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Travel Tips For Italy: 7 Things You Should Know Before Visiting

Ponte Pietra bridge in Verona, Italy

Ponte Pietra, Verona. Photo credit: Bigstock

Italy is one of the most interesting and inviting European countries. It is packed with history, delicious food, dreamy, friendly people, and it is no surprise tourists simply can’t resist its lively charm.

We at Destination Seeker have visited Italy numerous times, but we are still learning how to experience this amazing European peninsula to the fullest. In that name, here are 7 travel tips for Italy you should know before visiting this colorful destination.

(RELATED: Top 5 Most Stunning European Cities To Visit This Spring)

1. Afternoon Closing Of The Shops

Although American tourists still get surprised and perplexed by this phenomenon, it is important to know that many shops in Italy, especially outside the city center, tend to close down for the afternoon.

This afternoon closing time is usually between 1:00 and 4:00 p.m., when Italians like to go home to enjoy lunch as a family and relax.

We should try this pronto!

2. Taxis

If you need a taxi in Italy, make sure you call for it via your phone, or simply go and find an actual taxi stand. Taxis are not to be hailed on a street in Italy (but it IS rather amusing to watch Americans try, though).

3. Don’t Eat Bread With Pasta

Although this nasty American habit is slowly but surely dying out, in Italy nobody eats bread with pasta in a restaurant. Bread is only served to accompany an appetizer, and if you want you can use it to make “a little shoe” to clean the plate after you’re done.

4. Tipping

Tipping is not common in Italy, nor is it necessary. If you decide to leave a tip, make sure you never leave more than 5-10 percent.

5. Parla L’inglese?

Learning a few common phrases in Italian is not hard and it will go a long way. Instead of starting to talk in English immediately, it’s polite to ask, “Parla l’Inglese?”

6. Asking For The Check

Check won’t be automatically delivered to your table after you and your friends have finished a meal. You need to ask for it. Of course, this behavior doesn’t mean the waiters are ignoring you. It means that they are simply letting you enjoy your post-meal conversation, as one should.

7. Simplify Your Schedule And REALLY Experience This Country

Don’t be a typical tourist, leave some room in your time-table to wander and explore the ancient Italian towns, cities and streets on your own.

Take one day to steer clear from the main attractions and stray a bit to feel the real, day-to-day life unfolding. Just leave the crowds and experience Italy like a true local.

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