Travel Team’s Country Tips: Italy

When you say Italy do you think - Rome’s iconic ruins, Tuscany’s vine-clad hills, Venice’s romantic waterways, breathtaking scenery and fabulous food? These iconic places are why Italy is on most people’s travel wish list. Here are some tips to ensure your Italian Holiday is absolutely Perfetto (perfect).

Dine like a local
Italians generally eat late, so if you want to dine like the locals, stop for lunch at around 1.30pm and dinner at 8.30.  The further south you go, the later locals eat. A full Italian meal consists of an antipasto, a primo (usually pasta or risotto), main course, typically fish or meat with a side dish, and dessert.

Tip: Most hotels include breakfast, fill up at breakfast and grab some fruit and a snack for the day. That way you can usually make it to dinner with the exception of that scrumptious gelato you will eat for afternoon tea some days.

Some other pointers: eat spaghetti with a fork, not a spoon. The bread you are given is usually used to wipe up any leftover sauce after you finish your pasta. Drink wine with pasta and beer with pizzas. It’s fine to eat pizza with your hands.

Museums (and how to skip the line)
There are no fool-proof ways of skipping the line – even with a ticket there are still security checks. But you’ll cut waiting time by booking tickets in advance before you travel (we can help with that).

Bread and tipping
Italians are not big tippers. Service is generally added to restaurant bills. Also, expect to pay a bread and cover charge – this is standard and is added even if you don’t ask for or eat the bread.

Driving in Italy
It’s pointless hiring a car for city travel; traffic is crazy and to a tourist very daunting. If you are planning on heading into the countryside, it’s well worth considering.

Tip: The countryside of Tuscany is the perfect area to explore by car. After exploring Florence you can pick up your car and begin your countryside self-drive holiday.

Brush up on your Italiano
You’ll have no trouble getting by with English, but a few Italian words can be fun and make your Italian Holiday more memorable when you communicate to the locals in Italian.

Buongiorno. Hello.
Arrivederci. Goodbye.
Si. Yes.
No. No.
Per favore. Please.
Grazie. Thank you.
Prego. You’re welcome.
Mi scusi. Excuse me.
Mi dispiace. I am sorry.
Buon giorno. Good morning.
Buona sera. Good evening.
Buona notte. Good night.
Prego. You’re welcome.
Mi scusi. Excuse me.
Mi dispiace. I am sorry.
Buon giorno. Good morning.
Buona sera. Good evening.
Buona notte. Good night.
Parla inglese? Do you speak English?
Buona giornata! Have a nice day!
Come sta? How are you?
Come si chiama, Lei? What is your name?

Cost of Meals
The average price of food and drinks in Italy.
Meal for 2 people, Mid-range Restaurant 50 Euros
Local Beer 5.00 Euros
Cappuccino 1.50 Euros
Coke/Pepsi 2.00 Euros
Water 1.05 Euros