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Travel Tips for Italy
What to Pack for Your Trip to Italy
It is important to plan well when packing for a trip to Italy. You want to pack only what is necessary so that you are not carrying around a bunch of luggage that you don’t need.
- Your passport: Passports are required to travel outside of your country and it is a good thing to keep it with you as a form of ID.
- A few pieces of jewelry: You don’t want to pack a lot of jewelry as it could easily get lost or stolen. A few inexpensive pieces and a watch for telling time is all that you really need.
- Your medications: Make sure you get your prescriptions filled ahead of time and pack them in your bag so you don’t forget them. Also bring along any motion sickness pill, antacids, etc. that you think anyone in your family will need.
- Pack conservative clothing: Those in Italy do not walk around in their bikini’s or in clothing that is really revealing. You also want to make sure your clothing is comfortable as you are most likely to be spending your time out sightseeing.
- Wear athletic shoes or any type of shoe that has good support: If you want to make your bags lighter, you can wear your shoes to the airport.
- Bring a hat and a bottle of suntan lotion for hot days and to protect your skin against sun damage: This is especially important for small children.
- Don’t forget your small camcorder and digital camera: You don’t want to miss out on capturing the beauty of Italy. It is also fun to document your experience there so that you can relive it time and time again later on in your life.
What to Watch Out For
- Italy doesn’t have a lot of the hard core crimes that America has. It does, however, have thieves. Keep your purse over one shoulder and in front of your mid section so that no one can snatch it. Men will need to keep an eye on their wallets. It is best that they not be kept in the back pocket, which is easily accessible.
- Know your shopping etiquette. You won’t be allowed to try clothes on before you buy them, and you most likely will not be able to return them if they don’t fit. Be sure the item you want is free from any stains or tears. It would also be helpful if you know of someone who could use the clothing item if it doesn’t fit you.
- Pack Advil and Tylenol in case you get a headache. Italy sells Aspirin, but that is about it where pain relievers are concerned. A bottle of Advil is small and won’t take up much of your luggage space.
- If you are disabled, you will want to call ahead to find a place that is handicap accessible. A lot of hotels, public transportation, and restaurants are not catered to individuals with disabilities. You don’t want to arrive only to find out that you can’t get around.
- Warn your kids ahead of time that there are no children’s menus. You will also want to talk with your teenagers about drinking before you go. There is no drinking age in Italy so if you don’t keep an eye on your teenagers activities, they can legally be served the drink if they ask for it.
- Drink bottled water or mineral water if you have a sensitivity to chlorine.
- Don’t visit Italy in August. Most of it’s residents take their vacations during that month which can leave the country feeling like a ghost town.
Best Places in Italy to Visit
- The Colosseum in Rome: 1920 years ago, the Colosseum was considered the biggest amphitheater. Tickets are free for anyone under 18 and anyone over 65 so be prepared to show your ID if you are over 65. Everyone else can expect to pay 9 Euros to get in. You may want to call ahead to find out if there are any shows playing on the day you plan to visit. It is also helpful if you ask what the heaviest traffic times are so you can avoid them. Here is the phone number: +39 (0)6 399 677 00.
- The Bridge of Sighs in Venice: This bridge connects the prison cells with the Doge’s Palace. The sighs of the prisoners could be heard outside of the prison walls which is how the bridge got its name. After checking out the famous bridge, travelers can enjoy a gondola ride. Gondola rides are not cheap, but well worth the money for a once in a lifetime experience. The cost is on average 73 Euros for everyone in your family all together (unless you are such a big party that you don’t fit on one boat).
- The Uffizi Gallery in Florence: This gallery was begun in 1560 by Giorgio Vasari. It is a must see because it is home to some of the most famous artwork in the world. There are paintings by Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo. The important thing to note is that only a group at a time is let in to this gallery. If you don’t want to stand in line for hours, you need to call ahead and make reservations. This costs a little bit extra, but time is money. Here is the number to call: 39-055-294-883. Each ticket costs 8 Euros, but count on 9 Euros each if you are making reservations.
- St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City: St. Peter’s Basilica is one of the largest churches ever built and one of the holiest places in Christendom. In 1546 Michelangelo designed the dome. There is far too much history to even begin to summarize this awesome site. It is free to get in and should be at the top of every travelers list. Sometimes there are celebrations that are going on here so you will want to call ahead to find out. The number is 06-69881662. Just a note, there is a dress code at St. Peter’s Basilica. You must have your knees covered so wear pants or a long skirt. You must also have your shoulders covered so no tank tops.
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