Tips for traveling to Italy as a tourist

Travel Guide
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 Italy is one of the most popular and attractive tourist destinations in the world, as it includes more than fifty UNESCO World Heritage sites, and there are three active volcanoes and more than 1,500 lakes. Travel to Italy is also characterized by delicious food and the smallest restaurant in the world that may accommodate only two people. Despite being a relatively small country, it really has something to suit everyone's tastes, from charming beaches and beautiful cities to attractive archaeological sites, arts, and dazzling landscapes.

However, it is not uncommon to experience culture shock, which is defined as the confusion and anxiety of visitors resulting from the difficulty of assimilating a new culture and customs significantly different from their own or adjusting to the local society in foreign countries, and this can sometimes lead to scams and tourists By paying extra money, and generally causing disappointment or confusion.

Tips for traveling to Italy as a tourist


There is a lot to know about Italy and consider before planning your trip, so if you are traveling to the country for the first time, in this guide you will find many tips and advice related to traveling to Italy to help you have a great trip, enjoy your time, and overcome potential challenges that you may face while traveling to Italy, which will enable you to enjoy a safe stay and a unique experience on every trip you make.


Tips for getting around and moving around in Italy

1. Pack as few items as possible

While traveling to Italy, getting around Italian cities with lots of bags and heavy luggage can be a great challenge for visitors, due to the many stairs and ramps, cobblestone streets, and narrow staircases to hotels. No matter your style of travel, make sure you pick the right bags and pack only the essentials to ensure a smooth trip and a comfortable stay. If you're planning to visit places like Venice, you'll also need to be able to carry your luggage on the water buses and take the stairs as lifts are rare. 


2. Wear comfortable shoes

Wearing comfortable shoes when you're outside will make your life a lot easier for the same reason mentioned above. If you're planning a trip to Venice, keep in mind that you may need a pair of stivali di gomma rubber boots as a precaution in case the water levels rise in lower parts of town such as Piazza San Marco.


3. Check the validity of your train ticket

If traveling to Italy by train, be sure to validate your ticket before boarding the train. Since train stations in Italy lack turnstiles, it is up to you to validate your ticket at the machines located near the entrance to each station platform and are usually green or yellow. Be aware that high fines are imposed on travelers with expired tickets.

Emergency tip: If you can't find a machine or it's not working, or if you're in a hurry, the best thing to do is to write on the ticket the last time it was used, this might just be enough to convince the conductor to Board the train that you have good intentions.


4. Book high-speed trains in advance

High-speed trains in Italy are referred to as "frecce", such as Freciarossa , Frecciabianca and Frecciargento . Reservations usually open 120 days before the date of your trip, and it is always preferable to buy tickets in advance to ensure that you get a cheaper price. You can book your tickets on the Trenitalia website. For information, this company is the official ticket provider for the Italian railway network, and there is also a company Italo, the official seller of Italian high-speed rail tickets.


5. Be wary of strikes in the transport sector

sciopero is italian word for strike and tourists in the country should know it, since strikes have become part of everyday life in Italy, don't be surprised if your travel plans are disrupted by one of them, so be prepared and pay attention to signs especially at train stations, strikes are usually announced ahead of time so that you have a chance to prepare a backup plan.


6. Be aware of the meaning of parking lines

When traveling to Italy always check the color of the lines before you park your car, white means the parking lot is free or limited time parking, in which case you will need to display the disco orario , which is the parking disc that shows the time the car has been Parked, yellow lines in the car park indicate that the space is reserved for residents of that area or street, and it is forbidden to park there without a permit, and areas marked with blue lines mean that you need to pay to park the car, this usually applies on all days of the week except Sundays and holidays Official, but it's always a good idea to check lines and signs, just like on highways, be sure to bring some coins, as some parking machines don't accept card payments.


7. Use official taxis only

All taxis in Italy are white and have official markings, and the prices are indicated inside the taxi and on the door, remember to check this to avoid being scammed, which happens a lot in Rome, as it is often noticed in airports that there are people trying to convince unassuming tourists to ride with them, do not Ride only in white cars with a TAXI sign on them, otherwise be careful and take no risks.


