It doesn’t hurt to do a little research before heading on a big foreign trip. Knowing what to do and how to act in a new country does not only maximize the authentic experience but also shows respect to locals.
As with any other country, being cultured is key to having the best stay in the area. When visiting Italy, you will do well by using these tips during your stay. For the ultimate Italian etiquette guide, these tips are sure to fit you right in with the locals. Sit down, relax, take out a notebook if you have to, and enjoy reading!
Basic Do’s And Don’ts
- Do be conscious of how you dress up. Yes, it’s true: Italians do judge you depending on how you dress. It sounds rude, but they usually use it as an indication if you’re either an American or a tourist (or both). Shorts are deemed unacceptable in public, so don’t wear them outdoors. Similarly, wear something appropriate when visiting churches. Cover your knees and shoulders when visiting St Peter’s Basilica or St Mark’s Basilica.
- Don’t forget to learn the basics. Italians appreciate it when you at least attempt to speak basic Italian with them. Learning some of the most common Italian phrases will help you move around the city more easily.
- Do carry some cash with you. Not all shops or restaurants are going to accept credit cards. When in a foreign country, it’s best to keep some cash so that you are not left stranded and unable to pay for whatever it is you purchased.
- Do watch your stuff. Even in Italy, pickpockets are looming all the time. Do put your valuables right where you can easily see and access them. Nothing’s worse than getting pickpocketed while traveling!
- Do be patient. You’ll face long lines at some point for sure. Italians are not exactly known for being punctual. So, do not get upset if they are very casual when it comes to time.
- Do not leave the table during dinner; it’s considered very rude.
- Do not point with your index and pinkie finger at the same time. This gesture is considered very vulgar in Italy.
- Do not talk about religion, the Vatican, Mafia, and politics. Also, do not ask questions about private family concerns. These are very tricky topics that might ruin your entire trip if handled tactlessly.
- Do not fall into tourist traps. Avoid inauthentic and overpriced spots that aren’t even worth it. When booking your trip and planning your schedule, look for reviews by Italians themselves instead of popular trip advisory websites.
- Do not try to see everything in Italy for only a short time. Slow down and breathe in this unforgettable experience. Try to allow plenty of time if you can, so that you can appreciate all the beauty Italy has to offer. You can still have an Italy trip even if you’re on a budget without feeling so rushed. Relax!
- Lastly, do not forget to have fun. Even with all these tips, immerse yourself in Italian culture and bask in this unique experience. When in Rome, do as the Romans do.
Touring Italy means embracing the country’s culture. Even when you are not the best at remembering these tips, your trip will still be memorable if you show courtesy and kindness. Respect is the basic currency in any country, so be sure to bring loads of that with you on your Italy trip. Divertiti!