2 years ago

Important Things You Need To Know Before You Visit Italy

Curious Cat
Important Things You Need To Know Before You Visit Italy


Italy is a bucket-list trip for many, and with "bene" reason. The Southern European country is home to some of the world's best cuisine, architecture, fashion, art, and Mediterranean coastline.The language, people, and vino have inspired repeat visitors and dedicated Italophiles for centuries. That said, Italy is a complex country with its own set of customs and etiquette that are much different from what you might have seen

No cappucinno after breakfast
Remember, Italy has a lot of customs and thoughts around food. And one biggie is that cappuccino (or any coffee drink with milk) is for the morning only and never to be consumed after a meal. Italians don't like the combination of hot milk and a full stomach. You can go ahead and order whatever you'd like, but be prepared for some side eye at minimum and probably a small lecture about digestion. Espresso is fair game all day.

Don't tip at restaurants
Tipping isn't expected in restaurants, as servers are usually paid a fair salary and are often part of the family that owns the restaurant. That said, your bill will usually come with a few unusual charges. The "coperto" is often the most confusing to American diners, and it's essentially a per-person charge for sitting at the table. The price must be listed on the menu or in the restaurant, and it can add up for larger groups.

The metro is complicated
Rome has had a metro since the '50s and today three lines conveniently serve 73 stations. Many visitors save loads of money by staying at a more affordable hotel on the city's exterior and taking the train into the center to see the sites. However, there are a few things to keep in mind before hopping on a train. First, Rome is often plagued by labor strikes that temporarily shut down the metro. Keep your eyes on the news. Second, just buying a ticket isn't enough. You have to validate it in a machine before boarding the train. Third, kids under the age of 10 ride the metro for free with an adult and don't need a ticket.

One Day in Venice.
Spending just one day in one of the supposedly most romantic cities on earth may be considered sacrilege to some, but hear us out. We're not suggesting you skip Venice entirely, but one or two days is likely more than enough time to soak in the floating city's ambience and eat some gelato in picturesque St. Mark’s Square. The summer months bring high costs and huge crowds, while the combination of cold and closed-for-the-season hotels and restaurants make visiting in the winter its own challenge.

Cover up at the Vatican.
Whether or not you agree with the Catholic Church's politics, you're going to have show respect if you want to visit the Vatican Museums, the Sistine Chapel, St. Peter's Basilica, and the Vatican Gardens. Visitors are held to a strict dress code that doesn't allow low cut or sleeveless clothing, shorts, miniskirts, or hats. Basically, keep your shoulders and knees covered. Also not allowed? Selfie sticks.

Don't skip the art
It's easy to go to Italy and get distracted by the ancient ruins, shopping, and restaurants. But it would be a big mistake to skip the art scene, both from the Renaissance and the present day. The Vatican houses over 100 art galleries (not to mention The Sistine Chapel ceiling, painted by Michelangelo). The Peggy Guggenheim in Venice has an extensive collection of modern works by Picasso and Magritte. Botticelli's often replicated, never duplicated Birth of Venus hangs in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence.

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