– Since living in Italy, I’ve been taking Italian classes alongside my business classes in English and it’s been incredible. I love having this new skill and also just knowing what is going on around me. It’s obviously easier to learn a new language whilst you’re living in that country. However, even if you’re travelling, I always think it’s amazing just to be able to pick up a few words. Even to learn how to order a coffee like a local. Prego.
– Be careful with your belongings. Like a lot of places, in Italy there are a lot of pickpocketers and hustlers so you just need to be wary of your surroundings, especially in busy touristy areas.
– Try all the amazing foods that the region has to offer. It’s always cool to say that you’ve had food from where it’s originally from. For example, in Liguria, one of their specialities is pesto. One day when I didn’t have much going on, I decided to hop on a train all the way to Genoa. I was able to get amazing pesto directly from the source.
– Recognise that a fair amount of shops might be closed during the hours of 12 to 15. Usually, shop owners will go home to be with their families and have lunch. So this is an important thing to know in case you needed to go somewhere.
– Alongside this, going to a coffee shop, just to have a coffee between those hours is somewhat frowned upon. A lot of these places will also serve lunch and expect you to eat as well as have a coffee. As this has happened a fair few times, I know to go after 15 and then spend the afternoon in town. Sidenote: if you click here, there’s a blog post on my favourite coffee shops in Turin.
– Don’t expect public transport to be your BFF. A lot of cities have metro systems which are generally pretty reliable. However, busses can be your worst enemy. City buses can get so incredibly full at times that you won’t even be able to get onto them. I know this because it has happened to me a total of 4 times. When it comes to busses in smaller towns, don’t expect them to arrive when they say they will. Sometimes, give or take, they’ll be either 20 minutes early or 20 minutes late.
– When it comes to hiring a car, it’s best to go directly to the car company instead of online. One time, we went to pick up our booked car and they informed us that they didn’t have it. Despite the fact they’d already taken our money. In the end, we went to a different place to book a car directly from there.
-Don’t go to all of the touristy areas for food. Those places tend to be overpriced and sometimes the food won’t even taste that great. To get real, authentic Italian food, it’s best to go to the places a little bit further away from the tourist hotspots. It’s always good also to read Tripadvisor for these scenarios and find the ideal place for you.