Friday, 3 July 2015

Going to Italy soon? Here are some tips!

Italy is a very popular country to go on holiday, so if you have plans to visit one of the many beautiful cities or the lovely countryside, here are a few tips to make your stay more comfortable.

Tips for Italy
  • Pack good shoes. You will probably walk a lot and many streets have cobblestones, so packing your high heels is not a good idea. Please, forget about elegance in this instance, your feet need to be comfortable.
  • If it is the Summer and you wear a tanktop, make sure you have a shawl or something to cover your shoulders. Firstly for when you want to visit a church and secondly because the evening can be a bit chillier.
  • In the cities it can be very hot. Seek the shade wherever you can, visit churches and museums to keep cool and do not try to do too much in one day. Take your time! When I was in Rome in August with a friend, we reminded ourselves we needed to use ‘Italian pace, not Dutch pace’. Visiting a park is also a great way to keep cool.
    Villa Borghese in Rome, a great place to sit while it is hot. 
  • Most churches, museums and shops will be closed for a couple of hours during the afternoon. This is a good time to go back to your hotel and take a little nap yourself. After a rest, you are good to go for the evening.
  • Remember that after August 15, most Italians will be on holiday as well, so many shops will be closed after that date.
  • Of course when it is the first time you visit a city or certain place, you want to see the highlights. But you are probably not the only one, so it is likely you will have to wait in line for long periods of time. Try to book your ticket in advance if you can, this will save you a lot of time. Or visit the lesser known museums and places. There won’t be crowds of people there, and it is nice to be a bit original! J
  • Try to use a little bit of the language when you are in Italy. Nobody expects you to be fluent in Italian, but everybody can manage little phrases like; Buongiorno, per favore, prego, arrivederci etc.
  • Take the time to appreciate Italian atmosphere, just sit on a churchstep and look at the people walking by, walk around the piazza’s to see the artists selling their work or the musicians play some music.
    Take the time to look at typical Italian things,
    like these small cars called 'Ape's', or 'bees'. 

General tips
  • Read a little bit about the country and the city you are about to visit, so things are not a total surprise when you get there. One of the worst things is a tourist who has no idea at all where he is or what he is looking at.
  • On the other hand, be ready to be surprised and do something unexpected. In that case you will see places and do things you did not set out to do, but that will utterly amaze you and give you joy.
  • Even worse than an ignorant tourist, is an impolite one who constantly reminds people that things in his country are better, bigger, etc. Remember you are a guest. There may be things in the country you visit you disagree with, frown upon or utterly dislike, but nobody cares. You are a guest and it is your job to be polite and pleasant. And if you really hate things that much, just do not come back:-)

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