Food and beverage advice

1. Don't order a cappuccino after breakfast

Asking for a cappuccino with your meal at lunch or dinner is surprising in Italy, as Italians usually eat cappuccino or (milk or caffellatte ) for breakfast, and it is often accompanied by sweet foods such as biscuits, pastries, croissants or breakfast cereals, for this reason you should avoid Order a cappuccino or other milk-based drink after 11am, while it's much more common to have an espresso or macchiato (black coffee with a few drops of milk) after a meal.


2. Ask for the bill

 When you dine in a restaurant in Italy, after you finish your meal, you have to either ask for the bill il conto or pay at the cash register, it is considered rude for the waiter to hand you the bill before you ask because they don't want to rush you, moreover the meal time is precious In Italy.


3. Drinkable water fountains

There are drinking water fountains in many Italian cities, and they are known in Rome as nasoni , and they also provide fresh and cold water, and these channels have been supplying Rome with their water for thousands of years, and therefore there is no need to buy bottled water, you only need to bring a bottle Empty and fill it with drinking water while you're walking around town.


Tips for eating in restaurants in Italy

1. Dinner is eaten late

Italians, especially in the south of the country, usually eat their food as late as nine in the evening, the restaurant that serves dinner between 5 and 7 pm caters to tourists, so the quality of food is often lower, good restaurants most of the time do not open before 7 In the evening, unless places also serve an aperitivo, a drink that comes with chips and other appetizers, this can be an excellent way to quell your hunger while waiting for dinner or to open up your appetite.


2. There is no tipping culture in Italy

No one will criticize you and you won't get bad looks if you don't tip the waiter, although it has become a common culture in major tourist destinations, and some restaurant waiters may expect it especially if the service is good and accurate, the food served is delicious and the whole experience is enjoyable, Italians are willing to leave around 1 Only 2 euros per person.


3. Learn how to articulate when ordering food

Although people in tourist cities may understand or speak English, do not think that it is always this way. Learn how to order your favorite meal and dish, and how to express any dietary requirements such as stating, for example, that you are a vegetarian, or that you are You are not gluten intolerant, or have a peanut allergy, as this is a must and will ensure you have a smooth lunch or dinner.


4. Don't ask for tap water in restaurants

Although ordering tap water in restaurants is common in many countries, but in Italy you will inevitably be refused, be aware that this is not common in the country, you will have to drink bottled water, you just have to decide if you want Drink plain water or frizzante/gassata sparkling water.


Helpful guides for sightseeing in Italy

1. Some shops and establishments take a break during the day

It is rare to find a 24/7 shop in Italian cities, let alone small towns, while working several hours non-stop is becoming more common in some of the larger shops, where generally every Italian shop or place closes immediately after lunch At 12 or 1 pm, then reopen at 3 or 4 pm after the siesta riposino and the rest period ends, Monday is usually a day off for shops, mini markets and restaurants, hairdressers and beauty salons, it would be good to write Business hours because that will definitely benefit you.

2. Check public holiday dates

Public holidays are likely to affect your travel plans and the possibility of sightseeing. The dates of the most important official holidays that you should know are as follows:

  • ● January 1: New Year's Day.
  • ● January 2: Epiphany.
  • The date varies from late March to April: Easter Sunday and Little Easter.
  • ● June 2: Republic Day.
  • ● August 15: Ferragosto Assumption Day .
  • ● November 1: All Saints' Day.
  • ● November 8: Immaculate Conception.
  • ● November 25: Christmas.
  • ● December 26: St. Stephen's Day or Boxing Day.

It should be noted that cities also have local celebrations, so it would be advisable to check the opening hours of shops, banks, attractions and various establishments that you intend to visit if you will be traveling during the days indicated above.


3. Avoid waiting lines

Book private tours and avoid waiting for a long time to purchase tickets in advance to visit the main attractions and distinctive sights, which would save you time and effort and allow you the opportunity to enjoy walking around and visiting in general.


4. Wear appropriate clothing when visiting holy places

You will need to cover your shoulders and knees before going into religious buildings such as churches and cathedrals, or you may not be allowed entry. You should also avoid carrying large backpacks as you will be denied entry.


Safety tips for traveling to Italy

1. Beware of pickpockets

Thefts and pickpocketing can be frequent in some tourist areas, especially on buses, metro and trains. Avoid bus numbers 64 and 40 in Rome when traveling from Termini Station to the Vatican, as they are notorious travel lines.


