NO NO!! Don’t do this in Italy

Read a lot of blogs on WHAT TO DO IN ITALY? Here, I have written something out of the ordinary for you guys “What not to do in Italy’’

 The ten day long trip to Italy has taught us life lessons. Many lessons were learnt the hard way; whereas, some were borrowed from the experience shared by the locals. So here’s the list of top 10 things which are a big NO NO !! in Italy:

  1. English ? che cosa?: Unlike many other European countries Italy has sparse number of people who speak English. Except our hotel receptionist, we didn’t come across many Italians who spoke/understood English (reminds me of the movie Lost In Translation). If you are thinking about going further into the small Italian towns, watch out for the communication barriers. Even, name of the cities are given in Italian and they are quite different from what they are in English. Some of the examples are;  
  • Rome-Roma
  • Florence-Firenze
  • Milan-Milano
  • Naples-Napoli
  • Venice- Venezia
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Italian Names

2. Not to go to the churches in short clothes: If you are planning to visit a church in Italy make sure your shoulders and legs are covered otherwise you might not be allowed to enter the premises. There is always a fair warning board at the entrance of the church which forbids, off-shoulder dresses or shorts.

3. Not to be carefree with your belongings: Always keep an eye out for pickpockets. I learnt this lesson a hard way. The price I had to pay was my ‘Prada sunglasses’.  As far as my memory goes …. well they were on my head!!!! So better watch out your belongings, mostly when you take a public transport or as we were told especially in Vatican City.

4. Not to rent a car: As a substitute to rent a car, it is advisable to use trains or cheap flights (such as Ryan air) if you wish to do city hopping in Italy. However, if you do plan on  renting a car, make sure that the company you rent your car from, does include the toll tax otherwise you’ll end up paying a lot of cash just like us. I recommend that you go with the international companies (such as Sixt, Hertz etc.) rather than the local rental companies.

5. Just don’t park your car anywhere & everywhere: For parking your vehicle you’ll happen to see  four different types of lanes, every lane has a different criteria  for example; WHITE LINE (paid parking), PINK LINE (for pregnant females), YELLOW LINE (handicapped people), BLUE LINE (free parking). So you better be careful with that one, else a 100 Euro ticket will be on your way.

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Our rented car in Italy

 

6. Not to give tips: In Italy you can either sit in a restaurant and eat or take away. If you prefer sitting over, the service charges will be added to your bill, which can range from  3-4 Euros. Even if you just order a cup of cappuccino, you’ll have to pay the extra service charge. So for the same food/beverage you end up paying more if you use the restaurant services.

7.Not to miss early morning sight-seeing: If you believe in taking good pictures with less people in the background or if you don’t want to waste your time standing in a queue (mainly in summers) then make sure you visit all the main touristic places early in the morning. You’ll save a lot of time specially if you have limited time at one place. Following pictures will explain it. 

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Colosseum at 7:30 am
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Colosseum at 1:00 pm

8. Not to take credit cards everywhere: Keep some cash handy you travelers, because not every place accepts credit cards. Therefore it’s always better  to keep some Euros in your pocket.

9. Restaurants are not open all the time: Shops close for lunch between 12:30pm and 3 or 4pm. Everything shuts down by 7:30pm except for a few  restaurants. So you might want to plan accordingly. 

10.Not to talk to Pedlar’s: You’ll see a lot of street hawkers trying to talk to you in a friendly way and then will try to sell you stuff or forcefully put it in your bag or hand. Make sure you don’t take anything from them or even better if you don’t start a conversation.  If they approach you   just say NO THANX or NO GRAZIE.

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Story behind this picture goes like this; we were standing in front of the cathedral to get some shots of the pigeons when two pedlar’s came and kept some pigeon food on my hand. Before I could utter a word pigeons came and ate all the grains from my hand. It was fun till the time the pedlar’s forced us to pay them money.

Ok I was going to write top 10 things but here’s one more, who doesn’t like little bonuses.

11. Not to miss the food: We all know about Italian food and we know how delicious it is. But Italy is more than Pastas and Pizzas. So when in Italy you must try Granite, Gelato, Buffalo Cheese, Mushroom Risotto, Minestrone, Tiramisu, Bruschetta, Pizza Margherita, Ravioli are just few names that you can’t miss.

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Grilled veg. palatte
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Cup full of vitamins
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Fiore di zucca farcito, Orecchiette con verdure croccanti with Coperti, in english which means flower stuffed pumpkin, Orecchiette (pasta) with vegetables and crispy bread.

 

-Travel Nerd Story-


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