If you’re planning to buy a home there this year, now is a great time to book your flights to Italy. It has plenty of airports and no shortage of year-round flights either, so wherever you buy in Italy, flying to your home will offer no problems. Here we round up the latest news on flights for 2023, and our expert expat in Italy offers some great tips to get the best flight prices.
New flights to Italy in 2023
Heathrow – Florence
British Airways has announced that from 26th April 2022 it will launch a route connecting London Heathrow Airport (LHR) with Italy’s Florence Airport (FLR). This will be a daily service departing from Terminal 5. The airline already offers a similar flight connecting London City Airport (LCY) with Florence. When visiting Tuscany many UK tourists currently fly To Pisa, due to its frequency of flights and lower flight prices.
The new BA route from London Heathrow will offer greater connection possibilities for international travellers too. The flights’ timings have been optimised for connectivity to other popular routes, including New York, Boston and Chicago. British Airways have routes to 18 destinations in Italy, although some are summer only.
Find homes in Italy via our property portal.
Bristol – Venice
People living in the south west of England who find it convenient to start their travels from Bristol airport, will now be able to fly to Venice. Starting at three flights a week, Ryanair plan to increase to four days at the end of March. There will also be an increase in the number of flights to Milan Bergamo to five days a week from June to September.
Bournemouth – Venice
In December 2022 Ryanair launched a new route from Bournemouth airport to Venice Marco Polo airport, twice a week. A great place to stop for a couple of days before continuing your adventures in Italy.
Genoa – Cagliari
Ryanair has announced that people travelling through Genoa airport will now be able to fly twice a week from Genoa to the charming Sardinian capital of Cagliari. Well known for its castle and medieval hilltop village, the area has stunning white sandy beaches. You can fly to Genoa from London Stansted and Manchester. Genoa is Italy’s largest sea port and has many interesting museums.
Liverpool – Rome
There will be connections between Liverpool and Rome Ciampino airport (Ryanair) this year. They plan at least two flights a week up to October. There are also two flights a week to Milan’s Bergamo airport.
Birmingham – Milan
Easyjet has announced many new European routes for 2023. These include Birmingham (BHX) to Milan (MXP) up to three times a week from 26th June, with fares starting from £29.
Edinburgh – Catania
From 2nd June 2023 you can fly to Catania on the Island of Sicily from Edinburgh with Easyjet. Operating twice weekly, flights will cost from €30. Catania is an ancient port city on the east coast of Sicily. It is located at the foot of Mount Etna and is known for it’s lively fish market and seafood restaurants.
San Francisco – Rome / Washington – Rome
Italian flag-carrier, ITA Airways, has recently announced two new flights from the US, starting July 2023. ITA’s new US direct flights will link Rome Fiumicino to San Francisco and Washington. The new routes are joining ITA Airways’ flights to New York, operated from both Rome Fiumicino and Milan Malpensa airports, and those to Boston, Miami and Los Angeles operated from Rome Fiumicino (launched in 2022).
Dublin – Rome
From Dublin it’s possible to fly to Rome Fiumicino airport (Ryanair) seven days a week, with morning and afternoon flights. In fact, from Dublin you can fly to 16 Italian airports, although some are only summer routes.
Toronto – Rome / Montreal – Rome
From May 2023, Air Transat will start five flights a week from Toronto to Rome, costing from €450 return. There will also be regular flights from Montreal to Rome.
Montreal – Venice / Toronto -Venice / Toronto – Lamezia Terme
To Venice, there will be two flights a week from Montreal and Toronto with Air Transat. There will also be a Wednesday flight from Toronto to Lamezia Terme in Calabria. This schedule applies from June to September only.
These new routes demonstrate the confidence the airlines have in tourism in Italy in 2023. Airlines may reduce or increase the number of flights once they get a clearer picture from ticket sales.
Italy has 30 airports across the country with international flights. Among the most popular airports to fly into are Rome (Lazio region), Milan (Lombardy), Naples (Campania), Pisa (Tuscany), Pescara (Abruzzo), Palermo (Sicily), Bari (Puglia), Brindisi (Puglia), Bologna (Emilia-Romagna), Catania (Sicily), Cagliari (Sardinia), Turin (Piedmont) and Venice (Veneto). There is such a big choice, it opens up the whole country to potential house buyers to find their dream location.
You can also find UK flights to lesser-known Italian destinations such as Alghero (Sardinia), Ancona (Marche), Genoa (Liguria), Lamezia (Calabria), Perugia (Umbria), Rimini (Emilia-Romagna), Trieste (Friuli Venezia Giulia) and Verona (Veneto).
Some of the best fares are often found on flights to Milan. It’s not just city visitors that fly there either. Those going to Lake Como, Lake Maggiore and Lake Orta generally arrive at Milan Malpensa airport. There are actually three Milan airports: Linate (LIN, seven kilometres from the city centre) Malpensa (MXP, 45 kilometres from the city centre), and Bergamo Orio al Serio (BGY, 50 kilometres from the city centre).
Travelling within Italy
There are domestic flights too, plus good road and rail links between Italian cities. So if you can’t find a direct flight to your chosen destination, there will always be a way to get there. For example, the fascinating town of Matera is in the Basilicata region, which doesn’t have an airport. However, Bari airport, in the neighbouring region of Puglia, is only 50 minutes drive away.
