Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Don't plan your Italian holiday to death- Good time management for more fun

The worst, and arguably the stupidest, thing tourists do to themselves is to go on holiday in places like Italy, then run themselves into the ground on tour. It’s quite possible to literally be scheduled into a few weeks of frantically running around “seeing things” then being whisked away to tourist traps. Your travel insurance can cover you against travel problems created by other people or situations, but not the ones you create for yourself.

When you go to Italy, where there’s so much to see, you can avoid creating problems for yourself simply by managing your time better. This means you can enjoy your holiday, actually take a break, have a chance to actually see the country, not just drive through it with a running commentary, and get the best value out of your trip.


Rome is a huge place. It has a lifetime’s worth of sights in it, and the tours are good value and well organized. The irony is that in a truly big, busy city, the best tours are quite leisurely. The top Rome tours are excellent value, allowing time for food, sightseeing, shopping, and enjoying the experience.

Experienced tourists make a point of deliberately avoiding anything resembling the frantic haste of the lower grade tours. Forget about the “see it all in three days” stuff in Rome. Like Paris, Berlin and the other great European cities, you’d need three weeks just to see the basics in Rome. If you’re an aficionado of food, an art lover, music buff or a fashion fan, make it three months.

Rome is too big and too interesting to do a “fast forward” tour. Do your research, plan your trip, make your decisions about what you want to see, and allow at least a day’s rest and recreation between your outings to soak up the good food and really see Rome at your own speed.

The Italian peninsula

Southern Italy isn’t “fashionable” in the same sense as Rome, but it’s a region with a mystique of its own, and Sicily is also quite unique. This is a bustling sort of place, including Naples, Pompeii, Vesuvius and the southern peninsula’s spectacular scenery and extraordinary villages. The tours in this area can cover a lot of ground, involving long travel stretches, so plan your tour carefully, and watch your times to get some rest.

Northern Italy includes so many landmarks and famous places it’s like a phone book. Corsica is Napoleon’s birthplace, and with its neighbour Sardinia it’s yet another unique part of Italy with a unique culture. The north is a multi faceted area, including Venice, Genoa, Milan, the Italian Alps and it’s an all-seasons tourist area. To travel here means really plotting your course well, because there’s so much to see and do, and it’s also quite a big place in terms of travel times.

The Italian coast is also a favorite travel destination, and on both sides of the peninsula you’ll find extraordinary places you really need to take your time to see and appreciate. The good news for travelers is that Italy is a cheap place to visit, and you can get excellent cheap travel insurance to help stretch your budget as you explore this fantastic place.

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