The top travel tips for Italy commonly include things like “See Rome!” or “Eat gelato,” or even, “When in Rome.” However, there are some practical pieces of advice that would make vacations go much smoother when visiting this beautiful country. The following list gives the top advice most Italians would want visitors to know when they come.
#1 – Get used to meal times
This may seem crazy, but here (and Europe, in general) meal times are later than what Americans are used to. Breakfast occurs upon waking, but lunch can be anywhere from noon to two in the afternoon. Dinner is served starting around seven at the earliest. Do not expect to see restaurants serving dinner before this time. Restaurants are used to their native citizens coming in around eight or eight-thirty for dinner. Mealtimes are also very relaxed affairs. They are to be savored. It may even be considered offensive to rush through a meal. This leads into the next piece of advice…
#2 – Slow down and take time to appreciate it
It is physically impossible to see every single attraction in one day. Time moves differently here, a little slower pace, and definitely more relaxed than the hustle and bustle Americans are used to. There is no rushing about, and trying to do so can create frustration, so slow down and enjoy what the day holds!
#3 – Keep the camera ready – there is always something happening, festivals, markets, street performances, and more! Capturing these spontaneous moments will allow you to reflect upon them later, and mitigate the risk of forgetting something fantastic.
#4 – Keep your walking shoes handy
Comfortable shoes are a necessity. There will be a lot of walking. Make sure those shoes are meant for covering some distance while walking around museums, attractions, or down the street looking for a café or restaurant. Here is one of those not-so-well-kept secret travel tips for visiting Italy—the best way to see the country is on foot. The way the cities and towns are laid out, nearly every single place is within walking distance. (Trips 2 Italy will make sure hotels are central to what visitors want to see.) Secondly, walking around offers the chance to experience the culture, discover hidden places most tourists do not see, and absorb the history that surrounds one at every turn. There is quite literally a couple of millennia’s worth of history here. Walking around gives ample time to explore it all.
#5 – Learn a little of the language
Of all the travel tips for getting along in Italy, this may be the most important. Though most inhabitants speak English, knowing a few words or phrases will make your experience a much more pleasant one. Ask “Parla l’Inglese” (do you speak English) first when needing help with something. Do not assume everyone speaks English automatically. Also, learning a little of the native tongue fosters goodwill and makes the locals even more likely to help.
#6 – The Food…it is not just pasta
When people think of the cuisine in Italy, they usually think of pizza and spaghetti. However, the food eaten is largely determined by region. In the north, the regional cuisine revolves around soups, rice, potatoes, and cheeses. This is where risotto and polenta originated. Even though the recipes are somewhat the same, ingredients do change in each region. In the center of the country, the cuisine is more full-bodied – from the wines to the meat-based dishes. Pork is the preferred meat, and many of the dishes in these regions incorporate it. The cuisine in the south is what most Americans consider Italian food. Dishes are Mediterranean in nature. Lots of fish, olives, and pasta. Though all the regions use the freshest ingredients, the southern style of cooking highlights how the most simplistic of ingredients make a delectable dish. Honestly though, no matter where one may find themselves, each meal will be an explosion of flavors and something to remember.
For more travel tips on a visit to Italy, give Trips 2 Italy a call at 1-866-464-8259 or visit their website. Let them help coordinate your vacation so you can experience their gorgeous country like a true native. As they say…”When in Rome!”