Transportation

If you are flying into Italy, chances are you are flying into Rome - it is certainly one of the busiest hubs in the Europe, offering direct flights to most of the world"s major airports. And if you can afford it, air travel throughout the country is a convenient and immensely time saving effort, connecting many of the Italy"s major cities and tourist destinations. Regular flights on the country"s domestic network Alitalia linking Rome to Milan, Venice, Naples, Genoa, Turin and Florence make air travel in Italy a snap, with many of the flights taking just over an hour to complete. Popular flights also connect Rome to Palermo and the Isle of Capri, allowing travelers to skip train or bus travel through Southern Italy, which can be more than a little unreliable.

However, train travel in Italy is by far the most affordable and popular way to get around, plus it provides a wealth of beautiful scenery to help pass the time. If you plan to use travel in Italy by train, many saver passes such as the rail pass are available, allowing holders unlimited use of Italy"s extensive rail network. Discount train travel in Italy can be arranged by simply purchasing second-class tickets instead of couchettes (private beds in shared sleeping rooms) or by taking night trains - a cheap fare that renders a hotel or hostel stay unnecessary can really help stretch your travel dollar. The Flexi Rail Pass makes train travel in Italy even more convenient, as you can get a set number of travel days over a whole month. There are also passes available that connect Italy with the other countries of Europe, if Italy is only a stop on a major continental tour.

Car rental in Italy is not for the feint of heart. Italians have reputations as ridiculous drivers, whether it is the aggressive way they fly through busy city streets, or the high speeds at which they prefer to go on the autostrada. Driving in Rome is hazardous to your health if you are not familiar with Italian driving customs, such as never, ever stopping for pedestrians or other cars. Mopeds whiz everywhere, often times darting back and forth from the sidewalk into traffic and back. It"s really an amazing thing to witness. Florence is not much better; tack on another day to your travels if you are planning on braving the traffic of Naples - most people can walk faster than cars move here.

It"s a different story, however, if you are planning leisurely trips through specific regions of the country. Car rental in Italy is convenient as you travel the soft hills of Tuscany or Umbria. The beach towns of the Campania region are another section where car rental in Italy is a viable option. Though you cannot always find parking in many of the exclusive resorts, there is often plenty available on the outskirts of cities like Sorrento or Pompeii. Ferries can often cut significant time from car travel, though fares certainly vary.

Bus networks throughout most of Italy are reliable and convenient, though they"re not the recommended way to make your way about the country - they offer few, if any, advantages that the rail systems do not.

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