Traveling can be very stressful; not knowing the language, which restaurants to eat in and which ones to avoid, how to dress for the different climate... Well, I’ve got you covered. Here are a few simple tips on what to expect and what not to do when traveling to Italy.
1. Do Take Lots of Pictures. It is very rare to land in any part of Italy and find nothing to photograph. Take as many landscape pictures you can. There’s greenery at every corner, there are livable old rustic houses with natural wear that capture the tranquility of Italian lifestyle. Selfies take a bacseat because nature is stunning.
2. Do Not Make A Scene. Most Italians (especially in the northern region) are reserved when it comes to public appearances. People enjoy strolling and pausing to look at different shops but they rarely interrupt their walks to joke with their friends and call attention to themselves. Tourists from other countries might be more open in expressing joy and their friendship in public but Italians appreciate quietude.
3. Do Layer Your Clothing. The climate is expected to be fairly Mediterranean with sun shining on most days, but the temperature is hard to predict on most days. Mornings often start off chilly but the rest of the day can be a swing of ups and downs. Layer up with a t-shirt, jeans (because they work on most days excluding summers), and a light jacket to carry with you at all times. You’ll fit right in with an emergency jacket hanging on your arm.
4. Do expect to sit at a restaurant with waiters only stopping to bring food or water. It’s a cultural thing: meals are meant to last long, to be peaceful and to be enjoyed without strangers hovering for you to pay the check. They also do not expect to be left a tip, in fact, some might think you forgot your money on the table. You will have a very relaxing and filling meal at any restaurant you stop by.
5. Do Not ask for ice in your water. Most restaurants serve bottle water, so there will be no refills and no ice. Most of us might think it is odd, but for Italians cool water is only reserved for hot summer days because they believe ice equates to indigestion. Order at least a couple of bottles just to be sure.
If you follow my tips you will be 10 steps ahead of any other tourist. For those of you who have never travelled to Europe previously, the following points can be applied to most countries but especially Italy and its surrounding countries, take it from a native.