Friday, 18 June 2010

Italy Sightseeing Tips

Are you planning an Italy Sightseeing trip? If so, here are a few facts about Italy to prepare you for your vacation.

Introduction to Italy

Italy, the birthplace of pasta and pizza provides a wide range of choices for art lovers. They have a temperate climate with very hot summers and mild winters. Sightseeing is best in spring and autumn when they have pleasant temperatures and scenic views. At that time of the year, the place isn’t crowded much and things can be enjoyed in leisure.


Italian Culture

Italian is widely spoken and is the official language. English isn’t very familiar to the locals but in popular sightseeing locations you will often find that English is spoken in shops, restaurants, hotels and at popular sights.. Family ties are of utmost importance here and hence social courtesies mean a lot to the locals. The Roman Catholic Church has a great impact on the culture here. Since Italian is spoken on a wide scale, it is highly recommended to learn few common Italian phrases which can be of great use.

Social gatherings call for formal wear, but one can dress in casuals otherwise. At some religious places, sleeveless shirt and shorts are frowned upon. So they are better avoided. Purses and wallets should be well guarded and in case of any theft, police should be informed about the incident.


Shopping

Shops in Italy are generally open from 9am to 8pm and closed for lunch.Popular items include crystals, lacework, leather good, and jewelry. Tipping of 10% is customary along with the service tax levied on the bill. Italy is famous for top designers of the world, so do buy clothes and accessories to update your wardrobe. Cruises have formal gatherings in the evening, so ensure to buy a cocktail dress or some formal wear, though casuals can be worn at other times.

Practicalities

The voltage used is 220 volts and 50 Hz frequency.

There is a high content of chlorine in tap waters, so bottled water is recommended for staying fit during the trip.

Getting there

Alitalia is the national airline of Italy. Many other flights connect to Italy from USA, UK, Canada and Australia and there is big competition to attract passengers giving a wide range of offers to travelers. Rome airport is located 26 km away from the city and it takes 45 minutes to get there from the airport. Trains connect directly to Termini Station from where one can take taxi to get to their destination. Milan has another busy airport here, which is at a distance of 45km away from the city.

Brindisi, Ancona, Naples and Venice are the major seaports of Italy. Italian State Railways connects many European cities. But, Eurostar provides the fastest train service.

If choosing to drive, don’t forget to carry international driving license and international insurance certificate. Roads connect Italy to France, Austria and Switzerland. Many coach services are provided from the neighboring countries.

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