Italy isn’t perfect and like every country there are some things travelers should avoid in order to make a visit more enjoyable. Here are 7 of them:
Areas around top tourist attractions such as the Colosseum and Vatican tend to see the greatest price inflation. A bottle of water that usually sells for €1 can be double or triple the price in these areas. Food sold from mobile vendors is equally overpriced and far from savory. Most of the time you’ll find something much more appetizing and affordable a few minutes away.
2) Line Time
In high season lines to the Vatican museum, Colosseum and other important monuments can feel like Dante’s Inferno. You didn’t come to Italy to stand in line and a few minutes prebooking tickets to popular attractions before leaving home or purchasing a city pass will save you hours of frustration.
Although Italy is generally safe petty crime does exist and not the memory you want to bring home. When using public transportation keep valuables in a safe place and avoid distractions. Pickpockets often work in teams and invent all sort of creative ways of getting their hands on your wallet or electronic devices.
Many restaurants depend on tourists and a constant flow of one-time costumers means quality is not their priority. Dishes are microwaved and have little to do with authentic Italian flavours. Restaurants with menus translated into five languages or directly in front of major monuments don’t usually provide a thrilling culinary experience.
5) Beaten Tracks
The best part of visiting Italy is getting lost in the labyrinth of fascinating trails, roads and byways. If you don’t get lost you’re just following the monotonous path of tour groups from one monument to the next. The key is to avoid main thoroughfares and explore the lesser traveled side streets where you can get a better feel for each village, town and city.
6) Rush Hour
Italy is filled with Italians and that means twice a day they cram their cities with buses, cars and motorbikes on the way to and from work or school. If you can avoid public transportation from 6-9 a.m. and 5-7 p.m. then do so. Thousands of eager tourists provide another type of rush which can be avoided by arriving early or late to the destination of your choice.
7) Cheap Souvenirs
Major sights are full of stands offering a plethora of plastic sculptures of the Colosseum and I Love Italy T-shirts. Not only are most of these usually imported from elsewhere but they are unoriginal and kitsch. Italy is full of wonderful boutiques and markets where you can purchases something unique and memorable.