The romance, aromas, sights and sounds of Italy are something that few world travelers can resist. There’s just something about Italian culture, cities and landscapes that grab the imagination and never let go. Italy is after all one of the most popular travel destinations on the entire planet for good reason!
But, like any other popular destination, there are potential pitfalls that can trip up the unsuspecting traveler in Italy if he or she is not prepared. Put another way, Italy is – despite what you might think – home to some pretty notable tourist traps.
Now, not every tourist trap is to absolutely be avoided. However, if you’re trying to get the most out of your Italian vacation, you’ve got to have a few alternatives to those tourist traps in your itinerary.
That’s why we’ve put the list below together. On it, you’re going to learn what our picks are for the 10 biggest tourist traps in all of Italy. And, you’re also going to learn what our suggested alternatives are.
So, if you’re planning a trip to Europe’s boot, then read on! Knowing about these places will help to ensure you’re getting the most out of your trip there…
1. Venice Gondola Ride
Not only is the gondola ride kind of corny, it’s also way more expensive than you’ ever guess.
2. INSTEAD: Ferry
You can get the same Venice canal experience at a fraction of the price by using a traghetto, which locals use to get around.
While not technically a tourist trap, there’s one thing that’s true about Pompeii: It’s full of tourists.
4. INSTEAD: Taormina
If you want the opportunity to explore ruins without being crowded out by other tourists, then this location on Sicily is a good bet.
5. As Lake
Everyone knows that George Clooney lives on Lake Como, and that means tourist traffic here is way up.
6. INSTEAD: Lake Orta
To get that beautiful Italian lake experience without all of the crowds, go to Lake Orta instead.
When people want to take in stunning views of Florence, they oftentimes head to Duomo.
8. INSTEAD: Piazzale Michelangelo
As it turns out, you can get a much better view and not deal with as many crowds by going over to the Piazzale.
9. Landmark-Side Espresso
On top of every big landmark, there’s going to be a place to get an espresso, and that place is going to packed.
10. INSTEAD: Espresso Elsewhere
Take yourself away from the well-traveled paths and enjoy an espresso someplace less trafficked. It will be a far more authentic and enjoyable experience.
11. Palazzo Vecchio
This landmark has long been one of the things to see in Venice, and it can often get extremely crowded.
12. INSTEAD: Palladian Villas of the Veneto
For a similar experience without the push of the masses, you can check out this stunning UNESCO World Heritage site.
13. Leaning Tower of Pisa
If you have to get that funny photograph of yourself in front of it, then by all mean… But wouldn’t you rather…
14. INSTEAD: San Gimignano
Located in Tuscany, you can check out incredible old towers without having to push through throngs of people.
15. Venice Glass
One of the things you’re supposed to do in Venice is buy those Murano glass tchotchkes… Well…
16. INSTEAD: Murano
Why buy them around Venice, when you can go to the small island on which all of those tchotchkes are made?
17. Trevi Fountain
A hot day in Rome has led many tourists to this famous fountain, some of home get arrested for dipping their toes in!
18. INSTEAD: Saturnia
If you need to refresh yourself in the waters of Italy, you’re much better off checking out the hot springs of Saturnia
19. Romeo and Juliet’s Balcony
A popular destination for vacationing romantics, you may be better served elsewhere…
20. INSTEAD: Sotoportego dei Preti
For example, check out this landmark in Venice that has a hidden heart in the archway that can bring you and your special someone luck in love.