In Italy, the ambiance is totally different from what you may be used to. From their cuisine to fashion, Italians have a way of life that only if you’ve lived their you’ll understand it. Keep in mind the following tips when you’re in Italy, especially if you want a g e n u i n e experience.
Be prepared to eat like you’ve never eaten before. The food in Italy is so fresh that it is much easier to digest. I probably consumed about 3000 calories per day (and I lost 10 pounds).
- Breakfast is light. You won’t really find eggs and pancakes. Most people just eat a croissant.
- Typically, you can’t order pizza by the slice. You order your own personal pie. When I first got to Italy, I couldn’t eat the whole pizza by myself. Midway through the trip, I walked so much I was able to finish off a whole personal pie by myself.
- Salads are not meals.
- “Italian Dressing” is not really a thing. If you order a salad, you can sprinkle some olive oil & balsamic vinegar.
- First, you order an appetizer. Next, you order a pasta dish. Last, you order a meat dish. Some pasta dishes come with meat.
- Eat as much gelato as you can. Ice cream will never taste the same again.
- Don’t be surprised if the waiter asks you if you want expresso with dessert even if it’s 10:30 at night.
- Tip is usually included in the check. Look for the word <<Coperto>> on your bill.
Italian Fashion is absolutely no joke. You will even see people in stilettos walking on cobble stones and males dressed in full blown suits. How do you keep up without trying to hard?
- Wedges – Easy to dress up for day or night
- Comfashionable sneakers – Comfortable and fashionable
- A satchel
- Italians do not wear sandals or spaghetti straps unless they are at the beach.
- Even pedestrians look like they are ready for a photoshoot.
- Be prepared to dress head to toe if you want to be taken seriously in Milan, especially on the street “Via Montenapoleone.”
Italians are full of their own quirks that could easily be taken offensively. Don’t be alarmed. I assure you, that’s just how they are. Just read this before you have a conversation with a native.
- They talk with their hands so don’t get too close.
- When Italians speak, they are dramatic. Don’t take what they say personal.
- There are different dialects all over Italy.
- Northerners speak more proper.
- Southerners basically created their own slang.
When you travel in Italy, you have to be smart. Even while you’re walking down the street, always be alert and pay attention to your surroundings.
- Validate your train ticket before boarding. For more tips on public transportation in Italy, check out my post.
- Lots of walking. I averaged like 8 miles a day.
- Always keep your purse in front of you and your wallet in your front pockets.
When you are in Italy, you are walking through moments of history. On the same streets you walk, famous painters, inventors, designers, philosophers, and other influential characters have once walked. Take it all in and enjoy every highlight.