when visiting St. Peter’s Basilica is a must, however, know that you might have to climb around 300 or so steps and that there are some tight spaces on the way up.

 The only catch with the dome is you do need to purchase tickets. You can get these tickets inside St. Peter’s Basilica, for 10 Euro a ticket with a partial elevator ride, or you can opt for the 8 Euro ticket if you’re willing to climb all 500+ steps.

With the cheaper ticket, you are not only paying less but also it typically is a much shorter line than the elevator.

Related:

Vatican Necropolis

The Vatican Necropolis is below St. Peter’s Basilica and even deeper below than the grotto that is also under St. Peter’s Basilica.

The Necropolis was a cemetery from the first century, it is presumed to be the resting place of St. Peter himself.

In order to view the cemetery, you have to take a tour and you must book the tour in advance. You can book a tour directly with the Vatican by emailing them here

Another option is to use a  group tour that will allow you to visit the Vatican Necropolis and is simpler to arrange.

The Vatican Museums

The Vatican Museums are full of incredible masterpieces from various artists one of the most famous pieces is Raphael’s frescoes and the Sistine Chapel. The Vatican Museum is truly a sight to see!

In order to admire the incredible art, you need a ticket or tour to visit. The line to enter the museum is famous for being extremely long. During our trip to see the museum, we made the mistake of not getting a tour or tickets ahead of time and waited 4 hours to not even come close to the front of the line. In the end, we ended up purchasing skip-the-line tickets, just to even be able to see it that day. 

The Vatican Gardens

The Vatican Gardens are stunning and only accept a few reservations per day, but the upside is that it is never crowded.

As the Vatican Gardens must also be seen by a tour, you can book your tickets ahead of time.

Related:

Important Tips for Visiting the Vatican Museums

The Vatican Museum is home to the largest private collection of art in the entire world! It’s crazy to think that even though it has a vast amount of art, visitors are still only seeing a very small portion of the collection that the Vatican owns.

As the Vatican is one of the most popular museums to visit, it can be very overwhelming to navigate the whole experience. 

Here’s what to know before you go.

Give plenty of time to see everything

You should expect to spend two-three hours visiting and viewing all of the artwork in the museum. Some people only care to see the Sistine Chapel and forget that the Vatican museum is filled with amazing works of art throughout the whole museum.

It’s best to plan for a least a half-day while at the Vatican to give time for potential lines, seeing the St. Peter’s Basilica, St. Peter’s Square and the Dome if you choose, and lastly, the museum. You don’t want to rush any part of this experience, so it’s best to plan in advance!

Guided tours are a great option!

Guided tours allow for so many added benefits than going alone. You can learn a lot about the history of the art and the museum itself. Not only do you learn a lot on a guided tour, but it also makes visiting the Vatican a lot less stressful than trying to navigate it on your own.

When we visited the Vatican Museums, we did it with a guided tour and loved it!

If you are interested in booking a tour, I suggest this tour that is highly rated.

If you decide that a guided tour just isn’t for you, then you should buy skip-the-line tickets such as these early-access ones. This ticket lets you enter before the museum opens at 9 am, they typically start around 730 am. Or you can purchase the general admission skip-the-line tickets for the normal operating hours from 9 am – 6 pm, with the last entry time at 4 pm.

There is a required dress code

To visit the Vatican museum, you must adhere to the dress code, meaning you cannot wear shorts, show bare shoulders, show cleavage, or wear hats. 

It is best to follow the dress code out of respect and to avoid the risk of being denied entry. It is best to wear clothes that are light and loose, that allow you to stay both covered and cool.

No photos in the Sistine Chapel

We get it, the Sistine Chapel is widely famous and gorgeous, but there is a strict rule that there should be no pictures taken of the Sistine Chapel. While there, you will hear numerous announcements being made reminding visitors to not take photos.

Don’t eat inside the museum

While touring the museum, there is a cafeteria that sells food and snacks, however, we recommend planning to eat before or after visiting the museum as there are amazing places to eat nearby!

Related:

How to Get to the Vatican City

Vatican City is right in the heart of Rome and is easy to get to by either foot or metro.

By Foot

We love walking through Rome, and the Vatican is absolutely accessible by foot!

You can go from the Trevi Fountain to St. Peter’s Square with a 35-minute walk, or it is a 25-minute walk from the Pantheon.

From St. Peter’s Square to the Vatican museum, it is about a 15-minute walk.

By Metro

If you opt for the metro, two metro stops are around the Vatican: Ottaviano and Cipro. Both are a short walk to the Vatican Museums’ entrance.


If you need help creating the perfect Italy trip, we can help! We create custom itineraries tailored to your trip goals! Fill out the contact form below to get started.

5 Best Day Trips from Rome, Italy

There are several day trips you can take from Rome, but these are the best and most popular options to do. What makes these locations so great is that whether you like to conduct your day trips independently or with a day tour, both options are rather easy. If you’re interested in taking Rome day trips, you should be considering taking at least one of these!

Tivoli

Tivoli is one of the most popular day trips to take from Rome and is known for the beautiful three villas, Hadrian’s Villa, Villa d’Este, and Villa Gregoriana. Villa Gregoriana is the lesser-known villa but is one to ensure you visit as it is set in the most magnificent natural location of the three. 

This town has so much to offer so be sure to explore the gardens famous for its parties, view the beautiful landscapes, and admire the amazing fountains. 

Tivoli is located less than an hour from Rome, the ancient villas and gardens of Tivoli is a day trip well worth taking!

