Heading to Italy? If so, I'm
jealous really excited for you. It's a beautiful country with so much to see, do, and explore. Read on for tips on how "grazie" is actually pronounced, what the bread on the table is really for, and how to drink coffee at an espresso bar.
10 Tips For Visiting Italy
1. Go to the Amalfi Coast, despite the number of tourists. The beauty of the pastel houses built into the side of the cliffs, citrus scent in the air from the lemon groves, swimming in the Blue Grotto, and boating around the Mediterranean make it totally worth it.
2. Pack light. Those narrow sidewalks and cobblestone streets will not be friendly to heavy luggage.
3. Drinking coffee: go to the bar (sometimes called snack bar) and order espresso or whatever coffee you want. Stand at the bar while you have your espresso and then leave. If you decide to sit at a table, be prepared to pay a little extra for table service.
4. Look before you cross the street. If you're in the street at the wrong time - when cars and scooters are flying towards you - be prepared to get yelled/honked at and jump out of the way as quickly as possible.
5. Pronounce the E in "grazie." It's "grah-zee-eh." I have NO idea why there is some misconception in the US that it's grazi without the e. I've seen it misspelled a number of times in the US.
6. Go wine tasting in Tuscany. Wine tasting anywhere else is tough to beat.
7. The bread on the table is to mop up your leftover pasta sauce; the olive oil is to add extra flavor to your food.
9. Dress to impress. Italians know their fashion: think of every street like a runway. Being "dressed down" in sneakers and skinny jeans still means fabulous hair, Ray-Ban aviators, and designer extras - for women and men.
10. Wear comfortable shoes. The aforementioned cobblestone streets won't be nice to your feet, either. To save your soles, try sneakers (Converse, Nike, and New Balance are good brands to try), comfortable flats (break them in before you go), or boots (there are many shops in Italy that sell quality leather boots).