Domestic flight prices and train prices are very reasonable. I have seen flights from Milan Malpensa all the way down to Bari in Puglia for as little as €13. A one-hour train journey from Milan to Turin costs from €19.90. To see offers visit the Trenitalia website.
Many house buyers choose properties in rural locations away from the busy cities, for which a car is essential. Even the smaller airports are served by a good selection of car rental companies. Therefore, it’s possible to use a price comparison website to get the best deal.
Tip 1: Choose an airline carefully
A simple Google flight search will show you which airlines currently have the best prices for your chosen dates and there is a map which shows you the airport locations. That’s useful when there is more than one airport in a region, such as Pisa airport and Florence airport in Tuscany, and Bari airport and Brindisi airport in Puglia.
Once you have narrowed it down to two or three airlines. I recommend visiting all the airline websites individually and making your own comparison, related to your needs. You could find that an airline that doesn’t do flights to and from your preferred airports over the winter might be launching a summer service. Or they could have a promotion on particular dates very close to your preferred dates. Always book early rather than last minute to get the best prices and be flexible on your dates.
When choosing which airline to fly with, consider which airport they fly from and how far it is from your home. For example, a Ryanair flight might be flying from London Stansted, BA from London Heathrow, and Easyjet from London Gatwick. The journey to the airport can sometimes cost more than the flight, therefore greatly increasing your overall travel costs. If you find yourself regularly flying with the same airline, it could be worth following them on social media or registering for special offer notifications.
Tip 2: Take less luggage
Once you have your own property in Italy, you will be able to fully benefit from the cheapest fares offered by low-cost airlines. Why pay for that extra case, when you can keep clothes at your own property and travel light?
Over the summer, you’ll only need light clothing. A quick hand wash and a few minutes on the clothes airer and you are good to go. Plus, when you have the privacy of your own garden you can totally relax without feeling like other holiday makers are judging your outfit!
Tip 3: Compare flight times
When comparing prices between airlines, also look at the departure and arrival times. The cheaper flights are more likely to have departure times very early in the morning, or arrivals late at night. Therefore, you may find it necessary to pay for an overnight stay at an airport hotel.
Last summer, I flew to London with Ryanair and returned with BA. That avoided flight times that would require the additional cost of a night at an airport hotel. However, be aware that there are more options over the summer months and that some airlines reduce their number of flights in the winter.
Tip 4: Save money on weekday flights
When booking a holiday let or hotel in Italy, hosts may specify Saturday as the changeover day. But, once you have your own place in Italy, you will be able to come and go as you please. Sometimes, you can save hundreds by selecting a flight midweek. By looking on the calendar view of airline websites you can find the best prices. You can also plan short or long stays, even popping over for just a long weekend.
Tip 5 : Reduce your journey time to the airport
I love the flight to Italy, seeing the view of the alps, Venice lagoon, the hills and mountains and stunning coastline. But when I visit the UK I dislike the long day of travelling on motorways to get to the airport.
Due to the increase in flights to Italy from smaller UK airports, with a bit of research you might be able do two flights and cut out the long road journey. It’s worth checking out the possibility of flying from a local airport (Eg. Bournemouth to Venice) and having a stop over in a beautiful Italian city, before continuing on to your chosen region. Italian cities are so amazing, you may decide to staying for a couple of days.
Check how far the airport is from the city. For example, Pisa airport is literally a 10 minute walk from local B&Bs
Italian train and coach services are also very good. Just be sure to check how far the airport is from the city. For example, Pisa airport is literally a 10 minute walk from local B&Bs and 12 minutes drive from the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Whereas, Fiumicino airport, is located outside Rome and requires a 32-minute train journey into the city centre.
Entry rules for Italy
Since Brexit, some Brits have become nervous about what rules now apply to them when visiting Italy. There are some differences, but nothing to worry about.
Do I have to pay a fee to enter the EU?
There has been some fake news going around regarding UK citizens having to pay a fee to enter the EU in 2023, and fake websites offering registration.
The real scheme, which the European Commission expects to go into operation in November 2023, is called ETIAS, which stands for European Travel Information and Authorization System. It is for Non-EU citizens of countries that have an agreement that allows them to travel to Schengen zone without a visa (Such as the UK). By gathering security information on an individual before travel it will help speed up procedures at EU borders and help them identify security risks. This will make travel safer for everyone.
The application and payment, of only 7 euros, will all be done online in advance (Applicants who are under 18 or above 70 years of age are exempt from this payment). You will receive an authorisation by email which will be valid for three years. More information can be found on the European Union website.
What is the 90 Day rule?
As a tourist, British Citizens will be able to spend up to 90 days within any 180-day period in the Schengen Area. It’s easy to calculate your 90 days using the Schengen calculator. You don’t have to take a continuous 90 days, it can be broken up, as long as you are not in the Schengen area for more than 90 days in a 180 day period.
What are the British Passport requirements?
British travellers must ensure that their passport was issued within the last 10 years. Don’t look at the expiry date, it is the issue date that the calculation is made from. It must also be valid for at least three months after the intended date of departure from Italy. It is important that the border officer puts an entry stamp in your passport when you enter the Schengen area.