10 Little TRAVEL TIPS IN ITALY
We don’t claim to be professionals or experts. Our experiences in Italy as we tried to discover the ancestry of the Picardi family tree has changed our lives and we want to share things with you. We put together some tips we found helpful for us. They might not be the best choices for you.
I. ABSOLUTELY, you MUST go there. You will never get younger and it will never get cheaper. We waited until later in life before we discovered the fantastic charm, beauty and unimaginable richness found in Italy.
II. We found the bus system in Italy is quite cheap and reliable. The bus tickets are usually purchased at the tobacco shops, (la tabaccheria), before you get on the bus. It is important to validate your ticket by inserting the ticket into the little validation box when you get on the bus. Sometimes the traffic police will be on the bus and check that you validated your ticket. The other place to buy the tickets is the ticket office, (la biglietteria). The bus schedules, just like the train schedules, are printed out and rather accurate. The local bus stops are referred to as the FERMATA, (the stop), can be simply a little sign on a pole.
III. Although the hotels in Italy are fantastic consider staying at a Bed & Breakfast. These are inexpensive and typically family owned. You can get a wonderful flavor of the local Italian culture.
IV. Morning breakfast, (la colazione),
is a light breakfast and what we refer to has a Continental breakfast, (duh.) It is enough to get you going until you pick up something for lunch.
V. There are generally two types of places to eat. The first is il ristorante which is what we consider a typical restaurant. Another option is la trattoria. These are smaller, less expensive and less formal restaurants. Often, outside seating is available. The food can be fantastic in either the restaurant or the trattoria.
VI. Things shut down in the middle of the day then reopen around 4. Plan your travel schedule so you are not waiting around for things to reopen. (Also, many things in Italy shut down in August for a couple weeks.)
VII. Public toilets are not the highlight of Italy. We try to utilize the private restrooms while Sandy and I are sharing a cappuccino and espresso in a cafe’.
VIII. If you go to Pompeii, be sure to visit the Villa of Mystery, which is down a little path. You will not forget it. Also, try to visit the other city destroyed by the eruption, Herculano. Herculano is smaller, has much less tourists and very impressive. In Herculano, be sure to see the bones.
IX. Try an espresso or if you are really brave, try a doppa espresso, (double espresso). It is an entire cup of coffee in about a tablespoon. If Popeye did’t eat spinach he would have taken an espresso. Sandy prefers her cappuccino sprinkled with chocolate, (la cioccolata).
X. Try to learn a few words of Italian before you go. Don’t worry if you can’t. You will know a bunch by the time your trip is over.
XI. Don’t bring a chainsaw to Italy.
(Trust me! If you are curious go see our little book.)
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