Italy Travel TipsAsk a local. Want to know the best place to eat or any local must-sees (a food producer or local museum)? Ask a shop keeper, taxi driver or just someone walking down the street where you should go. The result might direct you to a hidden treasure. Hotel concierges don't quite fall in this category as they usually receive a commission for recommendations.
Be prepared with GPS. If you're driving in Italy, you need to either use the GPS function on your smartphone or rent a GPS device from your car rental agency. There's just no question that it comes in handy,
Leave enough time to get there. I've heard it more than once -- travelers missing a tour or a much-anticipated visit to a site because they arrived there too late.
This is especially true when you are traveling between vineyards for wine tasting as some of traveling country roads takes longer than you imagine.
Explore local products. Before you head to Italy, research the food and crafts made in the cities and regions where you are going.
Whether it is ceramics in Deruta or licorice in Calabria, these hand-crafted delights can teach you much about the history and culture of the area you are visiting.
Add in some live music. There is beautiful music being made all over the country and to come to Italy without hearing some might considered a crime. Take in an opera or a classical music performance -- sure, it is great to see one in a big, famous venue, but even a local performance (and the passion of the Italians performing) will knock your socks off…
Build in quiet time. It is so tempting to feel like you need to go, go, go when you're visiting Italy, but take a page from the Italians and learn the art of dolce far niente which is means “sweet doing nothing”.
Visit one of Italy's beautiful parks (Villa Borghese is a must in Rome) or buy some picnic supplies and find a spot of grass on a Tuscan hillside where you can sit on the grass and take in a stunning vista. Being in Italy is just as much about stopping and taking a deep breath (literally and figuratively) as it is checking off the next must-see off the list.