Italy facts you need to know
I just got back from an 8-day holiday trip, travelling in Northern Italy (Venice, Verona, Como and Milan) and made a list with some things you should know about Italy. So here’s a list of a some Italy facts you need to know.
1. You pay a city tax per night to stay in a hotel. The price is based on the star rating of the hotel.
2. Avoid eating or having coffee near touristic attractions. You’ll get ripped off.
3. Aperitivo is a tradition that you may find in some bars. You pay a fixed price e.g. €10, and you can get a drink and eat as much as you can from the buffet (Which includes chips, pizzas, potatoes, meatballs, desserts – it depends where you go).
4. As soon as you sit in a restaurant they will bring you bread-sticks and bread – no butter, no olive oil. See the next point.
5. You are obliged to pay for the service; this is called Coperto (they charge you to sit down and they bring the bread), which is around €1.50 – €3 (it depends where you go).
6. Order house wine – it’s much cheaper than bottled wine.
7. Pizza Margherita is the cheapest pizza you can eat.
8. Italians do not serve tap water, only bottled.
9. You are not required to leave tips at the restaurant.
10. You are not obliged to order all courses e.g. antipasti, first course, second course and dessert. Even with first (usually pasta, risotto) you will feel full.
11. Standing in a bar is cheaper than sitting down.
12. You have to pay to enter the toilet in public places.
13. Buy your public transportation tickets before, you cannot buy them on the bus or tram.
14. Validate your ticket before you board otherwise you’ll get in trouble.
15. You can’t pay with a card if the total is less than €10 so always make sure you have cash with you.
16. Some stores and restaurants have a day off during the week (usually Monday) so you might find out that a place is closed whilst others are open. Have this in mind.
17. Stores are closed between 12:30 pm to 3:30 pm or 13:00 pm to 16:00 pm.
18. If you are planning to enter a church make sure you are dressed appropriate e.g. cover your shoulders.
19. If you wish to travel between cities prefer the train; it’s cheaper than renting a car.
20. Venice and its province are among the richest areas of Europe.
21. “Please” is per favore, “thank you” is grazie, and “you’re welcome” is prego.
I hope you have found these ‘Italy facts you need to know’ useful and that next time you’re in Italy you’ll remember what I’ve posted.