|Most popular in||December||High demand for flights, 6% potential price rise|
|Cheapest in||May||Best time to find cheap flights, 4% potential price drop|
|Average price||C$ 851||Price for this month|
|Cheapest price||C$ 652||From Toronto to Rome|
C$ 766 - C$ 1451
13 - 32 °C
6 - 49 mm
When to fly to Italy
Seaside and mountain hotels in Italy are busy from June to September. The mountain ski season is December through April. Despite the heat and humidity, the cities are busy April through October, particularly June and July, and Christmas and New Year’s. Venice is also very busy during Carnival (February).
The crowds are less intense and the weather perfect April through May and September through October. Plan a trip December 15 through 24 and you’re likely to find good flight deals to Italy.
The off season usually runs from November to mid-December, and December 25 to March 31. Most attractions go on shorter winter hours or are closed for renovation. August is when most Italians take their vacations and close their shops and businesses.
Italians live la dolce vita, enjoying good food, good wine and good conversation. Every region and city has its own culinary specialty – risotto in Veneto, pesto in Liguria, ham in Parma, artichokes in Rome, balsamic vinegar in Modena, and, of course, pizza in Naples. The Italians have a word for it – campanilismo, which means “loyalty to your own bell tower”. This philosophy ensures that local culinary traditions endure and thrive.
And away from the food, there is nothing to compare with sitting in a cafe set among ruins in Rome, surveying the green and rolling hills in Tuscany, vaporetti plying their trade on the canals of Venice, masterpiece-stuffed museums and churches, shopping in Milan and people-watching … the Italians are a stylish lot with a passion for fashion and an eye for fine design.
Italy is a four-season destination. Book flights to Italy for sightseeing in the big cities and small towns, skiing in the winter or basking on the sandy beaches of the Amalfi Coast, the South and on the islands of Sardinia and Sicily.
A direct flight to Italy from Canada has the shortest travel time, with an average duration of 10h 15m. Some flights will require additional travel time due to stopovers and cities of origin. Most flights average about 17h 30m-22h 30m, and travellers can watch for Italy travel deals to find discounted rates without excessive flight time added for stopovers and plane changes.
Direct flights to Italy are available from Canada with service originating at Toronto International (YYZ) and Montreal Pierre-Elliot Trudeau airports. Nonstop service is offered on Air Canada or Air Transat with a destination of Rome or Venice. There are also a number of indirect flights available from Toronto and Montreal, as well as Vancouver. Arrival cities for indirect flights include Venice, Milan, Rome, Florence, Bologna, Verona, and others.
The national train system in Italy is quite well-designed and the most popular travel option for tourists coming to the country. Canadian visitors can even look up schedules and buy tickets on Trenitalia.com before they arrive. Some of the rural areas like Tuscany will be worth the investment to rent a car, but difficult parking and accessible public transit in cities make driving the last option for many. Mopeds and bicycles are also popular among locals and tourists alike for exploring many areas. As this country has more than 4,000 miles of coastline and multiple islands, boats and ferries are also regularly available to provide transportation on the water.
Italy is an old country, known for a number of cities like Rome that are full of ancient landmarks and attractions. The Colosseum is something that everyone should see, as is the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Those visiting Rome will also enjoy checking out Trevi Fountain, Vatican City, and the Pantheon. Milan is home to some of the best fashion and shopping in the country. Florence and Venice attract more international visitors than Rome, offering beautiful scenery and architecture and the beautiful canals that Venice is notorious for. Florence is all about art and culture, and Pisa offers a lot more culture than just the leaning tower. Shakespeare fans will love exploring Verona, including Juliette’s house and other attractions.
Canadian citizens flying to Italy will need to present a passport to gain entry upon arrival. Visa-free travel is permitted for stays up to 90 days in Italy and other countries that are part of the Schengen area in Europe. Passports must be valid for a minimum of three months after your departure date. Business travelers also don’t need a visa if they are staying for less than 90 days. Customs may also request return tickets, proof of visit intentions, or proof of funds to cover your visit.
Italy’s climate changes with the region. Summers in northern Italy are warm and sometimes rainy. It’s humid in central Italy and hot and dry in the south. Winters are cold, damp and foggy in the north, near-freezing in the centre of the country and mild in the south. Temperatures on the coast are the same regardless of their location. The mountain areas have a much bigger difference between summer and winter and snow can start falling as early as mid-September.
Trains are extensive, throughout Italy. The north is better connected with all types of transport (trains and low-cost airlines) than the south.
Most Italian cities’ historic centres are best covered on foot. When walking around Venice, allow extra time for getting lost — it’s bound to happen. For all cities, bring comfortable and sturdy walking shoes as there are lots of cobblestones. Public transportation is the best way to travel in a city. Rome and Milan have underground trains, buses, and trams, and Florence and Bologna have buses. Venetian public transportation is water buses and ferries.
Taxis are available in most cities in Italy, and water taxis in Venice. Either call for one or get one at a taxi stand. In Bologna, the network of one-way streets is so convoluted that taking a cab can be very expensive.
Mopeds are popular in Rome and Florence. Bicycling is difficult in Florence, but possible.
Ferry service between the mainland and the islands is good and regular but slow.