10 Tips to Travel Italy Like a Local
Italy is a gorgeous country with a rich history that should definitely be on your travel list. But if you want the true Italian experience you have to learn to travel Italy like a local. Find 10 tips on how to do it here.
Ready to get out of town and take a break? An Italian getaway may be just what the doctor ordered.
Italy is one of the top 10 destinations that Americans visit, and it’s not for no good reason. Their slow pace and passion for life make for the perfect respite from the grind of working in the United States. The incredible food and amazing destinations make it strike the perfect balance between having so many things to do and staying laid back and relaxed.
Take a vacation that leaves you feeling refreshed in the true Italian way. If you want to learn how to travel Italy like a real local, keep reading. We’ve got the top 10 tips to give you the ultimate Italian experience.
1. Learn Key Words
When you’re traveling to Italy like a local, you’ll need to know a little Italian to get around.
Try picking up an Italian dictionary and learning a few words you know you’ll need. While a majority of Italians can understand a little English, when you’re visiting less touristy spots, knowing a few frequently used Italian words will be really helpful to get around.
Having common Italian phrases on hand will help you to blend in with the locals a little more.
And it can even impress some of your friends when you get back from your adventure.
2. Greet With Kisses
When you meet someone, suppress the urge to hold out your hand for a shake. A kiss it the Italian way.
The Italians are very demonstrative and love to show affection. So naturally, they greet each other with a ‘bacio’ or kiss on each cheek.
Whether new acquaintances or old friends, a true Italian will always give a double kiss.
Incorporate this tradition any time you greet someone and you will start feeling like an authentic Italian.
3. Get Off The Beaten Path
Instead of following the main roads, try doing some exploring.
Italy is full of small, winding roads with so much to discover. You can find some of the best restaurants on the paths less traveled. Some local artisans will set up shop on these back roads, too.
And even if you get a little lost, you can still discover so many surprises and see how the locals truly live by following the less popular paths.
4. Dress Up
One thing the Italians take very seriously? Their style.
Be sure to dress up a little more than you would on a typical day of exploring. Wearing exercise clothes could end up interfering with you being to visit sacred churches and historical sites.
Keep it business casual and you’ll fit right in with the surrounding Italians. And you’ll be sure to be able to see each site you planned on.
5. Drink Coffee Like An Italian
Italians have a few rules when it comes to their coffee.
Make sure you don’t order a cappuccino after 11 am. They are considered strictly a breakfast drink and are usually paired with sweets.
You can also save yourself some money by drinking your coffee at the counter rather than sitting at a table. So if you’ve only got 2 EUR to spend, drink your coffee at the counter for your caffeine fix.
6. Take A Nap
Afraid of missing out on something if you were to take a nap? Not in Italy.
When you take your trip to Italy, you can leave the hours of 2 pm to 5 pm free most days. Many shops and vendors will close down during this time for an afternoon ‘riposino’ (nap).
Since most destinations will be closed, you can take your afternoon nap without fear or guilt.
7. Use A Guide
There are some things that only a local will know.
If you’re interested in knowing some history behind a certain city, take a day to explore with a guide. You can even find some that take you beyond the tourist spots and give you a real taste of life in Italy.
If this sounds like a good option for you, learn more about these amazing Italian tours. You’ll end up learning so much more than you could on your own.
8. Discover The Markets
Sometimes a car is the only way to travel in a new place.
And with so many gorgeous markets in Italy, this is the perfect opportunity to take a drive.
Whether you want to explore Florence, Rome, or the Amalfi Coast, having a day to go driving will help you see several markets at your own pace.
You may find some priceless treasures that always bring you back to your Italian trip.
9. Take Your Time
There is nothing more Italian than slowing down and taking your time.
Italians are never in a rush. So if you really want to experience Italy like a local, slow down and take everything in.
Even lunches and dinners are pushed back majorly. Having a dinner before 8 pm is almost unheard of in Italy. So sleep in a little. Let yourself relax. Because that’s how the locals do it.
10. Drink Wine Or Beer With Meals
Italy isn’t known for its cocktails.
When you go out for your meals, be sure to stick with wine or beer as your drink of choice. Most restaurants won’t even have a cocktail menu.
Italians believe that mixed drinks don’t allow you to truly taste your food. And they may have a point. So do as the Romans do and go with wine as your drink of choice for each meal.
Travel Italy Like You’ve Lived There
When you’re planning your Italy trip, make sure to keep a balance of tourist destination and local spots. And add in those times for pure Italian relaxation. By following these 10 tips, you’ll feel like you got to travel Italy like a real Italian.
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