Frequently Asked Questions

What distinguishes Nancy Aiello Tours from other Tour Operators?

The main thing that differentiates Nancy Aiello Tours is that unlike traditional tour operators, we’re not a cookie-cutter travel company. Since 2009, over 9000 travelers took advantage of the freedom and flexibility to personalize their own trip with us. This means that will custom design your Italy dream trip exactly how you have always envisioned it.

Another crucial and important difference that sets us apart from classic travel agencies is that we are headquartered in Italy and our recommendations come from personal experiences. Our in-country presence ensures that we're always in the know, we constantly road-test our offerings firsthand and don't rely on secondary sources. Each of our partner properties and service suppliers is the one we have inspected personally. When you retain Nancy Aiello Tours to help plan your Italy travel, our specialists share their insider knowledge of the places they live in and visit and based on your unique preferences put it all together for you in one cohesive travel plan.

With our firsthand destination knowledge and unique single country focus we provide an unparalleled level of expertise and service. We live, breathe, and sleep Italy and want our clients to experience the people and places that we personally know and love. Our team will make the real Italy accessible, sharing the latest in luxury hotels and insider experiences whilst focusing on the details like route planning for the most efficient use of your time and the little things that only someone who lives in Italy would know.

When you work with us, our in-depth expertise is at your fingertips, you are always assisted by a seasoned professional to help you with all the little details that make a trip go smoothly. Unlike online travel sites or travel agents who may have visited Italy a few times, we match an experienced local person to every client; we call them Travel Advisors. Your personal Advisor will design your custom Italy trip working with you from beginning to end.

It is also important to underline that unlike most travel agencies we only take a limited number of clients at a time. This lets us take an extraordinarily personalized approach when it comes to your trip and we have the feedback to prove it! We deliberately don’t advertise; our reputation is excellent, and our clients come to us by word of mouth and because they know someone else who have traveled with us.

Another crucial differentiator is that Nancy Aiello Tours is a completely independent travel company. Unlike classic travel agencies, we are not affiliated with any of our recommendations. Every recommendation we make is based on research and personal experience.

With over 15 years cultivating local relationship, we have an outstanding network of tried and trusted partners carefully selected based on quality, reliability, and expertise. They are all very passionate about what we have created together and very much vested in its success. That way, we’re able to open doors to insider experiences that match our travelers’ interests and carefully curate trips that deliver the exceptional.

In a nutshell, Nancy Aiello Tours is boutique, small Tour Operator made of quintessentially Italian travel specialists who live, breathe, and sleep Italy. For over 15 years, we have curated bespoke itineraries that have taken curious travelers from around the world into the heart and soul of Italy. This is why many of the 9000 satisfied clients who have traveled with us continue to choose us.

Are you a fully licensed travel company?

Yes. We are a fully licensed and bonded Italy based Tour Operator & Travel Agency as well as everyone that works with us.

Do you offer holidays to any other countries?

No. Nancy Aiello is a bespoke Italian tour operator for Italy only who offers immersive and transformative travel experiences through first-hand knowledge and tight-knit relationships. We are truly destination experts and we know the on the ground details that will make your trip smooth and hassle free. That means that by devoting ourselves exclusively to our home country, we can offer a very detailed service and local assistance while you travel.

Do you work with Travel Agents?

Yes. Nancy Aiello Tours is a luxury tour operator, which means we work with both direct clients as well as travel agents. If you have a relationship with a travel agent, please ask them to contact us for more information. If you do not have an existing relationship with a travel agent and prefer to work with us directly, we will put you in touch with one of our Italy specialists.

Who leads your tours?

Our licensed tour guides are a network of local specialists in a variety of fields including art history, archaeology, architecture, and cuisine. Many of them hold Ph.D.s or other terminal degrees in their field and teach at the university level. All of them are deeply in love with their cities and share our values in uncovering hidden gems. With them you will connect with the people and culture of their hometowns like only a local can. In addition to uncovering hidden gems, you’ll experience truly authentic immersion as our expert guides help you navigate your destination like a true insider. Finally yet importantly, our guides have the ability to connect with people of all ages with care and passion.

