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).
View this post on Instagram
#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!!
Check out the best deals to Italy:
- Castellammare di Stabia- between Naples and Sorrento
- Sfogliatelle calde Attanasio- a Neapolitan institution
- Ischia and The Story of a New Name
- Day trip to Procida from Naples
- 7 Reasons why you should give Naples a chance
7 Tips on Saving Money in Italy – ItalophiliaJune 18, 2020 at 3:19 pm
[…] Read Next: Italy Travel Things to Know […]
Tips for Solo Female Travel in Italy | ItalophiliaMarch 16, 2018 at 4:52 pm
[…] Italy Travel: Things to Know […]
Rahul Sharma (@rahulamiable)November 12, 2017 at 8:50 pm
Amazing work. Please guide us about the clothes to carry for our trip to Italy in Nov’17. We are going to Florence, Rome, Venice, Tuscany. Thanks.
IshitaNovember 13, 2017 at 9:34 am
I just replied 🙂 hope it helps .. wish you a great trip!
france55March 25, 2017 at 11:07 pm
well said. Very important to know a few words in the language of the country we visit. I just mention it also in my last post !!! :-))
Italy is great. My husband and I spent a few weeks there last fall. I hope to go back and see more of this beautiful country. And the food is great also.
IshitaMarch 25, 2017 at 11:29 pm
Which parts of Italy did you visit?? I agree 🙂 thank you and keep traveling!!
france55March 26, 2017 at 2:31 am
Aosta valley, Gran Paradiso , Torino, many places in Piedmonte ( did a walking tour) , Genova, Cinque Terre, Lucca, Firenze ( all this in 2016). other trips …Rome (2003), Venice (2012)..so much more to see Italy is a large country to explore. I want to see more of Tuscany..
You can find many posts about my travel in Italy . Let me know if you read some of them and what you think.
IshitaMarch 26, 2017 at 6:22 am
I’ll be visiting Piedmont this year. Any tips on Torino will be appreciated 🙂 I’d love to read your posts on it too
france55March 26, 2017 at 8:32 pm
Torino is a great city to explore on foot. If you stay in the center of the city you can go anywhere. My friends and I took the metro to go to Eataly ( great food- amazing display of products). We only had 1.5 days to visit but we enjoyed very much.
IshitaMarch 27, 2017 at 8:45 pm
I am looking forward to be there soon. Your trip sounds fun 🙂
voguishlychicFebruary 5, 2017 at 10:59 pm
This list is handy for any new country you wish to travel. Great tips 👍🏻
IshitaFebruary 6, 2017 at 11:00 am
Thank you 🙂 glad you came for some Italy reading!
priyankamahajan26February 1, 2017 at 6:06 pm
Great TIPS 🙂
IshitaFebruary 1, 2017 at 11:19 pm
elizarudolfJanuary 22, 2017 at 2:42 pm
Shekhar RupareliaJanuary 19, 2017 at 5:38 pm
That “Know Where You Are” section was such a great tip. Thanks Ishita! 🙂
IshitaJanuary 19, 2017 at 9:01 pm
Thanks for reading and sharing as always. Hugs 🙂
Shekhar RupareliaJanuary 20, 2017 at 12:22 pm
Lora by LoraJanuary 19, 2017 at 7:39 am
Great Tips there Ishita. You forgot to add “Prego” A word I found very useful.
IshitaJanuary 19, 2017 at 11:18 am
Thanks Lora 🙂
schwartzmeyerllcJanuary 17, 2017 at 9:13 pm
Reblogged this on L'arte Di Vivere.
IshitaJanuary 18, 2017 at 10:25 pm
Thank you 🙂
ravenhawks magazineJanuary 14, 2017 at 11:05 am
Reblogged this on ravenhawks' magazine and commented:
Great Information, thanks for sharing.
