Forum Romanum in Rome, Italy
Rome’s beauty. Florence’s genius. Tuscany’s tradition. Whether you’re a history buff or a fashionista, a nature lover or a city dweller, Italy has places to visit that will appeal. From Venice and Milan in the north, to Sicily and Sardinia in the south, it’s no surprise that Italy is the most popular country to visit with a Eurail pass.
Rome: a royal adventure
Rome, known as the eternal city, offers a feast for the eyes and a festival for the soul. Drop a coin into the famous Trevi fountain, and take in the historical architecture and the unique beauty of this vibrant, ancient metropolis.
View more things to do in Rome.
The Trevi fountain is a 20-minute walk from Roma Termini train station. And there’s plenty to see on the way.
Venice: sailing through the centuries
Venice can feel like the décor of your own fairy tale. Tour the breathtaking cathedrals and spectacular museums that make Venice a truly unique destination. Get lost in the winding streets that hide mystery behind every corner. Or discover Venice as it was meant to be seen – from a gondola. Either way, you’ll find mystery and passion wherever you look.
Vaporetti (city ferries) are the main mode of public transport in Venice. They stop right outside Venice’s Santa Lucia station (Stazione Venezia Santa Lucia).
Hike and climb in paradise
The Cinque Terre (five lands) includes the five picturesque fishing villages Riomaggiore, Manarola, Monterosso, Vernazza and Corniglia, all situated along the northwest coast of Italy. Nature lovers can hike along the cliff-side trails that connect the villages in a single day, but with the breathtaking scenery, you may want to stay longer.
From Stazione Riomaggiore, you can be in the Cinque Terre National Park in 15 minutes by foot, or even faster with a bus.
For the adventurers
Looking for more of a challenge? The Via Ferrata (iron ways) are the steel ladders and fixed cables in the Dolomite mountains (Dolomiti) that make climbing a safe experience for both beginning and advanced climbers. Spread throughout the Dolomites, these climbs offer spectacular views and stimulating challenges. There are many routes and difficulty levels to choose from, so the daredevil inside you is likely to be satisfied. One beautiful route for beginners is accessible by Calalzo train station (about 3 hours from Venice).
From station Calalzo, take a local bus to Santo Stefano di Cadore (about 20 minutes). Expeditions through the Via Ferrata in that region are offered at most difficulty levels.
Get close to genius in Florence
Florence offers art lovers the chance to stand in the presence of greatness. Almost all of Italy’s world-famous art pieces are on display there. Visit Michelangelo’s David at the Galleria dell'Accademia di Bella Arti. Next, take in the Uffizi Gallery and especially The Birth of Venus, by Botticelli. When you’re done, enjoy the culinary delights of this world-famous city. Whether you’re an art lover, a history buff or just a curious adventurer, Florence offers a celebration for the eye, and for the palate.
From Florence station Firenze SMN, Michelangelo’s David is only a 15-minute walk away.
Modern magical Milan
Milan is a bustling center of high finance and higher fashion. Skyscrapers blend with historical buildings, and give the city a modern flair combined with an old-world feel. Known for its fabulous nightlife and high-energy pace, Milan is a modern mecca for the young and the young-at-heart.
The world-famous Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II shopping center is a 20-minute walk from Porta Venezia train station. But take a tram to save energy for all the shopping!
Read about traveling around Italy by train.
When to go
June, July and August are the busiest tourist months, so there will be lots of activity going on. But if you can, try to plan your visit for spring (April and May) or fall (September and October). It will be less crowded, the weather will be milder and lines at popular attractions are likely to be shorter as well.
Italy’s climate is as varied as its people. The north tends to be mild and has relatively little rainfall. The central areas of the country can get very warm and humid in the summertime. The south is usually dry, and can get quite warm. Even in wintertime, the temperatures in the south remain at an average of 50-60 degrees Fahrenheit (10-15 degrees Celsius).
- February 2-14, 2013
Theater, dance and acrobatic performances: the whole of Venice comes alive during Carnavele di Venezia. The traditional masked balls of the festival are known around the world and make for a unique experience.
Get off at Autostazione train station to reach Venice and travel by boat to the different parts of the festival.
Verona Opera Festival
- June 14 - September 8, 2013
Every summer, Verona organizes this operatic delight for your ears and your eyes. The city's ancient Roman amphitheater is the epicenter of this event, which the locals call Arena di Verona.
Verona is less than 90 minutes by train from either Milan (Milano Centrale) or Venice (Venezie Mestre). From Verona central station (Stazione Verona Porta Nuova), the amphitheater is a 20-minute walk or 5-minute cab ride.
Umbria Jazz Festival
- July 5-14, 2013
If you have a soft spot for jazz, use your Eurail pass to visit the city of Perugia (between Florence and Assisi) in July. The Umbria Jazz Festival is one of the leading jazz events in Europe. A great stop along this Italian scenic route through the Umbrian hills.
The best way to reach the festival site is by foot, 20 minutes from the main station.
Palio di Siena
- July 2 - August 16, 2013
Twice a year the madness of this horserace takes to the city’s main piazza. Dating back to the Middle Ages, the festival is held twice yearly. Expect eating, drinking and partying with the locals!
The Piazza del Campo is a short walk from Piazza Indipendenza bus stop.
- September 1, 2013
Every year on the first Sunday in September, Venice hosts the Regata Storica, the annual trial of strength and skill for the city's gondoliers and other expert rowers. Venice’s Santa Lucia train station is closest to the action: just walk along the nearby Ponte della Liberta along the water.
Venice is only a 3 hr train ride away from Milan. The only way to get around in Venice is by foot or by boat.
Saint Agatha's Feast Day
- February 2-5, 2013
Be amazed by one of the largest religious processions in the world on St. Agatha’s Feast Day. Be a part of the music, food, celebration and tradition. Saint Agatha’s Feast Day is held every February in the city of Catania, Sicily, about a 3.5-hour ferry ride from mainland Italy.
Take the Grimaldi ferry from Civitavecchia to Catania Centrale and get a 20% discount with your Eurail pass.