Here is a few quirks about Italy I picked up in my travels and wanted to share for those of you inspired to take the long flight-it’s deffinately worth the journey!

 

  • The bread in Italy is hard, they don’t use preservatives so expect to be fresh for a day altho still crusty and by the next day a lethal weapon.
  • There are many beggars on the streets in the main cities but look closely, often they are well dressed, fat and even wearing jewelry.
  • In Tuscany the bubble bees the size of drones, don’t get too close to the lavender.
  • When you ask for water it may come carbonated, asking for natural will mean its fresh.
  • Italian’s are really friendly and helpful, its nice to use a few local words to show your appreciation, they get excited.
  • The coffee is crap but cheap, don’t expect to get a good cafe latte but it will only cost around 1-1.5EU
  • Travelling by train you will have all kind of helpful men insisting on helping you load your luggage, if you let them they will ask for 20EU, i gave 2EU and he went away(eventually after a bit of fight), same with photos of characters dressed up (gladiators) and men serenading you at dinner, nothing is free.
  • Around Termini in Rome are lots of pizzeria’s and pasta restaurants but you will have to go out of the main streets to fine the authentic Italian cuisines where the locals eat and often they are tastier and cheaper.
  • When visiting the Basilica’s you will be expected to cover your shoulders and knees so be prepared even in the middle of summer.
  • In Italy you won’t find much variety in food other than Italian, but there is many styles of Italian just don’t expect a Chinese restaurant as easy to find.
  • Spaghetti is served often as a first dish, it’s easy to fill up but if your guest at dinner often this can be like an entree dish with two or three more coming, pace yourself.
  • Free WiFi can be found at many cafes and restaurants which is great to keep in touch if your travelling alone.
  • You don’t have to wait three hours in queue always to see a popular site, often there are tourist guides selling tours that get you in immediately and you can bargain your price.
  • Most things are negotiable in price in Italy in fact it is quite cultural to bargain them down.
  • Many things have an extra tax for example 2EU tourist tax for hotel to help with the struggling economy.
  • If you have an e-passport (recently issued in Australia) you can avoid custom queues and get a self service ticket and photo for quick entry back into oz.

Can’t think of any more right now but if I do I will add, it’s a great country full of ancient history, inspiring art, gorgeous sense of style and architecture  and culturally rich. Well worth a trip in your lifetime!

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