THIS IS FOR REAL
As you spend more time in Italy, you will ultimately notice that they love to tell you what to do. Really doesn’t matter if you ask or not. For instance, try this great wine. Now, try it again. Go ahead and pass that semi-truck, you can do it, pass them! You need to wear different shoes. Go ahead and change your hair; you’re not eighty you know. Why not loosen up. Mangia, mangia! Nevertheless, you will love Italy forever.
Below is a list of things NOT to do in Italy. This is a country as beloved for its passionate people as its natural beauty and delicious cuisine which exceeds most others.
ALWAYS PARK INSIDE THE LINES
You must always park inside the lines, whether it is the pink lines, blue lines or yellow lines. Nothing worse than being on vacation and finding a parking ticket on your rental car, or even scarier would be to find the car missing all together from being towed. In most Italian parking lots, the white-lined parking spaces are free, all blue-lined are paid, then they have the yellow-lined spots which are for disabled motorists only and we then have the pink spots that are strictly for expectant mothers. Now, if you have parking spots but no lines at all, always look for Zona di Rimozione (Tow Zone) or Divieto di Sosta (No Parking) signs. Or you can be an Italian, cross your fingers and park on the sidewalks….lol.
DO NOT….HEAD TO VATICAN CITY IN A TUBE TOP!
One might want to charm the Italians with a spaghetti strap sundress, however visitors in skimpy clothing are forbidden to enter any holy sites. If you must wear that tube top dress, add a scarf or top shirt to wear while in the holy places. This will make yourself much more presentable when you’re on holy ground.
DEFINITELY DO NOT EXPECT THINGS TO HAPPEN ACCORDING TO SCHEDULE
This is one of the very first things all visitors will notice and that is there is our time and then there’s Italian time. Oh yeah, Italian time is much longer (don’t be surprised when your 4 p.m. tour starts at 4:30) and so are business hours as well. So many of the Italian businesses (even restaurants) completely shut down for lunch! They also close twice a week, days varying from each business. Always double-check business hours when in Italy visiting. Also, this is funny but the public transportation is often “out of order” or delayed, so give yourself ample padding between travel connections so you won’t be frustrated. We Americans always want everything NOW and usually get it, so in Italy, slow your pace.
GET JIPPED BY A GONDOLIER
When taking that long-awaited gondola cruise in Venice, which is one of the most romantic things on earth you’ve been waiting to do, do not scream when you see your bill. Big surprise is that a gondola ride will cost upwards of $65 per person and even more if the guy is a bit on the shady side! Now, if a $65-$130 boat ride is just out of your budget, you can still ride along Venice’s canals with a traghetto. This is a water taxi used by Venetian locals to get across the Grand Canal. This ride is much shorter, however these boats are exactly the same as the tourist gondolas and get this the tickets are only about $5!
TIP EVERYTHING THAT MOVES…NO MATTER WHAT THEY TELL YOU
Let me just tell you that tipping is not obligatory or even common in Italy. However, tourist-savvy service people have definitely heard that Americans are genetically programmed to tip everything such as waiters to performing rabbits…LOL. But in Italy you simply have to resist this unless you just received the best service in the history of the world. They all make a living wage.
PLAN ON CONDUCTING YOUR ENTIRE TRIP TO ITALY IN ENGLISH
Yes, we all see in the movies that when you travel, your host country will be full of those who speak our language perfectly and with a beautiful accent too! However, the stats show that Italy is anywhere from moderate to low proficiency rankings on the English proficiency indexes. Pretty much the lowest in Europe. While in the hotels, restaurants, the beautiful historical sites and anywhere that it is heavily filled with tourists such as Naples and Rome, one will notice pretty good English speaking Italians. But step outside those big tourists spots, bocca al lupo (good luck in Italian)!