Italy
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Travel and accommodation

Italy has over 30 airports, with international airports located at: Bologna Marconi, Milan Linate, Milan Malpensa, Naples, Pisa, Rome Leonardo da Vinci and Venice Marco Polo. There are plenty of airlines flying from the UK, including scheduled airlines like British Airways and Alitalia, along with various budget and charter airlines including Ryanair, Jet2, Thomas Cook, My Travel and First Choice.

Ryanair flies from London Stansted, London Luton, Bournemouth, Newcastle, Glasgow Prestwick, East Midlands and Liverpool. Look out for Ryanair’s special deal flights from just £9.99 one way. Easyjet flies from London Gatwick and Stansted to Roma Campi, Milan, Bologna, Venice, Naples, and to Rome from Bristol. BMI British Midland flies to Milan from London Heathrow.

British Airways flies from London Gatwick to Bari, Bologna, Cagliari, Catania, Naples, Pisa, Rome, Turin, Venice and Verona.  From London Heathrow British Airways flies to Milan Linate, Milan Malpensa and Rome. It also has flights from Birmingham to Milan Malpensa, Bristol to Milan Malpensa, Manchester to Milan Malpensa and London City to Milan Malpensa. Fares with British Airways to Italy start from £34 to Verona and Pisa one way inclusive, Rome from £45 one way inclusive and to Milan from £49.

To and from the airport

Getting to and from any of the airports is relatively straightforward. Public transport is good and there are airport buses, trains and taxis. In Rome for example a new fixed fare taxi is in operation at the Fiumicino Airport, near exits A, B and C and the cost of the taxi service is €40, inclusive of luggage, for a maximum of four passengers. The “official” taxis are white with a TAXI sign. The “unofficial” taxis will try to charge more money.

Arriving by boat and train

There is an extensive network of roads, railways and ferry lines in Italy and road/rail links cross into the country from France, Switzerland, Austria and Slovenia. The train journey from London is straightforward. Take the Eurostar from London Waterloo and a direct overnight sleeper train from Paris to Milan, Verona, Venice, Bologna, Florence or Rome. Prices start from £59 on the Eurostar and between £25 and £52 for a single fare from Paris to Italy. For more information on prices visit Seat 61 or Rail Europe.

Italy’s principal ports are Ancona, Bari, Brindisi, Cagliari, Catania, Civitavecchia, Genoa, Livorno, Messina, Naples, Palermo, Pescara, La Spezia, Trieste and Venice. There are ferries from Greece to Italy departing from Corfu and Patras to Brindisi. A number of car and passenger ferries operate throughout the year linking Italian ports. Additionally, there are regular ferry and hydrofoil services to the islands of Capri, Elba, Giglio, Sardinia, Sicily and the Aeolian Islands.

Travelling within the country

The best way to get around the country is by train.  Italy has almost 16,000km (9400 miles) of rail track and the Italian State Railways runs a reliable and reasonably priced nationwide network, calculated on the actual distance travelled, with many beautiful journeys passing lakes, countryside and mountains. The Trenitalia Pass rail card is available to visitors to allow four to 10 days unlimited travel within a two-month period during which time any train in Italy can be used (except for Eurostar Italia services where a small supplement is due) as well as some discounts on Italy-Greece ferry routes and hotels. Trenitalia has lots of information about train travel in Italy including national, Eurostar and Intercity trains.

Car travel

Italy has over 6000km (3700 miles) of motorway (autostrada) which link all parts of the country and having a car is a great way to see more of the country, but not an ideal mode de transport in the cities due to the limited parking opportunities and the reputation of Italian drivers!  The usual car rental companies are located at the airports and in most cities and resorts, but hiring a car can be quite expensive in Italy due to the cost of the rental itself and the price of petrol. Small local firms offer cheaper cars but these can only be booked locally.

Road signs are international in Italy and on the motorway tolls are charged at varying distances and scales, except for the Salerno–Reggio Calabria, Palermo–Catania and Palermo–Mazara Del Vallo stretches, which are toll-free. Secondary roads are also excellent and require no tolls.  More information on the Italian motorway network is available from the Società Autostrade.  Driving is on the right.

Public transport

Good coach services also run between towns and cities and there are extensive local buses on the islands of Sicily and Sardinia but in remote areas buses will connect with rail services. Domestic flights can be taken with national airline Alitalia.  Most of the Italian cities have good reliable public transport systems with bus and metro services. Getting about Rome is best done by bus, Milan by Metro and much of Venice will be traversed either by foot or water, via a Vaporetti (water bus), Gondola or water taxi.

In Rome the average cost for a double en suite room in a three star hotel with breakfast is between €60 and €100.

Italy is GMT + 1 and the currency is the Euro.

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