READ NEXT

4 Days In Rome Itinerary

How to Get to Tivoli from Rome

Everything Tivoli has to offer is easily reachable by a combination of trains and buses from Rome, and Tivoli is a great day trip to take from Rome by yourself. If you like to explore independently, you can save time by purchasing skip-the-line tickets prior to your arrival.

Although, if you’d rather utilize the knowledge of a tour or want a worry-free and easy way to get there, a day tour from Rome to Tivoli is another option.

Florence Tours: Duomo, David & Uffizi | Walks of Italy

Florence

Florence is another one of my favorite cities in Italy, being the heart of the Renaissance, it’s filled with a rich history. Florence is beautiful and a must-see when visiting Italy. To me, Florence is best done as a day or two visit, but if you’re pressed for time in Italy and want to visit Florence from Rome, a day trip is absolutely doable.

Florence is jam-packed with amazing things to see from admiring the Duomo, to viewing the Piazzale Michelangelo, to see the famous statue of David, not to mention eating mouth-watering Tuscan food and wine. Be sure to take in as much of Florence as possible as you won’t want to miss a thing.

READ NEXT

How to Buy Train Tickets in Italy

How to Get to Florence from Rome

The best way to get to Florence from Rome, booking tickets on the high-speed train is the perfect option, especially if you’re a traveler who likes to take day trips independently. I do recommend booking your train tickets in advance as prices increase and spots fill up as your trip gets closer.

If you want to ensure the best day trip to Florence as possible, then a day tour is perfect, this day tour is a popular option for seeing all the top attractions that Florence has to offer in a fast and easy way.

tuscan countryside day trip from rome

Tuscan Countryside

The Tuscan countryside is an absolute bucket list destination, with its endless wineries and villages to its breathtaking views. Even though the Tuscan countryside is in the same region as Florence, It deserves its own day trip from Rome. 

There are so many things to see and do in the countryside that you won’t be disappointed while on this day to the Tuscan countryside from Rome.

How to Explore the Tuscan Countryside from Rome

Tuscany has many towns to explore, and while you can take a train from Rome to get to the countryside, it’s hard to get from town to town once there. This is why I would recommend either renting a car or taking a tour.

Driving is a wonderful experience, but it can also be a stressful one, so opting for a tour is a great way to be able to explore the best parts of the countryside while enjoying wine tastings and being worry-free.

This tour is a great tour that has many good reviews and is one of the best ways to see Tuscany from Rome.

Pompeii day trip from Rome

Pompeii

Pompeii is the site of an old town preserved by a volcano that covered the city. Today, it is one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world. Pompeii truly is a sight to see and will leave you speechless.

What makes Pompeii so amazing is that it is one of the only places today that you don’t have to imagine what the city was like. Instead, you can walk those same roads as they did back then, walking in and out of fully remaining buildings, and it’s like being in a ghost town. Pompeii was once a thriving city, but in 79 AD everything stopped.

Pompeii may not be the easiest day trip from Rome, but that doesn’t stop people as it is one of the most popular trips from Rome to take.

How to Get to Pompeii from Rome

As always you have two options to get to Pompeii from Rome, you can take a long series of trains, hopping on one to get on another, making it a long trip. Or you can take a guided tour for a much better experience. Not only is a guided tour going to make the trip to Pompeii easier, but it will also help to bring the history and city to life.

This Pompeii from Rome Tour has great reviews and makes for an excellent day at Pompeii.

Amalfi Coast day trip from Rome

Amalfi Coast

Since the Amalfi Coast is a long drive from Rome, it can make it a long travel day. However, the Amalfi Coast is a must-see even as a day trip from Rome. The Amalfi Coast is one of the most breathtaking and world-famous coastlines in the world and is worth all of the excitement surrounding it. As it is one of the most popular day trips to take from Rome, it comes as no surprise that travelers are excited for even a brief chance to visit.

On a day trip from Rome, you most likely will be able to enjoy the stunning drive along the coastline and be able to visit one town, the most popular is Positano. However, most travelers say that it was a highlight of their trip and have no regrets with the day trip.

How to Get to the Amalfi Coast from Rome

Visiting the Amalfi Coast from Rome on a day trip is best done by taking a tour. Unfortunately, there is not a great way to get there on your own, the only other way is to take a series of trains or buses and that can be challenging and long.

Getting a tour and having a guide that knows about the location and can get your there comfortably is the best choice to make the most out of your day trip.The best option for a day trip is to combine Pompeii and Amalfi Coast. Many do this because of their proximity. if you’d like to see both places, this fabulous tour is a great way to do that.

4 Days In Rome Itinerary

Rome is one of my favorite cities in the entire world, with its endless old world charm and beautiful culture. I think you’ll agree once you see this 4 days in Rome itinerary. Rome has so much to offer from its vast amount of incredible art, delicious food, to the amazing history it holds, Rome is impossible not to love. With 4 days in Rome you’ll have the opportunity to see Rome’s iconic highlights and experience everything the city has to offer.

Day 1

Colosseum

The best place to start your Rome vacation is by visiting one of the most iconic monuments in the city .

Marvel at all the history within the walls of the Colosseum. The Colosseum is known to be the largest amphitheater in the entire world. It was originally used as a gladiatorial fighting arena and was built to be large enough to accommodate 80,000 spectators, it was even said to be used in boat battles where the Romans would flood the arena. The spectacular monument was commissioned to be built by Emperor Vespasian in 72 AD. 

Many gladiators died in battle, approximately 500,000 people. The fights went on for many years and eventually stop in 435 AD.

When visiting the Colosseum be sure to climb the steps on the north side of the Colosseum and get the classic photos in front of the outside of the Colosseum.

