Every year millions of tourists take cheap flights to Italy to experience the good life, or as the Italians call it ‘la dolce vita’. Italy is a cultural mecca with a history that stretches back to the Roman Empire. Architecture, art, ancient history, wineries, beautiful beaches and of course delicious food (risotto, prosciutto, pizza, tiramisu) and designer shopping (Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, Prada) can all be found in Italy. Between June and September is high season in Italy’s beach resorts, and in the cities peak season runs from April to October. If you’re deadset on visiting Italy in peak season, then be prepared to pay higher prices for flight tickets, hotels and attractions and to queue for sights such as Florence’s Uffizi Gallery and Rome’s Vatican Museum. August is a peak travel time for Italians to take their holidays, so expect a mass exodus from the cities and the beaches to be elbow room only. Christmas and New Year’s are also busy periods for locals to travel and Venice is chockablock with tourists during Carnival in February.
Italy’s low season is generally between November and mid-December, from January through to March. From late October to Easter, many attractions operate on shorter winter hours and beach resorts become deserted. The advantage of low season travel is that this period offers the cheapest flights to Italy, just keep your fingers crossed for the weather. It may be cold and raining or quite pleasant and dry. If you want mild weather then aim for the deep south, somewhere like Sicily which doesn’t drop much below 10C.
The shoulder months of spring (April and May) and autumn (September and October) are ideal for visiting both Italian cities and countryside. You should be able to find cheap flights to Italy without too much trouble if you start searching a month or two in advance. There are fewer tourists at these times of year, so less demand for flight tickets. If you’re travelling in April, check before you book which dates Easter falls, as this is a major religious holiday all across Italy (even more important than Christmas) and many shops and restaurants will be closed.
Flights from Sydney to Italy – 20 hrs 55 mins
Flights from Melbourne to Italy – 20 hrs 30 mins
Flights from Brisbane to Italy – 22 hrs 10 mins
Flights from Perth to Italy – 18 hrs
Rome and Milan are the two main cities that service international flights from Australia. The cheapest flights to Italy stopover via Asia or the Middle East and include airlines such as: Air China, Etihad Airways, Qantas and Emirates. Since this is a popular holiday destination there are a wide range of airlines offering competitive prices for flights to Italy.
Rome Fiumicino Airport (FCO) is located 26 km southwest of the city of Rome. The cheapest way to reach the city centre is by the Leonardo Express train leaving twice an hour from the airport terminal on track 24. The journey to Termini Station in central Rome takes 30 minutes and a one-way tickets costs €14, make sure to validate your ticket in the yellow validation machine before boarding. Milan Malpensa Airport (MXP) is located 49 km northwest of central Milan. It is served by the Malpensa Express train, running from Terminal 1 to Cadorna, Milano Centrale and Milano Porta Garibaldi stations. The train leaves every 30 minutes with a journey time of 30 minutes, an adult single fare is €12.
(prices quotes are from London)