Italy is a big country filled with tons to see and do! Whether you're planning a quick city escape to Rome or embarking on a journey from Florence to Amalfi, read up on how to get around during your trip.
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Italy's train system is easy to figure out, efficient, clean, and - oh yeah - the least expensive in Europe! Take a basic local train for short trips, or hop aboard a high-speed train, called the Frecciarossa, for longer inter-city trips! Most trains in Italy are operated by Trenitalia, a company which offers a comprehensive website with clear schedules. Easily purchase your ticket from an electronic machine or from a friendly ticket teller, then be sure to validate your ticket, using one of the small green or yellow machines throughout the station. Sit back, relax, and enjoy amazing views in-between destinations!
Having your own car is the best way to see the more remote parts of Italy and its stunning countryside, but keep in mind that rental and gas prices can be more expensive than trains or buses. Italy's stunning landscapes come with mountainous terrain and hilly, winding roads, so be sure to drive with caution! There's nothing quite like driving through the hills of Tuscany or cruising along the Amalfi Coast with the windows down.
While Italy's trains go most places, they don't go everywhere. Hop on a regional bus (autobus) and see all of those out-of-the-way towns and national parks you've dreamed about! Many bus terminals or "autostazione" are conveniently located right next to train stations, so don't worry about transferring from train to bus, or vice-versa. Purchase tickets at the bus terminal immediately before you travel for most local trips. If you're taking a long bus trip, check online - you may be able to purchase tickets in advance.
Using the bus just to putz around the city? City buses are usually a cheap way to sightsee, usually costing only about 1 euro! Tickets for city buses are usually available at newsstands and tobacco shops, so look for the "biglietti" sign, meaning "tickets."
Boat or Water Taxi
Whether you're navigating the countless canals of Venice or hopping the towns of the Cinque Terre, see spectacular views from a completely unique perspective - a boat! Glide across the waters in Venice, Lake Como, Capri, Cinque Terre, and more. While most boat tickets are fairly inexpensive, the views are absolutely priceless.
Yes, taxis are available in Italian cities, but they're nothing like yellow New York City cabs. In Italy, "hailing a cab" does not exist. If you're looking to travel by taxi, you need to either go to a designated taxi stand, or call a car in advance. In addition, they're much more expensive than the bus, so choose your travels wisely! Normally, travelers like to leave the taxi rides for airport trips, only.
Bike... or Vespa!
What better way to see Italy than gliding around on a bike?! It's quick, it's scenic, and you sure get your exercise in - which allows for more pizza and pasta, right? Biking through villages or cities is beautiful, but be on the lookout and be careful of crowds. Make sure your bike has a bell!
Another open-air option: immerse yourself in the magic of Italy and splurge on renting a Vespa! In this country, everybody rides these iconic scooters - from kids to "nonnas." Keep in mind that you will need some training before riding and Vespas aren't built for long hours of travel. But, they're perfect for zipping around the city for an afternoon! Buckle your helmet and feel the warm breeze in your hair!