Know Before You Go: Venice, Florence & Rome | EF Ultimate Break

Venice, Florence & Rome

Know Before You Go

For an epic trip with zero stress and infinite holy s#!t moments, get familiar with the information below. Seeing the world should be fun, not stressful, which is why we’ve written this guide for you and are available 24/7 so all you have to do is travel. Now, it’s time to do a happy dance and make this trip ULTIMATE.

Getting There

Complete Your Checklist

Before heading to the airport, complete the tasks below and check them off in your Online Account Checklist. If you have any questions, give us a call at 800-766-2645. We’re available 24/7 to make sure you have the Best. Trip. Ever.


  • Verify your passport: In order to enter Italy, U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport with an expiration date of at least six months after the date of re-entry. There is no visa required for U.S. or Canadian citizens
  • Join the Facebook group: Join your private Facebook group now! It’s how you can meet other travelers and see announcements from your Tour Director. Call us at 800-766-2645 if you’re having trouble joining.
  • Request a roommate:: Double check with us and your Tour Director that they have your rooming status on file. We will assign a roommate for you if you do not submit a specific request.
  • Personalize your trip: Travel Insurance is not available for purchase on tour, and the price of Optional Excursions increases after departure. We suggest logging in to your Online Account now to add these items.
  • Call your bank: Let your bank and credit card company know of your travel plans so you can withdraw cash and use your debit/credit cards abroad. Otherwise, you risk your account being blocked.

Pack Like a Pro

Your airline ticket includes one checked bag (typically 27" x 21" x 14") but note that years of customer feedback tells us that the lighter you pack, the better. Double check the luggage size requirements on your airline’s website, but we recommend traveling with one small backpack or purse, and a smaller carry-on suitcase (22” x 14” x 9”) or bag; You may need to carry your suitcase where buses and elevators cannot, and remember that you’ll have the opportunity to do laundry throughout the trip. See more packing tips below that will help you become an international, carry-on-suitcase, jetsetter:


  • 1 lightweight jacket
  • Comfortable walking shoes or sandals to keep cool during city sightseeing
  • Closed-toed shoes for activities in the desert
  • 1-2 pairs jeans or loose, lightweight pants
  • 3-4 shirts / t-shirts / sweaters
  • 1 nicer outfit for Farewell Dinner or a night out
  • Bathing suit
  • Sunglasses and sunscreen. Pro Tip: Bring two travel-size sunscreens in your carry-on
  • Underwear and socks
  • Toiletries, medicine
  • 1 reusable water bottle
  • Phone or camera
  • Passport
  • Debit / Credit cards and cash
  • A power adapter – type “C” or “E”, or a staff favorite is the “Targus World Power Travel Adapter” ($20, Amazon.com)

Note: You’re required to cover your knees and shoulders in sacred places like St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice, and St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome

Flight Preparation

Check your online account 30 days prior to departure for your flight itinerary and confirmation number. You can check in to your flight 24 hours prior to departure. If you prefer to check in at the airport, plan to arrive 2.5 – 3 hours before departure.


  • If your flight is cancelled or delayed: Don’t worry! We design the first day of tour as an arrival day in case of flight delays or cancellations. Work with the airline to get rebooked on the next available flight, then let your Tour Director know your new arrival time
  • If you slept in and missed your flight: You should still talk to the airline and see if they can get you on the next available option. Tears may help in this case.

Note: All flight information is online (e-ticket) via your account and the airline’s website. You will not receive a physical paper ticket from us.

Arriving in Venice

Benvenuto in Italia! Your Tour Director will communicate on Facebook or email about where to meet them at the Venice airport. This is another reason you should join your Facebook group.

Meet Your Tour Director and Fellow Travelers

Your Tour Director will also tell you best way to communicate with them during the trip; they will be with your group from start to finish so if there is anything you need, connect with them. Concerned about international cellular data and staying in touch with your group? Check out “Phones and Electronics” further down in this guide.

Use Your Phone, Internet, and Electronics

We recommend you get an international data plan from your cell phone provider. The most common options are the Travel Pass with Verizon, or purchasing a personal hot spot with your carrier. Wi-Fi will be in some hotels, restaurants, and bars; but it isn’t always as strong as Wi-Fi in the US. For your cell phone and any other electronics you bring abroad, you will also need a converter/adapter.

Note: A staff favorite adapter is the “Targus World Power Travel Adapter” ($20, Amazon.com)

Note: We recommend bringing a cross-body bag that zips close instead of a backpack. This will help you keep track of your belongings better and will help dissuade pickpockets. For your visit to the Vatican City, you must have appropriate clothing that covers your shoulders and falls below the knee (pants or a long skirt).

On The Ground

Manage Your Money

Cash and most well-known credit/debit cards are widely accepted in Europe, and ATMs are everywhere. Budget $80- $100 per day for meals, shopping, and free time activities. Tipping is not customary in Europe, but many locals leave 1-2 Euro or pounds for exceptional service. For your Tour Director, we recommend tipping $40-$60 at the end of the trip if you feel inclined.


Currencies used:


  • Italy: Euro (€)

Note: Let your bank and credit card companies know your travel plans ahead of time to avoid potential complications while abroad.

Getting from A to B

Transfers between cities are via private motorcoach, and they can take anywhere between 2-8 hours with stops in-between. You’ll also receive a public transportation pass in most major cities where necessary. Transportation in cities that offer no pass may require more walking. Prepare to walk between 4-8 miles per day, especially when sightseeing.

