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My Do's and Don't in Italy

ITALY | Friday, 12 August 2011 | Views [2328]

DO's


1- Open your eyes


Italy is the place of many contradictions, spanning from the South of Europe to the North of Africa, it could not be different.

You will feel and see how it is different to speak to someone from Milan or Trento, rather than with someone from Rome, Naples or Palermo.

Looks also are kind of different, though you could find as many blondes with blue eyes in Sicily as in the North-east, that's because the normands conquered that part of the country centuries ago.

Italy usually is Rome, Florence, Venice, two days to visit each city and then maybe, if you have some days left, a visit to the Chianti region or to Rimini and the seaside.

This leaves the rest of Italy completely unknown, which is a pity.

Thanks to low cost airlines, now it is easier to go many times to the same place, so if you don't manage to see le Cinque Terre or Sicily on your first visit, then you should definitely keep it in the agenda for the next time.

A little treasure which is becoming a must-see in recent years is the Giardino dei tarocchi in Capalbio, south of Tuscany.

Created by artist Nikki de Saint-Phalle, it is a coloured counterpart to the Parco dei mostri in Bomarzo, Viterbo, which is 2 hours from Rome.

Hippy sculptures guide your way through the garden, which is open only from April to October.

If you do both gardens, then, once in Viterbo, you could take a train or a bus to Calcata, a medieval village inhabitated by artists.


2- Trust public transportation


Though every single Italian, including me, would complain about the National train company or the rather awful public transportation service in Rome, use it, because it will take you almost anywhere.

For example, if for some reason you are staying in a hotel close to the airport in Rome, you could save lots of money to spend in the trashy gift shops around the Vatican by taking the local train which connects Fara Sabina to Poggio Mirteto that stops in Roma S.Pietro. It is a nice ride in the middle of the city, usually with a seat available which is not always the same in the underground or on buses.

If you want to go to other cities, you just have to browse the different choices you have, because maybe, if you want to go to the sea, you will only have to take a train and a bus instead of jumping from buses to taxis.

I am presuming you are on a budget, if you are not, go take taxis, our economy will be grateful!


3- Try to think out of stereotype


Most of Italians are loudmouth, fashion addicted, overly tanned. But not all of them.

You will find the usual stereotype in the usual places, but if you just move a little, you will be probably suprised to find more hippy-like communities, this applies to places like Pigneto in Rome and i Navigli in Milan or Piazza Santa Margherita in Venice.

So, have your choice.


4- Be curious


Though it happens that people get scammed or robbed, Italy is as dangerous as any other western touristic place, so chill out and behave as you will do at home.

Be careful with your belongings as you would be in Pittsburgh and feel free to go and check the only alley which is not undersieged by tourist and souvenir sellers, it would probably be a suprise.

Most of the cities in Italy have a Time Out edition in English with things to do, and some of the major cities have a free press magazine called Zero, which reports all the nice things to do in Rome, Florence or Milan, and most of them are free! So look out for those magazines, check the walls to see posters of events, and you will add a different taste to your holiday.


DON'Ts


1-Go around in flip-flops


This is not because Italians are fashion addicted, but it's because on the first place, flip-flops worn in the city are ugly, and it implies that your feet are bound to become dirty in five seconds and that they are open to whatever accidents there could be around.

It is a must to avoid to wear them at night if you want to get inside a decent place to eat.

Even Birkenstocks are better, but please, not with socks.


2-Know your limits


This is a costume of some kind of tourist, or students, who are not allowed to drink in their homecountry and so decide that since there is not such a prohibition in Italy, well, it is the time to go out of control.

Well, this does not give a good image of you and your country, I have to say.

I mean, partying is great and Italy is the place to be to do so, but please, know your limit.

If you feel that you want to throw the last bottle you finished in the air to see what happens, then, maybe that's a signal to stop drinking.

Tags: #blogyourbackyard, blogyourbackyard, fashion, filp-flops, holidays, italy, milan, rome, suggestions, venice

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