Destination guide

Travel guide: Italy

Whether you’re wondering what to pack, what foods to try, or anything else, our Italy travel guide has you covered. 

The basics

  • Weather: Fall 50-72° F | Winter 37-56° F | Spring 45-67° F | Summer 61-87° F
  • Language: Italian
  • Currency: € Euro
  • Cash or card: Cash
  • Exchange Rate: $1 = €.85
  • What that really means: $20 = €17.05 Euro
  • What €1 will buy you: An espresso
  • € to bring per day: €25



  • Spring/summer packing list: Sunscreen, hat, comfortable walking shoes, sunglasses, breathable clothing, something to cover shoulders/knees
  • We wished we packed: A quick-dry towel—dryers don’t really exist in Italy. A water bottle—the water they sell near the Colosseum is a robbery, and almost all of the water fountains in Italy have safe drinking water (Trevi not included)!
  • We wished we left behind: Uncomfortable shoes. You may want to fit in with all the fashionable Europeans, but it turns out walking on cobblestones is HARD.
  • Fall/winter packing list: Comfortable/warm shoes, a jacket, layers, hat, scarf
  • We wished we packed: Water resistant shoes, thicker socks
  • We wished we left behind: A heavy jacket—it’s really not that cold


italy travel blog gelato

Ian Espinosa/ via Unsplash

The food

  • Average cost of lunch: €15–€20
  • Tipping: There’s really no need. Feel free to round up or leave a euro or two.
  • Atmosphere: Food is life. You are encouraged, if not expected, to take your time while eating.
  • The best place to have lunch: Any restaurant in any piazza in any city. Definitely worth the higher prices!
  • You HAVE to try: Gelato, pasta, pizza, cannoli, cappuccino. I could go on.
  • Advice: You’ll have to ask for the bill. Cappuccinos are usually just for the morning. Meatballs don’t exist. Don’t ask for extra cheese. Pizzas do not come by the slice.
italy travel blog italian cafe

Bertrand Borie/ via Unsplash


Everything else

  • Total spend on souvenirs: €30–€50
  • Coolest thing you bought: Lava jewelry from Pompeii, a bag from the leather market, super cool pants from a local boutique, and pasta (obviously)
  • Free time: Go shopping! There’s tons of markets depending on the city, and Italy always has the newest trends first.
  • Best cheap/free thing to do: Grab a cup of coffee and people-watch—your feet could definitely use the rest
  • Tips/advice: Aggressive Italian drivers are not a myth—be careful
  • Best part: That first bite of gelato after a super hot day

Julia Karam

Julia traveled with EF in 2015 and started in a content marketing co-op at EF Tours while in college. She has since studied abroad in Florence, Italy, traveled to 10+ countries, and now works as a Tour Consultant with EF Tours.

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