Every tourist who plans a trip to Italy is looking for important travel tips in Italy. But before you even start there are some basics things you need to know about Italy and Italians. If I knew these things it would surely spare me some awkward moments…but we are here to learn!
For this occasion, I’ve prepared a list of the ten things you need to know before your trip to Italy.
here’s my list!
10. Asking For Tap Water in Restaurants
Unless you want to get an angry look from the waiter, don’t ask for tap water in Italian restaurants. This is a very important travel tip and will save you many awkward moments.
Most restaurants in Italy don’t serve tap water. Instead, they will most likely serve you bottled water(and charge you for it). But don’t give up on your hope for free water(spoiler alert).
9. No for tipping, yes for “coperto”
When you go to a restaurant you’re probably used to leaving a tip to the waiter, depending on how much you enjoyed the service. In Italy it’s not the case – you’re not expected to leave a tip nor encouraged to do so. However, the Italian restaurant will charge you an amount of 1-5 euros per person for “coperto”.
8. Drink for Free
7. Trains in Italy and punctuality
Trains in Italy don’t always arrive on time, to say the least. Once you acknowledge and accept it, your life will be much easier during this trip. The best travel tip I can give you, in this case, is low expectations. Normally, the trains will be punctual. But in some cases, and with no notice, you can find yourself waiting for the train without even knowing why.
6. Check the weather before you go
When you picture Italy, probably you see a beautiful and sunny place, “gelato” everywhere, and happy and smiling people with shorts. Well…it might be true and Italians are very joyful. Yet, the weather is not always good and sunny, and there can be much difference between cities located in the south like Naples and others in the north like Milan(another spoiler alert).
Make sure you inform yourself about the weather before you go. By that, you save yourself the inconvenient situation of walking in shorts at -5 degrees.
5. Never ever go to Italy in August
And no, not necessarily because of the hot summer in Italy, but for two other main reasons. First, August is the month when basically no one is working. You’d probably think Italians are crazy. But the same as you(and maybe even more) Italians love holidays, and most of the shops will be closed at this time of the year.
Second, which is also much related, if you plan to cool yourself in the sea or just sitting at the beautiful beaches Italy has to offer – think again. Most beaches will be occupied not only by sweaty tourists but also by sweaty Italians. One of the best travel tips I can give you is to avoid going to Italy at this time of the year.
4. difference between north and south
As I spoilered you before, there’s a big difference between the north and south of Italy and not only weatherwise. The north of Italy is known as the industrial and financial part of Italy. The southern part of Italy is more relaxed. Both north and south have their magic, but sometimes you’ll get the feeling of being in two different countries.
3. Always have some cash with you
Italy is a very touristic place and receives many visitors each year. Still, in many places, you’ll have difficulty using a credit card, especially for small things. I suggest you always carry some cash on you, or at least a few coins. It will save you the trouble of looking for an ATM just to buy a gelato.
2. Italians Take “Riposo” Very Seriously
You might find it funny, but believe me, at 13:30 when you’ll be looking for an open restaurant it won’t be. Italians have some strict habits, and one of those is “Riposo”. No need to be a language expert to understand Italians just want to rest after lunch. So another two important travel tips in Italy I can give you: First, find a place to eat before 1 PM. Second, learn from the locals and have some rest as well between 1-4 PM!
1. Cover up in churches
Last but not least! Moreover, it may be the most important of all the travel tips in Italy.
in order to enter most of the churches in Italy, you have to follow a dress code. Don’t worry, no need for a suit and a tie. Yet, before you enter a church you’re advised to cover your shoulders and legs. So no shorts and flip-flops allowed. Before leaving the hotel pack a pair of pants and a light sweater just in case.