I highly recommend booking tickets in advance to be able to skip the line, as it is almost always busy. The best option is to purchase a combined ticket for the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill. Or if you prefer, go at least 20-30 minutes before it opens at 8:30am to try to beat the lines.

Another option is to purchase a guided tour of the Colosseum. This is a great option if you love to hear the history behind such a monumental site, the tour is well versed in ancient Roman history. If you go with a tour you are also granted access to the gladiator rooms and the animal cages which are not open to the general public unless with a guide.

Arch of Constantine

Right next door to the Colosseum is the Arch of Constantine, it was built in 315 CE to celebrate the Roman Emperor Constantine’s victory over Maxentius in the battle of the Milvian Bridge. Today, It is the largest surviving Roman arch and the last great monument of Imperial Rome. 

The arch is something to behold and is definitely worth the quick stop while passing onto your next stop for the day.

Palatine hill

Palatine hill is the most famous of Rome’s seven hills because of its rich history and spectacular views. The hill looks over the Roman Forum and the Circus Maximus, these ruins were one home to emperors and temples, and is the location of the legend of Romulus and Remus

During the time that Augustus was in power, Palatine Hill was home to the wealthy Romans. Even today you are still able to see the remains of the imperial palace of Augustus and his wife Livia. Palatine is known to be an extensive archaeological site, where the ruins of the Flavian Palace, Stadium of Domitian, and legendary Hut of Romulus can all be seen.

Understanding the remarkable history that Palatine hill has to offer and getting a glimpse of Ancient Rome is all a must do when visiting Rome. Palatine Hill is quite extensive and there is a lot to see. You will need to plan a decent amount of time to be able to see everything. 

Roman Forum

The heart of ancient Rome was considered to be the Roman Forum and is the location of all of their important religious, political and social activities. All the important monuments, temples and courthouses were located here. Even today you can still see the ruins of the royal residence, Temple of Saturn, Temple of Vesta and many other significant buildings.

You can get a lot more out of the Roman Forum if you go with a guide. The guide will be able to explain the rich history behind each significant building and give you an overall greater depth of knowledge of Ancient Roman history. If you decide to go without a guide, to ensure you have enough time to enjoy the forums, plan for at least an hour.

Altar of the Fatherland

The Altar of the Fatherland also known as the National Monument to Victor Emmanuel II was built by anItalian architect named Giuseppe Sacconi in 1885. The monument stands a sweeping 70 m (230 ft) tall and 135 m (443 ft) wide, the neoclassical monument is made of marble and features elaborate staircases, columns, fountains and statues.

As it is close to the Roman Forum, this monument is definitely something to behold and is worth the time to walk around and explore all the statues and beauty it has to offer. 

Largo di Torre Argentina

The ruins are open-air, laid out in the center of the square, and are made up of the remains of several temples as well as part of Pompey’s Curia–the Roman Senate–is the spot where Julius Caesar was assassinated about 2,000 years ago.

As if the history of the place was not enticing you to go, it also is now known to be a sanctuary for local cats. It is considered to be a lovely spot to sit and watch the cats place and lay around. If your a cat lover, this place is for you!

The cats are taken care of by a local organization that feeds them. This historical site happens to be a great home for the cats as it is filled with trees for them to enjoy.

Day 2

Spanish Steps

The Spanish Steps are located in between the Piazza di Spagna and the Piazza Trinita dei Monti. This famous staircase has 135 Steps and was built in 1725 to serve as a gateway between the two popular piazza’s. 

At the top of the steps you can find many things carved into the stone as well as the trinita dei monti church. While at the bottom of the steps, the Piazza di Spagna contains a wide selection of shops and cafes that you can enjoy. Spanish Steps is considered to be one of the most iconic spots in the city.  Is definitely worth a visit, however, recently there is a ban from sitting on the steps. This ban is to try to preserve the history of the Spanish Steps and their original beauty.

Trevi Fountain

There are not many fountains in the world that are as famous as the Trevi Fountain. Constructed in 1762 by Nicola Salvi, the fountain pays tribute to the Roman God Oceanus who is seen riding his chariot pulled by Tritons. From the detailing of the sculptures to the workings on the fountain, it is all quite amazing. A tradition that has become famous is to throw coins into the water over your shoulder for good luck, although trying to do so next to a bunch of other tourists might be rather difficult. 

The Trevi Fountain is located close to the Pantheon this fountain should not be passed up on when walking through the streets of Rome. Trevi Fountain is the largest and most beautiful fountain in the city and is very easy to find as it is intertwined within popular roman streets. It’s an absolute must-see when in Rome. 

Galleria Sciarra

The Galleria Sciarra is an excellent way to escape the crowds of Rome’s popular tourist attractions and take in some great Roman art. The small courtyard is free to enter during business hours, and is home to Art Nouveau frescoes painted by Giuseppe Cellini in the late 19th century that cover the walls. The Galleria Sciarra is a great example of how beauty and hidden gems are truly around every corner in Rome.

The frescoes have a specific theme are women, or even more specifically, female virtues.

Step on and take a moment to admire the art for yourself, The courtyard will be very peaceful and a good place to take a break before continuing your day.

Pantheon

The Pantheon is one of the best preserved ancient Roman architecture and is one of Rome’s most famous attractions. It is said to be constructed in 118 AD by emperor Hadrian. It is known for its fascinating architectural design from the huge rectangular columns and a dedication to Agrippa on the triangular pediment front of the building to the dome that has many varying stone patterns and a central coffer that allows light to spill through the interior. 

A truly interesting fact is that the Pantheon was originally built to be a temple to all of the gods and was only later turned into a church. Sitting in the center of Rome, within the Piazza Della Rotonda, is where you will find the Pantheon, a must-visit when in Rome. If you are interested in diving deeper into the history of the Pantheon, I suggest taking a Pantheon audio guide tour.

