Five Things To Know Before Travel To Italy

January 28, 2022

Whipping up an itinerary and buying the tickets is just the easy part while planning a trip to Italy. However, there are still things you should know and be aware of. These are the things many travelers never even think about, but noticing them is essential. Here are the five things you should know before traveling to Italy:

  1. Late Dinner Time

You have probably heard the same thing about Spain, and while Italians are not that bad, they still like their meals later in the day. This is important to know if you plan to have dinner at a restaurant. 

Just like with Spain, late meal time has nothing to do with the residents being lazy, or whatever. It is a cultural thing. One you should be aware of. Many cafes and restaurants do not open until 6 or 7 pm, so keep that in mind. Overall, Italians have a very casual approach to business hours, but be patient and respectful.

  1. Cover-Up At The Vatican City

No matter your religious beliefs and overall outlook on the politics of the Catholic Church, it is essential that you stick to the dress code in the Vatican. Avoid low-cut tops and shorts or extravagant clothing. Hats are frowned upon, as well. That might be annoying for you, but you must respect the rules. Especially if you want to visit the most famous objects, such as the Vatican Museums, the Sistine Chapel, or St. Peter’s Basilica. 

Basically, everywhere you go, keep your knees and shoulders covered. Also, be mindful of selfie sticks — they are not well-accepted either. 

For the best experiences in the country, see private tours of Italy.

  1. One Day In Venice Is Enough

This beautiful region of art, culture and fascinating canal routes is one of the top attractions in Italy, but do not overstay if you are there only to explore. 

If Venice is your final and top destination, by all means, book a hotel for as long as you would like, but if you are only there to see the essence of the city and maybe explore a bit, one or two days is enough. Venice is absolutely incredible, and you should visit it, no doubt, but usually, you will cover most of it in a day. So, think about that when you are planning your trip.

  1. Know The Metro System

Trains in Italy are a top choice for travelers, as the system is well-developed, quick, and comfortable. However, there are some secrets not many tourists are aware of, as they are not usually addressed. 

First of all, always keep your eyes on the news. It is essential that you do because the biggest cities are often plagued by labor strikes, which temporarily shut down the metro. Unfortunately, these things happen more often than you might think, so keep checking in.

The next thing is that buying a ticket is not enough. You might think that all you have to do is show it to the conductor, but they have to be validated in the machines at metro stations beforehand. This detail is very significant, so keep that in mind.

  1. Do Not Tip At Restaurants

This might come as a shock, but Italians never expect tips, and not leaving any is in no way disrespectful. 

That being said, prepare to see some unusual charging on your bill. The first one is coperto, an additional fee for each person sitting at the table. The amount should be on the menu, but many tourists overlook that, dismissing it as some Italian word they do not understand, and then get flustered when presented with the bill. The second additional charge is servizio — an extra 10-20% that might be considered a tip, though it does not always go to staff.

It is better to compliment the staff if you liked the service.

Now you must be more ready than ever! Enjoy the art, culture, history, and everything else Italy has to offer. Just remember these things listed above. They are more significant than you might think. Have a great Italian holiday! 

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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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