Rome is one of those cities that once you’ve had the fortune of visiting, you’ll never be able to forget it. From the exquisite restaurants and cafes to the historical architecture and world-famous sites, all the way to the soul-touching feeling of contentment you have when you walk along the stunning cobblestone streets, Rome and Italy, in general, is a worthy-to-visit kind of place. However, if you’re keen on getting away from the masses of tourists, it will take a bit of planning. Let’s dive in.

Arrival and Departure

The first step when traveling is to come up with a preliminary plan. However, you can, of course, change at any time if you fall in love with a particular city or town. So, make sure you choose the dates first and then arrange flights to and from. The two biggest airports are Leonardo da Vinci–Rome Fiumicino Airport and Milan Malpensa Airport. The names of the cities give you a clear indication of the cities where you’ll be landing. While there are other smaller airports, the flights to the bigger ones are less expensive, meaning you’ll have more money left over for pizza—and that’s always a good idea.

Leonardo da Vinci–Rome Fiumicino Airport
Leonardo da Vinci–Rome Fiumicino Airport

If you travel between May and the beginning of September, Italy will be abuzz with tourists, as the summer months are in high demand to visit. The result is higher accommodation costs and longer waiting times. If you’ve chosen to land in Rome and want to spend a few days sightseeing in the capital city of Italy, it’s well worth getting tickets for the sights in advance. For example, if you’re keen on visiting The Vatican in Rome.

The added benefit of booking and paying for tickets in advance is that you can skip the queue and avoid meter-long lines standing in the sweltering heat. The same applies to The Sistine Chapel and The Colosseum since these venues are packed to the brim, and visitors can sometimes only enter once other guests have left, kind of like a one-in-one-out policy. So, ensure you book tickets in advance for any sights you’ve got your eye on and are dying to see.

Getting Around in Rome

In the Aeneid, an epic by Virgil, Rome is warmly referred to by the poet as “Imeprium sine fine,” which translates in English to “an empire without an end”. This prideful attitude toward the city comes from the citizens feeling that the city would last forever even if empires rose and fell. This really does ring true when one first steps foot in Rome – one truly feels that everything is possible and that life, lived in the Italian way, could last forever. Tourists and visitors to the city will want to capture this feeling and take it home and the best way to get the most out of Rome is to see as much as you can.

No car needed in the Eternal City, a scooter if you so choose. But, the ideal way to get around and not miss anything because you have to drive, is the Hop-On Hop-Off Big Bus Tour. Not only is the service friendly and inviting, but it’s honestly the perfect way to travel in Rome. It’s because visitors can get on and off at any stop they choose (hence the name) and then walk around, take pictures, bask in the environment, and grab a slice of pizza before getting on to the very next bus and continuing the journey. A cost-effective way to travel and meet locals and other tourists alike.

Lake Como

This idyllic 29-mile-long body of water that resembles a fjord more than a lake is breathtaking. And since it’s inhabited mainly by locals and those lucky enough to have a second home there, it probably won’t make it into many guidebooks. One and a half hours’ drive from Milan, Lake Como is simply magnificent as it features one of the most dramatic settings in the world.

Lake Como Visit Italy
Lake Como

Picture a lake that sits in a “Y” shape with thickly wooded mountainsides in the surroundings. To the north lie the Alps, which are snow-dusted for much of the year, while along the lakeshore are palm trees next to exquisite villas. It’s the dichotomy of mountains and lakes that ensures a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

It may be a tad pricey, but well worth it. Many hosts and hotels on Lake Como offer boat rides in this Italian gem, which visitors should take full advantage of. Sailing across the water is special as you can almost hear Mother Nature talking to you and keeping you grounded. It’s like the world stands still just for you and shows you how beautiful life can be, and living it to the fullest can be.

No matter which part of Italy you visit, whether it’s Rome, Milan, Naples, The Amalfi Coast, Florence, or Venice, there’s no shortage of natural beauty mixed with incredible architecture, just like there’s no shortage of pizza and pasta. While it may be a stereotype that Italy is famous for its savory dishes and sweet treats, like gelato, it’s a stereotype that happens to be absolutely true. Visit Italy and see (or rather taste) for yourself.