Have you ever received a request by your foreign friends for helping out them with trip organization in Italy? We’d like to give you 15 travel tips for visiting Italy, a great country loved and known in every part of the world: how you can book your room, when it’s better to come here, when absolutely not, what kind of food you can ask to the waiter (frappuccino doesn’t exist!) and many other things. So if you want to spend a marvellous trip in Italy, please do not miss our precious tips.
1 – When you decide to organize a trip in Italy, please remember that in every period of the year, some most important cities such as Rome, Venice, Florence or Naples are too full, so you should book your room, in Hotel or House, in advance (also 3-4 months before!). During the Easter period, San Sylvester, central week of August, all hotels are full and very expensive. So, if you can, choose another period for your journey.
2 – Please remember that: usually you push to enter a place, and pull to get out. Exactly the opposite as in America!
3 – Tipping is not required. Service staff gets paid enough. In particular, if you tip somebody you personally know, is considered offensive.
4 – You can’t walk in a church with a top or with shorts. You should be properly dressed to visit most holy places.
5 – In big cities stores are open on Saturday but closed on Sunday, and another half day of the week. In downtown or touristic areas stores can be opened seven days.
6 – Aperitivo is a wonderful tradition you should not miss. Bars and pubs offer an aperitivo buffet when you buy your drink. Simple chips, pieces of pizza, parmigiano cubes and warm appetizers, a rich buffet where you can eat whatever you want.
7 – No doggie bags in Italy. Taking home the leftovers is not an option, it’s normal leaving food on the plate.
8 – Usually in Italy we don’t drink cappuccino after lunch or dinner, it’s only for breakfast.
9 – The coffee is very short, and usually doesn’t exist for take away.
10 – Dinner is past 8pm, not at 5pm! If you’re hungry at 5pm, go to a pasticceria and get a hot chocolate and some delicious pastries. If you’re hungry also at 7pm, go to a bar and order an aperitivo. Do not show up at a restaurant for dinner before 8pm!
11 – A lot of Italians speak English, but please remember that your language is hard for us….why? We’ve not understood it yet!
12 – If you decided to come to Italy by your own car, be careful! There’s a lot of traffic, especially in some cities such as Milan, Rome or Naples. And remember, if you come from England, keep your right.
13 – Make sure you respect the speed limits. Contrary to general assumptions, and especially in recent years, police is very strict about speeding.
14 – Remember also that, when you drive you can’t drink a lot, there is a limit very low for drivers.
15 – If you meet love in Italy, never, ever give chrysanthemums as a flower gift to her (or anyone)! They are considered the flowers of the dead, and only brought to cemeteries.
At the end, remember Italians are generally superstitions, so during a dinner or lunch, if you throw salt on the table, probably they’ll throw other salt back to their shoulder….for good luck.