When in Roma…
Italy is by far my favorite country I have ever been to! It’s amazing in all aspects! The people are great, food is amazing and the views are incredible! However, there are a few things you should know before going to Italy because things might be different than what you’re used to…Check out 19 things you didn’t know about Italy.
FREE WATER FOR ALL: Italy is known for its purely good and clean water, all throughout the country and in water fountains. I was pretty shocked at just how such freezing cold water is just being poured all over the country was. The water never stops flowing — whether it’s being used by someone or not, but it sure comes in handy. You can carry empty water bottles and refill them everywhere you go, it’s very common there and saves you money. Plus on a summer day, there is nothing like good cold water.
ELEVATORS: I was born in Israel and raised in LA, where elevators can easily fit about 10 people, sometimes even more. Prepare yourselves, Italy has the smallest elevators I have ever seen in my whole life! Some may fit 2 peoples, others only 1! So if you are traveling, travel lightly as you may not be able to fit all of your belongings in all at once! My good friend Ana and I would usually run to them first, to avoid not having to wait for all the people trying to get to their rooms after check-in.
FREE BREAKFAST: Almost every hotel in Italy has free breakfast, some have little to offer, while others have a pretty fancy selection. Breakfast ends normally at 10am, if you’re an early bird and willing to wake-up early, this is perfect for you! If you’re like me and Ana, you wait till the last 5mins, grab some food and throw it into your bag and eat it later on your tour bus or eat it on your way to your destination.ALCOHOL IS ALLOWED EVERYWHERE: If you’re the party type or just like some good fine wine, you’re in luck! Italy allows you to drink anywhere you want, you can buy a bottle of wine and find yourself a good spot and enjoy it overlooking the Colosseum, at the Beach or in the middle of Venice’s town center like we did! It’s cheaper and by far more enjoyable than just sitting at a bar. Ching Ching (Cheers in Italian)
HOTELS: Where I come from, part of staying in a Hotel’s luxury is a big king size bed, floppy pillows, blankets and a big nice room, that make you never wanna get out of bed. But this isn’t the case in Italy or Europe at all. After visiting both Italy, Paris, Barcelona and London, King is far from what you would imagine, many hotels have beds smaller than the American twin size bed. Even though you might think you’re getting a 2 people bed, that should fit the normal 2 people, what they do is they take 2 twin size beds and push them next to each other, which is kind of weird personally. You also have the option of getting a room with triple beds, which once again would be the very same thing and you get charged per the people in the room. Not to mentions the rooms are extremely small and leave burly any room for walking space. (This was by far the nicest room I had in Italy, most are way smaller)
AM I FAT?: When going to Italy BE-PRE-PARED!! You will most definitely gain a few pounds! These people make amazing amazing food!!! Known for their Pasta and Pizza, Italy has by far the best food I have ever tasted! Many places offer you a 4 or 5-course meal! They usually like to start it off with a Salad, followed by pasta, then meat and then desert and a shot of espresso. They do love their carbs and somehow, they are all so skinny, it’s hard to understand. You’re gonna see amazing food everywhere you go and I personally highly recommend to try all that you see! It’s all part of the adventure, but I’m just warning you don’t be surprised if you gain a couple of pounds, you’ll burn it off when you get back home and realize that Pizza is nowhere near Italia’s Pizza!
VEGGIES: Italians love adding zucchinis, eggplants and tomatoes to everything they make! They add it to Pizza, Pasta, Lasagna, salads and almost all appetizers! Tomatoes I love and while Zucchinis and Eggplants I only recently learned to like in the last few years, (being a vegetarian), I got some pretty cool recipes for new ideas of what to eat! Loved it! (Eggplant Lasagna!)
LIMONCELLO: Italian’s signature drink! Is made of Lemons, Vodka, Sugar and water, served in a shot glass. Taste both sweet and sour and VERY STRONG! This right here is what true Italian’s LOVE to drink and many make it themselves. If you’re in Italy you will get offered this on the house many times, never say no to Italians as they view it as a sign of disrespect! Ching Ching!
