Tourists have been drawn to Italy for ages, pulled by the country’s bustling cities, romantic coastlines and mouthwatering food. The crumbling Roman ruins transcend time, promising visitors a glimpse into millenniums gone by. Behind every gently rolling hill, Tuscany entices with wine and olive vineyards. Meanwhile, in Florence, miles of shopping await, while Venice moves slowly, holding your cappuccino and gondola tour until you arrive.
Italy is truly a land of wonders, playing host to scores of tourists with barely the blink of an eye. Those who go prepared spend every waking minute taking in the sights and sounds, savoring the flavors and living out their dreams. Those who don’t plan ahead are faced with five-hour lines, terrifying driving trips and countless hours and money lost in their attempts to “wing it.” Enlisting a knowledgeable travel agent can be the difference between the trip of a lifetime and a vacation of horrors.
Take the flights, for example. Any of your favorite airline search sites will show you the cost savings of roundtrip tickets in and out of the same city. But do you really want to spend your entire vacation in one place? Italy is long and skinny, with a lot of ground to cover—and even more gelato to eat. If you want to really experience it, you need to move around a bit, see the renowned glass blowers in Murano and the lace makers in Burano, take a bike tour through the picturesque countryside, prepare to be awed by Michelangelo’s statue of David.