For those of you looking to discover the finest splendours of Europe, the opportunity to travel to Italy will be like a dream come true. From famous architectural masterpieces, breathtaking mountain ranges and beautiful beaches, Italy is packed with numerous attractions that make it a perfect destination for any kind of holiday. But as you plan your holiday might have some you have some questions about how to find nearby Halal food places in Italy or how to find prayer places and mosques in Italy. Keeping in mind all these concerns, we have put together a 9D8N itinerary you can use as a great starting point to plan your very own Muslim-friendly holiday to Italy.
Italy is also known for being home to some of the world's best-known dishes; click here to see some must-try dishes in Italy for Muslims.
Based on Italy weather the best time to travel to Italy is from May to October. But since this is the peak tourist season some of the main attractions might get a bit crowded around rush hours and other travel expenses are also slightly high.
November and April lie slightly outside the peak travel seasons and experience overall pleasant weather conditions, therefore if you are looking to avoid large crowds, this off-peak season might be a good time to plan your Halal holiday to Italy.
Train rides are the most common means of transport to get you between various cities in Italy and you can book high-speed Eurail train rides that take you through scenic routes to reach your destination fast and at affordable rates. You can travel through the major cities in Italy such as Rome, Milan and Venice as well as take connecting trains to other neighbouring countries such as Switzerland and Germany. The Eurail Italy pass starts from a price of € 130 and it allows you to travel through the cities without collecting multiple rail passes allowing you an unlimited number of trips for a few days within a month. Train rides can get filled fast, so we advise that you reserve a seat during the busy summer period of May to September or on public holidays for the InterCity trains. Do check out their website for travel savings and offers that they have available.
You can also travel through Italy by bus if you a pressed for time. Buses are also valuable for reaching destinations not serviced by trains. Though they are bit uncomfortable, bus trips can be a fun way to meet new people. You can eat and sleep onboard the buses and lavatory facilities are also available on all coaches. We would still advise taking the train for long distance travel, as long-distance coach service is available only on a few routes, and information can be difficult to find.
If you are looking for a more adventurous way to travel, hiring a car is an option as well. There are rental car agencies at every international airport. However, we advise that you arrange the rental with your travel agent at home or online through an agency. As most European usually drive cars with manual transmissions, and you find a premium price for the few automatic cars they keep for tourists. Driving can be unnerving for tourists due to the chaotic way that Italians drive especially in the big cities; be prepared for hand gestures and car horns.
Trains would be the most convenient way to travel from city to city, so hop on and get ready to travel through Italy.
To welcome you in grand style to this amazing part of the world, you could plan to start your trip off in the world famous fashion capital Milan. You might want to watch out for the glitzy stores might instantly awaken the shopaholic in you and you would feel tempted to go on a shopping expedition right from the time you land.
Once you arrive in Milan there are a plenty of ways to get around the city. Milan has a one main public transport provider Azienda Transporti Milanesi, ATM which makes getting around and buying tickets a lot simpler. The easiest way to get around would be by the Metro subway system serving almost all the tourist stops in the city. You can find out how to get to different stations be using the Milan Metro map and tracing the line to the desired destination. Trams and buses are also available for a more extensive reach of the city. Do remember to push the button or pull the cord to request the tram or bus to stop.
For the more adventurous, there is also a bike sharing program in Milan called BikeMi. There are stations throughout central Milan and once you have signed up for the program you can locate different stations and select bikes available.
Milan is also no short of famous attractions like the Natural Science Museum, Poldi Pezzoli Museum, Cinque Vie historical district and much more so you can rest assured your two days here will be extremely enjoyable.
The city is home to quite a number of Muslim Friendly Restaurants like Kashmire Restaurant, Aladino and Prince Kebab where you can enjoy the taste of Italian and other international cuisines.