Piazza Navona

Piazza Navona was built in the 15th century on the site of the stadium of Domitian. This piazza has been one of the most popular piazzas in Rome. Just a few minutes walk from the Trevi Fountain, Piazza Navona is a great place to visit while walking around the city center. The neat thing about this square is that it has served as a stadium, as a food market, and even sometimes as a spot where public water parties are held on hot summer days.

Piazza Navona has always been known as one of the prettiest and most popular piazzas in Rome, home to three magnificent fountains that are perfect for taking in your surroundings. This square is surrounded by buildings creating a perfect open space for artists and street vendors to gather.

Campo de’Fiori

This market square may be touristy, but it’s also beautiful, bustling, and worth stopping by during your 4 days in Rome. Markets can be one of the best places to visit while in a city, and Rome certainly has some of the coolest markets.  

Campo de’Fiori has been open and running every morning, except on Sunday, since 1869. Many travellers say you need to visit the market twice on your trip to Rome; once during the day for the market itself, and again at night for the bars and restaurants.

Day 3

Vatican

The Vatican City is the smallest state by area and population in the world. It might be small, but it is home to some of the most complex and history rich museums in the whole world. Each museum is home to amazing masterpieces of art collected by various popes throughout the years. The Vatican is home to the famous artwork by Michelangelo that is on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, know as the Last Judgement.

The Vatican Museums, with their vast collection of art from historical treasures to the spectacular Sistine Chapel, are an absolute must see during your 4 days in Rome. Because of the outrageously long lines, it is wise to pre-book Vatican tickets in advance. By doing so, you’ll get a fast-track entry and use a separate line to enter. Try to do the tour as early as possible, because there are fewer people and you have to choose a time slot and the ones in the morning are sold out quicker than the rest. The later in the day you go, the more likely that all the queues will be longer. I would recommend taking the Early Entrance Vatican Tour as it starts an hour before the Vatican opens to the public and is a completely different experience .

Sistine Chapel

Part of the Vatican museum complex, the Sistine Chapel is one of the most renowned religious chapels in the world and has a stunning amount of detail and artwork such as the Last Judgement fresco by Michelangelo and the ceiling artwork. These two magnificent pieces of artwork are considered some of the most influential and important in religious history.

Situated in the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican City, the Sistine Chapel was extensively restored in the 1400’s and is where the new pope is selected. Ensure that you have planned for enough time to see the astonishing structure and the wonders held within.

St.Peter’s Basilica

St. Peter’s Basilica is, one of my favorite church’s in all of Italy! Once you arrive at the basilica you will first be able to admire the iconic oval Piazza del Pietro. To enter and see the magnificent basilica is free, however, I strongly suggest paying to climb the dome. Be sure to go all the way to the top when visiting as the views are amazing. Its important to remember that St. Peter’s Basilica does have a dress code that is enforced: cover your shoulders and knees, basically dress modestly, just as the Vatican.

St. Peter’s Basilica is one of the four major basilicas in the Eternal City, the others are – Basilica of St. John Lateran, Santa Maria Maggiore and St. Paul Outside the Walls. St. Peter’s Basilica is built on the burial site of Saint Peter, who is one of the twelve apostles of Jesus. The basilica holds masterpieces such as the baldachin, the throne of St. Peter and the tomb of Alexander VII. The basilica is home to a famous monument named Pietà and is a must see while visiting the Vatican city. For those who don’t know what Pietà is, it is a sculpture made of marble depicting Mary holding her son after the crucifixion. Michelangelo created the sculpture in 1499-1500.

One of the best ways for you too learn more about the history the the basilica is to take this excellent St. Peter’s Basilica guided tour.

Trastevere

Trastevere is an ancient part of Rome that is considered to be one of the few places where you can observe authentic Roman life and get a real feel for the city. Located on the west side of the River Tiber, you’ll find some of the best examples of the iconic shuttered windows and colorful buildings. 

Trastevere is the most picturesque district with its cobblestone streets, small markets, coffee shops, and artisan workshops. It’s a great place to walk around and explore the area. While you’re in Trastevere, be sure to head to the Piazza di Santa Maria, it is full of charm, and you can visit the Basilica of Our Lady, which has some beautiful mosaics. To get a feel of Italian culture, you should add visiting Trastevere to your list while in Rome. This neighborhood is great for enjoying some lively nightlife.

Day 4

Villa Borghese Gardens

The Villa Borghese Gardens are very beautiful, and you wont be disappointed with views at the top. The gardens are tranquil and provide visitors with the perfect spot to take a rest from the abundance of historical architecture found in Rome.

There is so much to see while visiting the garden, it is the third largest park in Rome and contains the Borghese Gallery and the Gallery of National Modern Art. Within the gardens, you can find various sections including the Casino Borghese that contains sculptures by Bernini, the Villa Giulia that contains the Etruscan Museum and the remains of other villas as well.

The more you explore the more paths and trails you will find that lead through the various plant life and trees, and landscaped areas of the garden with flowers, fountains and beautiful bodies of water. If you don’t want to walk this vast garden, you can always rent a bike to get you to

Galleria Borghese

Within the Borghese Villa Gardens, you can find the Galleria Borghese. This galleria was established in 1903 and is the summer residence of the noble Borghese family, as well as the home to many important art paintings, sculptures and antiques. Throughout the galleria there are twenty different rooms with extensive Borghese collections including works by Raphael, Caravaggio, and Bernini.

