Italy is an amazing country that attracts countless tourists each year. People who travel to Italy would go back again for sure since one time is not enough for discovering this heaven-country. But one thing that most travelers admit is that their second trip to Italy is way smoother than their first time since they knew what was going on and didn’t get “What the heck are you doing?” kind of look from locals.
Knowing a few tips before traveling to Italy would definitely make your trip a more pleasant one which is the aim of this post.
Whenever you need coffee, don’t ask for a latte since in Italian it means milk, and if you’re not in a touristy area, you’d probably end up with a glass of milk!
Transport ticket rules
In a lot of European countries and North America, you can enter a bus or other public transport vehicles first and then purchase your ticket, but in Italy, you’d buy your ticket (and validate it if you’re transporting via train) upfront. Otherwise, you’d get fined, no matter if you’re a tourist or not!
Standing in ticket lines
During peak season you’d usually find a very long line in front of sightseeing places in Italy which could keep you waiting for up to two hours, but you can simply buy your tickets online and sometimes even save some money on their online promotions.
Wearing shorts when entering churches
Italian churches are so beautiful and very well designed. But before entering make sure you’re not wearing shorts or a no sleeves shirt because they won’t let you in, especially in Vatican City. Plan ahead and wear accordingly.
Credit card or Cash?!
Most small businesses in Italy don’t accept credit cards and even those who do usually don’t take it for amounts under €10. Always make sure to have some cash with you just in case!
Italy is not like Switzerland and not everything goes by a strict schedule, so don’t try to have a busy schedule for the day because you won’t be able to do them and would waste your precious time there.
Free gift claims
Some street sellers would give you a flower or bracelet as “Free” and once you take it they’ll demand money and won’t let go until you give them something which could be so annoying and embarrassing if you don’t know before hands.
Tipping rule in Italy
In Italy, it’s not as common as the US and Canada to pay tips, unless you receive exceptional service from your waiter/waitress. Apparently, they earn a living wage and don’t rely on tips as much.
Keep your receipt
Whenever you’re at a restaurant (or basically anywhere you can get a receipt) make sure you get your receipt and keep it up to 100 meters away from the restaurant as sometimes government officials would demand it to make sure the tax was paid in your transaction.
Don’t touch the produce
If you’re on a budget, street markets are the best places to buy valuable food/snack, but you’re not allowed to touch the produce, especially without wearing gloves. You should ask them to do it, otherwise, expect an Italian granny to teach you that lesson!