The Worst Italy Travel Regrets According to 100 People

italy travel regrets

When it comes to your first Italy trip, you don’t have time for regrets. Even certified Italophiles have made their fair share of mistakes. I was curious about what the worst Italy travel regrets were, so I asked 100 of you guys what your biggest mistakes were. Check out the results below!

italy travel regrets

Worst Italy travel regrets ranked

Here’s the data from the survey.

  1. Not staying long enough (37.7%)
  2. Overpacked (23.5%)
  3. Going too fast (23.5%)
  4. Didn’t research enough before they left (18.8%)
  5. Not interacting with locals more(16.5%)
  6. Not going to a particular city (16.5%)
  7. Missing certain tourist destination(s) / monuments (11.8%)
  8. Not researching restaurants (11.8%)
  9. The person/people I traveled with was a bad choice (8.2%)
  10. Didn’t bring enough money (7%)
  11. Not living in the moment (7%)
  12. Didn’t learn the language (5.8%)
  13. Spent too much money (5.8%)
  14. Staying too long (2.4%)
  15. Going too slow (1.2%)
  16. Underpacked (1.2%)

What respondents had to say

I left the survey open for comments so I could learn a little bit more about specific experiences people have had and advice to give to readers on what to avoid. Check out some of the most insightful comments about Italy travel regrets from the survey below.

Planes, trains, and automobiles

“Not renting a diesel car when driving the A-3 in Calabria.”

“Don’t rent a car. Take the trains.”

“I regret not trying the bus. I was too afraid to ask where to buy tickets and afraid to take the wrong bus. That would have really saved my feet!”

“Trying to fit too much into one trip. Pick two places, Rome and Florence for example, and make the trip about the voyage between these two places. Take the train and get off on one of the stops in between for coffee or lunch. Talk to the locals. Have a glass of wine. My wife and I went to Rome, Sorrento, and Palermo in 12 days. Too many planes, trains and automobiles and not enough of absorbing the culture, eating the food, etc. Take your time and take it all in. It’s gorgeous.”

To tour or not to tour?

“Not giving enough time to spend in the museums. Needed more than two weeks. Do select a travel company to help you. Do use private drivers and tour guides. The most expensive thing is your time. Don’t waste a minute getting lost.”

“I regret going on a tour.”


“The worst experience I ever had and my biggest regret is visiting the Blue Grotto in Capri by boat. The boat operator wasted hours and hours of our time for no reason – and we only had 1 day to spend there!”

“Not seeing the Blue Grotto due to weather issues.”

This experience was bittersweet

“I went before the ages of smartphones. My rental vehicle broke down and we had to hitchhike back to Rome. We stopped in Tuscany and had the most delicious meal of my life. One of my best experiences ever!”

italy travel regrets

I brought too many clothes

“I have very few regrets about our trip, as we spent months researching and reading forums and threads. Rick Steves was a life saver. But if anything, I would say I brought too many clothes and that we were too ambitious on our itinerary. We had a rental car and visited 10 cities/towns in 9 days! So it was pretty tiring by the end, but also very exciting.”

Learn the language! 

“I really wanted to visit Naples. And, definitely, regret not trying to learn at least a little bit of the language before visiting. And I only spent 1 week, way too short.”

The absolute worst 

“Don’t have many regrets – it’s Italy! I did get a lot of bug bites in Venice though. Should’ve been a little more prepared for that!”

Don’t get lost 

“Not picking a meeting place in case we were separated!! We were separated for 8 hours at the Vatican with no cell phones or internet access. Pick a meeting spot at every main/big touristy spot.”

italy travel regrets

Good eats

“My first trip to Italy left me distinctly disappointed in the food. Ate at way too many tourist spots. Now, I shop local, fresh and cook for myself. If I’m going to eat out, I eat where the locals eat.”

Well said.

“I’ve been to Italy numerous times and the only regret is having to leave every time.”



What are the biggest Italy travel regrets you have? Have a different experience than the ones above? Let me know in the comments below! 

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  1. I’ve only been to Italy once, to Rome and I fell head over heels with the city: the food, the buildings, the shops, the beauty surrounding me! I don’t regret anything, except maybe not being able to stay there for a few months :))

  2. Yeah, I can totally understand nr.1. As an Italian, when some people say they are gonna “visit Italy in 5 days”, I’m always quite perplexed :\ They are not even enough for visiting Rome!

  3. I’m going for my first visit to Italy next summer. I’m planning on spending about a month. I plan on spending seven complete days in Venice. Then I’ll travel by train to Milan and spend four complete days there. Then I’ll travel to Florence and spend seven complete days there. Finally I will travel to Rome and spend 10 complete days there. For those of you who have been there, how does this sound. Does this schedule seem too rushed?

    1. Hey Yolanda,

      I think your trip sounds perfect. 4 days is the shortest amount of time I would spend in a city to get a feel for the culture, so you’re good. I especially like that you saved 10 days for Rome—I think you’ll find that the gritty Eternal City is your favorite of all. Rome is a labrynth of ancient streets and monuments and you’ll definitly be able to get a feel for Roman life in 10 days.

      Keep in mind that Venice in the summer is expensive and crawling with tourists. Try to stay somewhere away from St. Marks Square to get the best prices and experience Venice from a more local perspective. Plus you get to see some of the more picturesque bridges over the canals hiding away from the crowds.

      Happy travels, so happy for you!


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