Will I have the same guide throughout my trip?

Because our professional local guides are born and bred in the area they are showing you, you will have a different guide in each city. Though your guide may change, the quality of the touring will be consistent, and you can count on the guides to always be friendly and knowledgeable.

What kind of vehicles do you use?

When it comes to choosing your private tour transport options there are a number of factors to consider, for example your party size, how much luggage you have, the destinations you wish to visit and more. We typically provide air-conditioned Mercedes E Class and S-Class luxury Sedan cars for up to two passengers. For larger families and for large groups of friends traveling together, we provide air-conditioned Mercedes Viano/V Class luxury minivans or spacious MB Sprinter minibuses, which are just as luxurious as comfortable. Because of the small sizes of the vehicles we utilize, most times we can access the historical centers of towns and easily navigate scenic country roads, which larger vehicles cannot.

Do you arrange group tours?

No. We do not offer group tours. We specialize in private itineraries, 100% customized to you. When we say our tours are private, that is exactly what we mean: the only travelers on your trip are you and the companions with whom you choose to travel. There is no fixed itinerary and no set departures.

What are the departure dates for the tours on the website?

There are no set departure dates for our trips because every tour is private, which means that you can depart on whatever day you wish.


Do you have Chinese Mandarin speaking tour guides who also speak English?

No. We do not offer bilingual tours. You would need booking two separate tours –one with an English-speaking guide and one with a Chinese Mandarin-speaking guide – that run concurrently with different guides.

Do you offer Cantonese speaking tours?

No because there are not Cantonese-speaking licensed tour guides in Italy. However, we arrange Chinese Mandarin-speaking private tours in Venice, Rome, Naples, Pompeii and Florence with licensed professional local guides.

Do you book flights?

No. We do not book flights but we can advise on which airport to arrive and depart from based on the best places to start and end your itinerary. Our services begin when you arrive at your first Italy tour destination.

Do I need travel insurance?

Yes, absolutely. Nancy Aiello Tours strongly recommends purchasing comprehensive travel insurance as soon as any trip deposits or full payments have been made. Travel Insurance is a vital part of your travel arrangements. It protects you, your trip and your travel investment in the unlikely event of a cancellation prior to or during your trip.

Where can I read about other traveler’s experiences in Italy with Nancy Aiello Tours?

You can see our many five star reviews on our dedicated page and on our TripAdvisor and Facebook pages.

Why choose Nancy Aiello Tours

At Nancy Aiello Tours we specialize in tailor-made luxury travel, operating in the world of tourism to let you love, as us, the real Italy! We are madly in love with our country and our work. The goal we set for ourselves is to offer our clients the knowledge of Italy, our expertise in the field, and the experience and passion that we have for our work: to bring out the travel agent’s role, a professional in the field, an added bonus in creating your trip; someone who will try to save you both money and time. We are a serious and reliable partner, ready for any input that will help us to develop the trip of your dreams. We work so that the internet is complementary to the travel agent’s figure, for this we speak directly with our clients, not only to understand their expectations, wishes, and needs, but also and above all to introduce ourselves and make ourselves known. So, why choose Nancy Aiello Tours: We carefully take care of our clients before, during and after their trip. We only work with the best selected partners. We think of every detail, allowing you to save time. We take pride in treating each client with warmth and cordiality. We love Italy and in Italy we were born!

How far in advance should I begin planning my custom Italy vacation?

While we can typically plan around your ideal travel dates, advance planning is essential for the success of your vacation. As demand is always high for Italy, we suggest planning 9 to 12 months in advance, particularly for peak seasons such as spring and summer. This time frame can give you a better opportunity to secure your preferred hotels and activities. Submit your Custom Trip Request now to begin planning for your dream trip to Italy. It takes less than 2 minutes!

