7 Tips for Traveling Italy Like a Local
Do as the Locals Do
Italy is a popular travel destination; the country attracts thousands of visitors from around the globe every year. When spending time in this historic country, there are a couple choices that you have in the way you travel.
One option is to experience Italy as a tourist and visit all the most popular tourist attractions. Alternatively, you can immerse yourself in the culture and learn about what sort of things the locals do.
While you can certainly do a combination of both, in this article we will discuss seven tips on how to travel Italy like a local.
Eat Breakfast Like a Local
When it comes to Italy travel tips, what you eat and when is of great importance. After all, Italy has incredible food, so surely a lot of your time is going to be focused on seeking out eateries and treats.
In regard to breakfast, it is essential to have a cappuccino. This is the only acceptable type of coffee to have in the morning. Enjoy this with something sweet. This local tradition is often consumed in the form of a filled pastry.
Once you have enjoyed your cappuccino, remember that it could be your last one for the day — drinking cappuccino after 10:30 a.m. is definitely a no-no. From that time of day on, your hot beverage of choice can either be an espresso or a café macchiato.
Eat Lunch Like a Local
One of the most popular meals eaten during lunchtime is pasta. You can eat it in its various forms, but there is one rule that you should dare not transgress: the Italians will absolutely despise you if their world-famous dish is tarnished with ketchup or tomato sauce.
Eat Supper Like a Local
If you are someone who likes to have an early supper, then Italy is the wrong destination for you. The locals here enjoy eating a late supper. Even restaurants will only open for supper after about 7:30 p.m.
If you want to mingle with any of the locals during suppertime, you’ll need to wait even longer to eat. Most of the locals will only hit their favorite supper spots after 8:30 p.m.
When sitting down for your evening meal at a restaurant, there is a non-written rule that you simply must obey. It is sometimes considered disrespectful to choose a dish from the menu yourself as it’s customary to wait for the waiter’s recommendation. If you go with the recommendation, you’re sure to enjoy your meal.
Drink Water Like a Local
Drinking bottled water is the only way to go in Italy. Italians consume more bottled water than anywhere else in Europe; it’s just how things are done here. You’ll be able to purchase a large variety of bottled water at local shops.
Drinking water from the tap is definitely not acceptable. As a tourist, it’s especially recommended that you avoid drinking tap water — it’s not necessarily unsafe to do so, but there is the possibility it will upset your stomach (much like any unfamiliar water) if you’re not used to it.
Dress Like a Local
Going out in public in “casual wear,” in particular gym wear and flip flops, is frowned upon in Italy. In many countries, flip flops and gym wear is an acceptable dress code, but it is not acceptable by local Italian rule.
Flip flops should never be worn in the city. Italians believe the only place you should wear flip flops is at the beach.
Wearing your gym clothes around town is another taboo. It does not matter how trendy and stylish it might be; be sure to change into something less casual when going into town. This type of clothing in only worn at a gym, and nowhere else.
Do Your Hair Like a Local
Many people love getting up in the morning, having a stimulating shower and then hitting the road. This is an especially natural thing to do on vacation when you just want to get out the door and explore. However, wet hair in public is something that is not allowed and may even be found offensive.
If you want to go outside, you’ll have to wait for your hair to dry completely or use a hairdryer to speed up the process. When in a public space, your hair should always be dry.
Dress Up Like a Local
Italians are incredibly artistic people who love going to live shows, theaters and other places of cultural interest. For locals, this is the time to get out your best dress — Italians simply love dressing up.
In order to ensure you don’t stick out like a sore thumb at these cultural events, you’ll need to adapt to the customs of the locals. Become a local at heart and dress up for the occasion.
Visiting a different country can be a once in a lifetime experience for many. It is interesting to learn about the traditions of each place you visit. Italy is a great country with a long history that, in our opinion, is definitely worth visiting. If you end up traveling to this incredible place, use these Italy travel tips to help you blend in with the locals and get the most out of your experience.