Travel Tips Before Traveling to Italy

Every traveler that enjoys cuisine, culture, architecture, history, art, and beautiful landscapes will be drawn to Italy. Italy has been one of the major traveling destinations for centuries. And Italians are often a major attraction as well. Italians are known for being kind hearted, generous people who love to tell you what to do- even if you don’t ask. “Mangia Mangia ”, “Loosen Up”, “Fix your hair”. Here are a few things you should know before traveling to Italy.

Travel Tips Before Traveling to Italy

Italy is a very diverse country from north to south. For thousands of years, humans have left their marks across Italy. The landscapes are as diverse as the people. Many times travelers have this idea of what their destination will be, and often Italy far exceeds their imaginations.

italy passport requirements 1.) Each region of Italy is completely different

Italy is an old land rich in history. However, contemporary Italy is a young country made up of several different states, now referred to as regions. Therefore each region has its own personality which makes traveling through quite interesting. Each area has its own dialect (sometimes even their own language) as well as their own traditional cuisine! If you’re heading to the north, expect the weather and landscapes to be much different than traveling south of Rome. The people of Italy pride themselves on their regions and exploring Tuscany is going to be different than Sicily. While both are gorgeous and offer a lot for any traveler, you may want to determine which region of Italy is best for your trip.

2.) Your waiter is not being rude

Each culture has different expectations when of the working staff when they go out to eat. In the States, servers get paid a lower minimum wage because they typically work for tip money therefore guests can expect more. In European countries usually the servers get paid a higher minimum wage and then split all of the tips because they are not much. Therefore, the service you receive may vary. In Italy servers want you to enjoy your meal and conversation and do not feel the need for constant check ins. You also will not get your bill unless you ask for it for that reason. It’s not that Italian waitstaff are rude or bad at their job, they just have a different approach to hospitality than what an American may expect.

italy passport requirements3.) Know what to wear

Women: DO NOT wear a strapless shirt/dress to the Vatican City. Yes the summers are hot, but visitors are forbidden to enter the holy sites if they are not dressed properly. If you can’t resist breaking this rule then tuck a scarf into your bag because you will not be able to enter and will be looked down upon seeing as this is holy ground. Also Italy requires a lot of walking and also the infamous Gondola and boat tours, so have the right shoes and plan your packing ahead of time!

4.) Cash is king in Italy

As you may know, whenever customers use their debit or credit cards the business itself has to pay a fee to run the transaction. This is why sometimes there is a minimum of a $5 charge in order to use a debit card in stores in the Western World. However, in Italy it can be said that perhaps customer service is not their main concern seeing as they typically do not want to pay these fees. Therefore, cash is king for everything from paying for a cab to dinner and everything in between. Of course, we also recommend Charles Schwab for free ATMs worldwide.

5.) A life of relaxationTravel Tips Before Traveling to Italy

Relax. Remember this in case you get worked up that your train is late, that your waiter is slow, or that the people are just sitting in restaurants and taking up the seats that you want. Life here is more relaxed and about this phenomenon of “slow food” which simply means to take a moment to enjoy your surroundings and your conversation. So grab your passport and enjoy a 4 hour dinner meal, drinking red wine late into the night. And remember, no visa is needed for travel to Italy as an American traveler and tourist. We hope these Travel Tips Before Traveling to Italy help you on your next trip to Europe!