I am planning a family trip to Italy. Can you help?

Certainly! Handcrafting meaningful and authentic experiences for families is our specialty. Since 2009, we have helped 1000’s of families turn their travel dreams into reality. As parents/travel experts ourselves, we have personally tested, vetted, jetted, and indulged in the very best of Italy with our children, and have all the answers to help you create the perfect getaway. You can feel confident knowing your trip will be full of age-appropriate activities and tours that are educational and fun for the whole family.

Can you organize Italian vacations for LGBTQ travelers?

Yes, we can and we do frequently. Indeed members of our team have firsthand experience of LGBTQ travel within Italy.

How does the travel planning process work?

Traveling Italy with Nancy Aiello Tours is easy. Here’s how it works:

  • You tell us how you like to travel by filling out a custom request form that covers your interests, budget, preferred pace of travel, etc.
  • Then one of our local travel designers will reach out to discuss the preferences indicated in your trip request.
  • Your personal travel designer will begin designing your private trip (taking your feedback into account along the way).
  • You’ll have the opportunity to review the itinerary and provide feedback to your travel designer, who will make revisions until everything is perfect.

You can find out more about our personalized, bespoke trip planning service here.

What information do you need to get started on my trip?

We can help you create a custom itinerary that makes your dream trip of Italy a reality if you give us an idea of what kind of experience you seek. Before contacting us, we recommend you give some thoughts to the following:

  • Top destination(s) for this trip
  • Date range (Italy arrival & departure dates)
  • Who is traveling (and ages/special requirements, when applicable)
  • What you want to achieve with this trip (special occasion, reason why, etc.)
  • Type of  hotel you prefer
  • Tentative budget

This is for information only and your personal Travel Advisor will be happy to help you make key decisions.

How long does it take to plan the trip?

It depends on a variety of factors (i.e. how far in advance of the trip you contact us, hotels availability, complexity of the itinerary, changes you may decide to make along the way). We’ve planned trips in as little as a week, while others have taken months to finalize. The more advance notice we have, the faster and easier it is to plan the trip as some accommodations and activities get booked up 6-12 months in advance, especially over peak travel periods. If you wait until the last minute, it’s invariably more difficult to secure availability.

Last-minute requests require an extra degree of flexibility and the planning process gets compressed. Some destinations, such as Rome, Puglia and Amalfi Coast, should be planned way in advance (think 10-12months prior to departure). And if you want to travel over the Christmas/New Year holidays or during summer season, please give us plenty of notice.

How do you plan trips?

Our approach in preparing your Travel Plan is to assess not only your interests, but also any previous Italian travel experiences you may have had. First-time visitors seek a week or two that will enrich their knowledge of the country and lifestyle, while providing the perfect Italian experience.

Those who are returning for their second, fifth, or tenth visit usually want to recapture what made earlier visits so enchanting while also extending both knowledge and appreciation of Italy. Take a look at our sample itineraries for insight into how we optimize your journey through Italy.

What class of hotels does Nancy Aiello Tours offer?

We stick to 4- and 5-star hotels that we have personally vetted.

Can you help me with rental villa and apartment reservations?

Nancy Aiello Tours does not promote any property or service that has not been experienced firsthand. We are unable to work with Airbnb and VRBO as they do not allow for proper screening of their properties. If you plan on using home and apartment rentals, please let us know this at the beginning of the process. We are unable to book these on your behalf.

What is included in the trip price?

Every private trip package indicates a list of inclusions and exclusions, such as a custom-designed itinerary, wonderful accommodations, in-country transportation (private ground transport and trains as requested), private expert guides, special experiences, activities, entrance fees, some meals, and in-country support. As each tailor-made trip to Italy is unique, please refer to your itinerary to see the inclusions for your tour. That being said, airfare, travel insurance, city taxes, gratuities and personal expenses including excess baggage charges are not included.

