Long live tourism! Italians are often hospitable and doubtless used to tourists, but there are things we advise you not to do!
We are delighted that you have chosen Italy as your holiday destination. Now listen to some of our little tips. Italians are often friendly to tourists, but some little things will make you look at them funny. Here's what not to do if you visit Italy!
13. If you visit a big city, don't just visit the centre
That applies to practically all major Italian cities. If you are visiting Rome, Naples, Florence, Milan, Bologna, Venice, or elsewhere, don't just wander around the historical centers but find out more about what to see outside them.
There is always something to see or learn. Just think of EUR or Coppedè if you are in Rome, Posillipo or Fuorigrotta in Naples, or Bicocca in Milan are all places with exciting things to see outside their respective historical centers. Always inform yourself and then explore!
12. Do not feed pigeons
Especially in big cities, the reason is that you must not get them too used to human food because they may not want anything else. Moreover, pigeons already nest in the city, and administrations often use hawks to keep them away, as they can carry diseases.
10. Walking with heels or uncomfortable shoes
Many Italian cities have ancient historic centres not designed for walkers. If you walk a lot, it is always better to choose comfortable clothing and avoid heavy boots and stilettos.
11. Having huge savoury meals in the morning
In Italy, we are not used to having huge meals for breakfast: the typical Italian breakfast is milk, coffee, cappuccino, biscuits, jam, rusks, cereals. Suppose you are not in a hotel, which generally offers an international breakfast. In that case, it is difficult to find bars or restaurants that can cook you sausages, scrambled eggs, beans or anything else in the morning.
Choose a croissant and cappuccino and prepare for a nice pasta lunch.
9. Avoiding touching (or sitting on) urban sculptures and monuments
This prohibition applies to many monuments; we can understand the desire to touch the marble or stone of the sculptures and fountains scattered around Italy. We must always try to respect the places and avoid any behaviour that might accidentally damage the work.
One example is the statue of Juliet in the courtyard of Juliet's House in Verona. Touching the right breast is said to bring good luck in love and therefore many people do it, leading to wear and tear of the statue. For this reason, the original statue was replaced by a copy.
8. Asking restaurants for Italian dishes that don't exist
Many dishes abroad are treated as 'Italian' when in fact they are not part of the country's culinary tradition. There is no such thing as fettuccine "Alfredo" or Alfredo sauce, which seems to be best known on the American continent. If you order pizza, remember not to ask for pepperoni either, because instead of pepperoni, they might bring you vegetables. If you go into a coffee shop, don't ask for a Frappuccino because the baristas probably don't even know it exists.
7. Don't drink cappuccino at lunch, dinner, or other
Speaking of cappuccino, we advise you not to drink any coffee products during lunch or dinner, for an Italian, it is very strange, I suggest instead, a nice glass of wine to accompany meat and fish (ps. Never put parmesan cheese on fish). Coffee, on the other hand, you can ask for at the end of the meal, while cappuccino is exclusively for the morning or breakfast.
6. Avoid walking around without cash
Although Italy is improving a lot in terms of digital payments, it is always good to have a good amount of cash with you, especially if you visit small towns that may not accept credit cards or payments below a certain amount.
5. Never tell anyone that - La Gioconda is not Italian -
It's true, the Mona Lisa is in the Louvre, and is almost the very symbol of the great museum in Paris. Leonardo da Vinci (extremely Italian, born in Vinci in Tuscany) lived the last years of his life in France and in 1517 he sold the painting to King Francis I, a cultured man and lover of Italian art. Since then, the painting has been in the Louvre practically all the time.
4. Do not put Ketchup on pasta or pizza
The typical sweet and sour tomato sauce of Asian origin is also very popular in Italy, but only on Chips and hamburgers. So be careful, don't put it on pasta and pizza, you may provoke public criticism of this action!
3. You can't cut spaghetti with a knife
It is a very strange thing for us to see people in restaurants cutting spaghetti with a knife and eating it with a spoon. To eat like a real Italian you have to let the spaghetti wrap around your fork and then bring it to your mouth (without making a sound).
If you really have difficulty, you can put the fork in a spoon as a support for the first few times (see photo).
2. Not all Italian cities have good pizza
Although pizza in Italy is something you absolutely must try, it is not recommended in some places. Take Venice, for example, where there is a law that prevents the use of a wood-fired oven (necessary for a quality pizza). If you're visiting those areas, opt instead for a good fish dish (definitely unique to Venice). Italy is a country rich in regional diversity, always consider carefully the area you are visiting before ordering something.
1. Beware of local football teams
Europeans, but especially Italians, love the game of football, for some, it is almost a religion. If you decide to dress comfortably, perhaps in shorts, a football shirt, and sunglasses, it is better to opt for a foreign team. A rival jersey, especially in big cities, could guarantee you a few nasty looks.