Visiting Italy is on the top of many travelers lists.
Whether it be the cuisine, famous landmarks, shopping, or beaches, Italy is and will likely always be one of the most visited places in the world.
If you or someone you know is planning on visiting Italy, all of these 10 tips below will be of some assistance to you.
Researching tips and advice for the country you are visiting is a must, and money and time will be saved for doing so.
Learn from my mistakes and go to Italy as prepared as possible.
There is so much to see and usually so little time to do so, so enjoy!
1. Buy tickets to places such as the Vatican City, Colosseum, etc., ahead of time.
A simple purchased online ticket means I get to go to the very front of the line at all of the famous attractions in Roma, as well as the Vatican City.
I seriously saved hours of time by spending 2 minutes online purchasing a ticket.
While walking across the lines filled with hundreds of people, I wanted to shout, “Buy your tickets online!” Then, I quickly realized that if everyone did so, I would be waiting in line as well.
2. Use the bathroom whenever given the chance.
I cannot even begin to tell you how important this is. I've found that most bathrooms cost money (.50 or so, so make sure you are always carrying around some change), and you cannot just walk into a restaurant or cafe and use their bathroom, you must buy something first.
Here is a book for any budgeters out there that are traveling to Europe. Every dollar counts!
3. Bring toilet paper.
Stemming off of number 2, there usually isn't toilet paper at your service. Carry around tissues at all times, especially in big cities such as Roma.
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4. Venture out of the tourist spots in the large cities.
Doing this allows you to experience the real Italy, not the touristy, overpriced menus, and tourist shops filled with hats that say, “Roma”.
Once you no longer see these tourist shops, you'll realize that you are no longer in a tourist zone, and everything is different.
Food will be cheaper and I will even go as far as saying the food quality is much better.
The perks of living with an Italian family is experiencing the restaurants that no tourist has gone to since the restaurant was so far out of the city.
5. Gondolas are very expensive in Venice.
When I say expensive, a 60-minute ride can cost up to 120 euros.
If you are traveling solo, ask a group if you can jump into their gondola, or form your own group ahead of time.
The experience of riding in a gondola throughout Venice is an experience that cannot be missed.
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6. Coffee is never to be had during a meal
Only after, due to supposedly helping with digestion. Italians take their coffee very seriously, as you are most likely coming to realize.
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7. Do NOT use your bare hands to gather fruits and vegetables
in a supermarket. You must use gloves and do not tell the grocer which specific fruit or vegetable you want. In many markets, this is seen as rude and disrespectful.
8. Purchase a 48-hour transportation bus when you arrive in a city.
You will quickly learn how important this will become, especially in large cities such as Rome. I made the mistake of purchasing 2 one-way tickets, eventually realizing that this will not suffice.
I also had to scan both tickets at the same time due to faulty machinery, so please learn from my mistake and purchase the 48-hour pass.
Related: 11 Ways To Save Big On Flights.
9. Tipping in Italy is not necessary.
If you feel you must tip for exceptional service, then you can do so, but it is never expected of you.
Certain Italians are catching on to how tipping works in other countries and might expect you to tip because of what you are used to, but realize that it is still not necessary.
Italians are earning a living wage, unlike servers in the majority of American restaurants.
10. If you can, try not to visit during peak season.
Everything costs more. Accommodation, tickets, etc., will increase in price.
If you have an unlimited amount of money to spend and do not care about saving money (uh, if that were the case, you probably wouldn't be reading this article right now), then at least listen to my next piece of advice.
Do not visit Italy during the summer because of the number of tourists. I visited Rome during the beginning of March and it was an amazing experience. There were still tons of people, but not nearly as many tourists in June or July.
My mom and I both went to Rome at different times, she went in May, and I went in March and there is a HUGE difference.
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What other tips can you share for someone who is new to Italy?
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