You can next take the Eurail from Milan to Venice to enjoy the true artistic splendour of Italy. The fastest way from Milan to Venice is by taking the Le Free high-speed train which will only take you 2 hours and 25 minutes. However, seat reservation is mandatory so make sure you book your seats as far in advance as possible and you only need to pay a small reservation fee if you have already purchased the Eurail Pass. Alternatively, you can take the regional train which takes more than twice the time but allows you to stop along the way to discover beautiful cities such as Bologna and Parma. With the Eurail Pass, you don’t need to buy a ticket for the regional train. You can travel freely and get on off whenever you like. When you arrive in Venice by train, there are two stops bearing the name Venice. Venice Metre will still be on the mainland and Venice Santa Lucia will stop you right out onto the grand canal.
While the networks of canals are the most prominent feature of this beautiful city, you can enjoy visits to other famous attractions like Correr Museum, Doge's Palace, Peggy Guggenheim Museum and shopping spots like Calle Larga XXII Marzo. A must-do activity during your time in Venice is to enjoy a gondola ride to witness the scenic beauty of the city from afar.
To get around the city, you can take leisurely strolls to get from place to place and is part of the attraction of this lovely city. However, you are looking for a way to get around quick then taking the Vaporetto would be the answer. The Vaporetti are like big bus-boats that travel along regular routes such as the one along the Grand Canal. When you arrive at the Venice Santa Lucia station there is a Vaporetto stop right in front of you that follow a route down the grand canal taking you through to every stop including San Marco at the end.
Image Credit: Italian Prestige Houses
Once again you can book a Eurail pass to take about a 2-hour journey onboard a highspeed train to reach Florence; the city home to many works of art by the world-famous artist, Michelangelo. Florence is packed with museums, gardens and palaces that will keep you engaged right throughout your journey.
Florence's main historic centre is relatively small and is easy to navigate on foot. Driving in the city is not advisable as there is little parking and many streets are pedestrian only or often one-way streets.The Florence City Council to encourage the use of bicycles in Florence and Bikes can be hired at a cost of € 2 for an hour and € 10 a day at various places such as the central railway station. There are plenty of Florentines who use bicycles as their main mode of transportation, so you would not be alone. However, you have to be very careful as it's the motorists that can cause problems. Riding a Bicycle is Especially practical when in the historical centre as it will be closed off to motor traffic. When cycling on Florence roads remember to abide by the rules and stay safe!
A fleet of small electric buses also provide links between main key areas in the centre. Take note that there are three doors on the ATAF buses, the front and back ones are for getting on and the middle one is for getting off. You have to buy the tickets before you board the bus and validate the ticket when you enter. We advise that you buy the Firenze Card to get into the museum as it allows you unlimited bus travel on the ATAF buses for 72 hours from activation.
As the final stop of your Muslim-friendly holiday to Italy you can visit the capital and most talked about city in Italy, Rome. The fastest way to travel to Rome from Florence is by taking the Le Frecce high-speed train taking you an estimated 1 hour and 30 minutes. For actual travel times, check out our timetable. Alternatively, you can take the regional train stopping by cities such as Orvieto and Arezzo. If you travel with a Eurail Pass, you don't need to buy a ticket. However, if you decide to take the high-speed train, we advise you book your seats early.
Since there are so many attractions scattered around the city, you might want to plan out your journey to cover famous attractions like the Colosseum, Seven Hills of Rome, Pantheon, Trevi Fountain and National Museum of Rome.
There are various ways to get around roam. Like many other big cities, Rome has Metro trains, buses and trams in its transportation system. The Metro lines may not be very useful as a lot of the major attractions may not be near a Metro stop. However, all the tickets used for the Metro also works for other forms of public transportation making switching modes of transport easy. The bus routes may be complicated to figure out so do find a city map that has the bus routes listed to make travelling around easier. Also, make sure you don’t forget to validate your ticket when you board the bus! There are taxis in Rome. However, do be wary as some taxi drivers have a reputation for trying to rip off tourists. To hail a taxi in Rome just head to one of the taxi stand or queues in places like the Vatican etc.
There are also several mosques in the city including the Mosque of Rome, which is one of the largest mosques in Europe.
Before you depart from Italy you can finish up some last minute shopping at Via Condotti or the streets around Piazza del Popolo. Finally, after enjoying this rich holiday experience you can get set to leave from the main airport in Rome, the Leonardo da Vinci or Fiumicino International Airport in style.
Check out our travel blog for more itineraries and travel guides around Europe!