Why travel to Italy
Everyone should take a trip to Italy at least once in their lifetimes. Some of the best places in Europe can be found here. Venice is a unique city built across 116 islands with over 150 canals, winding alleys and cobbled streets. Rome is home to Italy’s ‘Eternal City’ that includes the Vatican, the Sistine Chapel and St Peter’s Basilica. It also boasts ancient Roman ruins, elegant boutiques and stunning restaurants.
Then there’s Italy’s cultural gem, Florence, with its Renaissance buildings and incomparable art masterpieces created by Michelangelo, Raphael and other masters. In the south, there are the islands of Sicily and Capri as well as extraordinary scenery to see on the coastline, at Cinque Terre. And that’s just a taste of what’s in store for you on holiday in Italy.
Why travel to Italy
- Italy is home to some of the world’s most iconic art and architecture.
- You can drink homegrown Chianti and Pinot Grigio wines.
- Take a trip to Italy to explore the Vatican in Rome and see its art, history and architecture.
- Its scenery and natural attractions are breathtakingly beautiful.
- The food is a gourmet’s delight.
- You can spend time in Venice, the magnificent City of Canals.
- Italian fashion and style are both iconic.
- Explore some of its islands, including Capri and Sicily.
- See incredible Roman architecture, including the Colosseum and the Roman Forum.
Glorious beaches, magnificent art treasures, high fashion, unmatched leatherware, incredible landscapes and delicious food are just some of the attractions waiting for you on a visit to Italy. Whether you’re travelling on an all-inclusive trip with friends, going solo, taking a family holiday or going on a honeymoon, take a look at our travel packages and book today.
Things to do in Italy
Romance abounds in Italy – and not just for honeymoon couples. This charming country is popular with every type of traveller because it’s such an enchanting place to visit. Here, there’s plenty of history, famous cuisine (and pizza is just the start of an Italian food journey), great shopping and sightseeing in so many different destinations.
The reasons to visit Italy are endless. In summer, beaches and islands beckon to be discovered. In winter there are ski resorts to enjoy, and year-round there is more art and architecture to take in than you’ll manage in one trip. A holiday in Italy is a bucket-list experience. Here you come to enjoy the good life – ‘la dolce vita’ – and you return because it’s so delightful you need to experience it time and again.
Things to do in Italy
- Ride a gondola in Venice.
- Visit the Vatican Museum and St Peter’s Basilica on a walking tour.
- Go horse riding in Tuscany.
- Explore enchanting Cinque Terre, a UNESCO-listed site and a rocky coastline with caves, beaches and breath-taking beauty.
- See Michelangelo’s David and his masterpieces in the Sistine Chapel.
- Climb Mount Vesuvius.
- Go sailing on Lake Como.
- Visit the unmatched Uffizi Gallery to see art masterpieces in Florence.
- Marvel at the Colosseum in Rome.
- Take a boat trip to the Blue Grotto.
- Travel to the centre of the earth in the Frasassi Caves.
- Go wine tasting in Chianti.
There are so many wonderful things to see and do on a trip to Italy, it’s difficult to know where to start. So, make your own list, and let Thompsons Holidays create the perfect tailor-made package holiday to Italy for you. Whether you’re planning to come on a romantic break, are bringing the family, travelling with friends or going solo.
Know before you go...
- Italy is a popular year-round destination with long hot summers and cool winters.
- The best time to visit Italy is in Spring (April and May) and autumn (September and October).
- High season (summer) is June to August; winter is November to March.
- There are regular direct flights between South Africa and Rome. The flight duration from Johannesburg to Rome is 10 hours, 15 minutes.
- From Rome, you can reach other cities in Italy by train, plane or by car.
- South African passport holders require a Schengen visa to enter Italy.
- Passports should be valid for at least 3 months after travel and have blank pages.
- Italy is on Central European time, 1 hour behind South Africa during the winter (November to March) and the same time as South Africa in the summer months (last Sunday in March to last Saturday in October).
- The official currency is the Euro (€ or EUR).
- Credit cards are widely accepted and ATMs are prevalent.
- Tipping is an accepted custom.
- Food is relatively inexpensive in Italy compared to other European countries.
- Italian is the official language.
- English is widely spoken.
- Roman Catholicism is the main religion in Italy, practiced by 81.7% of the population.
- It is relatively safe to drink tap water in Italy. Bottled water is readily available.
- Vaccinations are not currently required but do check with your travel clinic before you go.
- Many public restrooms will charge a small fee to use them, so keep change on hand for this.
What must I pack?
- Depending on when and where you visit, lightweight clothing for summer, warm clothing for winter, rain gear, ski wear and beachwear if relevant. Choose items that can be layered.
- Dress modestly when visiting religious attractions.
- Comfortable walking shoes.
- Sunscreen, lip balm, hat and sunglasses for summer holidays.
- Mini first aid kit and regular prescription medication.
- Hand sanitiser and insect repellent.
- Travel adaptor. The Europlug is a flat, two-pole, round-pin domestic AC power plug, rated for voltages up to 250 V and currents up to 2.5 A.
What can I do to be a responsible traveller?
- Wherever possible, buy local food and souvenirs and support local artisans.
- Respect each other's cultures and customs.
- Always have a map (or app) on hand, especially when travelling at night.
- Be safety conscious: don’t display cash or valuables. Leave jewellery and expensive watches at home.
- Keep your belongings safe – use the hotel safe for passports and valuables and watch out for pickpockets and bag snatchers when out and about.
What do I do in an emergency?
- If passports or valuables are stolen, report the theft to the hotel/police immediately.
- Contact the Thompsons Holidays 24-hour care line to assist.
Venice, Italy - Sightseeing [454 KB]
Rome, Italy - Sightseeing [401 KB]
Florence, Italy - Sightseeing [1.1 MB]
Out of season
We’re sorry! The holiday you’re looking for is not in season. Luckily, we have loads of other exciting options. Take a look!