In order to visit this extensive and beautiful art galleria, you must book tickets ahead of time, as the galleria is very popular and can only occupy 360 people at a time.When booking your tickets, you must indicate when and how long your will be there as you may not stay over 2 hours.

Piazza del Popolo

The Piazza del Popolo translates as square of the people, and is surrounded by historical structures such as the Chiesa di Santa Maria dei Miracoli, the Porta del Popolo gateway and the Basilica Parrocchiale. It also is famous for the statue that stands in the middle of the square called Pololo Obelisk. If you want a great view of the plaza and Rome, to the east is the Pincio Hill. Pizza del Popolo is a great place to relax, get a cappuccino and enjoy the bustling square.

Castel Sant’Angelo

The Castel Sant’Angelo was originally built to be a mausoleum for the Roman emperor Hadrian’s family in 123 AD and was named after the Archangel Michael. However, as time has passed, many different roman emperors have made changes to this magnificent structure.

 While Emperor Aurelian was in power, he transformed the mausoleum into a military fortress which involved the city walls. 

While in the 13th century, the Passetto di Borgo corridor was constructed and it connects the Vatican City and the castle. You can take a look at this secret corridor on the Angels and Demons tour.

As we know it today, this monument was turned into a castle in the 14th century when the papacy took over. The Papal apartments were designed to ensure a comfortable stay in case of a siege.

The castle today serves as a museum, with various exhibits, including Renaissance paintings, military weapons, furnishings and sculptures.

Head to the nearby Ponte Umberto for a great view of the Bridge of Angels and St. Peter’s Basilica. This is also a fantastic place to watch the sunset in Rome!

To learn more about the history of this gorgeous place, take a guided tour of Castel Sant’Angelo.

8 Tips For Your First Trip To Italy

  1. Italians Take Siestas

Many Europeans, Italians being one of them, will take what is called a “siesta”. Siestas are when businesses will go home in the afternoon to nap or eat lunch. In some small towns in Italy even police stations will close down during the time of siesta from 1 pm to 3 pm.

When planning your trip to Italy, be sure to keep in mind that siestas are common and to always check operating hours of all business before. In case you like to eat lunch during that time, it may be wise to keep snacks on you just in case you can’t find a business that is open. In larger cities like Rome or Florence, you can almost always find a restaurant or street food available no matter the time, you just might not be able to pick and choose as easily during the siesta time.

  1. Language Barrier 

While there are several Italians that do speak English, it’s not as common as it may be in other European countries. You will also find that the signage is almost always in Italian, on many trains however, they do a good job of trying to say the announcement in both Italian and English. It is good to note that on smaller trains and metros, they may only do the announcements in Italians.

It is wise that before you leave for Italy, you should try to learn some essential Italian phrases and words. This can help you communicate a little easier on the basic things. The app that I used to learn before my trip is Duolingo, it is very easy to use and simple to understand. 

I would also recommend getting an international plan through your provider or a cheaper version is to purchase a local sim card, this will allow you to use Google Maps and help you find your way easier.

  1. Train System

Italy’s train system makes it very easy and affordable for anyone to get from destination to destination. It is reliable and has stops in almost every city throughout the country. Using the train system is the most cost-effective and results in the least amount of stress compared to other forms of transportation. 

If you do decide to drive, remember to read up on the traffic rules and norms, and remember that if you can drive a manual then it will be cheaper.

For more tips on the trains system and how to get your tickets.

  1. Peak Season

Italy is one of the most visited countries in the world, with more than 50 million tourists each year. In order to avoid the mass amounts of tourists and crowds at the hottest monuments around Italy, it may be best to try to avoid going during the summer months. 

During these months of June, July, and August because this is the peak season to travel, accommodations and flights tend to increase their price due to high demand.

  1. Plan In Advanced

Many tourists plan to visit the large bucket list attractions when they are visiting Italy, such as the Vatican, Pompeii, or the Colosseum, the big ticket attractions are often long quote lines or are booked up, especially if you are to visit during the peak season months.

To avoid waiting in long lines or potentially not being able to see one of your bucket list monuments, I suggest you plan your Italy trip in advance. It’s best to know where you want to go and what attractions you want to see before you arrive in Italy. Many of the main attractions, like the vatican for example, allow you to purchase tickets in advance and you also have the option to buy a skip the line ticket.

  1. Extra Charge On Bills

There are several things to note when eating out in Italy, the first is that it is common to have a charge on your bill that is called a “coperto”, which is basically a cover charge that the restaurant charges per person dining.

Coperto charges are almost always listed on the menu and can range anywhere from €1 to €5 depending on the city you are in, for example, in Rome or Florence you may end up paying on the higher end due to being a popular tourist location.

Another charge to take note on is called a “servizio”, which is more or less in place of a tip and typically ranges from 10-20% and is often listed on the menu. This charge is also more common in places that see higher amounts of tourists such as the Amalfi Coast or Venice.

Lastly, some Italian restaurants may charge what is called “pane e coperto”, this charge is for the bread that is brought out to your table and is typically a euro or two. Some restaurants charge for bread and some do not, but don’t be surprised if you get charged for the bread they bring out, it’s best to just assume that you will be and plan for it.

  1. Italian Breakfast

When visiting Italy, don’t expect a normal American breakfast. Some hotel breakfasts will offer what they call “american styled breakfast”, which then you can expect eggs and items we would eat in the states. However, the customary Italian breakfast consists of a cappuccino and a brioche.

A note on coffee, if you want a coffee with your breakfast, order a caffe latte. If you just say latte, they are going to give you a warm glass of milk, and not the milky coffee beverage you were expecting.