Do you provide price breakdown?

Your custom-tailored itinerary is offered as a completely bespoke package with no breakdown of the prices for its different components. We do not provide breakdown per item because our negotiated rates are confidential and by contractual agreement with our local suppliers, which is standard practice in the luxury travel-planning world.

We will be happy to recalculate your itinerary with fewer services or different hotels to accommodate your budget. Thank you for understanding.

How does Nancy Aiello Tours' rates compare with other Travel Agencies?

The price of our service is remarkably reasonable in relation to the premium, personalized nature of our trips. When you retain Nancy Aiello Tours to help plan your Italy travel, you’re hiring a professional Travel Advisor to ensure that your trip is tailored to your travel style, needs and desires. We feel that our prices represent the full value that you will receive from this unique and enjoyable way to experience Italy. If cost is more important to you than other factors, then just choose another agent or arrange things yourself.

How much is the cost of a custom Italian vacation with Nancy Aiello Tours?

Each trip is a custom made creation for each client, so unfortunately we can't tell you in advance how much your trip will cost. It depends on:

  1. Which hotels you include
  2. Which tours you include
  3. What type of transportation you use
  4. The number of travelers in your party
  5. When you visit
  6. How long you stay
  7. And a whole lot of other factors

For a rough estimate, our trips typically ranges from €900-€1800 per person per day and up excluding airfare (based on a 2-person trip). This estimate would include all arrangements to make your Italian vacation easy and worry-free:
Customized travel planning for your style. Insider recommendations for immersive authentic experiences.
4-star and up hotels. All of your accommodations selected based on your taste and priorities.
Private tours & experiences. Unique private tours and experiences with local experts, curated around your interests — along with as much free time as you’d like.
Ground transport. Your in-country transport and expertly planned logistics in line with your preferences— with private drivers and/or by high-speed trains. Private tour-transfers – get from one city to another in comfort of private car with terrific driver-guide, sightseeing on the way. Time saving and memorable experience.
Essential pre-departure information. Customized information to help you prepare for your trip, and answers to any questions you may have.
In-country support. Personalized assistance during your Italian vacation.

Obviously, these prices will increase or decrease depending on the specifics of your unique itinerary along with factors such as your travel days and dates (your trip may cost more if you travel during peak season). To learn more about pricing you may want to check out our post how much does a custom trip to Italy cost .

What if I don't see the trip I want?

We are happy to customize one for you! We have over 15 years of Italy travel experience and can craft trips in other cities or with a special focus or theme. To start planning your tailor made luxury trip, fill out our  form to give us an idea of your unique travel style and what you’re looking for in a vacation.

How do you design your family trips?

Each private tour is unique and created on a family-by-family basis with itineraries considering children’s ages, current school curriculum and personal interests to engage, educate and (most importantly) make sure the whole family has fun.

Are the destinations listed in your website the only places you plan trips?

No, we’ve got a bunch of other destinations in Italy, fresh or developing expertise up our sleeve. So if you’re wondering where else we can help, just contact us and we’ll give you a straight answer.

What happens in an emergency during the trip?

You will indeed have emergency on-site support if something goes wrong. Based in Italy we are here for you in case something goes wrong during your trip. Additionally, we recommend purchasing comprehensive travel insurance and separate emergency evacuation insurance through a provider that will fly you to the hospital of your choice.

What about meals?

Breakfast is generally included each day. We know that for most of our travelers Italian food is a very high priority. As part of your trip, we can include special culinary experiences such as private food tours and cooking classes with local experts. Everybody has different tastes and we have found that our clients enjoy the spontaneity of discovering restaurants on their own. As a result, we do not include meals in the itinerary. During the process we provide a list with our restaurant recommendations so you do have some guidance for where to take your meals. If you require assistance with restaurant reservations we can make it on your behalf for a fee.

Can you make dinner reservations for us?

