Consistently rated their favorite country in the world by Hideaway Report members, Italy provides an incomparable range of attractions. As well as a culture of extraordinary depth and complexity, magnificent architecture and museums and galleries of astounding splendor, Italy offers daily instruction in the art of living well. For Italophiles, it is necessary only to whisper “seafood antipasti and spaghetti al limone” and they are instantly back on the Amalfi Coast, overlooking a bay where the blue of sea and sky merge at a hazy horizon. It is lunchtime: A pitcher of chilled local wine stands on a pink tablecloth, and the smells of rosemary and basil merge with those of grilling fish and calamari. At such moments, travel in Italy becomes one of the supreme pleasures of life.
Overall, the best times for a visit are late spring (May-June) and fall (October-November). However, cities like Florence and Venice are often overwhelmed with tourists, and many sophisticated travelers now prefer to visit them in winter. Rome’s inhabitants desert their city in August, and many restaurants are closed.
Six hours ahead of New York (EST).
Euro (€). Fluctuating rate valued at €1.00 = US$1.12 as of February 2020.
Rome, Tel. (39) 06-46741. Consulates: Milan, Tel. (39) 02-290-351; Naples, Tel. (39) 081-583-8111; Florence, Tel. (39) 055-266-951.
To phone hotels and restaurants in Italy, dial 011 (international access) + 39 (Italy code) + city code and local numbers in listings.