  1. Churches Have Dress Codes

Italians care about clothing and appearance when in religious places, they view it as a sign of respect. For this reason, churches and religious sites require appropriate clothing in order to enter, this attire includes covered legs and shoulders. You will typically see people wearing long sleeves shirts and long pants for guys and blouses and skirts or long dresses for women. This is especially true for attractions such as the St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City or St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice

Cost to travel Italy

Dreaming of traveling to Italy but don’t know what the cost to travel to Italy will be? I will break down each group of cost and explain how I did Italy for two weeks for $2500. This trip I was not on a super tight budget, you could do Italy for a lot less and a lot more than I did. All of these prices are based on my two week itinerary and what it cost me to travel to these places.

Accommodations

Accommodations are an area in your travels that you can either spend very little or a lot for luxury. If where you sleep is not high on your priority list, hostels are your cheaper option and roughly cost €18-30 euro per night while a private hostels rooms can range between €50-100 euro a night for a room. If you’re like me and like to stay in hotels, a 2 week stay in Italy will cost you about $800 usd for a cheaper hotel room. I also like to book all of my accommodations through Booking.com, they make it very simple and give what they call “genius” discounts on certain accommodations to individuals who book through them often. Most importantly for me, all of my bookings are all in one place! This makes it very simple to keep everything in order.

Food

The average cost for a meal in Italy will vary between where you are in the country. The typical price for breakfast can be anywhere from €2-10 euro. A tip for breakfast is to try to book an accommodation with breakfast included or go to the local bakery and get a delicious pastry. Almost all of our accommodations had continental breakfast and if they did not I always opted for a quick bite and coffee at a local cafe.

Lunch will typically run you anywhere from €5-20 euro depending on what you are looking for. If you go for tasty street food you can keep that cost low at around 5-8 euro. Dinner will run you a little higher anywhere from €15-40 euro depending if you get a glass of wine. All of these prices will depend on what you order and the restaurant so make sure to shop around and look.  Your more popular places like Amalfi Coast, Venice and Milan will typically be priced higher. However, that does not mean you can’t find some really great street food or even a cheaper restaurant, you just have to shop around even at these locations. Of course the best option for saving money is buying your own food at a market or shop and cooking it yourself. Depending on what you get, it can cost as cheap as 4 euros per person.

Transportation

The easiest, cheapest, and most convenient way to travel between cities in Italy is by train. One of the most popular railways is known as RailEurope. RailEurope is personally our favorite to go through due to their timeliness and customer service. How to buy train tickets in Italy is very simple and can be done online or in person at the train station. Almost all places have a train station that can take you to your chosen destination and the cost to get between cities depends on the distance and the demand for that ticket. For example, a ticket from Rome to Venice starts at €45 and the most expensive i’ve seen is €160.

For getting around through the cities there are typically 3 options, by bus/subway, taxi or walking. A simple taxi ride will depend on how far you are trying to go, for example, to go from the Rome train station to a hotel by the roman forum you are looking at around €20-30 depending on traffic. Whereas if you take the bus/subway it is *insert cost of bus*. The cheapest option is always going to be walking or taking the subway. Almost all places in italy have some kind of public transportation whether that is a bus or a subway system. Either way both options are relatively cheap.

Activities

One of the most popular activities to do is a wine tour, this can cost €50-150 euro depending on the experience you want. Most museums and sightseeing entrance fees cost between €9-30 Euro. A gondola ride in Venice will cost €80 per gondola and Pompeii entrance fee is €11. Activities is one of the easiest ways to drive up the cost to travel Italy, but, there are a lot of activities to choose from, it’s best to know your budget and narrow down what is most important.

Budget

For a backpacker’s budget you can expect to pay €40-60 euro a day. For this suggested budget, this is if you stay in shared hostel rooms, eat street food or cook your meals, see a few paid attractions, and use local transportation to get around.

If you have a mid-range budget, you will need to prepare between €120-140 euro a day. This budget range will get private rooms or Airbnbs, being able to eat out more, see more paid attractions, and faster travel such as taxis or high speed trains.

Lastly if your budget allows you to have a luxury budget of €350+ euro a day. This allows you to stay in top rate hotels, eat at nice restaurants for every meal, do any activity you want, take private tours, and fly from city to city. Since Italy has so much to offer, the sky is really the limit when it comes to how much you could spend. The more places you visit and the more activities and fancy dinners you attend will drive up the cost.

The cost to travel Italy is ultimately up to how you budget your expenses. There are a lot of ways to save money in each aspect of your trip, from doing the tons of free attractions to staying in hostels. If you have any question, let me know down in the comments.

9 Amazing Things To do In Venice

Venice is a city in the North-Eastern region of Italy, also known as the city of water, which consists of hundreds of small islands joined together by over 400 bridges to create one large city. Venice is a traveler’s dream with the colorful streets, the beautiful architecture, and the many things to do, see, and experience are only a few reasons to love Venice.

1.Take a Gondola Ride Through the Canals

Yes its touristy, but there is really nothing like taking a gondola ride through the beautiful canals of Venice. To be able to see the city from the water is an experience like none other.

Gondola trips start at €80 for 30 minutes. If you want to add an additional 20-minutes that will cost €40. After 7 pm, the rate jumps to €100 for 30 minutes, with an additional 20 minutes costing €50. If you want to bring this cost down, you can share the gondola ride with up to six people and split the cost.

2.St. Mark’s Square

St. Mark’s Square is in the heart of Venice, it connects you to many shops and restaurants as well as it is a hub for several historical places, such as St. Mark’s Basilica. and Doge’s palace.

