When In Italy…

Leave the gun, eat that cannoli!

I spent about a month in Italy last summer and I’d like to share some tips with you.

– If you’re planning to go during the summer and doing some sightseeing in the open I would highly suggest you bring sunglasses and a hat and perhaps even sunscreen. You can buy hats with local vendors but they all sell the same type which means if you wear it you’re pretty much identified as a tourist. I haven’t seen any locals wearing any kind of hat other than kids with baseball caps.

– Walking tours do a lot of… walking! So wear proper footwear if youre planning on doing that.

– Venice has two train stations; if you like to go to the station that leads directly into the city itself take the Venize Sta. Lucia station.

– Florence also has two major stations- if you want one that is in the heart of the city then take the Firenze SM Novella station.

– To get to places like Pompeii, Herculaneum and Sorrento by train you need to go to the central station in Naples then go down one level to the Circumvesuviana ticket office and buy a ticket to their train there.

– When buying bottled water in Italy they have two types: sparkling and standard. If you dont like fizzy water then always ask for “naturale”.

– There are water fountains all over Rome which have good clean water in which you can freely refill your water bottles.

– Bologna central station has multiple levels with some platform tracks numbered the same. A point of reference is that the slow moving trains occupy the top part of the station and the high speed train platforms are underground.

– If you buy a ticket at the station dont forget to validate them before you board. There are little green oval machines close to the platform for you to validate them. E-tickets with seat numbers do not need to be validated.

– Recently Italy enacted a tourist tax for people staying in hotels. They will be charged on a per day basis so be prepared to pay up.

– A number of museums offer English audio guides. You need to deposit an ID/credit card if you get them but I notice that many of them accept photocopies of passports so its a cheap way to get it.

That’s all I could think of right now so if you’re going there, have fun!

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