This is the place!
The place to learn more about Italian lifestyle, hints and tips about anything you may need travelling throughout Italy, when to travel to Italy and help you understand our Bel Paese.
Rome, Florence and Venice. These cities are truly remarkable and you don’t want to miss them.
Nevertheless, make time to spend a few days outside the major cities. Real Italy is in the small towns! Tuscany is wonderful. There are hundreds of small wonderful medieval villages and plenty to see. However, Italy is a lot more than Tuscany. From the hills of Langhe to the trulli of Puglia, going through the culinary haven of Romagna, you will find fewer tourists and a wonderful land to discover!
Italy is divided into 20 regions with 18 on the mainland and 2 islands, Sardinia and Sicily. Although they are all Italian, each region still holds some of their own customs and traditions and there are many regional food specialties.
The traditions that have been lived for hundreds of years are still maintained with regional pride.
Italy’s official language is Italian, but there are many regional dialects.
German is spoken in the northeastern region of Trentino-Alto Adige and there are small French-speaking populations in the Valle d’Aosta region to the northwest and a Slovene-speaking minority in the Trieste area in the Northeast. Some words to know:
- Ciao! (hello; hi [Informal])
- Buongiorno! (Hello; Good morning; Goodbye [Formal])
- Buona sera! (Hello; Good evening; Goodbye [Formal])
- A dopo! (See you later! [Formal/Informal])
- A presto! (See you soon! [Formal/Informal])
- Signorina (Miss)
- Signora (Mrs.; Madam)
- Signore (Mister; Sir)
- sì (yes)
- no (no)
- per favore; per piacere; per cortesia (please)
- Grazie (Thank you)
- Molte grazie (Thank you very much.)
- Prego! (You’re welcome!)
- museo (museum)
- negozio (store)
- paese (country)
- spiaggia (beach)
- stato (state)
- ufficio (office)
- banca (bank)
- città (city)
- Consolato Americano (American Consulate)
- ristorante (restaurant)
- in campagna (in the country)
- in città (in the city)
- in montagna (in the mountains)
This is just few hints you may need to know while you’re in Italy.
Non-EU visitors to Italy need a valid Passport. The maximum length of stay is 90 days. For longer stays, visitors will need a special permit. Visitors from some countries may be required to have a visa to enter Italy. EU visitors can enter Italy with only a national identity card.
Every day life
Just few more tips to keep in mind for the everyday life.
- You can’t walk in a church with a tank top or with shorts on. You need to be properly dressed to visit most holy places.
- Sunday is a holy day and for church and for soccer!
- Second after soccer come Formula One and the Ferrari team
- Never, ever give chrysanthemums as a flower gift to anyone. They are considered the flowers of the dead, and only brought to cemeteries
Italian is a rich and colorful language and… gesture!
Italian is a rich and colorful language, but the fact remains that Italians do as much speaking with their hands as they do with their mouths. From the rude to the discreet, gestures are as central to learning Italian language as verb tenses and vocabolary.
Useful information about shopping hours.
- Buy shoes in Italy, leather shoes will last you for years and they’re really good for your feet!
- In larger cities and metropolitan areas stores are open on Saturday but closed on Sunday, and another half day of the week. In touristic resorts stores are open Sunday but closed one other day of the week.
- Shops close for lunch between 12:30pm and 3 or 4pm. Everything shuts down by 7:30pm
Food and Drinks
Capuccino, coffe, beer, pizza…
- Cappuccino is not forbidden in the afternoon, it’s just frowned upon following a meal.
- Italians don’t put ice in their drinks. If you must, ask for it
- Aperitivo is a wonderful tradition you should not miss out on
- Salad is considered a side dish, not a starter. No meal in Italy ever starts with a salad.
- Coffee is not a “to go” item. You enjoy it at the bar, and no paper cup is provided!
- Cheese is never eaten with fish.
- There are over 100 different types of pasta, and each region has its own. We Make an effort to try to you as many as possible!
- Don’t miss the chance to try pizza in a pizzeria, but be aware that pizza is a dinner food
- The perfect drink for a pizza is beer, or soda. Almost no Italian drink wine with their pizza, when they do they consider it an overindulgent pleasure and usually it will be a sparkling wine, like Prosecco
Knowing if and when …
When dining out, an additional fee (coperto) will be added onto the bill. This is a cover charge generally listed on the menu and it usually replaces a tip. A small tip would be a nice gesture but is not required. As with dining out, other services such as taxis and hairdressers build tips into the price. Tipping is done with cash. ‘Servizio’ is included but a small tip is always appreciated.
Photo and Museums
More about museums, photo and…
- Not all places allow photographs, especially museums which often retain sole rights to photograph their works. Flash photography is especially frowned upon.
- Italy may be tourist friendly and known for fashion, but it is generally considered rude to walk around town in bikinis, beach attire, short shorts, and skimpy outfits.
- Many museums are closed one day a week, often on Monday.
BE READY TO TRAVEL WITH ITALY CREATIVE !