What do I need to know before traveling to Italy?
People who go to Italy fall in love before they even step on the Pope’s land! A country full of culture, history, great and beautiful monuments, gastronomy, beautiful landscapes and paradisiacal and striking places. But you’re probably asking yourself: What do I need to know before traveling to Italy? Stay with us and make the best of Italy! Make your dream trip come true here! Here at Your Travel to Italy with Ana Patricia you make the trip of your dreams!!! ALSO see our “Accommodation in Italy – Tips for your holidays!”
Italy is one of the most visited countries in the world! To say that it is a magnificent country is almost a pleonasm, but there are some small details that can make your trip even better. Do you want to know what I’m talking about? Come read our post! We have listed some very important items for your trip to be incredible and unforgettable!
1) What do I need to know before traveling to Italy? BE AWARE OF THE ITALIAN CULTURE
One of the most controversial items! There are people who say that Italians are rude, harsh, arrogant and there are people who say that they are, practically, part of the cast of the “Care Bears”, as they are so kind and helpful!
Fact is: they are people like us! Guys, we found impolite people all over the world, it doesn’t happen only in Italy, and although they are very receptive, they are VERY straightforward, they don’t tolerate whining, which, many times, can be understood as lack of education! It is not, believe me!
And yes: they speak loudly, so don’t take it personally! They are not yelling at you! Oh: they don’t have much patience either, so: be clear and direct! In the following link we talk about exactly what most bothers tourists when traveling to Italy.
2) What do I need to know before traveling to Italy? DRINK IN WATER FOUNTAINS
The water in the fountains is clean, flowing, fresh and delicious! One of the coolest things in Italy: wherever there is a fountain of water, that water is drinkable! FOR GOD’S SAKE, do not fill your bottle at the Fontana di Trevi, right?!?! Hahahaha. Water sources are easily recognized because there is always a short line near them, especially in the summer, when the heat borders on exaggeration! (It looks like the sun embraces Italy!)
- Then take a small bottle with you to always supply clean, fresh water straight from the fountain;
- If you go in the summer, take the opportunity to cool off in these fountains, bring washcloths to moisten and cool off during the walkings.
3) What do I need to know before traveling to Italy? BE AWARE OF THE “COPERTO”
In Italy you pay to eat sitting – the famous “Coperto“. Watch out, you pay to eat sitting! Whenever possible, eat standing by the counter! Okay, the value is negligible, something like 2 or 3 Euros per person, but if it is to have a quick coffee, it ends up not worth it! Oh, and tipping is not mandatory, but if you liked the service and the dish served, be kind and leave a tip for the waiter!
4) What do I need to know before traveling to Italy? BE AWARE OF HOW TRAINS WORK
Trains are not as beautiful as in the movies! Most trains are state-of-the-art and beautiful, but companies use it mainly for distant trips or for international trips (to Switzerland, Austria, Germany, etc…). I am not saying that you are going to take trains falling apart, but they are very “common”, nothing extraordinary! So don’t raise expectations, O.K.?! And remember to validate the ticket BEFORE boarding! It is paramount that you always remember this! In the following post, find out the difference between trains in Italy, just click here! Did you know that buying train tickets in advance can save you a lot? Find out in the following Post How to buy a train ticket in Italy?
5) What do I need to know before traveling to Italy? HOW IS THE PIZZA?
Pizza in Italy is served PER PERSON! You must have thought: Wow, a huge pizza for one person? Yes! But the authentically Italian pizza is not that big and has (much) less filling, so depending on the hunger, it is possible to eat it whole!
6) What do I need to know before traveling to Italy? WINE, GELATO AND PASTA
Enjoy wine, gelato and pasta! ENJOY these three items a lot! Why? Because in addition to finding quality, they are cheap, tasty and you can find them on every corner!
Speaking of wine and pasta, be sure to take a leisurely stroll in the supermarkets! It’s a great place to make amazing finds for EXCELLENT PRICES! Great option also to buy souvenirs!
What to bring as a souvenir from the market? Chocolates! Give preference to Italian brands, you will not regret it! Also read: What are the types of Italian wines and The best gelaterias in the main Italian cities.
- Leave space in the suitcase because shopping will be inevitable! Read our post below with tips on how to bring wine from Italy, just click right here!
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7) What do I need to know before traveling to Italy? EMERGENCY CASES
Know where to go in an emergency. Always take the address of your country’s consulates, your hotel and the nearest police station wherever you are! In case of theft, first of all, make a police report, as it is a necessary document, including, to request a new passport. Find out all about Passport loss or theft in Italy. In the link below you will find important and valuable tips, just click right here!
8) What do I need to know before traveling to Italy? LEARN ABOUT THE SOCKETS
The sockets are different. Note the voltage in Italy is 220 V, so take a dual charger and / or adapter. Read our detailed Post on Sockets in Italy!
9) What do I need to know before traveling to Italy? SEASONS
People: winter in Italy is COLD! And the summer is HOT! Very hot! So, before the trip, check the weather forecast, because like the rest of the world, the weather in Italy is quite messy, better not to trust 100%! Read our post below and find out the best time to visit Italy, Click Here to find out the best time to travel to Italy!
