Getting to Italy

G E T T I N G   T O   I T A L Y

If you go online and run a simple google search on "Italy Travel" one will retrieve a seemingly inexhaustible list of  online resources that can provide you with a wealth of information about Italy. Some very useful sites are Lonley Planet, Conde Nast , Michelin, Fodors, etc., and offer the visitor an excellent resource on travel to Italy. 

There are as many ways to travel to Italy as there are places to find Italy travel information online. We are very high on Kayak for flight, car and hotel reservations and Trip Advisor & Lonely Planet for travel reviews. These sites provide and excellent resource for planning your trip to Italy.

Below are a few of the most popular ways people travel to Italy along with some useful tips for families traveling with children. Please keep in mind that passport and visa rules apply to anyone entering Italy regardless of their choice of entry into the country. (See  Italian Embassy or Italy Passport Rules).

NOTE --> Please keep in mind that while we make every effort to keep information current it is important to use the information below only as a supplement to the travel research that you plan to do as travel options change rapidly resulting in some of the information provided below to be outdated, expired or no longer available.


Traveling by air is by far the quickest way to get to all points in Italy. This method is often the best means to get to Tuscumbria as you can fly into either Rome, Florence or Pisa airport and be within a 3 hour car ride from Tuscumbria. There are often car rental agencies located at or near all three of these major airports making car rentals quick and easy. It is also possible to take a train from all three of these airports that will allow you to connect to various destinations throughout Italy.  Booking a flight from the United States can be quite expensive these days unless you are able to use your frequent flyer miles or don't mind a non-direct flight. Traveling during low season one can save a considerable amount in airfare. If you are traveling to Italy from within the European Union then it is a great idea to check with carriers operating within the EU  - (See our section on Travel Resources) - as they quite often offer very inexpensive air fares.

While there are many airports throughout Italy, here is a small list of the major airports that are closest to the central Italy regions of Tuscany & Umbria:

Travel Tip**** Airlines typically will charge you a percentage of airfare ticket (plus taxes) for children who are under 3 years old. For infants and toddlers under 2 years of age airlines will typically charge you only the taxes. However, policies differ from airline to airline so make sure you check with your carrier.

T  R  A  I  N

If you are traveling from within the European Union one the best ways to get into Italy is by train. One can use the Eurail pass or simply buy a ticket on a train from your country of origin. Once you arrive in Italy you can make transfers to other trains that will take you throughout Italy.  The main national train service is called Ferrovie dello Stato (FS) . It is also possible to purchase tickets for much faster trains too such as the Eurostar or the Pendolini. These trains are more expensive then the FS trains but are a good choice if you want to both get to your destination quickly and experience a modern speed train.

Riding to Florence

A tremendously valuable resource is: Trenitalia where it is possible to look up train schedules and purchase tickets in advance. Always keep in mind that there are various surcharges applied to ticket prices depending upon the class of car you wish to sit in and the speed of train (local vs. fast) you want to go on. It is always possible to purchase tickets on the train but, again, you will have to pay an extra surcharge if you decide to do so. Always keep your ticket on you as the train conductor will periodically come by and ask for you to present your ticket to him/her. Many train stations have parking areas where you are able to leave your car for the day and sometimes over night. Some stations charge a nominal fee but others do not. Make sure you are aware of the parking policies before you leave your car at the station. Taxis can often be hired from the station or called to pick you up. A train station representative or information booth clerk should be able to provide this information to you. Also, remember to carry your passport on you at all times as it will come in hand when traveling throughout Europe or in the event of an emergency.

Waiting for a train in Terontola
Ticket Validation Machine

Travel Tip****  Smoking on trains is still allowed in many parts of Europe with Italy not yet an exception. Luckily, for those traveling with kids it is possible to purchase seats located in non-smoking cars. An added tip, it is important to know how to open the train doors to exit the train. There are too many tourists who have missed their stops as a result of not knowing how to  open the train door. Remember that in Italy you must always validate your ticket in the yellow stamping machine on the platforms inside the train stations. The station officers can be quite nasty if they find you without a validated ticket.

