Before you travel to a new country, it is important to be mindful and respectful of the habits, culture and customs of the people. If you’re visiting Italy, there are several things to keep in mind so that your Italian travel experience can be more fun and enjoyable. Here is a list of things to know before you travel to Italy:
Italy Travel: Things to Know
1. Know your Accommodation:
When in Italy, know your accommodation! It is essential to choose the best place to stay because Italy has many options! Some options are so unique that you may not find anywhere else in the world! So it is important to understand what YOU want and book a place accordingly. For example, Italy offers accommodation options in the form of hostels, hotels, bed and breakfasts and apartments along with unique stays such as booking a monastery or an agriturismo (farm house)!
Be wise when you choose your accommodation especially because in bigger towns, there are many neighborhoods and your accommodation might not be near the main attractions.
2. Know the Culture:
Respecting the culture in any country you are traveling is of vital importance. For instance, in India, you cannot visit the temple with your shoes on! Similarly, in Italy, if you want to visit a church, carry a scarf. Also remember that Italians take their dressing quite seriously so generally dress well when in Italy. I know maybe many of you won’t agree with changing standards especially for Italy but I personally love it, not just in Italy but even at home. It makes you feel more confident and it is fun to be noticed!
3. Know “Where” You Are in Italy:
Italy is a unified country since 1861 but before this, it was only different scattered regions and kingdoms. This also proves why there is so much regionalism in Italy, each region boasting to be the best. So when you’re traveling to Italy, be mindful of this fact. Italy has 20 regions and Italians in general take pride in their region they are from. They usually end up introducing themselves by first taking names of their “regions” such as “I’m Sicilian” or “I’m a Ligurian”. So remember “where” you are!
In addition to this, each region has it’s own flavors and delicacies. So try to avoid order food/wine of a particular region, in the other region! For instance, if you are in Sicily don’t ask for a Chainti Classico which is a wine from Tuscany. Instead ask for Sicilian wine. Similarly, cacio a pepe is a Roman pasta and chances are you might not find it outside of the region of Lazio (where Rome is).
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#Italophilia ~It is the "World Week of Italian Cuisine". There are global events in different organizations and embassies to promote food of the various regions of Italy.~ (Check with your local Italian embassy) The Italian way of life is the Mediterranean diet. And while I love the diversity of food in Italy and can eat just about anything anywhere, I have a soft spot for the Roman cuisine, especially in simple places like Ristorante Regina. This no frills family owned restaurant is only a stone's throw away from the Termini railway station and offers delicious plates of everything Roman! When @dudeandthefood & I were honeymooning in Italy, it was go to place and a favorite too! 😍 For this, I need to thank my lovely friends Linda & Steve from @thebeehiverome for introducing us to this place! Grazie amici 🎊🙌💯♥️🍝 Meanwhile, enjoy the week of Italian Cuisine and tell me what you ate?? Buon Appetito!
4. Know the Language:
This is not a mandatory tip but it pays well to know small words of the country’s language you are traveling in. If you are in Italy a Grazie (Thank You),Salve (Formal Hello), Per Favore(Please) are words that will give you a smile back in return. Don’t use ciao for anyone and everyone because it is an informal greeting to be used with friends and acquaintances. Also remember to always greet people by saying Buongiorno (Good morning) or Buonasera (Good evening) whenever you’re in their store or Bar. Greetings go a long way in Italy. Check out 31 Travel Phrases to know before visiting Italy!
5. Know your Comfort:
Lastly, if you are a solo traveler, always remember your comfort. Italians are friendly and curious and they are easy to chat with (especially in the South). There’s no harm taking the first step!! Visit the town’s local bar or trattoria (family run eatery) to meet the locals. You never know you might meet someone to chat with and end up enjoying more than ever. I love to observe the locals and catch a few extra words for my Italian vocabulary especially with the Barista at the bar. Italians enjoy chatting about anything!
Italy is a country full of wonderful people who go out of the way to help you. I have had so many instances where I’ve been assisted by complete strangers. Incidences like these make travel memorable and also makes Italy the prime reasons for return!!
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