10) What do I need to know before traveling to Italy? TIME ZONE
The Italian clock is in the time zone GMT+ 1, so be aware of the time difference when you are planning your travel to Italy.
Don’t sleep when you get there if you arrive in the morning! At most, take a nap, so you avoid messing up the time even more and, little by little, your body can get used to the time difference.
11) What do I need to know before traveling to Italy? HOW LONG TO STAY IN ITALY?
How long to stay in Italy? The maximum as possible! In that case it depends a lot on what you want to visit! You can’t visit five cities in a day, for example, so it is important that you organize your itinerary BEFORE the trip and have your goals very clear, so you can do everything! Read our posts below and answer all your questions about how to plan your trip to Italy.
12) What do I need to know before traveling to Italy? ITALY COUNTRY CODE
The country code is +39, to call there it is necessary to enter 00 + the prefix in the operator (XX) + 39 + the number. To call from Italy, enter 00 + (country code for your country) + (area code) and the phone number.
- AVOID as much as you can to call your country using your cell phone or the hotel phone! Enjoy and read the post on how to buy a pay-as-you-go SIM card in Italy, get to know everything by clicking here!
- With communication apps such as FaceTime, WhatsApp, Skype among others, communication is much easier, making it unnecessary to use the phone for this type of contact.
- Leave it only for emergencies, so it is good to know this information, O.K.?!
- Also read: How to buy a prepaid SIM card in Italy?
13) What do I need to know before traveling to Italy? VACCINATION
Rest assured that there is no mandatory vaccine to travel to Italy. Find out more details in our Post Do I need to be vaccinated to enter Italy?
14) What do I need to know before traveling to Italy? TOILET PAPER
The used toilet paper is thrown directly into the toilet! How so? Yeah, throw the used toilet paper directly into the toilet without mercy! Attention with diapers, absorbents, condoms and other solid debris, these must be thrown in the trash.
15) What do I need to know before traveling to Italy? CROSSWALKS
Watch out for crosswalks. Stay tuned and be careful, because not all drivers stop! In smaller cities, there are often no traffic lights, but that is no guarantee that drivers will stop. I suggest you tostop, on the sidewalk, in front of the lane and wait for the drivers to stop for you to cross safely.
16) What do I need to know before traveling to Italy? ITALIAN SWEETS
Italian sweets may be different from what you are used to. The Italian palate is much less “sweet”. They use a lot of dark chocolate, fruits, jellies, jams, coffee and custard to make their sweets and the various pastas that involve some types of these delicacies that almost do not take sugar, that is, it is not so sweet. Also read in our post How is breakfast in Italy?
17) What do I need to know before traveling to Italy? AVOID DISCUSSIONS
Avoid arguments. It seems “absurd”, but, never say that Italian pizza IS NOT the best in the world (lol). This question divides many opinions. The difference is in the dough and filling (the Italian pizza is much, much lighter!) It may not be that attractive, but if you say that to an Italian, he may be extremely offended, since because they do not even consider the pizza from the rest of the world like PIZZA! It’s like asking for ketchup to put on pizza or grated cheese for risotto: don’t do that! Another thing: to say that Italy is not the most beautiful country in the world (laughs) “mamma mia!” Italian can speak ill of the country, outsiders cannot!
18) What do I need to know before traveling to Italy? SEE THE POPE
Go to Rome and not see the Pope! It’s more normal than you might think, so don’t feel bad if your schedule doesn’t match! The Pope has a very busy schedule and not everyone who goes to Rome can see the pontiff, so life goes on! If you make a point of it, there is a possibility to see him, you can access this post to learn more about how to see the Pope?
19) What do I need to know before traveling to Italy? DRIVING IN ITALY
If you drive DO NOT DRINK! I say and reinforcement whenever I can: NEVER, under NO circumstances, drink if you’re driving. Besides being very dangerous, it can bring you serious problems. Read our section on Driving in Italy, here you will find topics such as, International Driver’s License, Traffic Signs in Italy, Parking and more to organize your dream trip.
Traveling by car in Italy
How about if I give you a rental car option? Are you ready for it? If you are renting a car be sure to read our posts in the section Driving in Italy on the blog Your Travel to Italy. In addition to car itinerary tips, we have everything about signage, tolls, roads and many more tips.
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20) What do I need to know before traveling to Italy? ROUND TRIP
If you can, go for a walk in the smaller towns next to the big ones, you can make a round trip! Do you know those quite unknown cities, that appear at train stops and that you never thought to visit? So, they don’t have great tourist attractions, but the typical Italian rhythm enchants and gives you an idea of how is life “alla italiana!” Cheap, charming and surprising tour option!
Check out some of the posts on round trips in Italy:
- How to get to Pompeii from Rome?
- How to get to Florence from Rome?
- How to get to Venice from Florence?
- Going to Pisa from Florence?
Watch this video and learn: 5 Things to never do in Italy!
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What do I need to know before traveling to Italy? I answered your question: What do I need to know before traveling to Italy? Get to know that Italy will win your heart and you will never want to leave there. A tip: you can already organize another trip to the country of the boot, for sure you will want to come back!
If you feel insecure, have no time, and need help to organize your trip, don’t hesitate to contact me! I will love to help you make your dream trip to Italy come true. And how can I do that? Keep reading this post until the end and you will understand how we make your life and your trip much easier
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