The easiest way to get to Italy from the United States, and elsewhere in the world, is to fly directly into one of the nation’s international airports. If you’re traveling to Italy from within the European Union, it’s generally a better idea to jump on a high-speed train but from further afield, flying is definitely your best option.
Non stop travel to Italy from the United States takes around 7 hours from the East coast and 10 hours from the West coast. There’s a good selection of carriers to choose from and you’re bound to have some spectacular views en route if you manage to get a window seat.
How Much Does It Cost To Fly To Italy From The United States?
The price of a plane ticket to Italy from the US varies throughout the year. The most expensive months to fly to Italy are June and July when tourists flock from all over the world to enjoy the best of the Mediterranean weather in the land of the Dolce Vita.
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During the tourist high seasons, in the summer months and over the Christmas period, flights are more expensive and will generally cost around $1000 or more for a round trip ticket. Throughout the rest of the year, you can buy a plane ticket to Italy for approximately $500-800 per person.
When Is the Cheapest Time To Fly To Italy?
The peak tourist season is from May to September. Avoid traveling to Italy from May to September if you can. If your plan is to visit the museums and the famous monuments, you can always do it any time of the year. However, if your plan is to do some sunbathing at the Cinque Terre, then you are better off visiting during the summer months. During the offseason, some of the smaller towns can look a little deserted. I live in Volterra and during the winter months the town will look a little empty during weekdays. You will start noticing the tourists from Friday to Sunday.
Also remember that in Italy some shops will be open only during the tourist season while others may open only for a few hours a day during the offseason.
Why Are Airfares To Italy Expensive?
Airfares to Italy have been increasing in price for several years with the cost of a ticket on some routes having doubled since 2019! There are several main reasons why airfares to Italy are relatively expensive now compared to a few years ago.
Firstly, the demand for seats on the available flights is outpacing the supply. This means that airlines are struggling to provide enough flights and consequently the price of each ticket is going up.
The sudden increase in demand for air travel is partly due to the dropping of pandemic travel restrictions that were in place between 2022 and early 2022. Consequently, many people are wanting to take advantage of their newfound freedom to take a vacation they had been forced to put off for the last few years.
In essence, tourism and the demand for plane tickets have rebounded to their pre-pandemic levels while the number of flights is still down by up to 20% on some routes. This has put a major strain on the available flights and caused ticket prices to go up.
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To further add to the supply problems in air travel to Italy, Alitalia, one of the nation’s main airlines, went bankrupt in late 2021. The 74-year-old airline made its final flight in October and left a big gap in scheduled flights; putting additional pressure on the other airlines running international flights to Italy.
The lack of flights is also being caused by a shortage of pilots, ground crew and even the planes themselves. Planes that were grounded for long periods of time during the pandemic need to go through rigorous testing before they can be green-lighted to fly again. This process is both time-consuming and costly and it may be that airlines that were already losing money during the pandemic are opting to simply downsize their operations.
The combination of limited supply and a sudden increase in demand has inevitably caused the price of an airfare to Italy to increase. However, on top of these supply problems, another factor that has increased the cost of an air ticket to Italy is the rising price of fuel. There are complicated geo-political reasons why the cost of fuel has been surging in recent years but since it has the airlines are passing on the cost to their passengers.
Which City Is The Cheapest To Fly Into In Italy?
The following Italian cities are some of the cheaper cities to fly:
Milan Linate Airport (LIN).
Among the major Italian cities, Milan by far is the cheapest city to fly to. As the capital of Lombardy, Milan is one of Italy’s top travel destinations. The city has two airports.
The Milan Linate Airport is a small airport and is one of the cheapest places to fly to in Italy. Prices for a round ticket from JFK Airport in New York to Milan Linate Airport start from $600 in the off-season. My home base is Philadelphia. American Airlines has a direct flight to Rome, but this flight is almost always very expensive. I prefer to take the Amtrak train to Newark (EWR) and then fly to Milan. United has direct flights to Milan and Rome. However, my preferred way is to fly from Newark or Philadelphia to Munich and then fly from Munich to Milan. Air Dolomiti is a small Italian airline that specializes in flying from small Italian towns to rest of Europe. The airline has been around for a while. The Munich to Linate flight takes only about an hour, but the views of the Alps are spectacular. LIN is only 10 kilometers from the Milan city center (about 20 Euro cab ride).
Milan’s largest airport, Malpensa (MXP), is an excellent choice for travelers who are traveling from other major cities in the world. A round ticket from JFK Airport in New York to Milan Malpensa costs around $500. However, keep in mind that MXP is about 60 kilometers from the city center.
Once I reach Milan, I take the train from Milan to Florence. The ride is about 75 minutes and will cost you about 45 Euros. This is always cheaper than flying to Florence.
Rome Fiumicino (FCO).
Rome’s primary airport is Fiumicino. It is a popular destination for international travelers. The average flight from the US to the Leonardo da Vinci – Fiumicino International Airport costs just over $1000 during the high season. However, during quieter times of the year, you can get a round-trip ticket from New York for about $700. Sometimes though, if you shop around, you can find discounted tickets for as little as $200 per person!
Rome has another smaller airport, the Rome Ciampino airport (CIA). The airport is an important one to consider because both Wizz Air and Ryanair fly to this airport a lot. Wizz Air and Ryanair are two of the biggest budget airlines in Europe.
Bologna Guglielmo Marconi Airport (BLQ).
Bologna, in Emilia-Romagna, is one of the cheaper cities to fly to in Italy from the US and elsewhere in the world. Airfares from New York to Bologna range from around $600 up to $900 during the off-season. At the peak of the tourist season tickets from the US cost around $1000 per person. The problem is that there aren’t many flights from the United States to bologna.
Bergamo Orio al Serio International Airport (BGY).
Bergamo is about 55 kilometers Northeast of Milan, is an excellent city to fly to if you want to get a good deal on the airfares. It is the third busiest international airport in Italy. A round-trip ticket in the off-season starts at around $600 if you fly from JFK Airport in New York whereas during the high season prices will be higher and usually start from around $800-1000. Major carriers in the world avoid BGY. However, all the major low cost carriers fly to Bergamo.
The Best Way To Get To Italy Is By Air.
If you’re planning an international trip to Italy then flying is your only real option. In recent years, the prices of tickets have been skyrocketing but if you’re savvy then you can avoid the outrageous prices and travel at a reasonable cost.
It might take you a little longer to find your tickets if you shop around but it’s always going to be worth it if you can save hundreds of dollars on your airfares. Alternatively, you can fly to different airports, change your travel dates or avoid the high tourist seasons to save money on your flights.