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2010 May 12th, 2007 08:23 AM

First trip to Italy: what we should know
After travelling extensively through France over the years, DH and I are planning our first trip to Italy in September 2008. Our itinerary includes Venice, Lake Como, Tuscany and Florence.

In our research here & in guidebooks, we've learned such things as having a drink while standing at a bar is cheaper than being seated at a table. Are there any other things we should know about travelling in Italy to avoid any surprises?

jdraper May 12th, 2007 09:21 AM

Do not touch the produce at the streetside produce stands. That is a big no no, and a mistake I made on my first trip to Italy. I don't know enough Italian to know exactly what the woman was calling me but I am sure it was not pretty.
Enjoy your trip.

LoveItaly May 12th, 2007 10:17 AM

Hello 2010, besides not touching any produce (if you are in a supermarket there are plastic gloves that you put on before picking up any produce) do not pick up any merchandise when going into small shops. Greet the person in the shop and indicate what you are interested in and they will get it for you as they do not want customers to "handle" the merchandise. Also be aware that once you buy something in Italy you cannot return it even if it is defective so make sure that what you purchase is indeed what you want.

martygnc May 12th, 2007 10:38 AM

You should put money on the counter and not directly into a person's hand.
Grocery stores often have a little indentation on the counter for this.

2010 May 12th, 2007 06:44 PM

Thanks! It's good to know a few of the local customs. Little things can make a big difference!

suze May 12th, 2007 08:01 PM

You're supposed to punch your ticket before getting on a vaporetto in Venice.

Girlspytravel May 12th, 2007 08:09 PM

You need to validate EVERY transportation ticket you use in Italy-vaporetto, bus, train-particularly a train ticket-sometimes it's easy to forget, but the the little yellow(usually yellow) validation boxes are located on the train station platforms, or you will see them on the bus when you embark.

If you forget to validate the ticket, you're going to pay something like a 25 Euro fine or more on the train, or if there is an inspector on a bus, or vaporetto, (they have REALLY stepped up inspections on the vaporettos in Venice btw,- I noticed that in March!) same thing!

ira May 13th, 2007 03:27 AM

Hi 20,

In Florence, take the no. 7 bus (you can find it at the SMN train station) up to Fiesole (0:20 hr 1E) to watch the sunset from the terrace of the Bar Bleu.


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