By Luca the Italian Tour Guide
Here is a list of some traveler tips I have gathered for your next Italian Tour from my experience as a Tour Guide.
1. Better Not Ask For Butter
Italians do not provide olive oil, balsamic vinegar and parmesan cheese along with bread as an appetizer at meals, and we definitely do not serve butter. Please do not ask, and please do not be insulted or upset if you find this to be the case as it is simply our culture. If we do serve bread it will be plain, crusty and dry. We don’t like to fill up before our meal!
2. Can’t Stand Sitting for Coffee
Italians mostly stand and take their espresso quickly. Sitting and drinking your caffeinated beverage can cost upwards of 4x more than if you stand and imbibe. While we’re at it, Italians drink cappuccino in the morning and espresso in the afternoon. If you’re looking for a cup of American coffee, order an Americano.
3. Go Before You Go
With very few exceptions, there are no restrooms in churches. Please be mindful of this, and plan bathroom breaks accordingly.
4. Temperature Trends
In most hotels, air-conditioning and central heating are regulated by the local city council and operate only in certain months of the year. The American definition of “AC” is often cold air blowing. In Italy, AC may just mean some form air blowing that isn’t hot.
5. Checking the Separate Checks
Italians do not separate checks at restaurants. If this is a deal-breaker, you will want to ask if the restaurant will do it before sitting down as it is often impossible to do it after, resulting in commotion and the inevitable running around for an ATM.
6. Missing the Ice
I’ve never seen an ice machine in Italy. And neither will you as we simply don’t use them!
7. Carrying the Key
If the key to your hotel room seems heavy, it is. It is meant to be left at the front desk and not carried on your adventures.