One of the youngest countries in Western Europe and Shakespeare’s favourite, Italy boasts colourful history, dynamic culture, delectable cuisine, canal-laced cities, and museum-packed streets. Packed with the most number of UNESCO sites in the world, Italy offers a trip of a lifetime. It comes as no surprises that this is the fifth most visited country in the world.
Like all other foreign nations, Italy has a set of protocols too. There could be things that are accepted in your home country but could create problems in Italy
1. Carrying a heavy luggage:
If you have a habit of reckless packing with anything and everything in your suitcase, then you might have to look into the matter. Because Italy doesn’t favour someone with a heavy suitcase. You will come across uneven streets, steep hills, many pedestrians walking around, and even have to cross bridges. There are remodelled historic building with staircases instead of elevators. Also, with limited concierges, you will have to lift the bag on several occasions, for example, while getting on a train or at hotels, unless it is the 5-star suite.
2. Ordering Latte for coffee:
Latte in Italian translates to milk. So, if what you are looking for is a cup of coffee, never say Latte. Instead, use the term ‘cafe latte’. For espresso lovers, you can just say coffee — because Espresso is the only coffee that you get throughout Italy. For other variants like Americano and cappuccino, please be specific. For your information, Italians don’t find coffee desirable with a meal in the noon, and thus, you’ll have to hop into a bar.
3. Boarding trains without validating the ticket:
Travelling on trains in Italy is simple with the regional ticket that doesn’t have a time, seat or date on it. Thereby meaning that you can buy it early and use it for the upcoming two months. The only thing you need to do is validate the ticket before boarding. Most of the travellers have a hard time remembering this process. So, you must set a reminder, look for a machine nearby at the station, and validate the ticket before you go for a filmy train trip.
4. Not knowing the local language:
Italians do speak English. But that doesn’t mean you won’t give an effort to learn even the most basic words in their native language. We are not saying to learn the complete Italian language, but it seems friendly to know greetings and phrases in Italian, like hello, good morning, goodbye, please, thank you, etc. and use them while you’re there. So, as you get the Italy Visa , make sure to mug up a few helpful words on the go.
5. Expecting a lavish breakfast:
Well, there is no doubt that the pizza, pasta and gelato are legendary here. Breakfasts aren’t! Breakfast in Italy is not a huge, delicious spread. Most of the Italians sip espresso with a bite of a sweet dish like cookie or waffles and kick start their day. Even hotels with breakfast offer scarce continental options. Few restaurants have decent breakfast menus such as sliced meats, pastries, cheeses, eggs and bread.
6. Wearing short, revealing clothes in Church:
Italian churches are amongst the best tourist places in the country featuring important arts that will fascinate you. These places will have posters/ boards asking visitors to avoid wearing short or shoulder-baring clothes. You will find that the maximum area of Europe does not wear shorts as common as Americans. The least you can do is cover the shoulders with a scarf and wear long trousers; the best you can do is to follow the rules and dress appropriately.
7. Buying bottled water:
Italy has safe, hygienic and clean tap water. During your excursions, you can always go for the tap water, or refill your bottle. Most cities in Italy have public fountains scattered around where you can fill up a water bottle multiple times for free. It can help you cut down the budget as well. In restaurants, there is no such concept of tap water, so, whatever you choose from still or sparkling, you will have to pay for it.
8. Standing in the line at tourist places:
There are iconic attractions in Italy, from museums and galleries to monuments and cathedrals. With your Schengen Visa and skip-the-line tickets, you can tick off landmarks like the Colosseum, Vatican Museum, Leaning Tower Of Pisa, Uffizi Gallery, and Michelangelo’s David. Save your time by booking these entry tickets online as during the peak season the waiting time could extend up to 2 hours. With no extra money charged, you can whiz past the mile-long queues and explore the destination without hassle.
9. Tipping/ Over-tipping:
Tipping is like mathematics. It always needs analysis, especially in a foreign land. Although Italy is quite straightforward and doesn’t consider tipping as a customary practice, you can offer a decent amount. You can leave a couple of euros on a casual dinner or spend 10 per cent on good service. Some restaurants will add gratuity to your bill, so do check so that you do not double tip.
10. Getting freebies:
All those souvenirs that come free of charge look so appealing. Especially when there is a smiling salesman or a costumed vendor who approach you from the front with their unique gestures. You will find flowers, bracelets and other little items. But, remember it is not a gift and you might be duped. So, be wary of these freebies while walking.
Italy is a great country with abundant things to do and see. Just do not make these mistakes and it will be a splendid holiday.
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