We provide our clients with extensive restaurant recommendations in each location and are happy to make advance dinner reservations for a fee. From haute cuisine to local favorites, we have a carefully chosen collection of distinctive restaurants to help ensure you enjoy a truly wonderful dining experience while in Italy. To help you narrow down your choices, it would be great to know:
• What kind of cuisine are you interested in? (Italian classics, regional specialties, fine dining, casual eats, etc.)
• What is your budget per meal?
• Do you have any dietary restrictions?
• What kind of atmosphere are you looking for? (romantic, lively, family-friendly, etc.)

What is there to do during leisure time?

Our clients are curious and enthusiastic travelers who want the convenience of guides and our expertise but want free time for aimless wandering as well. There are plenty of things to do when you are not touring with your guides. We can provide you with recommendations for things to do on your own or you can enjoy hotels’ facilities, such as pools and spas and when available, beaches, gardens, and other activities. Essentially, leisure time is quite different for everyone, but in general we like to incorporate a balance of guided touring and free time for independent exploration and relaxation.

Is Nancy Aiello Tours accredited by industry associations?

Yes. We are IATA accredited agency and maintain active membership with organizations including The Family Travel Association (FTA).

Why do you charge an upfront, non-refundable itinerary planning fee?

We at Nancy Aiello Tours are not travel agents in the traditional sense, meaning we don’t merely book your travel, we also research, offer expertise, and planning. As travel advisors, not only do we provide you with expert advice in developing your dream Italy trip itinerary, but we also do the legwork to ensure that all the details are taken care of. We are here for you, we are your advocate. We spend a lot of time consulting, choosing the right destinations, creating the perfect itinerary, and offering the choices of accommodation based upon your budget and personal taste. We create custom private tours, consult and book experiences, communicate with suppliers on your behalf. We manage the entire booking, creating an organized travel itinerary with every detail in one place. We ensure you have the full trip right at your fingertips accessible 24/7 and we ensure you are prepared for your journey. Our relationship with you doesn’t end with the booking of travel, we will also be here for you during the entirety of your trip. Upon your return, we ensure everything met or exceeded your expectations. The process of researching and putting together a customized, bespoke proposal that matches your Italy travel dreams takes time. Design fees help us cover the time we invest in crafting your perfect trip and our clients find that our design fees are lower than the added value we consistently provide through local expertise, insider knowledge and unforgettable experiences.

And just like any professional travel advisor we are compensated for all the work involved prior to, or during your trip. We ask for a minor commitment on your part, in exchange you receive the added value makes up for it. Our fee covers our time creating the trip, but also the unparalleled knowledge and access that we have in Italy and is 100% applied towards the full-service itinerary. We charge a minimum itinerary planning/consulting fee of Euro 800 which is dependent on the number of people traveling, the length of time away and the complexity of your trip.

How do I start planning a trip to Italy?

The easiest way would be to contact us and have us plan your Italy trip for you. If you want to research before that or plan it yourself, you’ll want to check out our Italy travel blog.

How do you choose the hotels you recommend?

Our unique selling point is based on accurate and truthful recommendations. Being very sophisticated, with excessive demands, we personally vet the hotels to recommend truly exclusive places to stay. We hand-select hotels based on our stringent requisites of location, service, style, and facilities. We have access to any high-end hotel around the country and our Travel Advisors are pleased to discuss the options available to you during the process.


Are Nancy Aiello Tours escorted?

No. Nancy Aiello Tours is geared towards highly personalized trips to Italy. As a bespoke travel agency, we plan private, customized itineraries based on clients’ individual interests. Escorted tours attempt to speculate on the interests and preferences of the typical tourist. We believe that the differences in people merit a customized approach and what we offer is a truly bespoke experience, allowing clients to choose all travel needs from accommodations and transportation to experiences.

Will booking through you can help me save money?

