Things to Know Before Traveling to Italy - The Traveller


Monday, March 25, 2024

Things to Know Before Traveling to Italy

Things to Know Before Traveling to Italy

Planning a trip to Italy is absolutely worth it because of its incomparable abundance of Unesco World Heritage sites. Along with this, you can get overwhelmed viewing the scenarios in this country like the southern coasts' turquoise waters and the highest peaks of Europe. Moreover, visiting here, you will find a huge list of regional cuisines to taste. Let's learn the important things to know before traveling to Italy.

Important Things To Know Before Traveling To Italy:

These are the things you need to know before you make any adventure to this beautiful country.

  • Don't Depend On Your Smartphone For Maps Always:

Smartphones and easy-to-use maps are the best friends of most people while travelling abroad. But depending on maps completely is not a wise decision. The reason is that a few popular maps provide you with the most direct path when you want to go to any place. In such cases, maps often fail to take account of the impassable routes. When you travel to Italy, you can see multiple narrow paths and coastlines. So, it is important to make sure that you are familiar with your route and not depending only on the one that your smartphone suggests.

  • Beware Of Pickpockets:

When you plan to make an adventure in Italy, you might feel unsafe. Even you could have been pickpocketed. Generally, when you visit a large town, some people will always be there who are willing to take advantage. According to a survey, Paris and Barcelona are the worst towns for pickpockets in Europe. But Rome ranked third. So when you visit any crowded tourist place like the Trevi Fountain or the Colosseum, it is essential to pay attention.

  • Dress Appropriately:

If you come to Italy, you can wear what you wish to feel comfortable. And there is no necessity to blend in with the local people of Italy. One thing that you have to know is this country is a religious nation. It has multiple religious buildings. But these especially have strict dress codes which everyone has to abide by before they enter. As a woman, it is essential not to forget that their shoulders have to be covered. Also the shorts and skirts should come to the knee. In some cases, it is essential to put on close-toed shoes.

  • Make A Note Of The Local Tourist Taxes:

Another thing that you as a tourist should know is about local tourist taxes. People who come here to spend their holidays often forget about this. You must not confuse this with any type of scam. Instead, it is actually a local charge that the authorities impose. Tourists need to pay charges for hotels, B&Bs, self-catering villas, and apartments. The amount varies from 1 euro up to 7 euros per person per night. You can see multiple locations collecting this in cash. 

  • Avoid Parking Fines:

If you want to save your money while visiting this country, it is something you must be aware of. In Italy, parking can confuse you, mainly when your Italian doesn't understand the road signs. The general rule says that white bays are the free areas where people can park their cars. If you want to park your car in yellow bays, you need permission. It is because these are resident parking only. So, if you love to adventure, you are capable of parking in the blue bays. However, it is necessary to pay to park at the parking meter which is the nearest.

  • Imitate Hand Gestures At Your Risk:

Italians are popular to talk with their hands. But when a foreigner who doesn't know the meaning behind their physical communication copies their body language, they do not like it. You should first know that the hand gesture doesn't come randomly. In order to express excitement or anger which is more intensive than normal, Italian people use these signs. Every signal has its meaning. So, you need to learn this before you include these hand gestures in the conversation while talking with Italian people. If you shake your hand and pinch your fingers during that time with a puzzled look, it may indicate, "What are you doing?" or "What are you talking about?" The tone can be confusing or aggressive. So, if you don't know about these gestures, you should use them at your own risk.

  • Watch Where You're Driving:

It is especially for those who are traveling by car. Several towns in this country have ZTL zones, which indicate Zona a Traffico Limitato or Limited Traffic Zones. Every zone has a sign, which indicates the time in between these are used. A security camera can be found adjacent to them. So, you must not go to these places when they are not in operation. Otherwise, you might be required to receive a huge fine. So, if necessary, you can take advice from your car rental company to know about ZTL Zones in a local area.

