There are many great things about travel in Italy, but Italian traffic isn't one of them.
Over a hundred years ago, composer Verdi famously said that "you may have the universe if I may have Italy." Little has changed since then, and Italy remains one of Europe's most sought after holiday destinations. There are many things that Italy is famous for - it's pasta, it's wine and it's beautiful architecture are just some of the things you can look forward to experiencing in this country. However, there are things you can definitely do without - and Italian traffic is one of them.
Research shows that areas such as Caligari, Rome, Naples, Palermo and Milan are among the most congested in the world when it comes to traffic. On top of this, many congested areas in the country have strict Limited Traffic Zones (ZTL) in place where cars are fined if they drive during certain hours and public parking is astronomically expensive.
Thankfully, the Italian government has put into place measures to ease this restriction. For locals this includes car sharing and for tourists this includes traveling by train.
The rail system in Italy is well connected and you can easily reach all but the smallest and most obscure Italian town using this transport method. This high-speed Italian network is well maintained, punctual and has high speed trains that can go as fast as 360 kilometres per hour, making it a natural travelling companion. It also has all the little comforts that can really make or break a holiday, such as access to bathrooms, food and even a bed should you require it.
While train travel is a preferred way to beat the traffic in Italy, it also offers an experience for you to truly relax and enjoy yourself - to take in the sights and sounds without constantly worrying about the safety of your rental car or trying to translate directions from Italian to English. You can freely indulge in Italian food and wine, without worrying about drinking and driving afterwards.
If you want to truly experience a relaxing holiday, a train trip through Italy is the way to go, and the best part is that you can plan your Italian trip down to the last detail days before you set foot outside Australia.