Italy’s main airports, some served by budget airlines from the UK, include Rome, Milan, Venice, Turin, Bologna, Pisa and Naples.
Getting to Italy by train probably cost you more than flying. From London to Milan via Eurostar and then a daytime TGV or overnight sleeper takes about 12 hours; to Florence it’s about 17 hours by Eurostar and overnight sleeper, and to Rome 19 hours. You might choose to break the journey in Paris to make it more leisurely.
Raileurope can book both Eurostars and onward journeys, while seat61.com is a good source of information on timetables, sleeping arrangements and other practical matters. Trains can also be a good way of exploring Italy – the network is extensive, and trains are clean, cheap and generally efficient. Read our feature on great family rail journeys with kids including the train from Rome that is loaded onto the boat to Sicily.
You could also drive to your holiday in Italy, heading to the South of France then crossing into northern Italy. It’s a long journey but you could break it as often as you like. A site such as ViaMichelin will help you to plan routes, calculate tolls and even work out your petrol costs. Or you can put your car on a French motorail train from Paris to Nice and then drive, or on a train direct to Italy (Verona) from Düsseldorf in Germany. Again, seat61.com is a good source of information on this.