Given that Italy is home to more than half of the world’s great art treasures, any arts and history lover guarantees a rich experience, which will be more rewarding and less frustrating if you know “ some of the first things. As with any country, there are local customs and traditions and ways to do something that may seem a little strange to a visitor who is not careful. But above all, as visitors, it is our responsibility to know as much as possible in advance so that we do not risk unnecessarily insulting ourselves.
Pay to sit – Are you kidding!
One of the first things I noticed after we arrived in Milan and entered a café wanting to eat and drink was that the vast majority of customers were carelessly standing at the coffee table drinking a toast or cake and coffee. Even without thinking, we assumed they were in a hurry or something. But during the week, when the model seemed to be forming, it became clear that they were standing for another reason. But what? A sign in another less used cafe alerted us. The sign says in English, “There are no sitting fees.” Further investigation confirmed what we believed. Your coffee will be 1 € if you are standing or 1.50 € if you are sitting.
Pay for a guide – seriously.
For many people, paying for the guide seems to be unnecessary. But if I can suggest that, I would encourage you to always pay for a guide in the language of your choice in an attraction in Italy or anywhere else. When visiting the Colosseum, the Vatican, the catacombs, and countless other places, the information, and stories that the guides shared with us were immense, and we would have missed many great details if we did not have evidence.
The things these guides know will take months to find and are so precious that they cannot be missed for a few dollars or euros. I was so touched by all the evidence I got, and I never felt that she was extravagant. Another great advantage of hiring a guide is that you usually skip the queue. This will save you hours of standing in the rain/heat/fog.
Closed for work – every Monday
During your stay in Italy, plan to do something other than visiting a museum on Monday. On this day of the week, all year round, museums are closed to allow employees to clean, store, and refurbish. I was informed on my first trip to Milan. I just spent one day there, and the family wanted to shop – again. I encouraged them to come and see Da Vinci’s last dinner with me. I knew that the museums were closed on Monday, and today was Monday, but the previous supper was installed in the church of Santa Maria Delle Grazie. Or also I thought! It’s kind of – but it’s not. It is actually in a small room next to the church, and this one-room building is known as a “museum.” So it was closed. The girls didn’t go shopping, and I still hear about it now.
Beggars and vagrants
I read some of these guy’s oddities. And here they are, so you should be careful. They seem to be mainly migrants from Eastern Europe and will ask you for money. They generally place themselves in places where they do not blatantly beg – more exchange of services. Let me clarify. We were at the Milan metro station; we had to work hard to figure out how to use an ATM. Suddenly, a small beggar arrives and shows us in a few moments how to do it. Easy! So we gave her a few euros, and she was very grateful to her, as we did for help.
So be aware, there are beggars, and they don’t always have anything to trade like this. You will hear all kinds of stories about throwing children in your arms while seeking help. Then, while the kid grabs, his buddies scan your pockets or camera. Beggars tried this on my next-door neighbor while he was on vacation there, but he knew how to work and was there right away.
The temptation of restaurants – but then there is no service.
These were regular rituals of frustration every evening until they became annoying after the first two or three times. The owners of the restaurant or their employees stand outside the restaurant every evening, and their task is to place bats on the seats. This means that everyone will bother you to make you use the bar or café. If you have a street full of restaurants, this can be very boring. But if that wasn’t bad enough, once you go in to eat, the service is mostly forgotten, and they’ve lost interest. I had to ask repeatedly to move things around. Frankly, I found this one thing that was most annoying to me. Unfortunately, it was also the most stable.
Brollies – or Sunnies
These guys are amazing. If it is raining, they have a whole bunch of parasols to sell you. But if the rain stops and the sun comes out, then the brollies magically disappear, and the RayBan look comes out. The thing is that I’ve never seen one of them change the goods. They just seemed to “happen” magically. But in any case, they ask politely without necessarily bothering you. All it takes is “polite thanks,” and they have stopped asking.
So, here are some tips and advice to prepare you for your trip to Italy. It’s a great place, so whatever you do, don’t be late. This is not my goal. Buon Viaggio