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Preparing For Your Trip

Woman with Suitcases

Here are some tips and advice to allow you to prepare yourself so that you do get the best out of your Italian escapade…


  1. Make sure that you read your itinerary which we have prepared for you. 

  2. Remember that you are in a part of Italy with lots of tourism so English is pretty well spoken wherever you are travelling….so do not worry about not being able to speak the language!

  3. You may notice graffiti… Italians seem to be into this at the moment…there is a silent rebellion going on as we speak

  4. Make sure that you are aware of check in and check out times so as not to overstay your welcome. 

  5. Good walking shoes – you will find that you will be walking a lot and the last thing you want to worry about is your feet hurting, flip flops may not do the trick in Venice and at this time of year!

  6. Make sure that you have adequate travel insurance and if you need help with this just let us know

  7. Plugs and converters…You cannot plug an American (or U.K.) appliance into an Italian wall because the plug simply won't fit. There are converters try one of the major pharmacies they always have them in stock and you will need them due to the different gadgets you need to consider

  8. You may want to take backups of documents just in case you lose them, one set for you, another set with a family member, you never know.

  9. Make sure that you have cash with you and do not rely on just cards.

  10. If there is a specific restaurant you wish to try out make sure that you book in advance as they get fully booked really quickly and in places like Venice and Florence,  booking the day before may be too late!

  11. Tipping is not required. Service staff gets paid as high as entry level engineers do. In particular, tipping people you personally know is considered offensive. In general, the attitude towards tipping is that you can’t buy a person off, so be mindful if you decide to tip. Restaurants often include service charges and these are always clearly stated on the menus, although a small tip will still be expected. (service charge = Servizio). Tips are usually paid in cash.  We do recommend that you tip the drivers about 5 to 10 euros and the guides usually also get tipped….We recommend that you tips your drivers and you may want to tip your guide if this is a private tour.

  12. Dates are shown as day-month-year, always and Times are indicated in 24-hr format.

  13. You push to enter a place, and pull to get out.

  14. Airport and rail stations have public restrooms, often with attendants who expect to be tipped. If someone is guarding the door of the restroom, you’re expected to leave a few coins. Restrooms in all bars and cafes are for customers only. Order an espresso and only afterwards head to the toilet! Make sure that you do have coins in your pocket.

  15. Make sure you have handy paper tissues when going round as in public toilets toilet paper is a rarity

  16. Credit cards are not widely accepted and American Express is even worse. You can’t pay anything that is less than 10 Euros with a credit card, and even then you’re going to be frowned upon. Always bring cash with you!

  17. Public phones are now officially extinct. Make sure with your mobile supplier that your phone will work in Italy make sure that you advise them of travel

  18. Shops close for lunch between 12:30pm and 3 or 4pm. Every thing shuts down by 7:30pm. In larger cities and metropolitan areas stores are open on Saturday but closed on Sunday, and another half day of the week. In touristic resorts stores are open Sunday but closed one other day of the week. Banks are only open in the morning and for one hour in the afternoon. You need to bank in the morning!

  19. You bag your own groceries and pay for the bag.

  20. When starting a meal, bread will be brought to the table but neither olive oil nor butter is served so if you are someone who needs their butter ask.

  21. Italy does not run like clockwork so do not expect everything to go smoothly, especially if you've made yourself a tight schedule.

  22. Take precautions against having your money or passport stolen. Keep a close eye on your belongings, don't carry valuables in a pack on your back, and avoid wearing expensive jewellery. Carry your passport in a place that's difficult for a pick-pocket to access and don't carry more cash in your purse or main wallet than you'll need for the day.

  23. Latte is the Italian word for milk and if you order a latte, especially outside tourist areas, you may end up with a glass of milk. If you want a coffee, head to a bar, but keep in mind that in many places you will pay extra for table service so if you just want a quick coffee, do as the Italians do and stand at the bar. In restaurants coffee (usually espresso) is normally served only after the meal (including dessert) is finished. Italians don't drink coffee with their meal and they generally don't drink cappuccino after noon, although you can still ask for one. 

  24. When entering a shop or restaurant always say Buon Giorno, then Grazie…and finally Arrivederci. They will be so happy with how polite you are!

  25. It is customary to tip your water taxi - I would say between 5 to 10 euros

  26. Take care when arriving at a station in Italy.  Keep your eyes on your luggage at all times and try to avoid looking like a tourist as you will attract lots of people you really do not want to.  Pickpockets here are very good and they all seem to be great artful dodgers. Been there and experienced it so know how it all works. Try to avoid contact as much as possible as that is how they get you!

  27. Leave your passports and lots of cash and credit cards at the hotel in the safe or ask reception to look after it and just bring some small change with you or a money belt.  Try to avoid flashing items like purses and wallets and cameras, and do not bring your Rolex with you.

  28. When going on your tours etc and visits to churches make sure that you have the right clothing… you must wear close-toed shoes. Men must wear long pants and women cannot wear mini-skirts or let their shoulders be showing too much and avoid the flesh being on show. You can’t walk in a church with a tank top or with shorts on. You need to be properly dressed to visit most holy places and this also applies to children.

  29. Note that you are now not allowed to smoke in Italy in public places or hotels etc.

  30. Make sure that you do bring comfortable shoes and also warm clothing and perhaps also an umbrella as it could rain while you are there. You may even want to contemplate wellies due to the alta marea….

  31. Any problems or need help yell AIUTO pronounced ay-you-toe

  32. Breakfast is usually served from 7-10:30am, lunch from 12:30-2:30pm, and dinner from 7:30-10pm. Peak lunch and dinner hours are 1 and 9pm.

  33. There are almost no restrictions on alcohol. It can be purchased at any time on any day and there is no minimum drinking age.

  34. You will need to pay city tax and this is done either on arrival or before departure

  35. Banks are open weekdays 8:30am to 1:30pm and sometimes for an hour in the afternoon.

  36. While some major churches are open all day, most are open from early morning until noon and then close for three to four hours, before reopening again, and close at 6pm.

  37. Many museums are closed on Monday.

  38. Most shops are closed between 1pm and 3:30pm for lunch. Due to Italy being a Catholic country, many stores are closed on Sunday.

  39. You will be liable to pay for all extras and you will also need to pay the city tax (tassa di soggiorno) which is not included and must be paid in Italy.

Important Details & Numbers

Our Office Number with the Code to Dial - Office:  0044 1424728900

Emergency Mobile Number - 0044 7877739828

“Easy Italia"0039 039039039

For a trouble free holiday” the new multi-lingual information and assistance service for Italian and foreign tourists

 Everyday, including Sundays and holidays, from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. by calling 039.039.039 (Italy's international country code repeated three times) visitors to Italy can reach emergency help for accidents and various types of inconveniences (poor service or tourism services that do not meet their contracts, requests for medical aid or the emergency services etc.), travel advice, up-to-date information about museums, exhibitions, tourist attractions, and special assistance for disabled visitors. In short, everything tourists need for making their holidays to Italy even more safe and simple.  Assistance is in English, French, Spanish, German, Chinese, Russian, and of course Italian, so this will allow Easy Italia to rapidly overcome language and cultural difficulties and to offer immediate and effective solutions for the diverse needs or difficulties that might occur during your stay in Italy.

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