10 Do’s and Don’ts for Americans Traveling to Italy

If you’re planning your dream vacation to Italy, you’re truly in for a treat. With its unique culture, food, history, art, and landscapes, it isn’t surprising that it’s one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. As soon as you arrive, you’ll get swept away by its beauty and want to do as the Italians do! 


To immerse yourself in the culture, you should be aware of some do’s and don’ts before embarking on your vacation. For example, you do want to keep your belongings close in Rome or use reputable luggage storage in Florence. Contrarily, you don’t want to wear uncomfortable shoes or rely heavily on the city buses.


To prepare for your Italian getaway, continue reading to discover all of the do’s and don’ts that will make your trip as perfect as possible! 


1. Learn Common Phrases

Although Italian isn’t spoken much outside of Italy, it’s always good to learn common phrases from the language before you arrive. You can buy a small book that highlights keywords to ensure you can communicate with the locals. For example, you will want to know standard greetings, how to find a bathroom, and how to ask for your favorite Italian wine!

2. Always Carry Cash

Cash may feel obsolete in America, but it’s still Italy’s most common form of payment. Therefore, carry some euros with you for places that don’t accept cards. This tip is essential if you want to order something cheaper, like espresso or croissant.Keep hold of the coins because Italians also love it when you pay with exact change!

3. Embrace the Local Cuisine and Dining Culture

Eating seasonal, fresh ingredients is an Italian tradition, so you should do it as much as possible when you’re there! If you’re looking for an authentic meal, head to a small, no-frills trattoria or pizzeria. If the menu has photos of the food, you’re likely somewhere touristy! Also, don’t be shocked if you can’t eat at your normal dinner time, as most restaurants won’t be open until 7:30 pm.

4. Keep an Eye on Your Belongings

As with any major tourist destination, it’s essential to be aware of your belongings. Keep your bags close, and choose a purse that zips. If you’re traveling on public transportation, keeping your bag where you can see it and your backpack in front of you is always best. Using a trusted luggage storage company on your last day is also a good idea rather than bringing around valuables. 

5. Enjoy la Dolce Vita!

During your stay, don’t forget to take every moment to appreciate the Italian lifestyle! As you can learn a lot once you venture outside of your comfort zone, be open to new experiences and meeting new people. Whether it’s your first time in Italy or you go yearly, there’s always something new to see in the magnificent country.


1. Wear Uncomfortable Shoes

In Italian cities, you’ll be walking a lot. One of the best ways to see all the sights is by strolling through the picturesque cobblestone streets! In fact, many of the main tourist attractions, such as the Trevi Fountain and Spanish Steps, can’t be reached by car. Therefore, wear comfortable shoes that will support you along your adventures!

2. Fall Into a Tourist Trap Restaurants

Unfortunately, many restaurants near the main tourist attractions are more expensive and less authentic than traditional Italian establishments. You’re likely somewhere touristy if you see alfredo sauce or spaghetti and meatballs. In addition, you can find most pasta dishes in Italy for under 10 euros, so keep this in mind as you choose where you want to dine! 

3. Expect Stores Always to Be Open

In Italy, many stores and restaurants are closed for three hours in the afternoon from 3 pm to 6-7 pm. If you’re walking around at this time and see many places closed, don’t worry! They will reopen. Italians enjoy relaxation, so embrace it and enjoy a bit of downtime with them!

4. Rely on Public Transportation to Be on Time

Public transportation in Italy is not the most reliable. If you’re rushing to get somewhere, you may want to take a taxi instead. With expected delays on buses and trams, it’s best to leave early to arrive on time! While it may feel frustrating, remember it’s part of your journey. Also, keep in mind that drivers often go on strike. To make sure your transportation is running, check apps such as Citymapper.

5. Get Frustrated When Someone Doesn’t Speak English

Sometimes traveling to another country where they speak a different language can be overwhelming. However, it’s always best to act politely and remember that everyone has a different background. Be patient, and try using a translator app with locals! 

Ready for Your Italian Adventure?

Now that you have the do’s and don’ts of traveling to Italy, it’s time to pack your bags! Italy has so much to offer, so remember to embrace every moment and enjoy it to the fullest. When in doubt, do as the Italians would do!

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