Expressive Italian | From London to Longoio (and Lucca and Beyond) Part TwoJanuary 14, 2017 at 6:56 am
[…] a recent post at https://ishitasood.com/2017/01/13/italy-travel-things-to-know/ Ishita Sood has made a list of some essential things to know when travelling in Italy, I love these […]
IshitaJanuary 15, 2017 at 10:58 am
Aww thanks so much for sharing!
foodinbooksJanuary 14, 2017 at 6:52 am
A lovely post. When I was in Italy, I definitely found that talking to locals paid many wonderful dividends. And knowing some of the language helped even more. I I sat in many coffee shops and many bars and chatted to this person or that person and nobody laughed at my bad Italian. I try to reciprocate when people come to this country and strike up conversations but don’t have as much English as I do, because I think it’s just the nice thing to do.
IshitaJanuary 15, 2017 at 10:57 am
Yes interesting no?? Instead of laughing they actually encourage. You did such a wonderful thing. Brava!!
sleeplessmummaJanuary 14, 2017 at 6:07 am
Lovely blog Ishita! Good points to keep in mind.
IshitaJanuary 15, 2017 at 10:57 am
Thank you so much. Glad I could help
fkasaraJanuary 14, 2017 at 2:14 am
It’s great that you recommended agriturismi: they are great places to stay, peaceful and usually located in very quiet areas. They actually have better food too, as, at the time, they were regulated as to give more opportunities to earn to farmers. This means that the food they provide comes from their land and it’s genuine and less chemically treated 🙂
IshitaJanuary 15, 2017 at 10:56 am
Thanks 🙂 sounds great. Love the authenticity
Giulia BalicchiaJanuary 13, 2017 at 6:50 pm
Great post Ishita!! It’s amazing how Italian always complain about Italy but everyone else loves it. I’m Italian and I started to appreciate Italy after I moved abroad. I’m lucky enough to be able to spend all my summers back home, in Italy 😍
IshitaJanuary 15, 2017 at 1:53 pm
Grazie mille, Giulia. I agree about it, isn’t it everywhere?? I think I feel the same about my country when people appreciate it I realize that I am cribbing for nothing. Our cultures are one of the best in the world 🙂 Glad you appreciate it more now
Christina's CucinaJanuary 13, 2017 at 6:05 pm
Love the pictures and tips.
IshitaJanuary 15, 2017 at 1:51 pm
Thanks Christina 🙂 have a great day
roughwightingJanuary 13, 2017 at 5:11 pm
Wonderful blog post I found thanks to Darlene (who tweeted it). I LOVE Italy and have visited it three times so far. Can’t wait to return. The first time, we visited our daughter, who spent her junior year abroad in Florence. She gave us an amazing tour of every museum and church in that city! We stayed in a small local inn, which was ‘okay.’ Second time we stayed in a villa in Tuscany with a group of friends, which was amazing. What is your favorite city/town in Italy? I didn’t like Venice because of the great amount of tourists – wish I could see the beauty of the place that so many people gush about, but too “Disney” for me.
IshitaJanuary 15, 2017 at 1:51 pm
Thank you so much dear. I am glad you found the post (Thanks Darlene) 🙂 When do you plan to return again?? I agree about the Venice bit because I did not like it on my first visit either. But on the second visit, I realized its beauty after 6 p.m. when the tourists ran away on their day trips and the city was much more calmer and accessible.
roughwightingJanuary 15, 2017 at 6:24 pm
Good tip – next time, I’ll stay the night!!
FrancisJanuary 13, 2017 at 3:35 pm
Good tips. I would add the following
1. Order capuccinos before 11 am. Its a giveaway if you have one in the afternoon. Italians think too much milk upsets your stomach.
2. Remember to do your chores between 8 and 12 am ander after 4 pm. Italians love their lunch hours and. many places are closed then.
3. Try to learn the polite 3rd peron singular to address people you dont know. Using tu to them is considered very impolite.
