Travel Advice for First Time Visitors to Italy

Travel Advice for First Time Visitors to Italy

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Can I use my credit card in Italy?

You will be able to use your credit card very easily in Italy, obviously not the ELO flag, because the ELO flag is national. Mastercard, Visa and many others you can use easily, but I always advise you to also have cash on hand or coins, because in many places it may happen that the credit card will not be accepted or simply the machine is not working that day. So be prepared.

Is tipping compulsory?

Tipping in Italy is not obligatory, only if you are very satisfied with the service.

How do the phone chips work in Italy?

For Italy you must use the area code 00 39, but this is not the Italian area code. We advise you to buy a phone chip on the first day you arrive in Italy. You will pay an average of 10 to 20 euros, you can find it in terminals, stations, and there are many options such as Vodafone, Wind and Tim.

Lunch Timetable

Most shops in small centres operate from 9:00 to 13:00, and then from 16:00 to 19:00 or even 20:00. The rest is usually taken during the lunch hour.

Bring your bottle of water

The water in Italy is drinkable water, so remember to bring a small empty water bottle. When you are walking around, you can be fill your water bottle at the various fountains, because Italian water is very good and drinkable.

Theft does happen in Italy

Many people end up getting into trouble just because they are used to Italy. It is very normal in big cities, not only in Italy, but in all Europe in general, in big and touristic cities like Milan, Rome and Naples, it is very normal to steal in the subways and buses.

What is the best time to visit Italy?

White” tourism

The ski season usually runs from December to March and happens more in the northern region.

Sun and sea” naturalistic tourism

It usually happens between June and August, where it is best to visit beaches, nature, forests, parks and everything else.

Getting to know Southern Italy (Sardinia and Sicily)

The best time of year to visit this region is between April and September.

How does Transport in Italy work for tourists?

To get around internally in big cities like Milan or Rome, the best transport is the metro, but if you are staying in the centre you can do everything on foot.

As for small towns like Florence, Venice and other village towns in general, you will really be walking a lot, so rent a car.

How to eat well in Italy with little money?

Yes, you can eat very well in Italy and sometimes even for less than you expected.

So, in Italy you can eat very well for a fair price, on average 20 to 30 euros a day for a snack and dinner in a good quality restaurant.

Average price for a complete snack:

  • 5 to 15 euros per person.

Average price of a lunch/dinner in a non-touristy restaurant

  • 15 to 30 euros per person.

Average price of a lunch/dinner in a tourist restaurant

  • Over €40 per person.

Avoid restaurants where, when you are passing in front of a waiter starts calling you to come in, because an Italian restaurant where a waiter calls you to come in is not a good place to eat. So, the two main pieces of advice for those who want to save money are these:

  • Do not eat in restaurants in the tourist area, in the most touristic points of the city, such as Trevi Fountain, Piazza Navona, Piazza San Marco.
  • Walk 500 metres and find a small road with some snack bars, rosticceria, pizzerie a taglio and little markets open.
  • For lunch/dinner, look for tratorias and osterias (family restaurants). You will spend an average of 15-25 euros and you will eat very well.

Search for accommodation strategies for your commute

Sometimes people choose to stay in areas too far away from the tourist attractions and then have big problems getting around. So if you want to save money and have a pleasant trip, try to stay in a hotel or hostel not so far away from the city centres, with 2km of distance, so you can walk and get to know the city.

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