A good way to enjoy St. Mark’s Square is to visit early in the day. Visiting early allows you to beat the main crowds, so you might have to sacrifice some sleep and arrive before or right after sunrise. The best is to head to the water’s edge, to take photos of the empty blue gondolas floating in the water with the island of San Giorgio Maggiore in the background. Once finished taking pictures of all the beautiful architecture, be sure to walk around and explore the shops around the square.

3. St. Mark’s Basilica

As the most famous cathedral in Venice, St. Mark’s Basilica is definitely worth visiting. Located in St. Mark’s Square, visiting the cathedral on your own is free, however, keep in mind there are often long lines.

The church is a mix of influences, having been built in the 11th century before being embellished over and over again through the course of centuries. Today it’s known for its breathtaking gold-leaf mosaics and beautiful domed ceilings. Be sure to visit the basilica’s museum and the outdoor terrace as it has great views of the public square.

4. San Marco Campanile

St. Mark’s Campanile is easy to recognize as it is a massive 323 ft bell tower that looms over its surroundings. Galileo used the bell tower as a location to study the skies and in 1609 he demonstrated his telescope to the Lords of the city.

Once inside the bell tower, there is an elevator that takes you to the top providing you with unforgettable views of the Venitian Lagoon and Santa Maria Della Salute as well as all the other magical parts of Venice

The elevator ride to the top costs €8 EURO, or €13 EURO to skip the line (buy tickets here). 

5. Doge’s Palace

Doge’s Palace holds an extensive collection from items pertaining to Venice’s government leaders and felons, stunning Renaissance art, and Venetian Gothic architecture. Located next to St. Mark’s Basilica, the Palace was was home to Venice’s doges and was the center point for the city government from mid-14th century through the end of the 18th century. The Great Council Hall houses one of the world’s largest canvas oil paintings, Tintoretto’s Paradiso.

There are many amazing pieces within the walls of the Doge’s palace, my personal favorite was admiring the amazing ceiling paintings and wall murals by Renaissance masters. The city’s jail, known as Palazzo Delle Prignioni is connected by the Bridge of Sighs, visitors can cross the bridge into the prison and visit the inmates’ cells that provide a unique experience. Doge’s Palace is full of history, art, and architecture and is one of my favorite memories of our trip to Venice.

This museum is extremely popular so if you plan to visit be sure to book in advance to avoid the massive lines in the heat. Booking directly through the museums’ website is the best way to ensure a good price, many tour operators charge can be overpriced.

If your like us and want to visit more than one museum while you’re in Venice then the Museum Pass is for you! For the price of £30, the pass allows you access to some of the most popular museums in Venice.

6. Visit The Island of Murano

Murano Island is famous for its glass-blowing tradition and is a popular day trip from Venice. You can wander along and visit the different glass factories and watch the artists at work. Some factories have paid demonstrations, while others will allow you to go in and watch the artists working in the hope that you will then purchase an item from their shop.

Outside of the glass factories, you can wander the canal to looking at the shops or enjoy a delicious lunch. One of the best things to do in Murano is to go to the central square known as Campo Santo Stefano, and you can’t miss it as its one of the largest squares on the island. Another thing you do not was to miss is the Basilica di Santa Maria e San Donato, one of the oldest churches in Venice and renowned for its beautiful mosaic floor tiles. Legend is that the bones behind the altar belong to a dragon slain by Saint Donatus.

To reach the island it is best to take a Vaporetto to the Fondamente Nove stop and transfer to line 12. The area where you board is just beyond the Donà Bridge. If you stay on the boat, it will take you to Burano. You can easily see both Murano and Burano in a single day. 

7. Ponte Di Rialto Bridge

The Rialto bridge is another of Venice’s iconic landmarks. Walk it, admire it from a restaurant along the canal or take a Vaporetto water bus to get a glimpse from the water, there many ways to experience the bridge.

Shops line the bridge, their original intent was to help fund the building of the bridge however now, it is to serve the long line of tourists who want souvenirs from Venice. The best way to shop is to get their right when the open to better avoid the large crowds.

8. Libreria Acqua Alta

One of the most unique places in Venice to explore is the Libreria dell’acqua Alta (the High water bookshop). The bookshop is located off Campo Santa Maria Formosa, in Venice city center, and is a treasure for anyone interested in quirky spaces and shops.

The bookshop is known for its unique way of housing its collection of books, they are kept in various things such as bathtubs or even Venetian gondolas. The shop designs its set up this way to takes into account the fact that it opens up onto a canal and therefore gets easily flooded with the high tide.

9. Get lost in Venice

The best thing to do in Venice in my opinion is to just walk and get lost within the city. It really is the best way to see and explore the real Venice. Don’t be afraid to get lost, you will find your way back to a landmark and around each corner in Venice is something new to see and explore. 

Go exploring, cross bridges to the different islands within the city, stop in small shops, admire the balconies with beautiful decorations, step into a church and bask at all the history and art within its walls. Enjoy Venice’s famous Aperol Spritz along the canal or try all the amazing restaurants it has to offer.

How to Buy Train Tickets in Italy

Buying train tickets may seem like a hard process, I know when I first tried to do it in Rome I was freaking out. People were waiting and my machine kept reading error, and as my panic grew the line behind me grew. So to save you from this embarrassment, I’ll walk you through how to buy train tickets in Italy. There are 2 main ways to purchase tickets, but 4 companies to purchase from.

How to purchase Intercity train tickets in advance

Purchasing trains to travel around Italy can be pretty easy if you schedule in advance. For me I know it is a weight off my shoulders when I book my train tickets ahead of time, it is just one less thing I have to worry about. I have however missed a scheduled train because I didn’t realize how far It would take to get from my hotel to the train station, so plan on time and travel to the train station. In my experience It is cheaper if you buy the train tickets in Italy ahead of time, it will help to keep the cost to travel Italy down. For example, when I purchased my train ticket from Florence to Naples, it was 40 euro, when I had to purchase the day of, it was 85 euro. Below are 4 companies you can purchase from.

