Thinking of Tuscany, it’s easy to get lost in a daydream of bright sunshine, fields of sunflowers, excellent wine and adorable quaint villages. However, if you visit Italy during the summer “high season,”  the reality is often quite different. Those adorable quaint village squares? Packed with tourists.  Museums and monuments? Packed with tourists. Local vineyards? Packed with tourists.

In today’s New York Times,  Danielle Pergament writes that a guest at her wedding, which took place in Tuscany in the summer, described the region as “beautiful, hot and full of Americans.” This is an apt description of high tourist season in Italy.  You’ll still enjoy yourself, but you won’t leave feeling like you’ve experienced the best that Tuscany has to offer.

To avoid the crowds, your best bet is to get a fast passport and leave now, before the tourist season kicks into gear. As a bonus, the New York Times article notes that Tuscany actually gets more colorful in the winter-instead of the parched gold of summer, the fields turn a vibrant green.  You’ll also enjoy better food, as most of the local delicacies are actually in season in winter and early spring, and cheaper prices for just about everything.

To visit Tuscany, you of course need a valid US passport.  You’d better get a fast passport, too-Italy’s low season ends this month, so you need to leave ASAP if you want to take advantage of low prices and experience fewer crowds.

Normally, it takes at least 6 weeks to get a passport. If you apply for a fast passport using the government’s expedited service, you can expect to wait at least 3 weeks. If you want to leave the country sooner than that, the easiest and most convenient option is to use a private passport expediting company like With an expediting company, you can get fast passport processing, in as little as 24 hours, without having to make an appointment or drive out of your way to get to a regional passport agency office.

Don’t wait-apply for a fast passport today!