Summer is upon us! With that said, summer travel is crazy in Italy making it especially important to plan ahead.  We’ve come up with some great tips to assist you with your travels for a smoother, relaxing vacation.  Here are proven strategies and solutions to avoid common mistakes and get the most out of your trip to Italy.  Well, they’ve worked for us and we believe these travel tips will work for you, too.

Bring  your smart phone!  As much as we want to break away from the daily grind of everyday life on vacation, exploring the streets of Florence or cooking with a family in Puglia, your smart phone will come in handy to plan impromptu experiences.  Now that smart phones are our minicomputers, there are some wonderful apps to utilize that helps make a  trip hassle free.  More on travel apps later, but many smart phones are equipped with very sophisticated cameras, which create laser sharp images in optimal quality. With so many free communication options available, smart phones keep your family and friends together and informed even when all of you are enjoying different activities at the same time.

Be Patient!  Waiting in lines can ruin a day.  One of the many virtues is patience, but that doesn’t mean you need to be virtuous for no reason.  Standing on your feet for a long time under the hot sun is just unpleasant.  Not to mention, it cuts into precious time doing other pleasant and more enjoyable things like strolling in the park or casually enjoying a tasty gelato.  No matter how patient you are, no one wants to waste time in line.  On all our trip itineraries , we include 3 separate options in all locations.  This will save you time.  Those days you are free to roam around the city, town or countryside, our guides will do the dirty work for you.  Now that’s an offer not to pass up.

Splurge on guides!  The extra cost is worth it.  We like saving money whenever possible looking for the best deals, but when it comes to authentic experiences only a guide can give you that special touch.  Guides save you time and most often than not, money.  Our English speaking guides know the area inside and out and with their worldly experiences, they offer up the best advice and suggest the most outstanding possibilities.  Meandering through museums where the exhibits may overwhelm you, our guided tours will take you deeper in what you are seeing and a garden visit with our botanist expert will enrich the landscape around you.

Embrace tourist services!  The double-decker buses seem awful and so tacky.  We agree, but we’ve all taken them to get our bearings in major cities like Rome and Milan.  On a hot summer days, piling into an air-conditioned bus and taking a load off your feet is fabulous.  On our outings, we take early morning walks around the town or city on the first day, so not to waste any time getting you acquainted with the area.  It’s an activity we’ve incorporated into the tours, since we’ve found them to be extremely helpful.  We found mornings to be an ideal time to get your bearings.  The temperatures are much cooler, the pulse of the city is a lot slower and there are less people, so you see a whole lot more.

Learn Italian!  A little goes a long way.  There is no need to become fluent in the language, but a little Ciao, ordering gelato or asking for water is helpful.  Besides, Italians love it! A simple gesture or attempt to speak the language and you’ll found your very first friend in Italy.  A wonderful way to get to know the locals, embrace their culture and learn their way of life.  Here at Via Mondo, we’re all about the lifestyle.  Every Italian is a leading actor in their own play.  Once you show them you’re interested in their story, they’ll hire you as a cast member.  And we don’t need to tell you learning the main Italian greetings, sayings, numbers, the days of the week as well as phrases is not only practical, but fun too.  On tour, we share our Italian knowledge with you and provide every opportunity for you to use the language.

Less is more!  Reflect on your experiences and encounters.  There is so much to do and see in Italy.  We know.  We often hear how you want to do it all in one trip, packing your days up with all kinds of activities and places, but we say, slow down.  You’ll be surprised how much you will see and do with less.  The most memorable times on vacation are the surprises from unplanned activities.  The people you’ll encounter and the places you’ll see when you stop and look around is insurmountable.  Off-the-beaten-paths are often deserted during peak periods and a good time to explore.   Take time out of your busy day to reflect and perhaps find the best gelato away from the crowds.  Among all the art, architecture and antiquities, Italy is a foodie paradise.  Slow down to allow your senses to absorb the beauty around you.