Some travel companies tout their access to discounts, but the main reason travelers book through us is to gain access to our firsthand, sophisticated destination knowledge and extensive network throughout the country with respected and trusted partners with whom we have worked for 10 to 15 years. Nancy Aiello Tours does bespoke luxury travel, so we compete on personalized service and meaningful experiences, not price. Contact us not for the lowest price but for the best travel experience for your money. If you are looking for the least expensive trip possible perhaps we are not for you.

Do your tours include skip the line access?

Yes. All of our private tours include skip the line access as standard. This means that we pre-reserve timed-entry tickets to avoid the lines.

Should I tip my guide?

Tipping is not compulsory in Italy. However, it is a great reward for outstanding service. If you were pleased with the service offered, then rewarding your guide with a tip is really appreciated!

Do I need to bring my confirmation email on the day of the tour?

We strongly encourage you to bring your booking confirmation email in order to be at the right place at the right time, and to have a telephone number to call in case something should happen.

How to book your tours?

Browse the tours we offer and choose the ones you would like to book. Complete the request form of your tour. We will reply within 24 hours (or 48 hours on weekends) with availability and price. Upon confirmation we will send over a payment link for that.

Do you take last-minute bookings?

We will do our best to accommodate your last-minute request however, it may not be always possible due limitations in guides, ticket availability, etc. We strongly encourage you to book as far in advance as possible in order to avoid disappointment!

Will you pre-purchase skip the line tickets?

Yes, absolutely. We will purchase your admission tickets as soon as you book for your tour with us.

How will my tour be confirmed?

As soon as we receive your order, we will request our guide's availability, as well as availability for any relevant museum tickets. Once we have reconfirmed the service, we will email you a voucher document. The voucher will include all the service details, such as time, date, description, and meeting point with the guide. You will use the voucher to redeem the service in Italy.

You can expect to receive your voucher within 3 business days of placing your order. Please note that the processing of some tours may take longer. It is best to book at least 4 weeks before your departure date.

Where will I meet my guide?

The meeting point depends on the particular tour chosen. In some cases, it will be at your hotel; in others, it will be at the first site on the itinerary. The meeting point and instructions are explained on the tour voucher, which you'll receive once the service has been confirmed.

Are museum and entrance tickets included in the tour?

For tours where an advance museum reservation is required, the cost is included in the tour price, and Nancy Aiello Tours will take care of reserving the spots. For places where it is not possible to make an advance reservation (such as churches or other small sites), you will need to pay the ticket costs on location.

Do walking tours include transportation?

Private walking tours do not include transportation. If you would like to add a private vehicle with driver to your itinerary, we are happy to provide you with a quote for the additional service. Please include the request in your initial email inquiry or contact us directly.

What is Nancy Aiello Tours schedule?

We do not have a set schedule of tours; all our guided services are designed as private tours for you and your traveling party. As soon as we receive your order for a specified date, we contact our extensive list of specially vetted guides for their availability.

When will my credit card be charged?

Your card will be charged once we have confirmed the availability of our guide and any museum tickets for your requested date and time. If for some reason we are unable to confirm your tour, we will notify you and your card will not be charged.

How do I pay?

Payment can be made by credit card. We also accept bank transfers. Note that payment via bank transfer is only accepted if the start date of your tour is more than a month away. For full payment details, please read our Booking Terms & Conditions.

What are your payment terms for private trip packages?

Once you’re 100% happy with your custom itinerary, we’ll process any deposits required and start booking all your hotels, transportation and touring. To secure reservations on a trip departing within 90 days, a full payment is required at the time of booking. We highly recommend you take out travel insurance at this stage. Final payment is required 90 days prior to your tour start date. Our Booking Terms & Conditions outline the payment details.

What are your payment terms for private day tours & private shore excursions?

For private tours and private shore excursions we require payment in advance by credit card through Stripe. Our Terms & Conditions outline our booking procedures.

Why are your prices in Euros?

