Italy has charmed the hearts of many. The food, the people, the culture, the views there’s no place quite like it. It is more special for pasta, glasses of wine, historical sites everywhere you turn, colorful architecture, and turquoise beaches. But before you pack your bags, there are a few things to keep in mind.
Here are 5 tips for your first trip to Italy!
“Siestas” are a practice in some European countries where people go home in the afternoon to eat lunch with their families and take a nap. In Italy, some businesses and even police stations in small towns will close down from 1 PM to 3 PM for the siesta.
When planning your program for Italy, always check the opening hours of shops and restaurants. You might find it hard to grab a meal at your normal lunchtime, so it’s a good idea to keep some snacks on you.
Most Italians also only eat dinner around 8 PM. Luckily, you can take partake in the traditional Italian “aperitivo.” It’s a drink and light meal that restaurants will offer until it’s dinner time.
Customer service is quite different than what you’re used to in the States. While greeting people is essential, waiters don’t hang over tables. In fact, you might have to wave someone down when you need a refill, or when you’re ready to pay. It is just a common culture there!
While some people do speak English, it’s not the norm and shouldn’t be expected. You’ll also find that most speak in Italian.
Before you leave for your trip, download an app like Duolingo, and learn some essential Italian phrases. I’d also recommend buying a local sim card so you can use Google Maps to help you figure out the local transportation system without asking for help.
4.Driving in Italy:
While driving through Italian wine country is something everyone should experience at least once in their life, you don’t technically need a car when in Italy. Using public transportation is the most cost-effective way to get around plus it is super easy to use.
If you’re using the train in Italy, remember to get your ticket validated and if you do decide to drive, knowing how to drive manual will save you some serious money. You can find Italy’s train system website with timetables and pricing here!
5.Food in Italy:
When you get your bill after eating out in Italy, you might come across a few mystery charges aside from tax. For example, if you see the word “coperto,” that’s a cover charge that’s charged per person. It’s typically listed on the menu so if you check beforehand, and you won’t be caught by surprise.
There will also likely be a “Servizio” charge which replaces the tip more or less. It’s often found in areas that are heavily visited by tourists such as Rome, Venice, the Amalfi Coast, and Florence. It’s usually between 10% to 20% and can also be found listed on the menu
“Italy is a dream that keeps returning for the rest of your life.” – Anna Akhmatova
Photo by Anthony DELANOIX on Unsplash
Traveling to your favorite places can improve your productivity and helps to achieve financial independence and can foster your early retirement.
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