Visitors love Italy for the aesthetic experiences they have while on the go as it offers really enchanting landscapes, beaches, and places of historical importance. It has become an established fact that one life is not enough to explore and enjoy its entire beauty. So, in this regard, I have listed the few things you need to know before visiting Italy. These are entirely based on my experience of living in Italy for two years.

  1. Pizza and Pasta are not the only Italian food

When one thinks of Italian food, there comes pizza and pasta in everyone’s mind. The fact is, besides having the best pizzas and pasta, Italy has great variety of other dishes varying regionally. Arancini is one of the dishes of stuffed rice balls. These rice balls are filled with various items based on regional influences, ranging from tomato sauce to peas and mozzarella.

Lasagne is another well-loved classic Italian food. It is made up of baking sheets of lasagna paste layered with cheese, ground meat, vegetables and different varieties of sauces.

Milan is famous for its risotto alla milanese con osso buco which the meat lovers will rejoice at the thought of tucking into it.

Prosciutto is a common food in Central and Northern regions of Italy which they eat alongside Pasta.

Tuscany is famous for Ribollita. A visit to Italy is incomplete without having at least a serving of smooth creamy Gelato.

Light and creamy, the Tiramisu is a well-known dessert sought after by locals and travelers alike.

Besides the lists above, there are other numerous cuisines and drinks in Italy. Try something local in every city you visit. The advice is to get away from infamous touristic restaurants to experience the real Italian tastes.

  1. Consider Taking the Train

Once you are in one of the Italian cities, consider traveling by trains within Italy. The train service in Italy is comparably convenient and cheap. There are many regional trains and high speed trains. Almost all the places have train connections. Except for rare strikes and delays, trains are usually on time. You can find the train information at Always remember to validate your ticket before boarding on the train. There are small machines placed on every train station for ticket validation. You may end up paying huge amount of fines if you don’t validate the tickets.

There are also bus services connecting almost all the cities. Take proper note of the stations. The tickets for metro and city buses are available at Tabacchi shops. Don’t forget to validate your tickets in the machine inside bus.

  1. Slow Lifestyles

Everything in Italy is much slower than in other countries. They tend to relax more and do things at their own pace. So, pack your enough patience. Even in restaurants, they will take time to prepare your orders. Instead of getting frustrated, embrace your time as you are in vacations and you are there to relax.

  1. Late Dinner Timing

Italians usually dine late for dinner. Don’t show up to the restaurants as early as 6.30pm. Generally, the restaurants serving dinner open as late as 7.30pm. Plan accordingly, keeping in mind these timing.

  1. Skip the Line

Most of the galleries and museums are crowded with visitors and you may need to wait in queue for long time. I suggest you to skip those waits and get away from normal touristic places into less explored places. Every step takes you to more amazing destinations in Italy. Also, people in Italy normally don’t stand in queue. You need to ask who is the last person and your turn will come next to him/her.

  1. Longer Lunch Break

Italian like to take time for having lunch and they have the habit of taking rest after lunch. This culture is called siesta. They usually take break from 1pm to 4pm. In this period, most of the shops and stores remain closed. So, keep in mind of these timing if you need to buy something for emergency.

  1. Payment by Cash

It is important for you to have cash with you all the time. Not all payments take place with cards. Cash money is widely used and almost all the bars use cash. Also, many restaurants don’t accept cards.

  1. Key Italian Phrases

One important thing you need to keep in mind is that not all Italians understand English. Especially, if you are traveling to South, most people don’t understand English. Also, it is polite to speak few basic Italian phrases when you are in Italy. They love foreigners trying to speak Italian. Here are few basic Italian phrases you may find useful:

  1. Ciao, Buongiorno– Hello, Good morning.
  2. Come stai?– How are you?
  3. Sto bene, grazie– I am fine, thank you.
  4. Per favore– Please.
  5. Parla inglese?- Do you speak English?
  6. Non capisco Italiano– I don’t understand Italian.
  7. Mi escusi– Excuse me.
  8. Di dove sei? – Where are you from?
  9. Ci vediamo, ciao– See you, bye.


  1. Safety Precautions

Italy is a very safe destination for visitors. There has never been any major crime targeting foreigners. However, following few things have to be kept in mind to avoid some unnecessary and weird situations:

  1. Be aware of pick pockets and being robbed especially in major train stations. Naples and Rome are known for pick pockets.
  2. Italians drive like crazy. So, always be careful while crossing the streets.
  3. Fake currencies are common in Italy. Always remember to check, especially the currency with higher denominations. It is better to make payments with lower denomination currencies.
  4. While booking tickets from ticket machines at train stations, always keep attentions with people standing nearby and approaching to help you. These people can draw your attentions to something else and take your money.
  5. Don’t get scammed with people approaching you to sell electronics like mobile phones. You will end up buying some broken devices.

Enjoy your trip to Italy. It is one of the best destinations not to miss.


2 thoughts on “9 Things to Know Before Visiting Italy

Your Message...Your name *...Your email *...Your website...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.