Being a country of many wonders for tourists in terms of art, fashion, food and history; there are several travelling taboos associated with it. Although safe and enjoyable, it is formal and has deep Roman Catholic roots with which you have to tread carefully to avoid offending the host and getting uninvited for the next visit. Cryptic, right? But don’t worry; we have made it easier for you by compiling some do’s and don’ts, whether you’re staying at a hotel or you’re being hosted by a resident.
Wear stylish clothes. Italians pride themselves in their fashionistas personas. Ensure you clad to dress when going out to fit in with the locals. It’s as normal as a sneeze on a dusty day!
Carry cash that will suffice for the day. Don’t carry all your money when visiting the attraction sites or taking a stroll. You might end up being pickpocketed whilst distracted by the amazing sights around you. Keep an eye out for groups of children in and around bus and train stations. Contrary to many beliefs, Italy is not only for the tourists with an expensive taste, you don’t have to dine in expensive hotels and drink in bars and pubs. You can buy cheap wine for as little as $4. You can try out street food; it is cheap and equally delicious.
Observe table manners strictly. When dining and even when done eating, ensure your hands remain on the table. Once full insist repeatedly if you don’t want more food. You can place the fork and knife on the right side of the plate to show this.
(Check out our tips on the best snacks for pregnant women)
Plan your days. Have a few attractions per day to avoid getting frazzled. Appreciate the surrounding beauty slowly. The best way to view all sites without hassle is by using public transportation or walking. Public transportation is also usually fast and cheap.
Give your host a nice gift. If giving them flowers or any other gift, ensure you research more on the same to avoid making a mistake that could damage your relationship. Chrysanthemums, a handkerchief, a knife or a brooch connote sadness thus not an ideal choice. You can opt for wine.
Shake hands in greeting. When greeting and acknowledging an introduction, shake their hands. Do not use the first names when addressing strangers unless asked to do so. Ensure to use “Signore” and “Senora” for Mr. and Mrs. respectively, plus the family name.
Use first names in Italian business. It is advisable to use the family name. Only use professional and personal titles in formal writing and casual conversations with people you are close to.
Wear unacceptable shorts and outfits in public. When visiting a church,
Women; ensure to cover your knees, midriff and shoulders. You can wear a scarf or a hat if possible.
Men; avoid sleeveless shirts and shorts as they are frowned upon in churches
Use ATMs. If possible, please avoid the ATMs; there are invisible, wireless yet portable devices installed to clone credit cards. Subsequently, do not assume that all establishments use credit cards. Carry enough cash on you to avoid embarrassments after eating and receiving services. It not only saves you embarrassment but also helps you avoid being pickpocketed, mugged and even attacked.
Assume it’s safe to walk in the dark. Even the biggest and safest countries in the world experience a few cases of insecurity. Avoid deserted and dark areas as they are avenues for bag snatchers. Hence, makes you vulnerable to being mugged and even attacked. Avoid exposing yourself to thieves by booking overnight journeys via train. If you must travel; please, please just do it during the day and indulge in something else at night.
Eat with your hands. No matter what you’re eating even if it’s a fruit, do not eat it with your hands. Also, don’t leave the table during dinner as it is rude.