Italy has a unique cultural setup from the rest of the world. So if you are planning on a visit to Italy, consider the following tips.
1. When you book an overnight train, ensure you specify ‘Mr.’ or ‘Ms.’ on your ticket – The compartments are separated for male and female, unless you have booked a private compartment.
2. Pay attention to ‘il coperto’ (cover charge) when browsing menus – The charges vary with restaurants, and this will prepare you for any surprises you may encounter when receiving your bill.
3. Prepare for dinner between 7.30pm-9pm. Most Italian restaurants, as a tradition, serve dinner at this time.
4. Cover exposed skin – Short skirts, and halter tops are not considered fashionable in Italy, therefore, exposing your body may attract unwarranted attention.
5. Afternoon closings – You will find several shops closed between 1pm-4pm as this means lunch with family.
6. Go to an actual taxi stand or call a cab – You cannot hail a taxi on a street.
7. Request your bill (il conto) when ready to leave – As an Italian tradition, the attendant will not want to interrupt your ‘nice meal’ or conversation.
When staying in the city for a couple of nights you can also opt to stay nearby the famous San Siro football stadium when attending a match, or look for a hotel room close to the Fiera Milano or MiCo congress centre when you are on a business trip.
Wherever you want to stay, be sure you will find always the best available rates for hotels, b&b’s, cheap hostels and serviced apartments.