The duomo in Florence, Italy at sunset. Reads the title "Traveling to Italy with a Timeshare"

Traveling to Italy with a Timeshare

I recently traveled to Italy using my timeshare. I own a timeshare with Hilton Grand Vacations which allows me to travel to many of its locations using my allotted points. The timeshare property is named Borgo Alle Vigne and is located in Selvatelles, which is a small town that’s roughly 1 hour away from Florence, Pisa, and Volterra. It is in a less populated area, so it’s recommended to rent a car to get around. 

Female photographer taking a photo of the duomo in Pisa, Italy

Safety in Italy

I personally felt safe traveling around in Italy. However, you do need to be aware that pickpockets are pretty common, so I would recommend getting a belt bag so you can have all your money and important items close and in front of you. I always utilize the safety lockers in my hotel room when I have my passport and I carry extra locks with me. 

Tricksters

There are people that deploy different tactics to trick you into paying for something. I have listed some examples below, but be cautious of others’ intentions when they’re trying to sell you something.

  •  There are “artists” that will put their paintings on the ground outside of popular museums and if you step on one, they’ll try to make you pay for it. 
  • Having you try on a bracelet that’s difficult to take off and then making you pay for it. 
  • Some men will call you pretty and try to hand you a rose and then try to get money for it. 

Best Time to Visit Italy

The most popular time to travel to Italy is in the summer months. Especially if you plan on visiting Cinque Terre or the Amalfi Coast. However, Italy can be very hot and crowded. I find the best time to visit Italy is during Spring or Fall if your goal is to visit the cities. The temperatures are milder and there will be less crowds. Visiting during off peak times can also mean more availability for top attractions and it could save you money on flights and hotels. I was able to travel to the timeshare in Italy due to Hilton Grand Vacations offering a discounted stay due to it being an off-peak season.

Timeshares in Italy

Timeshares in Italy are available to purchase, but they can be expensive. It may be a better option to buy into a timeshare program that allows you to visit different properties. With the Hilton Grand Vacations program, I own my timeshare in Las Vegas, but I’m able to use my points at any Hilton Grand Vacation property as long as there’s availability. Depending on when you can use your timeshare completely depends on the timeshare you own. 

Borgo Alle Vigne by Hilton Grand Vacations, a timeshare in Italy, at sunrise.

Italy Airports to Fly Into 

To get to Borgo Alle Vigne by Hilton Grand Vacations, you have 3 options! You can fly into Florence (FLR), Pisa (PSA), or Bologna (BLQ) airports. They are all 45 minutes- 1 hour away from Selvatelle  with a car. 

Travel Visas

You do not need a visit to travel to Italy…yet. ETIAS will require all Americans to obtain a travel visa sometime in mid 2025. An official date has not been announced yet (as of June 2024). To apply, you’ll need your passport that’s more than three months away from its expiration date. It will cost euros, but the fee will be exempt if you are under the age of 18 or over 70. 

Driving in Italy

Since the timeshare property was in a more remote location, renting a car in Italy was our best option for transportation. Driving in a foreign country can be very intimidating. Italians love to drive fast. I was so scared to go over the speed limit for fear of getting fined. Nearly every car was speeding past me. Driving on the country roads wasn’t bad, but once we got into Florence it was a different ball game. 

There were many motorbike drivers weaving through traffic, everyone was speeding, and even making their own lanes. Many of the streets were tiny, parking was limited, and there were people walking everywhere. My friend and I found it best to park underground at the Firenze Santa Maria Novella train station and walk from there. 

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Things To Do In Tuscany

Exploring Tuscany was my favorite part of my trip to Italy! Tuscany is a popular region in Italy that’s known for its beautiful rolling hills, small towns, and its vineyards. You can visit famous cities like Florence, Pisa, and Volterra. 

Attend a Wine Tasting

We went to Villa Cosmiana for our wine tasting and it was fantastic! This tour was offered through my timeshare resort in Italy for 55 euros per person. The men that own it taught us about the history behind the property and their process for making the wine. They also taught us how to do a proper wine tasting since most of the group has never attended a wine tasting before. The cost was 55 euros per person, and it lasted about 4 hours. 

Climb the Leaning Tower of Pisa

Did you know you can climb the Leaning Tower of Pisa? I sure didn’t! It takes 257 to get to the top. By the time I got to the top I was so dizzy due to walking on a lean. Tickets cost 20 euros per person and it is suggested to purchase tickets online in advance because there’s a limited number of tickets. Before you start climbing, you are required to put your belongings in a locker. 

Climb to the Top of the Florence Duomo 

Just like the Leaning Tower of Pisa, you can climb to the top of the Florence Duomo! The duomo was completed in 1436 and climbing its 463 narrow steps to the top will give you a beautiful 360-degree panoramic view of Florence, Italy. Tickets often sell out, so you need to purchase them in advance. You’ll have to choose a time slot because space is limited and there’s not enough space for two-way traffic. 

View of the Florence Duomo from the Boboli gardens in Florence, Italy

Ride a Vespa on the Countryside

There are so many Vespa tours available especially if you’re traveling from Florence. It’s so much fun to experience Tuscany by utilizing one of the most popular modes of transportation in Italy. Most Vespa tours have a portion of the tour dedicated to tasting wines, olive oil, and other tuscan delicacies. For most tours, you need to be at least 18 years old to drive the Vespa and at least 13 years old to be a passenger. 

Hunt for Truffles

Truffle hunting is another popular activity for tourists. You get to follow a skilled truffle hunter around and learn about the skills involved in truffle hunting. Depending on the tour, they will likely have some sort of meal or snack made with truffles prepared for you after the truffle hunt. As a bonus, there’s also cute dogs involved.

Attend a Cooking Class

Italians are well known for being able to cook a nice, tasty meal! There are so many cooking classes available all throughout Italy. Cooking pasta and pizza are the most popular, however there’s many other options available. They can be quite expensive, but you also get a meal out of it! 

Take a Day Trip to Volterra

Volterra, Italy is such a cool place to visit for a day. It’s known for its Etruscan origin and its original architecture. They offer a Volterra Card for purchase to gain entry into many of the sites and museums such as the Roman Theatre, Alabaster Museum, and the Etruscan Museum. The card is good for 72 hours but is still a good deal if you’re only visiting for the day. They also have a Museum of Torture which educates you about the different forms of torture in the medieval era. It’s not included in the Volterra card but is still affordable and very interesting. 

A building in Florence, Italy at sunset.

Conclusion

By utilizing my timeshare and traveling to Italy, I was able to check off another destination from my bucket list. Timeshares in Italy make traveling a bit easier when you have apartment-like accommodations with all the amenities of a hotel resort. Traveling with the convenience of a flexible timeshare has allowed me to explore multiple breathtaking destinations fulfilling my passion for travel.

Wanting to travel utilizing a timeshare, but don’t own one? No problem! Click here to learn about the world of renting a timeshare!

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