10 Traveling to Italy Tips! I'm finally back with another travel to Italy post. I hope you enjoy this list I put together of 10 Traveling to Italy Tips.
Before I get into all the tips, and maybe some of you may not read all of them, so I'm mentioning this now: A HUGE THANK YOU! Grazie! to my beautiful photographer/daughter that took these photos and did the beautiful edits. If you have a moment, hop over to her site to see her immense talent. I'm a very proud mamma.
Ok, enough gushing about my kid...off to the tips:
1) Think beyond the usual- Italy is more than Tuscany:
2. Time is of the Essence: Pick a region and focus
You may have already spent some time exploring around Tuscany and really got to know the area. Good for you! If you are prepared to spend you time there again checking out different areas, that's wonderful! Perhaps you want to see what Liguria has to offer (hello, CINQUE TERRE!!) and so many other wonderful places (Genoa, San Remo, Portofino, Santa Margherita...oh, my gosh! Liguria is one of my top 5 favorite parts of Italy!!). But you may be really daring and want to head south to Calabria or Sicily. If you only have 7 days for your trip, I suggest you choose an area and really get to know that part of Italy. It is totally just a suggestion. You could see a few different regions in 7 days (I should know, I've done it many, many times), but to really say you know an area, you need to devote more than a couple of days.
3. Practice some Italian before arriving
4. Be a Picky Packer:
Leave room for goodies-Pack the essentials!! I promise to add in a photo here of my suitcase this summer. I intend to practice what I preach and be a much pickier packer than I normally am. Every year, I intend to just bring the essentials. And I do start off with the basics and then keep adding to my pile of "what I must bring". The pile gets edited a few times and I must say that every year I am more proud of myself and how much I don't bring. I end up wearing the same things most of the times. I usually stick with the neutral colors and the outfits that wrinkle less, and as the days progress and the temperatures get hotter, I wear the cooler items. So if you can, bring the essentials and trust me, you won't need to wear something every day that is totally different. You can hand wash certain essentials even in a hotel room. Use scarves and jewelry to dress up basic tops and dresses.
5. Go with the Flow
6. Transportation- 2nd Class is Just Fine
Travel in Second Class on the trains. It’s not worth the extra money to travel first class. Use the auto-ticket machine at the train stations to avoid the very long lines to buy your train tickets if you haven’t purchased a rail pass. Second class on most trains looks exactly like first class. You will save money and you will arrive just fine at your destination.
7. These boots were made for walking: Wear comfy shoes!
Boots are super cute, but unless they’re very comfortable boots, leave them in your hotel room! Italy has ancient cobblestone streets and comfortable shoes is where it is at! You must be prepared to walk, and I mean, walk a lot! I'm always surprised when I see women wearing really cute wedge heals. You know, those super tall ones that look great with whatever you're wearing. Those are fine for a quick walk from the hotel to get a gelato. But if you are planning to walk miles around Rome looking at the ancient ruins, stick with more comfortable walking shoes...your feet will thank you!!
8. Hydrate on the Cheap-Fountains are Your Friend
If you are going to be there in the summer time, have your own water bottle handy. Even if you splurge and buy one bottle of water for 1 Euro, fill that baby up when it’s empty! There are fountains conveniently located all around any city and the water is usually potabile (drinking water). Unless it says acqua non potabile (not drinking water), feel free to fill that bottle up! It doesn’t make sense to keep buying water bottles. Wouldn’t you rather save that money for a gelato or two?
9. La Pausa: Take a chill!
Did you know that much of Italy takes a break between 1PM and 4PM. If you need any thing important from the market or pharmacy, you better get it before 1PM. This is when most Italians go home to eat and take a nap. The pausa time is the perfect opportunity to explore the town when the locals are most likely taking a break at home. You may find it less congested in some parts of Italy. But if you are there in August, you probably won't notice much of a difference.
10. Piacere- Make Friends
No matter where you will be on your trip, I bet you will encounter someone that wants to talk with you and wants to even help you with tips. If you have a little knowledge of Italian the chances will be better that you will make a new friend. If you don’t speak any Italian and the person you encounter speaks a little English, be prepared to hear stories about their family in America or the time they visited. It's a great way for your new friend to practice their English and for you to throw in some of your new Italian vocabulary. Don't be shy! It's OK to make a mistake and you will learn more the more you speak.
I hope you enjoyed these 10 Traveling to Italy Tips! I plan to be back with more Italy tips and also some other interesting Italy photos. Book your tickets now for the summer...you may find a great deal!
Wishing you a Buon Viaggio!!
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