Before you travel to Italy, be mindful and respectful of the habits, culture and life there. Traveling to any country = understanding a new culture and if you are traveling to Italy, it is imperial to understand how your Italian travel can be more enjoyable. That is why I’ve collated a list of things to know before you visit Italy:
Italy Travel: Things to Know
Know your Accommodation:
It is essential to choose the best accommodation for yourself wherever you are in Italy. There are many options of staying in Italy, some that you may not find anywhere else. Hence it is important to understand what YOU want. Right from a cozy apartment to a monastery to an agriturismo (farm house), to an hostel and a hotel, Italy has it all! So pick an accommodation according to your needs!
Know the Culture:
Respecting the culture in any country you are traveling is of vital importance.
For instance if you are in India, you cannot enter a temple with your shoes on!
Similarly, in Italy cover yourself when you visit a church and carry a scarf, just in case. In addition to that, Italians take their dressing quite seriously so generally dress well when in Italy. I know this isn’t for everyone but I love it personally not just in Italy but even at home. Who wouldn’t mind getting dressed! It makes you feel more confident and it is fun to be noticed!
Know “Where” You Are:
Italy is a unified country since 1861 so earlier it was just different regions and kingdoms. That is the reason you can see a lot of regionalism in Italy. No one will ask you to visit Italy, people usually end up taking names of their “regions” such as Sicily, Le Marche, Tuscany or Liguria. There are 20 regions in Italy!
Italians take pride in their region and their products. So remember where you are! Try to avoid ordering a food/wine of a particular region, in the other region. Chances are you might not even find it!
For instance, if you are in Sicily don’t ask for a Chainti Classico which is a wine from Tuscany. Instead ask for their Sicilian wine and food.
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!
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.
Ciao is used for hello and bye both, but it is an informal greeting which is not to be used to say to a complete stranger.
Know your Comfort:
As a solo traveler, one can sometimes feel shy and hesitate to chat with locals or make new friends. But I’d say take the first step!!
Go to the local bar or visit a trattoria (family run eatery) to see the culture and way of living.
You never know you might meet someone to chat with and end up enjoying more than ever. When I am in Italy, I love to observe the locals and catch a few extra words for my Italian vocabulary especially with the Barista at the bar. Italians usually are a friendly and curious bunch and will have fun with you.
I will reiterate- 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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