C A  R

In Italy, driving does not have to be an unpleasant experience. Drivers drive on the same side of the road as they do in the United States (not like they do in the U.K.). The main highways and roads have very good road signs. Road signs are both clear and easy to read. (See Understanding Road Signs and for information on rules of the road see Rules of the Road. Another excellent resource can be found here: Italy Driving.

Rental Cars parked at Altabella Properties in Umbria
All of the major airports throughout Italy have car rental agencies located at or very near the airport. All of the major rental agencies offer a vast fleet of manual cars to choose from and a small number of automatic cars. If you drive manual this is the way to go as the price for the rental is less then half of what it would cost for an automatic of comparable class/size. Double check to make sure you have the necessary insurance & liability coverage/protection and always remember to refill your gas tank before you return the car. (See --> Italy Driving for more specific information on airport car rentals at Rome Fiumucino Airport).

A very good resource for car rentals throughout Italy (and Europe) is Auto Europe. Their prices are competitive and they specialize in car, airline and hotel services in Europe. We have rented through them many times with no issues whatsoever.

For quick reference speed limits are:
Motorway (if wet) - 130 km/h (110 km/h)
Dual carriage way (if wet) - 110 km/h (90 km/h)
Open road (if wet) - 90km/h (80 km/h)
In town and villages (if wet) - 50 km/h (50 km/h)

Travel Tip**** If you are traveling during the summer months make sure you get a car with air conditioning as the days can get quite hot. To fill the car you say "piano per favore". Never leave valuables in the car including expensive children's toys that are hard to come by in Italy as they make for a perfect target for thieves. Always check to make sure you are using the right gas. Be very careful at remote gas stations for men who ask you for money or offer to help you swipe your credit card.

 B O A T

Italy's location along the Medditeranean and Adriatic Seas has allowed the boat/ferry industry to flourish. Italy has a great network of ferries and hydrofoils operated by quite a large number of private companies throughout Italy. It is possible to catch car ferries to Sardinia and Sicily from cities such as Genoa, Livorno, La Spezia, Civitavecchia, Fiumicino and Naples. Fares are reasonable but booking is essential on longer journeys, especially to Sardinia. Service frequencies are much reduced outside of the main spring to late summer season, and some services cease altogether. 

To find out more about the ferries and ferry schedules please click on the various links provided below.

B  U  S

From our experiences, bus service throughout Italy is pretty reliable (often more reliable then trains). Bus service is especially useful when you want to venture to the smaller towns. Travel by bus is often the least expensive route.  It is possible to purchase tickets for travel within a town/city from a machine that dispenses tickets ("biglietti") or at many news and tobacco ("tobacchi") kiosks; you then must validate them on board the bus in a small ticket machine.One way tickets are more expensive then buying a round-trip ("Andata e ritorno"). Intercity buses are run by private organizations such as SITA as Italy doesn't have a national bus company. Seat reservations are not normally possible. Bus terminals are often next to train stations – ask for the "autostazione". While you are in Italy when you want to find a bus station simply ask: "Stazione degli Autobus?".

T  A  X  I

Even small town typically can offer taxi service and this means of getting around is quite efficient. The taxis are often metered and will charge extra amount for luggage, on Sundays, holidays for rides at night and airport trips. When picking up a taxi it is customary to pick them in order of rank. If you make a call for a taxi then the meter will run from the moment the taxi gets the call.

Travel Tip**** For Taxi Drivers a tip of around 5-10% would be ideal, although this depends on the city. A water-taxi in Venice is already so expensive that a 10% tip would b more than a taxi ride would cost in other parts of Italy.


B  I  C  Y  C  L  E

Every time we visit Tuscumbria we always come across bicyclists biking through the hills. Some look like they are training but others look like they are simply bicycling for fun. Tuscumbria has terrific bicycling terrain and there are many outfits that offer tours. Below are some resources for bicycling in Tuscumbria. 

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