Italy is one of the most visited tourist destination in the world. It has one of the richest cultures which have been imitated globally. Most of what is sold as Italian culture is actually just a cheap knockoff.
Here are some useful trivia that will help you understand Italy better.
1. Modern Italy is younger than the United States
The Italy you know today was once a collection of city-states and autonomous regions. They came together as one country, Italy, in 1871.
2. Don’t say “ciao” to everyone
Ciao does not only mean “hello” and “goodbye”, it also means “I am your slave” in the ancient dialect. Use a more formal greeting when interacting with the older generation such as “salve” to say hello.
3. There are two independent city-states within Italy
These two cities are Vatican City which is wholly within the borders of Rome and San Marino which is on the border between Emilia region and LeMarche.
4. Hotels need a passport when you check in
Italian law requires that all accommodations register their guests with the police, so when the concierge asks you for your passport and requests to stay with it overnight don’t make a fuss.
5. The waiter is not ignoring you
Dining is a sacred social activity in Italy. The waiter will not bring your bill promptly you are done eating, he or she will wait until you ask for your bill thus giving you time to relax and socialize.
6. Don’t forget to validate your ticket
Most tickets are not, time or date specific when you buy them so, you have to have them validated first before boarding your train or bus. If you don’t do this its like you have not paid for your ride which can cause you a hefty fine.
7. ‘Italian food’ doesn’t exist
Italy is made up of 20 regions, each with its own unique food and traditions. When you travel to every region try as much as possible to identify your self with their unique palette.
8. Italian history is even older than ancient Rome
The Etruscans were a civilization that existed between 750-500 BCE in Italy. They were then assimilated by the ancient Romans. You can also find some well-preserved Greek ruins in Italy which are even much older than the ancient Romans.
9. The afternoon “ban” on cappuccino isn’t about the cappuccino
It isn’t like if you order a cappuccino after 11 am you won’t be given. It is because Italians believe that milk is bad for your digestion so they would never order a cappuccino or any other milk-based drink after having a meal.
10. Always book museum tickets in advance
You should book your ticket to any museum early so as to avoid the long lines at the ticket shop. You can also decide to book a guided tour of the museum as this bypasses the long ticket queues.
I hope this article was helpful to you in planning your next Italy adventure. Happy travels. 🙂