  • Buy Your Tickets In Advance:

All of us want to make our holidays relaxed and stress-free. Several tourists think that they could get tickets at the last minute while planning adventure in major attractions and they do not need to stroll in without a queue. It may work out rarely. If you want to make your trip relaxed, it is important to keep yourself organized. So, planning to book tickets in advance can make you tension-free. If you are planning to make an adventure in Italy, it becomes crucial to book tickets in advance to every spot where you want to visit, for example, weeks or even months before. Generally, travelers book tickets for larger tourist spots like the Vatican. However, you can buy the tickets in advance for smaller sites. The reason is that these tickets sell out ahead of time. Borghese Gallery is one of the places where you must take a visit with a ticket to make your trip memorable.

  • Avoid The Restaurant Tourist Traps:

Generally, it is recommended to avoid restaurants where staff are outside, and their tasks are to lure you in and show off that these are the best restaurants around the major tourist attractions. Unfortunately, these restaurants provide the lowest quality food with high costs and the least variety. Rather than that, you can have higher quality food while heading off the beaten track. Before going to Italy, it is one of the most vital things that you should know. So, when you plan to make a trip to Italy, you should do some research beforehand.

  • Make A Note Of Public Holidays:

This country has twelve public holidays yearly and includes an extra one per region. So, you should know that businesses and stores remain closed entirely on these days. For instance, 15 August marks Ferragosto. However, you can see the tourist attractions and museums staying open. But most of the shops or supermarkets will remain closed.

  • Visiting The Vatican Museums:

Museums, such as the Vatican remain very busy as it is a very popular tourist spot. If you want to visit the museum, you need to book your ticket ahead of time. It is essential to book tickets for a particular date and time. As soon as you know that you might be busy visiting attractions, you can schedule your visit in 'free time' for anything like seeking out the best gelato or wandering the side streets. Booking tickets in advance ensures that you can save your money and have an idea about the amount spent by you to visit the attractions, as tickets cost the most on any trip. So, if you know the money you have spent, you can then make the budget for the additional expenses.

  • Carry Cash And A Card:

Several people prefer to carry a card instead of cash when they are on an adventure. But have you ever thought if card payments are not accepted? Or what if the machine breaks down? You will not have any choice thereafter. Although ATMs and card machines are available in multiple destinations, you should carry cash to be safe. In order to keep yourself safe in Italy, it is better to take out a particular cash amount so that it can help you in emergency times. If you do not need to use the cash in your whole adventure, you can put it in your account later.

Although you find card machines in shops and more touristy eateries, these might not be available in markets, and stalls. As you are making a trip abroad, you must not want to miss out on any unique experience only for not carrying cash.

  • Don't Expect To Eat Dinner Early:

It is also one of the things you should know before visiting Italy. Remember that dinner times can vary in different countries. For instance, in the USA, dinner is much earlier than in Europe. In Italy, dinner begins before 7.30 very rarely. Usually, it begins from 8 pm onwards. Another thing you need to know is that trains and buses run throughout the day. But make sure that you are not forgetting the Italian time, as the trains will never come on time.

The Bottom Line:

In this article, we have discussed important things to know before traveling to Italy. You should go through these carefully to be aware of all these things before making your trip to this country. Remember, the culture in this country will definitely be different from what you are used to. So, you just need to embrace it. You can have coffee and a sweet pastry as breakfast here at a bar or cafe. Keep in mind that prices will be lower when you enjoy the food standing at the bar just like the Italians instead of sitting at a table. For further queries or any kind of doubts, feel free to ask us via comments.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What things should you know before traveling to Italy?

These are things you need to know:

  • Ensure that you validate your train ticket
  • You should not depend on your smartphone for maps.
  • Don't forget to pack light
  • You should avoid restaurants with servers that are waiting outside.
  • Carry cash as well as a card
  1. What do you need before going to Italy?

Things you require before going to Italy are as follows:

  • Entry, Exit, and Visa Requirements.
  • Ensure that your passport is valid for at least three months beyond the stay period.
  • You should have enough funds and a return plane ticket.
  1. What to wear when traveling in Italy?

These are some items you should definitely carry when traveling to Italy:

  • You should carry loose, breathable clothing such as t-shirts, loose trousers, and shorts and skirts that can cover the knee.
  • Don't forget to carry a rain jacket.
  • Try to carry a hat.
  • You should carry thermal layers, long pants, and warm jackets for the winter season.
  • Make sure that you are not forgetting to carry swim shorts or bathing suits.
  • You should definitely carry Sunglasses as well as Sunscreen.

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