4. Make sure you know your limit if you drink vino. Getting drunk in Italy. Is not considered funny like in some northern european countries.
5. There are strict privacy rules in Italy. Do ask people before if they want their photos taken.
6. Many other things but you will have fun picking them up….
IshitaJanuary 13, 2017 at 4:06 pm
Absolutely true and great tips Francis. I added some of them in my last year’s Italy Tips post too.
fkasaraJanuary 13, 2017 at 9:11 pm
This tip about cappuccino is a bit of a myth to be honest. It’s true that we usually drink it only for breakfast, but when I go out with friends and family in the afternoon, it’s not rare seeing people ordering cappuccino. Someone actually takes advantage of the opportunity to order a cappuccino, as bars’cappuccinos are better than the home-made ones.
The bit about upsetting the stomach is true if you drink it just after a meal: “true milk” (not the fake one made from dried milk) is not easy to digest and if you have it after a rich Italian meal, you can truly upset your digestion. You can order what you want, it’s not like we get offended if you drink it after 11am! I’ve yet to see an Italian checking his watch to make sure he can drink a cappuccino xD So order what you want 😉
(Sorry for the long comment)
IshitaJanuary 15, 2017 at 11:00 am
No worries on the long comment. I like the local perspective. Of course Francis didn’t mean that ppl would stare at you if you ordered after 11 but these are still good to know points .. I love having it after lunch too 😉
fkasaraJanuary 15, 2017 at 8:45 pm
No worries, I wasn’t saying she wrote something “wrong”, I was just approaching the topic on a general level. I saw this tip written basically everywhere and lot of people said things like:”Don’t do that, the waiters will refuse the order” or something like that, which is wrong. (I know Fransis didn’t write that, no worries). I got the impression a lot of tourists felt ackward in ordering cappuccino in a “wrong timeframe” so I was just saying to not worry about this thing too much 😉
IshitaJanuary 15, 2017 at 9:25 pm
I got that too. I was also only trying to tell you that we don’t worry so much 😉 cheers!
fkasaraJanuary 16, 2017 at 3:47 am
Yeah, sorry…I always worry that my intention might get lost in translation, so that’s why I specified further ( it’s hard not being a native speaker sometimes, sigh)
IshitaJanuary 18, 2017 at 10:25 pm
I can get it but you are so good with your English 🙂 I hope someday I can write and speak good Italian like you do in english
fkasaraJanuary 18, 2017 at 11:24 pm
Thank you *blush*
DarleneJanuary 13, 2017 at 3:27 pm
Great tips for anywhere you travel!! Thanks.
IshitaJanuary 13, 2017 at 4:07 pm
TanjaJanuary 13, 2017 at 3:01 pm
IshitaJanuary 13, 2017 at 4:07 pm
karenincalabriaJanuary 13, 2017 at 12:00 pm
Just a note, Italy was officially unified in 1861 as the Kingdom of Italy. 1946 is the date of the beginning of the Republic of Italy (no monarchy). But it is, as you say, very regionally oriented.
But on another note, I wish I had that cup of hot chocolate with the little elegant cookies in front of me right now
IshitaJanuary 13, 2017 at 12:02 pm
Yes sorry for the wrong word 🙂 I should have added the republic year as 1946. That was in Venice at Caffe Florian 🙂 Dreamy no?
karenincalabriaJanuary 13, 2017 at 12:11 pm
Absolutely, it’s so rich looking – it oozes a luxurious experience
IshitaJanuary 13, 2017 at 12:18 pm
It was a fun time with Susan, Margie and Victoria in Venice 2015
pickledwingsJanuary 13, 2017 at 11:24 am
I’ll keep it all in mind whenever I get to italy. 🙂
IshitaJanuary 13, 2017 at 11:56 am
LynJanuary 13, 2017 at 11:20 am
Some good tips Ishita
IshitaJanuary 13, 2017 at 11:22 am
Grazie Lyn 🙂