Italy is certainly a country of contrasts with so much to offer for all tastes; do you want sweeping mountains, stylish fashion capitals, sun kissed beaches, luscious lakes or volcanic islands? Well, look no further than Big Boot Italy; home to all of the above. Romance, Opera and Passionate Cooking are all associated with the country and you will find this in abundance from Milan to Naples, and everywhere in between.

Language and Currency

Italian is the official language with plenty of regional dialects spoken across the country. You will also find other languages including Sardinian, German, Ladin, French, Greek, Albanian, Catalan quite widely spoken.


Summer is hot, particularly in the south. July, August and the first half of September are usually quite hot , around 34-37'c , humid and very crowded with tourists. Spring and autumn are mild with fine, sunny weather. Winter in the south is much drier and warmer than in northern and central areas. The winters in the north are chilly 10-15'c in the day and much colder at night. Mountain regions are colder with heavy winter snowfalls.


Let's start with the obvious shall we?! Rome boasts The Colosseum, Pantheon, The Trevi Fountain and Spanish Steps and of course the impressive Vatican with its incredible Sistine Chapel.

In renaissance Florence you can see the remarkable Duomo, the Palazzo Vecchio with a copy of Michelangelo's David and the Uffizi Gallery, one of worlds oldest and most famous art galleries. The romantic canals and ornate bridges of Venice draw many visitors, and you'll find that there are no roads or cars - just canals and boats - how serene! And if you want a bit of world class fashion, cuisine and opera, a visit to Milan is a must.

If you prefer to be away from the hustle and bustle, how about exploring the spectacular Lakes such as Como and Garda, or head to one of the coastal towns on the Neapolitan Rivera. Although both still popular with tourists, there are plenty of places to head for a bit of quiet time. Why not visit the stunning clifftop town of Sorrento for its spectacular views of Naples and Mount Vesuvius, surrounded by the ever present fragrances of orange and lemon groves situated within the town?


Florence, Milan and Rome are notorious as world wide fashion capitals, and if you're looking to treat yourself to some designer goods, these are the places to head! However, bear in mind that the further south you travel, the cheaper items become; you can buy twice as much in Apulia for your money than in Milan!

No trip to Italy would be complete without the purchase of at least one of the following favourites;

  • - Leather goods, (including shoes of course!)

  • - Decorative paper, glass and embroidery.

  • - Food products such as Truffles and Fresh Pasta.

  • - Wood Carvings and Silver / Gold Jewellery.

  • If you're feeling particularly flush, how about a custom-made, tailored suit?!

    Prices are generally fixed and bargaining is not general practice unless you are at a market. It's worth avoiding buying a fake branded item - at least knowingly - you can be fined for this!

    Dining Out and Nightlife

    Italians will be quick to tell you there's no such thing as Italian food. Rather, each city or region has its own distinct cuisine. Italy has over 20 major wine regions, from Valle d'Aosta on the French border to Sicily and Sardinia in the south.

    When heading out for food, the obvious choices spring to mind; but as delicious as real Italian Pasta and Pizza is - we cannot fault it and would highly recommend! - try a few of the less obvious choices, such as;

    • - Start with Bresaola; Thinly sliced salted and aged beef, drizzled in olive oil and lemon juice served with cracked black pepper and rocket salad and a bread such as Focaccia.

    • - Follow up with Coda alla Vaccinara ; Oxtail and Celery Stew with mixed vegetables - and be sure to mop up with a few slices of the delicious Tuscan Pane sciocco (unsalted bread).

    • - Dessert should certainly be Tiramisu as you have never truly tasted it until you've had one made by an Italian chef!

    Most Cafes and Restaurants will have outdoor seating so you can enjoy the colourful street theatre under the wonderful Italian weather. Enjoy a delicious Cappuccino with Amoretti Biscotti as an afternoon treat. Or Brunch. Or Dessert...what ever takes your fancy!

    Throughout the major towns, you will find cafes, restaurants, cinemas, bars, and nightclubs in abundance. Heading out to catch the latest film? To enjoy it in English, try the Cinema Ariosto, in Milan or Goldoni Cinema, in Florence. Italys' passion for Opera is expressed through numerous open-air concerts organised by the Opera House. For a spectacular theatre experience, head to Teatro la Fenice in Venice or the Teatro alla Scala in Milan.


    Thinking of hiring a car on your trip? Be sure to familiarise yourself with the below rules beforehand!

    • - Don't drink and drive! The Blood alcohol limit in Italy is 80 mg.

    • - Remember, on three-lane roads, the middle lane is reserved for overtaking.

    • - Stick to the speed limits! You can face huge fines for breaking them even slightly.

    • - No full beam lights permitted in built-up areas.

    • Tourist Information

      Visit the Official Italian Tourism Website for all the information you need for your trip to Italy - enjoy!

All car hire locations in Italy