Hiking down the Mt Etna in Sicily

Italy Travel Guide

Practical information

Time zone
GMT +2

Italian history and culture

The Sassi cave houses of Matera are some of the first evidence of human settlements in Italy, dating back to the Paleolithic times. Since their arrival, Italy has seen various people inhabit it’s lands;  Latins, Samnites, Umbri, and Celts to name a few. Etruscans were one of the largest of these civilisations, settling in ancient Italy until the 7th century BC. They formed in the West of the country near to present day Florence and then expanded down the west coast and North-East. Their rule over these lands was strong but no match for the dominance of the Roman Empire whose reign prevailed. The Romans ruled until the tripartition divided Italy in the Middle Ages. During this time, city-states developed and an artistic era exploded, becoming what we now know to be the Renaissance, throughout the 14th and 15th centuries.  Under the rule of Napolean, in the mid 1800s, Italy was then reunited and with the threat of invasions from external powers. The dominant areas of Tuscany, Veneto and Rome joined, to turn Italy into a single state and after the WWII, in 1946, it became the parliamentary republic of Italy.

Due to being a stong hold of the Roman Empire, Italy is considered to be one of the great Western powers. With this title brought a wealth of culture from all different backgrounds, seen in the stark differences between neighbouring towns. The Renaissance brought artistic style to the country, reflected in the chic dress sense flaunted in the larger cities. Whereas, strong family ties have passed down recipes of simple dishes full of flavour and a community that considers social participation to be an expectation. 

Time Zone

The time zone in Italy is GMT +1.



The main language in Italy is Italian. However, Italy has 34 spoken languages including Sicilian, Neapolitan and Sardinian. 

Useful Phrases

  • Si - Yes
  • No - No
  • Per favore - Please
  • Grazie - Thank you
  • Prego - You're welcome
  • Mi scusi - Excuse me
  • Mi dispiace - I am sorry
  • Buon giorno - Good morning
  • Salute! - Cheers
  • Parla Inglese? - Do you speak English?
  • Non capisco - I don't understand



The currency in Italy is the Euro (EUR). For the latest exchange rates please see www.xe.com

It is possible to withdraw cash from ATMs but please be mindful of any charges from your bank. Credit cards are widely accepted in the towns but not in remote areas. Please budget for drinks, souvenirs and any meals not included in your tour.   



220V 55Hz – Standard European two prong plug.

Weather in the Dolomites

The Dolomites enjoy the best weather conditions in the whole of the Alps. Storms working their way up from the south tend to be broken up by the southern mountain areas around Lake Garda and Brenta, leaving the northern Dolomites with relatively low annual rainfall.

The summer months have warm temperatures and plenty of sunshine, perfect for hiking and climbing. The average temperature in the summer is 15°C - 25°C normally with a refreshing mountain breeze.

In autumn the temperature begins to drop but the conditions remain stable, making the Dolomites a great option for some late summer / early autumn hiking. Snow begins to accumulate in December and can last through until the end of April.  Winter temperatures will average -5°C to 6°C.

Spring is the most likely time of year to experience heavy rain in the Dolomites but this is often welcomed as it clears the air and opens up spectacular views of the mountains while on your hiking adventure in Italy.

Safety and Security

Your safety and well-being is always the number one priority at Kandoo Adventures.

We operate all our travel destinations in accordance with the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advice, which publishes travel advisory notices for British nationals. We also closely follow the advice of ABTA (The Association of British Travel Agents) which provides support to UK tour operators.  

In addition to this, our extensive, directly-managed operations in each of our destinations, provide us with detailed knowledge and up-to-date information, which enables us to make informed decisions and operate our trips safely.

We always recommend that you regularly check the FCDO's travel advice, in order to keep up to date about the country you are planning to visit.

If you are not a UK resident, we would recommend that you visit your government's travel advisory website for further information:

Alternatively, you may wish to visit our Travel Updates page or seek further information from the World Health Organisation.

Lost or delayed luggage

We recommend that you wear your walking boots to travel and pack as many essential items as possible in your carry-on luggage for your alpine trekking tour. If your luggage is delayed we can then do our best to kit you out to start the trek on time. In the event that your luggage is delayed or lost, our procedure is as follows: 

  • Establish what items are missing and a contingency plan for each critical item
  • If it reaches 6pm on the evening before starting the trek and your luggage has not arrived we recommend buying and/or hiring items immediately as a precaution
  • We will take you to a shop where you can buy toiletry items, e.g. toothbrush. You will be able to find everything you need on arrival. 

We will do everything we can to help if your luggage is lost or delayed. Be sure to check your insurance policy coverage for lost luggage cover.
View of Dolomites peaks

Geography of the Dolomites

The Dolomites are located in north east Italy and form part of the Southern Limestone Alps. The borders of the range are the River Adige in the west and the Piave Valley in the east. The Dolomites are made up of 15 different massifs, each reaching roughly 3000m in altitude.

The landscape of this UNESCO World Heritage site supports an incredibly diverse range of flora and fauna. Endemic plant species include Campanula morettiana, Saxifraga Facchinii and Primula tyrolensis. The extremely rare orchid know as Nigritella buschmanniae can also be found here. Wildlife includes roe deer, golden eagles, chamois and even brown bears.

What makes the scenery of the Dolomites so unique and compelling is the contrast between the gently undulating lines of the valleys and the sudden vertical rise of the vast limestone spires. The shear rock walls appear to change colour over the course of the day as the rock reacts to the changing light in a natural phenomena know as Enrosadira.

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