10 Things Not to Do in Italy

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Italy… a country bursting with art and history. From pilgrimages to the Vatican to hitting the nightclubs in Milan, Italy sure is full of so many things to see and do that you’ll definitely want to go wild on this holiday. But, don’t be too reckless, there are still some things you shouldn’t do in Italy.

1) Don’t forget to Validate your Ticket
Tickets for regional trains need to be validated, there are some exceptions, but in general terms, you have to validate your ticket before boarding. So find a validation machine, push your ticket into the slot until you hear the stamp being applied and your ticket will be good to go for up to six hours.

2) Don’t order latte
Let’s see… what do you want? a coffee? or milk? Latte means milk, so if you order a latte, you’ll get a glass of milk. On the other hand, if you want a coffee, ask for an espresso, cappuccino… Try to remember that.

3) Don’t forget to drive carefully
In Italy there are limited traffic zones. You’ll need a permit to go through them and they don’t give them to tourists. The ‘Centro Storico’ is usually a limited traffic area. There are no barriers, however, so if you cross over the limits a camera will take a picture of your license plate and you’ll get a hefty fine… even if your car is rented.

4) Book in Advance
There are plenty of wonderful monuments to visit, but be clever and think about which ones in advance so that you can buy the tickets online. If not, you’ll have to wait for hours to enter some places.

5) Don’t Dress inappropriately in Churches
You may not want to miss the opportunity of visiting some of the best churches and cathedrals in the world. But, even if it’s too hot, try not to wear shorts or go with bare shoulders. Remember to take some respectable clothes for those visits.

6) Don’t Trust your GPS
Yes, I know you have all the maps of the world in your GPS, ok, right, however that won’t be very useful for you here. In Italy, there are a lot of towns and villages from different regions with the same name. So, be clear about which is the one you want to head to.

7) Don’t Assume You’re Getting Tap Water
In Italy, they prefer to drink bottled water, so if you’re in a restaurant and you ask for still water, don’t expect them to bring you a glass of tap water. They will bring you a bottle. So, to avoid misunderstandings, just make sure the waiter know which type you mean.

8) Don’t eat in the Tourist Spots
This is a pretty standard rule of thumb to follow for most countries, if you’re looking for authentic food, and Italy is definitely no different. If you’re visiting a tourist attraction and you want to have some authentic Italian lunch, take some time to go a bit further from the area and you’ll get to enjoy some real Italian food.

9) Don’t forget the gondolier
Taking a gondola cruise in Venice might be a unique experience for you, but remember that it will also be quite unique for your wallet. One ride can cost upwards of $65 per person or more. However, if you get one of the water taxis used by Venetian locals, you’ll enjoy a shorter ride and it will only cost around $5.

10) Don’t Misuse the Parmesan
Remember this, in Italy you can eat anything you want and order whatever combinations of food your heart desires. But just make sure that you NEVER EVER ask your waiter for parmesan cheese to sprinkle on your seafood pasta. That’s just wrong. And one last tip, don’t cut your spaghetti with a knife and fork!…

Do you have any other suggestions of things not to do in Italy?
Comment below!

24 comments

  1. Don’t worry, these rules are not strict as it may appear. Here in Italy people are not polite at all, most of them don’t even buy the ticket for the train and ride it for free

  2. Next you should do things not to do in Czech Republic, and things not to do in Austria.

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