Note: It’s a good idea to bring a great book with you for transfer days. Try bringing a novel that’s based in somewhere you’re visiting! We recommend Under the Tuscan Sun, Dan Brown’s Angels and Demons, or if you’re a history buff try I, Claudius

Optimize Your Free Time

Not sure how to fill your free time? Lucky for you, we offer “optional excursions” for just that! If you did not purchase EF Ultimate Break Optional Excursions before the trip began, you can log into your Online Account and do so on tour. However, to avoid increased prices for these activities on tour, you should purchase these optionals before your trip begins. Optionals on this tour include (prices increase on tour):


  • Taste of Italy Pasta-Making class: $70
  • The Italian Riviera & Cinque Terre: $89 (From May - September)
  • Tuscan Wine Tasting: $80 (From October - April)

Note: If you want to visit sites like the Duomo Florence Tower, or other major art museums, note that these may require advance reservations. EF includes entrance to St. Mark’s Basilica, the Duomo Cathedral, the Roman Colosseum, the Sistine Chapel (until October 2019), and St. Peter’s Basilica (until October 2019). Please coordinate with your Tour Director or Trip Consultant if you have questions about reserving tickets for other attractions.

Local Culture

Italy’s food scene is a well-known giant. Italians take pride in fresh seasonal ingredients, passionate cooking, and sharing dishes with family and friends. You’ll sample a variety of local dishes on your trip, but read on for tips, tricks, and delicacies you just must try.


  • For breakfast, Italians usually have a sweet pastry and cappuccino instead of the savory eggs and bacon you’re used to. When in Rome!
  • Iced coffee begone, espresso is your new friend and you’ll never find a bad espresso in Italy. Make sure to order and pay for your espresso at the bar to avoid paying more than the usual 1-2€!
  • Indulge in long lunches and try the local pasta, meat, fish, cheese, fruits, wine, and more wine. May we suggest a bold Tuscan red, a Chianti Classico, or a glass of Prosecco in Venice?
  • Try aperitivo - A light meal between lunch and dinner with snacks and wine, or a refreshing spritz like aperol or campari
  • Dinner in Italy doesn’t often begin until after 8 or 9pm. More reason to enjoy aperitivo!
  • Try an after-dinner digestive liquor like limoncello, sambuca, amari, or apertivi
  • For pasta we recommend cacio e pepe in Rome; a pasta dish with black pepper, pecorino Romano cheese, and pasta. They say all Italian meals only require 3 ingredients!
  • Florentine steak is a specific cut of the meat from Tuscan cattle, and it is an excellent choice if you’re feeling #fancy in #Florence
  • Roman artichokes, one of the most famous dishes of Roman cuisine, are braised in water, white wine, garlic, salt, pepper, and oil.
  • Pizza. Need we say more?

Wine and Dine

You’ll sample a variety of local dishes on your trip, but read on for tips, tricks, and delicacies you just must try.


  • Breakfast: Italians usually have a sweet pastry and cappuccino instead of the savory continental breakfast you’re used to. Try a chocolate croissant!
  • Coffee: Iced coffee begone, espresso is your new friend and you’ll never find a bad espresso in Italy. Make sure to order and pay for your espresso at the bar to avoid paying more than the usual 1-2€!
  • Aperitivo: This is a light meal between lunch and dinner with snacks and wine, or a refreshing spritz like aperol or campari
  • Late Dinners: Dinner doesn’t often begin until after 8 or 9pm. More reason to enjoy aperitivo!
  • Digestif: Try an after-dinner digestive liquor like limoncello, sambuca, amari, or apertivi
  • Cacio e pepe: A simple yet delicious pasta dish with black pepper, pecorino Romano cheese, and pasta. They say all Italian meals only require 3 ingredients!
  • Roman Artichokes: One of the most famous dishes of Roman cuisine, the artichokes are braised in water, white wine, garlic, salt, pepper, and oil.
  • Florentine steak is a specific cut of the meat from Tuscan cattle, and it is an excellent choice if you’re feeling #fancy in #Florence
  • Pizza: Need we say more?

Speak the Language

While it may feel awkward at first, attempting the local language goes a long way when navigating a city and interacting with people. Practice these basic Italian words and phrases to get started:


  • Hello = Ciao
  • Goodbye = Ciao
  • Thank You = Grazie
  • Yes = Sì
  • No = No
  • Where is _? = Dove si trova?
  • I need ____ = Ho bisogno _____
  • Cheers! = Saluti!

Health and Safety

With a global presence of more than 46,000 people in over 115 countries and regions, we’re fully committed to your safety. But, it’s equally important for you to maintain your health and safety while abroad. From your first flight all the way through to your farewell dinner, drink plenty of water, get sleep when you can, and don’t hesitate to reach out to your Tour Director or your Trip Consultant if you need a helping hand. Keep these extra tips in mind so you can #travelsmart:


  • Keep your bag/purse in front of you and your phone zipped inside when you’re not using it. Leave your laptop at home, store valuables at the hotel in locked luggage or the safe deposit box. Refrain from carrying large sums of money or wearing valuable jewelry.
  • Use the buddy system. Stay in groups and watch out for each other, especially at night—no one gets left behind!
  • Before you go out, grab a business card at your hotel so that you always have the address handy for getting back later.
  • At the end of a night out, use trusted transportation like a licensed taxi, and always have cash on hand.
  • Be smart about alcohol consumption. Watch your drinks and don’t accept drinks from people you don’t know. Don’t leave the bar alone with someone you just met.
  • Save our 24/7 number in your phone: +1–617–619–1411

We’re so glad you chose to travel with us and are now part of the EF Ultimate Break family! We'll look for your post-card in the mail, and your #thisisultimate tags on Instagram. Cheers to the Best. Trip. Ever.


Bon voyage!

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