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Top Do’s and Don’ts When Visiting Italy

As with any other country you visit, there are things that you should and should not do in Italy. For instance, in Japan, when you enter a house or a restaurant, particularly in the outskirts of the major cities, removing your shoes before entering is a must. In London, making fun of anyone in the Royal family is a big no-no and is considered very rude, particularly if you are a tourist.

Tourists in Florence, Italy | Tour Italy Now

In Italy, there are many things you need to remember in order to thoroughly enjoy your visit, and here is a quick list of some of these things:

Do make an effort to learn the language and to speak it. Italians love it when you exert effort in trying to adjust to their country. They may answer you in English since they also love to practice what they’ve learned.

Don’t forget to learn the language as well as you can. The pronunciation of some words can be somewhat confusing, like words with the letter c in them. To avoid mistakes, just keep in mind that if the letter “c” is followed by an “e” or an “i”, it is pronounced as “ch”, like in “ciao”, which you pronounce as “chow”. For words with “ch” that are followed by an “e’” or an “i”, you pronounce this as “k”, like in “che” (which means “what” in Italian), which you pronounce as “kay”.

Do use Signora and Signore together with a person’s last name when being introduced to people. Also, shake their hand when greeting them and acknowledging the introduction.

Don’t address a person you just met by their first name. First names are reserved only for people you are close to or when the person in question tells you to address them by their first name.

Do try to look as stylish as possible. Dress to impress if you want to fit in with the locals. Italians take great pride in their fashion sense, so getting dressed to go out is normal here.

Don’t wear shorts and other skimpy outfits, particularly if you are planning on visiting a few churches on your tours. For women, off-shoulder outfits, clothing that expose the knees, and bare midriffs are unacceptable when going to religious buildings in Italy. For men, shorts and sleeveless shirts are also frowned upon when entering churches.

Do keep your voice low and your cellphones turned off when visiting churches and museums in Italy. Speaking in whispers is encouraged in these places and keeping quiet is even better.

Don’t munch on anything when exploring the country’s museums and churches. Not only is it highly improper for you to do this in these places, but it is also very impolite to the people around you. If you really need to eat something, excuse yourself and exit the building to get a bite to eat.

Do carry enough cash for your day in a wallet that is safely placed in a front pocket (for men) or sling bag in front (for women). Leave your extra cash in your hotel room safe to ensure that pickpockets do not target you lest you become distracted by the amazing sights around you.

Euro Currency in Wallet | Tour Italy Now

Don’t assume that all establishments in Italy accept credit cards, although a lot of restaurants and stores actually do. Having enough cash in your pocket will avoid any embarrassing situations where you’ve already eaten and you cannot pay for what you ate because the restaurant does not accept credit cards.

Do plan your days to accommodate only a few tourist attractions at a time. Italy is a country that you have to savor in order to truly enjoy it. Rushing through a dozen or more notable sites in a single day will not only leave you frazzled but also unable to appreciate the grandeur and beauty around you.

Don’t forget to wear comfortable footwear when going around Italy. It is a country that is best explored on foot and wearing very stylish but uncomfortable footwear will leave you with aches and pains at the end of the day. This does not mean however that you should wear sneakers when seeing the sights. Fashionable yet comfortable shoes, like strappy low-heeled sandals for women and loafers for men, should be considered.

These are just a few of the things you need to remember when you are in Italy. A few other things you need to take note of include tipping taxi drivers one Euro or more and keeping track of what you buy (and are planning to take back home to the US) in order to avoid paying duties when you reenter the country (purchases that go beyond $800 are taxable). Restaurants often charge a 10%-15% service charge on your bill, but this does not mean you should no longer leave a tip. A modest tip is still proper in these instances.

Now that you know some of the “do’s and don’ts” when you travel to Italy, you can now choose from one of our escorted tours of Italy with the confidence that you will be able to avoid any pitfalls and mistakes while in the country!