2. Don't leave your credit card out of sight

Never leave your credit card out of sight and unattended when paying for something, there are many stories of waiters taking customers' credit cards to swipe using the payment machine at the back of the restaurant, the card was cloned after thirty minutes, and they supposedly spent an hour at Buy jewelry worth 3,000 euros, pay for a taxi, buy sports equipment worth 500 euros, and also buy groceries for 200 euros all over Italy, so don't neglect your card or leave it for a long time with the clerk when paying your bills, to avoid being scammed.


3. Keep your ID card with you at all times

The law in Italy requires everyone to always carry their identity card with them wherever they go, as you may be asked to show it if you are stopped by police officers on duty.


4. Know the Italian emergency numbers

If you encounter an emergency during your time in Italy, be aware that you can call 112 which is the European emergency number for public emergencies, 113 for the polizia nationale , 115 for firefighters and 118 for health emergencies.


5. Learn some basics of the Italian language

Although Italy is a popular tourist destination for visitors from different countries of the world, but do not expect that everyone speaks or understands English, and therefore it would be good to learn some basic Italian phrases that you will need in everyday life situations in order to communicate with others, which It will also come in handy in case of an emergency while you are traveling to the country.


6. Know where the public restrooms are located

You will often have to pay a euro or two to use public toilets in Italy, but the law requires restaurants and some other establishments to provide access to their facilities free of charge, while making a small purchase or grabbing a quick espresso is common practice in order to get this service Local apps for cities like Veritas in Venice will help you find where the public restrooms are.


7. Bring a power plug adapter with you

Before using your appliances and various tools provided by hotels such as hair dryers, double-check the voltage by measuring the amperage, and make sure that you have the appropriate adapter for Europe and Italy. It is worth noting that there are three types of sockets in Italy, namely C, F and L. The Type C plug has two circular pins, the Type F plug has two round pins spaced with two ground clips on either side, and the Type L plug has three round pins in a row, the electrical supply voltage in Italy is rated at 230V The AC rate is up to 50 Hz.


8. Get travel insurance

Italy has one of the best public health care systems in the world, which means that you will always get help if you need it, in this context it is always better to have good travel insurance that covers all the costs of unexpected accidents that you may encounter during your travels, Like lost baggage, sudden cancellation or theft, you will be able to protect yourself, your belongings and your trip with WorldNomads travel insurance.


Tips for staying in Italy

1. You are required to pay the city tax

Everyone has to pay city tax or tourist tax, it is not included in your bill, you have to pay it separately once you arrive at your accommodation, this fee is per person per night, and the tax is required to be paid in cash, usually Approximately 2 euros.


2. Don't expect air conditioning everywhere

Double check that your hotel room or rental car has air conditioning, this is not a normal feature and is not usually available unless specifically requested, also expect poor air conditioning if it is present, it is noted that air conditioned Italian spaces seem warmer than its counterpart in the United States.


Some types of shops and establishments in Italy

1. Wear plastic gloves when handling baked goods, fruits and vegetables in the supermarket

In Italy it is common to wear plastic gloves that can be found near weighing instruments, once you have chosen the items and goods you want to buy, you will also have to weigh yourself, enter the product code, print the label and put it on the plastic bag, this operation cannot be done at checkout and you will be returned .


2. Get to know the Italian pharmacies farmacie

Pharmacies in Italy are managed by real pharmacists and not just assistants, as they give medical advice and strictly sell medicines and pharmaceutical products, and this even includes items such as aspirin. Pharmacies are open from 8 am to 8 pm, and they usually have a lunch break from 1 pm to 4 pm, however there is always a pharmacy open in case of emergency, you can find the address and phone number of the pharmacy on duty Farmacia di turno written on all the doors of the pharmacies, the latter are also marked by large green crosses illuminated by LED lights.


3. Go to Tabaccherie

Tabakiri are the owners of newsagents, who sell almost anything from cigarettes and tobacco to newspapers and magazines, sweets, snacks and tickets for local transport. black or blue background.


Traveling with children in Italy

1. Most restaurants do not have a children's menu

Children's menus are not very common in Italy but this does not mean that the restaurant is not suitable for children, as you can easily order a simple pasta dish or a smaller portion dish of any of the dishes mentioned in the menu, and they will be happy to prepare your order and serve it to the child.

2. The lack of a child car seat

Not all rental companies provide all necessary baby equipment, if you are traveling with an infant who needs a rear-facing car seat, don't forget to bring your own car seat and make sure it meets EU safety standards.

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