When comparing Spain vs Italy, which destination do you choose?
As you will probably already know, when looking at the most visited countries in Europe, Spain and Italy are usually at the top of the list.
When we think about Spain we imagine beaches extending for miles, some of the most popular ones are based on the Costa del Sol.
Then the fascinating Andalusian towns are known for Christian and Arabic architectural influences as well as the capital Madrid or Barcelona.
Here the best museums, art galleries and Spanish food can be tasted at any time of the day and the nightlife scene is pretty lively too.
Italy, on the other hand, attracts thousands of people for the timeless beauty of its cities.
Cites such as Venice, Rome and Florence. The Mediterranean vibe of the south with small villages nestled between cliffs and facing the sea.
Not to mention the Alps for the best outdoor experiences you can live.
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Spain vs Italy: Which Should You Visit?
These two countries have many things in common, but there are also unique features you can only find in each of them.
Now let’s find out between Spain vs Italy, which country you should visit based on your interests and your liking!
With this post, we’re going to compare Spain vs Italy by looking at the best time to visit them, culture, food, cost of travel, things to do, tourist attractions and how to get around.
Best time to visit Spain vs Italy?
Did you know that Spain is characterized by three main climates?
The south has a Mediterranean climate with short, mild winters and hot and dry summers.
In the central part of the country, far from the mitigating effect of the sea, there’s a continental climate with hotter summers and colder winters compared to the south.
Northern Spain, where Galicia, the Basque Country and Asturias are located, has a maritime climate with fresh summers and mild winters
The best time to visit Spain is spring and autumn. During these two seasons, temperatures are warm and you can ideally spend your time relaxing at the beach as well as visiting historical city centers.
Italy is overrun by tourists during the summer months, so the shoulder seasons are the best moments of the year to move around the Bel Paese.
You can visit the popular cities and expect to see fewer tourists and if you like going off-the beaten-track.
You can explore even lesser known places in Italy and enjoy them thanks to the pleasant temperatures and longer days.
In Italy, you’ll find a Mediterranean climate in the south with mild winters and hot and dry summers. Whilst northern Italy has more rainy and foggy days during the cold winters and hot and humid summers.
Culture in Italy vs Spain?
Both Italian and Spanish people share the same passion for the family, sharing food around a table with friends and partying on occasions!
Spain and Italy consider football like religion and on match days, you’ll notice entire families and friends reuniting to watch it from their homes, bar, or from big screens installed in big public squares.
When it comes to meeting with family and friends and when the days are getting sunnier and hot, it’s common to organize small gatherings in the backyard and prepare nibbles for everyone or a BBQ.
People also enjoy going out with friends for aperitivo and to drink an Aperol Spritz (Italy) or a glass of sangria or red wine (Spain) with food.
In Italy, there’s a stronger connection to the family compared to Spain, particularly to ‘mamma’ (the mum).
She’s normally the reference point for the whole family, planning and having a leading role in educating children.
From this point of view, Italy is still very traditionalist whilst in Spain is less central the role mum and, in general of the family.
Also, in Italy there’s a tendency to leave home quite late in the years (around the age of 30).
That’s why Italy is called a country of ‘mammoni’ for the strong attachment to mum! In Spain young people normally leave home sooner.
Food in Spain vs Italy?
This is another important debate: is food better in Spain or Italy?
Both countries have talented chefs that carry on setting the highest standards in traditional and contemporary cuisine, together with France.
What makes Italian and Spanish dishes some of the most loved in the world is the freshness of the ingredients and the traditional richness and knowledge that is passed down from generation to generation.
These countries favor the use of olive oil instead of butter, which is a healthier option and typical of many Mediterranean countries.
In the coastal regions and towns, seafood dishes are typically served.
Spain is famous for products such as the spicy salami chorizo, the Serrano ham, patatas bravas and dishes like paella.
Red wines from La Rioja wine region are strong and delicious too.
Italy is all about homemade pasta with thousands of different sauces you can add to it, risottos, gnocchi and pizza.
Considering the high selection of savory and sweet dishes you can taste in Italy, it’s the country where you’ll always be trying something new.
It’s up to you to express a preference between the bold Spanish flavors or the elegant Italian ones, we love both!
Cost of Travel in Spain vs Italy
Spain is less expensive than Italy. You’ll find soon enough by looking at booking.com or accommodation websites that the prices are more or less always cheaper in Spain.
Comparing the ticket costs you can find similar prices in both countries when looking at journeys lasting more or less the same amount of time.
To check this out we decided to compare a trip by high-speed train from Madrid to Barcelona (AVE train) and between Venice to Rome (Trenitalia) at the same time of the day.
When it comes to car rental, Spain is winning again as comparing two touristic places for pick up and drop off such as: