Travel Blog Joao Cajuda

Italy – TOP things to do

Italy – TOP things to do

Beautiful Italy! I always had the dream of hitting the Italian coast with Fiat Pininfarina Cabriolet. Italy is one of the most richest countries in terms of culture and tradition… Italian cuisine is, along with the Portuguese a bane for me … Not to mention the wine, fabulous! In this post I will summarize my incredible 9 day trip, three days in Rome and six in Sicily (4 of them in the tiny island of Favignana).


I think it depends on each person, the best time I guess is spring… March, April and May are months of low rainfall and temperatures hover between 15 and 20 degrees. However for these reasons, this is also the time when the country get’s more tourists.

I like a little bit more warm so I went in June. July and August are months quite hot, great for those who like to stay in the swimming pool but terrible for those who want to explore the city. I don´t recommend you!

Fall is ok, September and October are great months to visit the country. In the winter months it is more stringent, temperatures can go down to 0 ° C, but for those who don´t have other option, better go than stay at home.


TAP and Ryanair have direct flights from Lisbon to Rome, if booked in advence the flight can cost you less than 100€. My flight was to the airport of Ciampino, there are two ways to get to the city center, bus and taxi (click here for more information on how to arrive / depart from Ciampino and Fiumicino airports).


Accommodations – Hotels in Italy are not cheap, especially in large cities such as Rome, Venice, Florence and areas such as Capri. The hostels are relatively expensive compared to Portugal. Rooms in Rome can cost you between 25 € (shared) to € 95 (single room). Southern Italy as well as the island of Sicily have more affordable prices.


As in Portugal, it is not difficult to find restaurants that serve a good meal for under 14€. A meal with wine can easily reach 30 € per person! In restaurants always leave a tip. You can easily find slices of pizza, sandwiches and ice cream in the cafes for less than 4€. The McDonalds menu cost around 8€. Eat ice cream in the morning, afternoon and night!




In the cities – on foot! It’s the cheapest, healthiest and also the best way to explore a city.

City to City – The best way to move in Italy is by train, you can reach the whole country. Visit the official page for times and prices. Regional: it is the cheapest one. For this reason is also the slowest. They take longer because they stop in all small stations, but it’s ok if you have time, is best way to enjoy the scenery and discover new cities. Intercity / Intercity Plus: Has an average price. Only to major cities. Eurostar Italia Alta Velocita: is the fastest train in Italy and also the most expensive.

Traveling to the islands – You may go by car from Rome to Sicily and then take a ferry. For those who have plenty of time is a great alternative as you can visit Naples, Cinque Terre, Positano, Capri and the whole Italian Mediterranean coast … you can stop whenever you want. For those who have short time, getting a flight is a better idea, EasyJet or Ryanair cost approximately 50€ and the trips takes less than 1h.


  • Police – Carabinieri – 112
  • Police Emergency aid – 113
  • Firefighters – 115
  • A.C.I. (Italian Automobile Club) for roadside assistance – 116
  • Medical Emergencies – 118


Rent Car – Renting a car in Italy is not expensive, a 20-minute taxi ride will cost the same as renting a car 24H. The roads are in very good conditions and there’s enough gas stations along the way. Is good to have a map or GPS and lose yourself on the back roads, my favorite ones to discover unforgettable places. Gasoline in Italian is “benzene” and diesel is “gasolio” Almost every stations are open from 7:30AM to 12AM. Many use the system “fai date” (self – service), it can be tricky when using the first time. Warning… a lot of crazy drivers. Calculating distances between cities. 

Buy an Italian SIM card: Forget those 200€ bills in roaming phone calls. You can easily purchase an 5€ Italian mobile phone card with calls and internet (500MB) enough for you to read emails and make your friends jealous with photos on Instagram and facebook.

Travel Insurance – An important tip that many people forget. Having a travel insurance is mandatory (all non-EU citizens) … you know, a sprained foot, an open forehead on that small door, etc … it’s better to pay a few euros and rest easy than having to go in the international hospital and pay another flight.  To get a good and cheap travel insurance click here.

Food – For those who don’t want to spend a lot of money, the best solution is Panini from morning to night, they are delicious. A panini and a Coke is about 4€.

Clothing – Italian fashion is a bane for many people. Shops of Prada, Gucci, Dolce & Gabanna … are in almost every major city.

Stand up while having coffee – Standing at the counter while having coffee can be three times cheaper than sitting.

Bread and chopsticks? No, thank you! – Some restaurants charge for bread on the table … If you don´t want, say it right away.

Water – Purchase a plastic bottle of water and you can re-fill on streets fountains. Most cities have hundreds of fountains with potable water.

Buy Wine – There are a lot of great wines in Italy, and the best part of it, they are cheap. Buy a bottle of wine at the supermarket and drink on the street, is much cheaper that drinking at the bar.

Buy Museum tickets before – By the museum tickets online and safe money.


  • Cinema Paradiso – Giuseppe Tornatore – Trailer
  • The Great Beauty – Paolo Sorrentino – Trailer
  • Eat Pray Love – Ryan Murphy – Trailer
  • Life Is Beautiful – Roberto Benigni – Trailer
  • Rome, Open City – Federico Fellini – Trailer
  • La Dolce Vita – Federico Fellini – Trailer
  • Talented Mr. Ripley – Anthony Minghella – Trailer



  • Ivan Graziani – Palla di Gomma – Listen
  • Cinema Paradise – Listen


  • Ciao – Hello / Goodbye
  • Grazie – Thank you
  • Per Favore – Please
  • Buon Giorno – Good morning
  • Buona Sera – Good Night
  • Buon Pomeriggio – Good afternoon
  • Scusi – Excuse me
  • Arrivederci – Goodbye
  • Gabinetto – WC
  • Mangiare – Eating
  • Stazione – Railway station
  • Ristorante – Restaurant
  • Gelato – Ice Cream



Rome is an “open air museum”. For over 2000 years here were build monuments that nowadays are World Heritage Sites, from the giant coliseum to the magnificent Sistine Chapel. Considered the world’s center for centuries, Rome is a city of a thousand stories and myths.

Everything you need to know. ROME GUIDE…



Sicily is the largest Italian island and one of the most beautiful Mediterranean pearls. Is not hard to find breathtaking scenery, crystal-clear waters and a culture and traditions with centuries of history.

Everything you need to know. SICILY GUIDE…


italyitalia_rome_favignana_travel_viajar1302 SICÍLIA FAVIGNANA

I discovered the island of Favignana by accident when googling the most beautiful beaches in the world. Cala Rossa was in almost all the tops and therefore it came my interest in visiting the island. I’ve stayed in the island four nights but I could have stayed four months. Favignana is the largest of the Egadi Islands, three islands off the coast of Sicily. Despite the airport in Trapani which makes it very accessible to all of Europe, the island is mostly visited by Italian tourists. The island has 9 Km’s length and you can take a tour around the island by car in less than 1H.

Everything you need to know about Favignana Island… READ MORE >>