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How to Plan Your First Visit to Italy

How to Plan Your First Visit to Italy

My country is beautiful! The first time in Italy has to be an exhilarating experience. You’ll see why Italy is the fifth-most visited country in the world. You should see it all as I did and this is going to be the first post. Hope you are going to enjoy it and it will be good as the first step to start planning your first trip to Italy.
Italy Luxury travel designer | Haute Retreats
I traveled, lived and worked all over Italy. Each corner of Italy is unique and I am happy to share some tips for starters. The important thing is that you’re going!!
You have for sure watched a video, one movie, and a TV show about Italy; many of you even read a book and dreamt about this country. There is so much to see, to do, and to absorb on every trip.
I am sure you have a list of places and a bucket list of things to do and ideas. 
First of all, you need to know how many days you are going to stay in Italy (side effect: you won’t leave :)).
As when to go, avoid August (at least for your first time) at all costs unless you book in advance a beautiful retreat in Tuscany in a remote area or if you don’t mind the chaos of the August vacationers, you choose a beach or by the lake vacation. August 15th is the national Holiday Ferragosto. Everyone takes a vacation in the surrounding weeks, prices at holiday places shoot up, and the cities become a wasteland of “CHIUSO” (closed) signs. 
Winter can get foggy or dark unless you like to spend your first trip in a cottage or chalet in Trentino Alto Adige, Valle d’Aosta or Veneto. 
It is also OK if you don’t mind the moody fun of foggy days, especially in Venice, but from my point of view, Italy is lovely in April, May, June, September, and October when exploring cities. May, June, July, September if you are dreaming about a trip along the coast and you like to explore the beautiful beaches of Tuscany, Amalfi Coast, Puglia, Sicily, Sardinia, Cinque Terre, Emilia Romagna, Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia.  
Tuscany and Umbria, for example, offer unique food Festivals and Events during the month of October worth exploring. 
Fly into Venice, rent a car or arrange a private shuttle service (so you can enjoy the scenery at least the first couple of days without worrying about the driving), the rental car or the shuttle service will be good when you leave Venice. From the airport, you will have a shuttle taking you to the meeting point where you are going to take the boat to the place you will stay for the first part of your trip. 
Italy Luxury Travel Designer | Sabrina Luxury Collection
 
If you like to stay in an apartment there is a great choice of beautiful places where you can have grocery shopping delivered or located near typical osterias and restaurants or you can stay in a hotel with a spectacular Piazza San Marco view. Accommodation, in general, include transportation arrangement to the nearest meeting point for your car rental or private shuttle service. 
Staying two days in Venice, you shouldn’t miss a glass-blowing demo in Murano. Get lost wandering the tiny warren of streets, and eat lots of seafood and Cicchetti (small plates). I can even meet you in Venice, if I am not traveling at the time of your visit to Italy and we can have a coffee in Piazza San Marco. :)
 
Italy Luxury Travel Designer | Sabrina Luxury Collection
From Venice to Florence, a great stop in Bologna, a microcosm of what makes Italian cities great. Food in this region is incredible!!!
You don’t really need to stay a couple of days in Bologna a good lunch and couple of hours tour is enough unless you are tired and you want to take a longer break.
When in Florence I believe you should stay at least a week. A luxury 1800 century villa could be a great way to experience Tuscany like a local, especially if the villa provides full service like the one I inspected different villas in Tuscany, however if you are traveling with your family and would like to stay in Florence you should stay at this luxury apartment at Terrazza Buontalenti (click here).
 

 
Immerse yourself in Tuscany. Tuscany is a series of sweet and picturesque little hamlets. . None can really lay claim to greatness over another, much as the Tuscans always to say that their town is the best of the best. 
Explore San Gimignano and Lucca. Take a day and visit Forte dei Marmi. Indulge and take a wine tour in the Montalcino area. 
In Tuscany, for sure, rent a car it is nice to drive around and doesn’t worry…in Tuscany, you’ll always feel a bit lost from its beauty.
Leaving Tuscany to stay a couple of days in Rome, I lived in Rome two years, avoid to stay near Stazione Termini, you should consider a quiet neighborhood like the Vatican area. There are plenty of restaurants that are open in the evening. 
Piazza Navona and Trastevere are also my fav parts of Rome. From Piazza Navona you can walk anywhere. Please keep in mind that metro service in Rome is not essential…better choose a good location. A good location as I mentioned is Piazza Navona is near everything. Before settling in our apt near Piazza Flaminio, my husband and I  used to stay at Hotel Gregoriana near the Spanish steps, magical location. 
 

From Rome you head to the Amalfi Coast for a 3-4 days stay. Get a cooking class.

You can go to Pompei, as well as Positano, Amalfi, and Ravello, but you should avoid Sorrento because there’s really nothing good there except a train station to get in and out.  Life gets easy when it turns into an endless procession of risotto pescatora or spaghetti with fresh clams and the freshest vegetables you’ve ever had.

 

And then you go home. Depending on how you do it, this is 10-13 days.  I’ve left out Umbria, the Marche, Puglia, Calabria and the other regions. Stay tuned, because I will be covering all these places very soon. But don’t expect to get enough: Italy will always leave you wanting to come back for more!!!!!!

I am always happy to hear from you!! please leave a comment below or send me an email at sabrina@sabrinaluxurycollection.com

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