We’re an Italian travel company based in Italy and hence all of the prices for Nancy Aiello Tours services are quoted in Euros currency “€”, which is the local currency here. We have designed our pricing structure based around the local currency where we're providing our service. By quoting in Euro this gives you the best price and exchange rate. Companies who quote in US dollars for Italian travel are marking up the price to compensate for the exchange rate. Nancy Aiello Tours does not hide any fees in its pricing and gives you the price in the currency it is issued.

When can I contact Nancy Aiello Tours?

Nancy Aiello Tours’ hours are from 9:00 am until 6:00 pm Central Standard Time, Monday through Friday. Nancy Aiello Tours is not open on Saturday or Sunday. You may contact us by e-mail at any time, however, should you try to contact us outside of normal business hours, we will not be able to assist you until the following business day.


Are there any clothing restrictions when visiting sites in Italy?

Churches in Italy and other religious sites have a dress code that requires shoulders and knees to be covered. This means no sleeveless shirts and no short skirts, dresses or shorts. During the hot summer months, ladies can keep a scarf in their bags to drape over their shoulders and men should wear longer shorts.

Do I need vaccinations before traveling to Italy?

Vaccinations are not normally required to enter Italy. However, please check with your government’s health authorities for their latest advice, especially in light of the ever-evolving Covid-19 situation.

Do I need visa?

Depending on your nationality, you may need visas to enter Italy.

Do I need a passport?

Yes. For traveling in and out of Italy you must have a valid passport that is valid 6 months beyond the last day of their trip. Your passport must have at least six months validity remaining beyond your planned date of departure from the Schengen Area.

It is best to look at your passport’s expiration date before booking your travels. While before traveling it's a good idea to make two photocopies of your passport, your driver's license and your credit cards. Leave one copy at home with a trusted person and another in your suitcase.

When is the best time of year to visit?

The simple answer is anytime! Italy is truly an excellent destination year-round and we usually recommend taking advantage of any opportunity to visit, regardless of the season. Generally, we personally feel the months between March and May, and the months of September and October are the best all-round times to visit. The off-season months between November and February can also be great options to experience our country with fewer crowds. The downside at this time is that some coastal properties in the Italian Riviera and the Amalfi Coast are seasonal and close down for the winter. Beginning of June through August are the busiest time of the year.

Which destinations are popular for arts and cultural trips?

Italy’s contribution to the art world is immeasurable. If you’re keen on arts tours or cultural vacations, you can’t go past cities like Rome, Florence and Venice.

How long should I spend in Italy?

We recommend at least a week, if not longer. With 7-10 days, you can get a good introduction to Italy and with 2 weeks or longer you can experience even more.
When possible we recommend devoting as much time as you can to your trip, so you can visit more places and minimize rushing around. On the other hand, even with a limited schedule you can have a profound, fulfilling trip. For travel inspiration, here are some trip ideas.

What is the time zone in Italy?

Italy is 6 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time in the United States and 9 hours ahead of Pacific Time. Like most European countries, Italy has daylight saving time which lasts from the last Sunday in March through the last Sunday in October. It moves its clocks ahead an hour in late spring and an hour back in the fall, corresponding roughly to daylight saving time in the United States, but the exact dates vary. When it's noon in Florence, it's 6 a.m. in New York and 3 a.m. in San Francisco.

In Europe and so in Italy, the 24-hour clock is used. Times are the same as what you’re used to in the United States up until noon. From then on, just keep going: 1 PM becomes 13:00, 2 PM becomes 14:00, and so forth. To convert these times into “PM” times, simply subtract 12 and add p.m. (19:00 minus 12 is 7 PM).

How do I get a tax refund for my shopping?

If you plan to do any significant amount of shopping, you’ll want to know about the VAT (called the IVA) tax. This is a value-added tax of 22% that is added to almost anything. If you spend more than €155 on any one purchase, you can claim a refund. Keep in mind this only applies to purchases from retail outlets that have a “Tax-Free” sign. Before you make your purchase, ask the vendor for a tax-refund voucher.

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