4 ways to purchase train tickets in advance

Raileurope: is my personal favorite since they service a lot of countries. They even have train passes that you can choose, if you want to know more about the passes.  Here are the steps to ordering tickets.

Step 1: When you go on Raileuropes website, it will take you to the homepage where you can put your destinations, date and time.

train ticket

Step 2: Click search and it will take you to a page with options of trains you can take(below is a screenshot.) Once you pick your train, you have to choose Economy, comfort, or premier. 

Step 3: Once you pick your preferred seating, it will ask you more questions such as if you want the option for it to be refundable or not for an extra cost(pictured in 2nd image below.)

how to buy train tickets

Step 5: Once you have selected your fare it will take you to a screen and ask you for who the train ticket is for

Step 6:  After that it is a typical checkout process. 

train tickets in italy

ItaliaRail: Is in english and allows you to compare fast and slow trains. If you’re worried about booking in advance, you can also purchase flexible tickets for a little more money. The flexible tickets are easy to change in case something changes in your itinerary.

One tip is if you are booking an Italy train ticket for more than just yourself, you can book for up to 20 people on this system, whereas on TrenItalia you can only purchase 5. ItaliaRail can be cheaper and the better option for a group.

Step 1: On the homepage, it will prompt you to select your location and desired destination, date and time. Make sure you click on a round trip or one way depending on your needs.

Step 2: The next page will show you the cost, time the journey takes and any transfers needed for that trip.

how yo buy train tickets in italy

Step 3: This step is as any other purchase or checkout, you will have to give your passenger information and payment.

Trenitalia: has the most options as it is the largest company. On the main page, you can change the language to English by clicking on the Italian flag in the upper right and selecting ENG instead.

Step 1: On the homepage, it will prompt you to select your location and desired destination, date and time. Make sure you click on a round trip or one way depending on your needs. You can also choose which train you are interested in, the boxes on the top if the form asks you if you want all trains, frecce(high-speed) or regional.

italy train ticket

Step 2: The next page will show you the cost, time the journey takes and any transfers needed for that trip.

train ticket in italy

Step 3: This step is as any other purchase or checkout, you will have to give your passenger information and payment.

Note: Trenitalia offers both regional and high-speed trains so make sure you are checking the travel time when you choose your train.

Italo Treno: How to buy train tickets in Italy for Italo is very simple. Italo only offers high-speed trains and only services to select Italian cities. They travel between cities such as Milan, Florence, Naples, Venice, and Rome. One tip is that you should sign up for Italo newsletter because they sometimes will offer coupon codes for discounted tickets. 

Step 1: Their system is very similar to others, to use just select your departure city and arrival from the menu, pick your travel dates and select a time range(I like to travel in the morning if I can). You can also enter a promo code at this section if you have one.

buying a train ticket

 Step 2: On the next page, you’ll see your departure options by time and price. One you decide which one you want, it will prompt you to choose what kind of seating you would like(ex: economy or comfort) If you choose a round-trip option, the return tickets will be on the next screen after you select your departing train.

Both departing and return ticket screen will look like below:

how to buy a train ticket

Step 3:The next step is to enter the passenger information and the payment details on the final screen. 

Step 4: Make sure you know the confirmation code, this is how you will be able to get to your reservation and what the train inspector will need for you to enter Italo train.

Purchasing intercity trains at the station

If you prefer to purchase your train tickets at the train station, or like to pay in cash. You have the option to purchase your train tickets in person at the station. Most train stations stations will have ticket counters or machines for you to purchase from.

If you are purchasing from a counter, you can simply tell the attendant where you are going and what departure time you are looking for. All this information will be displayed either on a screen or the attendant will be able to help you.

On the train: 

Some smaller Italian train stations do not have ticket counters or ticket machines. Due to this, I advise that you purchase a return ticket when you buy your departing ticket. If you forget to purchase your return ticket or if you are stuck, you can purchase a ticket on the train. It is important to make sure you find the ticket inspector and stop them and let them know you need to purchase a train ticket. Since you are buying the ticket on the train, you will have to pay a €5 charge on top of the initial fare. If you decide to risk not purchasing a ticket (because not all trains have inspectors), and the inspector finds you, then it is a minimum of a €50 fine. 

Validating your train ticket: 

Ticket validator at Nice train station
Machine that validates train tickets

In Italy, there is no check in process so there is no need to arrive really early for your train. The only time you have to plan extra time is when you have luggage, and in that case just plan and extra 10 minutes to ensure you have time to board and find space for your luggage. This only applies when you are riding a train that does not have assigned seating, most regional trains do not have seating arrangements. Being early to pick a seat is important but because there are so many trains, don’t expect for the train to arrive more than 10-15 minutes prior to departure and that is if you’re lucky. Sometimes they are right on time or even late. For high speed trains or ones that have designated seats, it will have a cart and seat number on your ticket.

In Italy, regional trains are more flexible, but make sure you validate your ticket at the machine at the train station before boarding. If you forget to validate your ticket, the inspector will see it as having no ticket at all and most of the time they do not care as to why it is not validated. However, If you purchase your ticket online in advance, you will have to select a time. Since you choose a time, your ticket is valid within that time window meaning you do not need to get your ticket validated at the train station.

Just like anything else it is important to know how to buy train tickets in Italy beforehand, it can be confusing and can cause you to spend more in the end. It never hurts to be prepared before departing to another country. If you have any questions or anything to add, comment down below.