When it comes to visiting other countries, it doesn’t hurt to do some basic introductory research for what to do and how to act. While visiting Italy, here are some tips that you can use to avoid being the obnoxious tourist during your stay.
Do be conscious of how you dress
Italians do judge other people based off of how they dress, and they can usually tell if you’re American and a tourist based off of how you dress and present yourself
Don’t try to say “ciao” when first meeting someone
“Ciao” is reserved for greeting acquaintances & friends; instead, say “buon giorno” (good morning) or “buona sera” (good afternoon/evening). Italians love it when you at least attempt to speak some Italian with them, even if it is obvious that you only know the basics
Do remember to dress formally (aka cover up shoulders and knees) if you plan on visiting churches during your time in Italy
Italy is still a very Catholic country, and still follows the rules of dressing modestly when it comes to going to church
Don’t forget to try to learn some of the basic Italian phrases so that you can at least say “hello” to some of the locals
Similar to greeting people, Italians love it when you at least attempt to speak some Italian with them, even if it is obvious that you only know the basics
Do remember to look after your belongings
Pickpockets in Italy are notorious for stealing your stuff, especially when you’re not expecting it, so make sure to keep all valuables out of your pockets and in a bag that zips shut and can be easily carried everywhere
Don’t forget to look both ways when crossing the street
Most of the time, drivers in Italy won’t stop and wait for pedestrians to cross the street if they’re waiting at the crosswalk, so make sure that you’ll be okay to cross before going
Do remember to carry some cash around with you
Not all shops and restaurants take credit cards, and it’s better to be safe when it comes to that kind of thing so that you aren’t left feeling stranded and unable to pay after finishing a meal
Don’t try to wear flip flops while walking around Italy
You don’t need to be the typical American tourist wearing white sneakers all the time, but wearing comfortable shoes while exploring the different cities will make a huge difference by the time you’re done
Do try some of the pasta without covering it in parmesan cheese
Italian pasta is way better than American pasta, and will usually taste amazing all by itself (plus, you’ll only stick out more as an American & as a tourist if you’re doing so)
Don’t forget to have fun and immerse yourself in Italian culture!
Visiting Italy is always a unique experience, no matter how many times you’ve visited and how long you’ve stayed. Enjoy your time, and try to experience the Italian culture as fully as you possibly can. When in Rome, do as the Romans do, right?