Italy Travel Tips and Recommendations from our Two Week Stay

For our ten year wedding anniversary, we were in disbelief that we’d actually be able to take a two week trip anywhere, let alone to Italy! Brian connected with his sister and niece who volunteered to nanny our three kids and that was the start of our epic vacation planning.

We planned the entire Italy trip ourselves and by popular requests, I’m detailing all of our tips and recommendations here.

I understand. Planning a two-week trip to a country you’ve never visited can seem overwhelming so here’s my guide to help make your Italy vacation planning a little easier.


1. Booking Flights. We heard that you want to clear out your history when searching each day. Apparently, websites can track this info and inflate airline prices when they know you have a date in mind. Not even sure if this is true but better to be safe. We mostly searched for flights on Kayak.

2. Booking Hotels. Once we had our Italy flights booked and knew we were flying into Rome, we started searching for accommodations. There’s not a lot of Airbnb options in the areas we were staying which meant we were limited to hotels. The duration of our stay was dependent on what we wanted to do in each city, cost, accommodation availabilities and train route. Scroll down to see exactly where we stayed.

3. Exchange Currency. If your bank offers currency exchange with no fee, please exchange ahead of time! Before your trip, have a few hundred dollars on hand because the exchange fee can be super high at airports and in Italy. Check your credit card exchange fees, too. We made sure to only use cards that didn’t charge a fee. Most places only accept VISA and Mastercard.

4. Map out Transportation. From the airport to our hotel, we arranged for a driver (through our hotel) and it was nice to have someone pick us up after a long flight. We walked everywhere in Rome and didn’t take any transportation except for one train ride to the Vatican. Below is our transportation mode from one city to the next via the train (Trenitalia) and ferry (Travelmar). *Try to book at least a day in advance.

  • Rome to Venice: Train

  • Venice to Salerno: Train. Then walked to the ferry to Positano. Keep in mind that Positano is known as the vertical city so depending on your hotel location, that’s a lot of steps up! You can plan ahead to see if your hotel will pick you up after hopping off the ferry or order a car/cab service.

  • Positano to Amalfi: Personal driver. We rode the bus to Ravello for a one day trip.

    – Returning –

  • Amalfi to Salerno: Ferry. Then walked to the train station to head back to Rome.


We were warned about rolling suitcases on the Italian cobblestone streets and stairs. A travel backpack and RFID blocking waist wallet each, along with one regular backpack was all we brought!

The travel backpack worked out well for us. Especially climbing up the steps in Positano and over the bridges in Venice. But there were a few moments, like when we were walking from the train station in Salerno to the ferry, that I wished I could roll my backpack. I pulled together a comparison of our backpack and a rolling backpack that had really high reviews on Amazon. Could be helpful if you’re deciding between the two.

In my opinion, the backpack is the best route. Without the wheels, there is more space for your items so it was impressive that we were able to pack two weeks worth of clothes in it! Also, in the airport, when others had to check in their suitcases at the gate, we were never asked to check ours. We were hands free allowing us to easily navigate with our phones.

*Tip: you may encounter suspicious activities on the train. Like many big cities, be aware of your surroundings and keep an eye on your belongings. We used wire twist ties on our zippers to reduce the risk of being pick pocketed. We’ve heard too many stories from friends and family about this experience.

Some Important Items to Pack

  • European adapter/power converter

  • FFP2 face masks. Italy’s required masks for public transportations. We did witness on rare occasions, drivers denying rides to those without it. And also witnessed on the train, security mandating riders with masks that weren’t FFP2 masks to go purchase one up front.

My Must Haves to Pack for Hair and Skin Care


Now let’s get to the fun part! Here are my Italy Travel Tips and Recommendations of where we stayed and ate! I’ll break this down by city.


(5 days, 4 nights)

Hotel: Artemide

Activities: Colosseum and Roman Forum Tour (stop to see in the evening, too!), Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel, Trevi Fountain, Jewish Ghetto, Pantheon, Spanish Steps, stop in at churches to cool off in the hot season,

Restaurant Recommendations: Osteria IL Riposto, Colline Emiliane, Pasqualino al Colosseo, Ai Tre Scalini, Hostaria Kosher Renato AL Ghetto,

Tips: Try to avoid tourist trap restaurants. These are usually very close to tourist attractions and they try to lure you in! Make reservations at top rated restaurants ahead of time.


(3 days, 2 nights)

Hotel: Hotel Moresco – highly recommend! Staff, service and room were top notch!

Activities: Gondola ride, walk around and marvel at the architecture – Venice is unreal!

Restaurant Recommendations: La Lanterna Da Gas

Tips: Since it was really hot in July, we recommend the evening Gondola ride. It was one of the most romantic things I’ve ever experienced. Although, we were lease impressed with the restaurant scene here. We only made one reservation at La Lanterna Da Gas and unfortunately were pretty disappointed with some of the other restaurants. My advice is to research ahead and book a reservation to get the best restaurant experience!


(3 days, 2 nights) *Note: There were limited accommodations here for nice hotels w/ good reviews. We booked based on availability.

Hotel: Conca D’Oro – could use a few updates but overall were happy with our stay. We loved our terrace and had the most beautiful view! We didn’t even care to go to the beach and were content ordering room service and laying out on our terrace.

Activities: Eat, Eat, Eat! Unlike Venice, every restaurant we visited was so good! Take in the breathtaking views. There’s nothing like it!

Restaurant Recommendations: Case Mele, Misaki (we wanted to try sushi in the Amalfi Coast to taste the fresh seafood on a non-Italian cuisine and while service was so-so, the sushi was delicious!),

Tips: be prepared to take a lot of steps, walk around the Main Street for great shopping and food


(4 days, 3 nights)

Hotel: B & B Palazzo Pisani – would not stay again. Price was affordable but we constantly smelled smoke, room was very dated we could see mold in the grout in the bathroom, bed was not comfortable. To be fair, we had a hard time booking a place that wasn’t crazy expensive so we took a risk booking this room.

Activities: eat lemon sorbet, dine at the many family owned restaurants, visit the church,

Restaurant Recommendations: Antica Trattoria Barraca, Buonvicino, L’abside

Tips: Avoid being lured into the first few tourist trap restaurants as you enter the town square, try out restaurants in the back alleys,


day trip

Hotel: n/a

Activities: this was my favorite place we visited. take in the breathtaking scenery, try out all the different restaurants, visit the garden, check ahead to see if there’s a concert you’d like to attend. Wynton Marsalis was performing while we were there but tickets were all sold out.

Restaurant Recommendations: Mimi Pizzeria & Cucina, Villa Maria Hotel Giordano

Tips: stay more than one day here! we can’t wait to go back – pictures do not do it justice!


(2 days, 1 night). Back to Rome to be near the airport.

Hotel: The Hoxton Rome – beautifully designed and friendly staff, would recommend. We wanted to stay in a different part of Rome than the first part.

Activities: Walk to the Borghese Museum and Garden

Restaurant Recommendations: Ristorante Lin (we ate so many delicious Italian food and our curiosity of trying a different cuisine led as here and it did not disappoint!)

Tips: can’t recommend much since we had little time here

at The Hoxton hotel

Hope you enjoyed this trip recap and found some helpful tips if you plan to travel to Italy, especially as a first time visitor! We had an incredible time but were happy to return home to our babies.

Sweetest Regards,


Sweetest Regards, Patti