FAQ Frequently Asked Questions
When is the best period of the year to visit Italy?
There is no simple reply to this, it depends from what is most important for you – the weather, avoiding the crowds or saving money.
As far as the weather is concerned anytime between April and mid/late October is fine. If you prefer to travel in the cool months then March, April or October are recommended. If you like the sun and want to enjoy the summer, then late June, July, August are recommended, but please keep in mind these are also the most crowded months. May and September are generally good weather. Anyway, weather is pretty unpredictable in recent years, so there is no guarantee it won’t rain at any time of the year.
If your main goal is to visit in peace and save money you should avoid peak season dates like May, June, early weeks of July, September, October. This is when the tourists attractions are the most crowded and hotels charge even 50% more for stays. January and February are nice and quiet to visit museums, palaces and churches and have the best hotel rates.
Do your tours operate in bad weather?
All our tours operate rain and shine! In case of adverse weather conditions, the tour by boat on the Arno river will be cancelled.
Do you tour on national holiday dates?
We can plan tours for any day, but please be informed that on national holidays we are likely to have huge crowds at the tourists locations, as well as reduced opening hours of museums and churches. Even with a reservation you should expect long waits at the main museums, like Uffizi, Accademia and Pitti Palace.
The national holiday dates in Italy are: 1st January, 6th January, Easter Sunday, Easter Monday, 25th April, 1st May, 2nd June, 15th August, 1st November, 8th December, 25th December, 26th December. I hope this will help you make your plans accordingly.
Do you meet us at our hotel?
Yes, I meet you at your hotel, if it’s within the city centre. The driver for the Wine Tours, instead, will always meet you at your hotel, no matter where it is located.
Is there a dress code for the tours?
Yes! When entering religious sites anywhere in Italy you need to cover shoulders and legs to the knees, out of respect for a place of worship. We also suggest comfortable walking shoes.
Why a Licensed Guide?
Unqualified guiding is not permitted by the Italian Law. Therefore, when booking a local guide in any Italian city, it is your right to ask for proof that he or she holds a license before closing any deal. Under present regulations in Italy, as in most European countries, there is no such thing as a “docent”, “lecturer”, “art historian” or “cultural association” to deal with when hiring the services of a local guide, either directly or through travel agents. Licensed Tourist Guides are the only professionals permitted to conduct tours in all sites and museums within a city.
To become a Licensed Tourist Guide in Italy – like in most EU countries – candidates must pass an examination given by the local public tourist authorities to assess and test their knowledge of the city in terms of its history and geography, its art and architecture, its museums and art galleries, churches, its environs and cultural features. As part of the requirements, candidates must also prove their knowledge of each of the foreign languages they applied for with oral and written tests.
Are the day tours vans non-smoking?
Smoking is not allowed on any of the vehicles.
WHAT ABOUT RENTING A CAR?
Are you currently thinking about renting a car while you are in Italy? You can save some money and have the freedom to go where you want. But there are a few things I think you should know before you make up your mind:
- Renting a car doesn’t guarantee you’ll get one with automatic transmission.
- Be prepared to waste a lot of time looking for parking in some cities where parking is a daily war that the locals are much more practised at. And the majority of spaces are reserved to Residents only.
- Don’t be surprised if you get a whole load of fines on your return home. This is a common experience for visitors driving in Italy where they accidentally stray into ZTL, resident-only traffic zones, or Bus lanes.
- Say goodbye to those fun wine tastings you were planning. Italy has a zero tolerance policy on drinking and driving, and 1 little glass is your limit.
- Driving in some parts of Italy is just plain scary – sorry, but you really won’t feel like James Bond driving along the Amalfi Coast!