From not making fun of the Italian language to no over-tipping at restaurants, here is a handy guide that will help you when you step out of the Italy airport.
Italy, a European country boasting inspiring works of art, historic monuments, great pizzerias and a long coastal line, is indeed a dynamic travel destination. People from all over the world travel here to experience the unique lifestyle, rich history and amazing culture.
Behind the background are few never, ever things to do in Italy which could otherwise come in the way of the happy trip. So, save yourself from the big embarrassment by following the rules. Here are things NOT to do in Italy-
1. Do not say the following things to the Italians –
Italy is many a time thought to be home to mafia and corruption. Even if you are sceptical about it and want to know in details, never ask, “Is your family in the mafia?”. This becomes a critical affair, especially when you are interacting with someone from Calabria, Campania and Sicily. Few other things that a visitor should avoid with the locals are, talking in a cartoonish Italian dialect, speaking against Berlusconi, questioning living with parents, preferring french wine, and getting bothered with random Italian gestures.
2. Do not assume you know the Italian food –
If you are someone who believes in the concept of “Italian food”, here is the reality-check. You might suppose that Italian food is a spread of pasta, pizza with wine. However, it’s a lot more! Italy is a wide country and it’s every region is independent. They boast distinctive personalities and assets, making it also peculiar in cuisine. Thereby, when you travel from a city to others, you would find the local specialities, like Carbonara in Rome, Polenta in Trentino, and Lasagne al Forno in Bologna. So, follow the trail and get to know what are the current obsessions, trending food and seasonal ingredients to devour the freshest meals.
3. Do not rely on debit and credit card –
Italy has made the cash, the king of transactions. If you are a traveller with a habit of carrying only the cards in the wallet and buying even the minimal rations like eggs and bread by swiping the debit card, you can face unwillingness from the shopkeepers or waiters. Except for the big hotels and train stations, all of Italy is cash-centric. Instead of requesting and pleasing the owner of the shop or bars, better to carry a little cash in your pocket or pouch and avoid hassles.
4. Do not be half-naked on the streets –
As already mentioned, every city might consider different rules for apparels. Like entering into Vatican City in a tube top or spaghetti could draw rolling eyes, while shorts above knees are restricted in other cities. But one thing to abide by everywhere is not wearing a small bikini or roaming shirtless on streets or markets or holy grounds. One can sunbathe and chill nearby the beaches and seashores in the bikini. However, it’s against the law and is unacceptable to be roaming in two pieces away from the beach, which can attract fines by authorities.
5. Do not expect a huge breakfast –
Breakfast is not a very important and lavish meal in Italy. In case, the hotel package offers you a free breakfast it would contain fewer than expected continental dishes. Items like meats, pastries, cheeses, and bread are common. And it’s not their fault because the locals here are not too into having a heavy meal early morning. Few would just sip a coffee or would grab a snack and are good to go.
6. Do not neglect empty restaurants –
Any traveller would be tempted by a crowded restaurant as it is the evidence of popularity amongst locals because of the taste and flavours. But, in Italy, the dinner starts late and it could be the reason that the restaurant isn’t quite occupied and that should not make you judge the place. Italians go out for dining around 8 pm and somewhere even at 9 Pm, while many restaurants are opened by 6.30 Pm. So, the next time you see a clear way restaurant that does not signify what quality of food and service it gives. A tip is to dine near major tourist spots.
7. Do not order a cappuccino after noon –
Quirky, but true! The reason is Italians are concerned about digestion, a lot. And milk could obstruct the digestion process when consumed during the afternoon. So, mostly you will find the locals sipping in the cappuccino in the morning with a cookie or pastry. And would directly jump to a black coffee at night. Also, a cappuccino after heavy meals could bloat the stomach.
8. Do not over-tip at restaurants or bars –
Italy recommends small tipping. The waiters and bartenders are accepted to make decent money and thus, customers can skip excessive tipping. Furthermore, the bill includes charges and taxes which cover the service provided to the table and is chargeable irrespective of you have eaten the dish or not. The tipping has no accurate calculation which is why it is dependent on price, number of party makers and the kind of service.
9. Do not forget validating your train ticket –
The regional trains in Italy issue tickets that have no date or timing mentioned on them. This allows travellers to navigate from one place to another as per their convenience of time. But one thing that you must not forget in between this laid-back touring is to validate your tickets. After all, one won’t want to get burdened with a fine on a peaceful holiday.
10. Do not depend on Google Maps –
Google is love, and what’s other that is love, is the bustling hotspots of Italy. But somehow, these two do not get along. Google Maps help us find the route in the new city even in the darkness. In Italy, most streets are named similarly when they may be located in different regions. Thus, confusion is obvious. So, ditch that GPS and get a map.
11. Do not savour pizza with your hand –
What’s your habit of eating a pizza? Just snatching a piece and grabbing a bite? This could take the angry stares of the Italians. Because a standard way of eating pizza in here is to use a knife and fork. Adhere to this table etiquette and you can have this famous delicacy without interruption.
12. Do not plan a big day on Sunday –
While laying out the itinerary for Italy, skip having so much to do on Sundays. Because, on weekends, many Italian businesses are closed. Consequently, the only-opened museums grab maximum attention which can make you stand in time-taking queues and could delay the rest plan. So, don’t make the day hectic and be disappointed later.
Italy is fun, just be aware of what you say and do, and don’t be duped by freebies. Otherwise, everything feels fabulous on a trip to Italy.