From what you need before you visit to how to book a tour with us, our frequently asked questions.
When is the best time to visit Italy?
Italy is a wonderful destination, no matter what time of the year you visit. We would say that March to May and in September and October are the best times. There aren’t as many tourists and the weather is warm and there is sun.
During June to August, cities especially, can get really very hot and there are often more tourists. If you want to visit attractions (like the Vatican, St Peter’s Basilica, Colosseum and other museums) tickets can be difficult to come by and entrance queues can be long.
If you are planning to visit during June to August, please consider booking attractions in advance, especially the colosseum and the Vatican! They can sell out quickly.
Italy is great during the off-peak seasons too, between November to February. Yes, the weather can be cold, but the atmosphere is amazing and something to definitely experience. Cities are great places to visit during the off-peak months. Just remember, attractions won’t be open as long and restaurants might keep to unusual hours. Best to always check.
Coastal resorts will also be closed during the winter months.
Is public transportation generally safe?
Public transport in Italy is the same as any other city in Europe. It is safe and generally departs on time. When travelling on public transport, especially buses, you will need to validate your ticket. Don’t throw your ticket away until the end of your journey, transport police often ride public transport and will ask to see your validated ticket.
Read our blog post on travelling around Italy. https://thegrandtoureurope.com/travelling-around-italy-transportation-tips/
When do restaurants open in Italy?
Most restaurants in Italy serve lunch between 12:30 and 2pm and dinner is served from 7:30pm to 10pm (it can be later in the summer months).
Most Italians will eat lunch around 1:30pm and will eat dinner about 8:30
For the most authentic experience, try restaurants that don’t have a ‘tourist’ menu. Try food from the different areas that you are visiting and taste the most delightful food, rather than sticking to piazza and carbonara dishes.
Read about Italian lunches and dinners here: https://thegrandtoureurope.com/eating-in-italy/
What languages are your tours in?
Our private tours are offered in English, French, Spanish, Russian and German.
Our open tours are in English only. This is to stop confusion and so that everyone has the same enjoyment from the tour, rather than having to wait for different languages to be spoken before moving on.
Read about our open tours here: https://thegrandtoureurope.com/we-have-new-open-tours/
What about your guides?
All of our tours are lead by the best official tour guides and experts, such as Historians, Archaeologists and local experts. All the guides are fully licensed and trained by The Grand Tour, they are all experts in their fields with a Master’s Degrees and PhDs in History, Archaeology, History of Arts and other related fields.
Will I need a passport to travel to Italy?
Yes, your passport must have at least 6 months of validity beyond your planned date of departure. Always check your passport before making any plans.
Will I need a visa to travel to Italy?
Depending on where you are from, you may or may not need a visa. As a company we don’t deal with the visas. You are responsible for obtaining the necessary paperwork prior to your departure. It can take up to 6 weeks to get a visa, so best to do it in advance. You can always contact your nearest Italian Consulate or Embassy to see if a visa is required.
Can I use my ATM card in Italy?
There usually isn’t an issue with using your card abroad, but it is important to tell your bank that you will be leaving, to ensure that you will be able to use your card abroad. Most cards have security that will atomatically lock your card if it is used abroad. But you might incur charges, it will be best to check with your bank before using your card abroad.
There are special travel credit cards that are pre-paid and in some cases will lock in the rate of exchange when you applied.
Can I use my cell phone?
Most phones will work abroad now, but sometimes it is best to check with the phone company. As for calls and messages, as long as you have international roaming packages you phone will work. Some companies don’t automatically enable this service, again it is worth checking with your provider.
Is there a dress code for the Vatican?
Please do not bring big bags or sharp objects as there are metal detectors at both the Colosseum and the Vatican. The guards at the Vatican have the authority to refuse anyone entrance they feel are not wearing appropriate clothing. Please wear clothing that is below the knee and that shoulders are covered.
There is uneven ground in and round the colosseum, please wear suitable, comfortable shoes. There is not much shade in the Colosseum, a hat and sunscreen is advised too.
Read our more detailed blog post here: https://thegrandtoureurope.com/frequently-asked-questions-2019-vatican-and-the-colosseum-and-holy-week/
Let us know if you have any questions or are interested in booking a tour with us.