A summer vacation in the Bel Paese could either be heaven or hell. Tourists crowd seem to invade every town you dream to visit. Restaurants serve you expensive yet frozen dishes. The hotels you spent hours researching prior to the trip turn out to be nothing like the pictures or reviews. Not even close. Too much online information could be a curse in this case, especially given the popularity of travel in Italy.
The struggle is real. Andrea Degasperi, Luxo’s luxury travel consultant, shares the most common 5 mistakes that travelers make when planning a summer trip to Italy.
1. Avoid Florence and Rome (unless you are a first-timer)
You want to immerse in Florence’s artistic streets and Rome’s antique beauty. Not the tourist crowd. Over the summer, tourists from all over the world really make Florence and Rome become unbearably cramped. During summer temperatures in Rome can reach 40 celsius degrees making a walk along the ancient stones something very unpleasant. Only if you haven’t been there yet and this is your once-in-a-life time chance in Italy, it is not worth it to let the crowd ruin these two cities for you.
2. Avoid “Ferragosto,” the week of August 15 in all Italy
During the week of August 15, Italy celebrates their annual summer vacation week and takes it seriously. It is sometimes even worse than Christmas period. Even in Milan, Italy’s business capital and most hardworking city, all stores are closed and the city will be empty. Do pick another week to come, or Italy will give you the impression of a ghost town.
3. Avoid crowd-enraging events in Venice and Siena
Italian people fully respect their traditions, and that’s lovely. But during certain folk festivals or local competitions, it is a nightmare for travelers. For example, during Festa del Redentore (every third Sunday of July), Venice gets extremely crowded by visitors and you can barely walk in the tiny Venetian alleys. In Siena, during the famous Palio horse race (every year on July 2 and August 16), the otherwise peaceful town gets very tense. Locals supporting different teams fight, yell, and become very aggressive against each other. You might want to visit Siena in another time.
4. Avoid common tourist traps in Lake Garda
There is a saying in Lake Garda area, “every summer Garda becomes a colony.” By whom? Mainly big groups of tourists from northern countries such as Germany, Austria, and Holland. However, there are very nice places hidden from the usual crowd. Andrea pointed out, “the only resort we partner in Garda is unknown to most tourists, and it is the very few places you can find peace in Garda during summer.”
5. Avoid taking regional trains. Buy the premium trains.
Save your time and frustration from booking regional trains in Italy during summer. Trenitalia, Italy’s main train provider has several train categories of different prices. The regional trains are cheaper but rarely on time, especially during the summer. It is much better to book Le Frecce, the high-speed trains to save yourself from hours of waiting and ruined schedules