WEATHER: Although I’m not quite sure what weather is like too much in the Winter, in the summer it gets HOT! I’m talking about crazy sticky HOT! Due to being right next to the Mediterranean Sea, Italy attracts a lot of humanity worse than Miami. So dress light opened shoes, small purse, not too much makeup and use hairspray if your hair tends to frizzy!
AM I REALLY THAT SWEET? Mosquito are everywhere during the summer! I mean everywhere and they will get you! I always tend to get Mosquito bits but this place has it the worse! I had to stop by a pharmacy a few times for it! Luckily Ana is a nurse and she just knew the right things to get! Spray yourself before going on a long day of adventures!
THE COPS/BOYS: OH MY GOODNESS!! I don’t think I have ever seen so many hot guys in my entire life than in this small country! I mean every police officer looked like he just stepped out of a Gucci runway show and into a cop uniform! They are incredibly beautiful and super sweet! It’s just crazy and worth going just for that alone! Although they are very aggressive and don’t take no for an answer, meeting an Italian boy can be the highlight of your trip 😉
THE PEOPLE: Italians are very kind and warm people! Although you may not speak Italian you definitely feel the warm hospitality everywhere you go! You feel like these people are somehow related to you like an aunt or a grandfather because of their caring mentality. Many do speak English though, so it’s nice and they are very helpful.
SWIMMING WITH YOUR CLOTHES ON: A common thing to do in the summer, all over Italy, is if you’re feeling hot or just sassy and wanna have some fun and cool off, then step right into a water fountain! Yup! You heard it, take off your shoes…or don’t and walk on in! Kids play there in the summer as if it was a pool, couples kiss in the middle of fountains and others like to have their feet dipped in and enjoy a good ice cream. I probably went into 4 fountains all over the country. It’s a blast and refreshing! Just try it don’t be scared! (Milano)
THE BEACH: Although the sun is amazing and the water is clean, Italy doesn’t have SAND! Yup, you heard me! Every beach we went to throughout the whole country didn’t have sand! It’s stones and rocks! So be ready for it! I would recommend renting a chair for the day otherwise, your back and butt will hurt. Always wear sandals or flip-flops that you don’t mind going into the water with! Otherwise, you will be sorry!
GOTTA PEE? GOTTA TO PAY!: If you’re at a public location such as shopping areas, sightseeing, the beach and your basically not in your hotel room, if you gotta go to the bathroom, it will cost ya! Sometimes 1 Euro other times 2 or 3!
GYPSIES: This is a general Europe tip, beware of the Gypsies! Throughout Europe at touristy spots is where the Gypsies hunt for their victims. Gypsies have their ways of taking advantage of vulnerable tourist, they have little tricks of trying to grab your attention whether pretending to be pregnant, asking for donations or just stealing your belongings. I’ve seen many of them and saw things happen before my very own eyes. They tend to look almost Native-American and they are everywhere, so keep your eyes opens for them.
A ROMANTIC GONDOLA RIDE: A Gondola ride is most people’s idea of Italy! I thought that it would cost about 25-30 Euros, little did I know, a Gondola ride is about 100 Euros for only a 30mins ride! Try to get a tour guide package for Venice so that it ends up being cheaper with a group of people. They also don’t sing like they do in the movies and if you want a personal singer, of course, that’s extra and it needs to be ordered in advance. You also have the option of adding a Champagne bottle on your ride for about 10 Euros! Which is a lot of fun! A MUST DO IN ITALY!
TIPPING/SERVES CHARGE: Italy has a strange tipping system, the restaurants you’re sitting at charges you a service charge for giving you bread, butter and beverage, which can sometimes be 10 Euros. You then also have to leave a tip which ends up being pretty pricey. Some places like Milano or Roma will charge a fee for just wanting to sit outside and enjoying the people walking by, the fee also depends on where it is you’re sitting outside, weather it’s the first row or the second. I personally found this to be super strange and kinda rude but what can you do, it’s just so much nicer to sit outside.
MORNING COFFEE: I’m not much of a coffee drinker, but for those who need their morning coffee, Italian coffee shops are quite different than in America, it’s almost like a bar. You fight to get your order heard over the bar and when you get your coffee, you drink it at the bar, standing and carry on with your day.
Hope these tips were helpful 😉 Enjoy Italia! and don’t forget to get a taste of that amazing Gelato ice cream!!!
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