10 travel tips for first timers in Italy!
Rome and the Coliseum, Venice and the gondola ride, Florence and the Renaissance time!
Everybody comes to Italy but before you start eating spaghetti and pizza and sipping glasses of wine, there are a few important things for you to know!
Traveling to Italy for the first time?
10 things to do BEFORE boarding the plane.
I love traveling and, even though I’m Italian, I love traveling through Italy, either discovering hidden corners or visiting the same city for the umpteenth time!
I can’t wait to have you all here in my beautiful country, to show you the incredible towns, coasts, museums, and people we have!
There is so much to prepare and consider when planning a trip so I want to share with you my very own tips for before you arrive in Italy !!
Money and Documents
1) Notify your bank about your travel plans! Call and let them know when and where you will be traveling so they don’t block your account thinking that your new leather jacket in Florence is a suspicious activity!
2) Take a debit card with you! It’s one of the most important things you should do when preparing for your trip. It will save you a lot of money !
Exchanging money is not convenient because of the very high fee but getting money from an ATM is the easiest way to get Euros in Italy!
We have Atm machines everywhere and, despite the small fee for each transaction, the fee will never be as bad as the exchange offices!
Make sure you go to the ATM machines inside a bank AND NOT to the ones inside the souvenir shops because the fee is higher!
3) Confirm that your passport has at least 6 months validity .
Otherwise, you will not be allowed to leave your country (it has appened to my guests in the past: the wife arrived as planned, while her husband was stuck at the airport because his passport had only a 3 months validity!)
Learn to roll your R
4) If you travel to Italy during the summer months and you are used to air conditioning, do not forget a portable mini fan… it will save you!
5) A fun, beautiful and food oriented Country like Italy is the place where you will need fully charged devices .
Make sure you have the right adapters with you!
Converters are not required for your phone, your camera or laptop, but make sure you do not use your hair straightener or curling iron without first asking the hotel staff !
The voltage is different and normally they blow up in 2 seconds!
6) Before you embark on your journey to Italy, try to learn some Italian words like GRAZIE (thank you), BUONGIORNO (good morning) and BUONASERA (good evening)!
These are the 3 words that I normally teach my group, together with ALLORA (it’s not a coincidence that I chose ALLORAVIAGGIO as my travel blog’s name!) Even if you can’t roll your R, we love hearing a different accent!
How to pack your stuff
7) Pack comfortable shoes ! In Italy, we walk a lot. In cities like Rome, you walk on cobblestones so wearing good shoes makes a huge difference (the alternative is to buy good shoes here to help our local economy, but that’s up to you!)
8) If you will be visiting touristy cities like Rome, Florence or Venice, make sure you have a neck wallet for your valuables, money and your passport (I actually suggest that you make a copy of your passport to carry with you and keep the original one in the safe at the hotel!).
Italy is a safe country but pickpockets can be everywhere, especially in front of the most important monuments and in the crowded areas.
9) Pack Carry-on luggage for your valuables, medications, toiletries like your toothbrush, deodorant, hairbrush as well as a few outfits in the event your checked bag gets lost.
I can tell you hundreds of stories of people who went on a cruise and had NO CLOTHING FOR 7 DAYS or travelers who had to buy medications in Italy!
10) Don’t be scared of gaining weight during your trip to Italy!
It is true: few other countries in the world have the same variety of food as we have + good ingredients + different specialties from North to South + very good wines (and do not forget Gelato!!) BUT you are going to lose weight during your stay, even if you will eat as a local, (that means A LOT!)
My 92 year old grandpa eats a light breakfast, a 3 course meal for lunch (including pasta and veggies) and meat or fish plus 3-4 different side dishes for dinner!
And he is in good shape because our ingredients are fresh, we use extra virgin olive oil instead of butter, no conservatives, no pre cooked meals!
Allora, are you ready?