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Small advices for people going to Italy for the first time!

Small and simple advices for people travelling to Italy for the first time. Going to Italy for the first time? Then this post is for you!

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Small advices for people going to Italy for the first time!

Dear reader, did you like the theme of our post? Small advices for your first time in Italy? The blog Your Travel To Italy participated as a guest in the Tourism Magazine Mala Para Dois. I am very happy to be part of the magazine and collaborate with posts about Italy. This was my first post, so I’m going to introduce myself: I’m a tourist consultant, I work organizing trips to Italy and, also, run this blog you’re reading right now, Your Travel To Italy, where I help people on how to plan the trip to this beautiful land! Here at Your Travel to Italy with Ana Patricia you make the trip of your dreams!!! ALSO: see our “Accommodation in Italy – Tips for your holidays!”

Mala para Dois Magazine

The magazine “Mala Para Dois” gave me the opportunity to tell you all about touristic and less touristic Italy, so if that country is part of your goals and your dream, be sure to follow me! Read our July post and meet the Community of Mala Para Dois here! Visit our partner’s website and follow all the magazine articles (you can download them for FREE) that are super special! See the July magazine here! Our first post will be dedicated to “A safe trip, advice for first time travelers”.


I will give you some quick and practical advice about Italy and I am sure it will help you to plan your trip better. Stay with us and make the best of the country in a boot shape! Here in Your Travel to Italy you make the trip of your dreams come true! ALSO: see our “Accommodation in Italy – Tips for your holidays!”

1) First time in Italy? CREDIT CARD

You can use the main credit cards in Italy. You will hardly find a shop/rail station/restaurant where you cannot use your card. Often, at the entrance of the shop, you can see the symbol of the cards accepted. Don’t forget to ask for prior authorization for your card operator before you travel. Important: for your security, please inform your Card Operator the period you will be travelling in Italy.

2) First time in Italy? TIPS!

Tips are not required in Italy, but usually people always leave a tip of 10% of the total of the bill in restaurants/pub etc. When you hire the service of a private taxi/transport or tour guide, tipping means showing satisfaction for the service received, obviously the higher the tip, the greater the satisfaction.

3) First time in Italy? CELL PHONE

If someone calls you on an Italian number, you should always put +39 in front of the number. If you are calling from other country, you should always put the +XX in front of the number. Using your phone in Italy can bring unpleasant surprises, I advise you to buy an Italian chip with internet. You will only need your passport to buy it. The average cost of the chip, including internet is 20 Euros. Note: This tip is valid for those who live outside Europe. If you already have a European number, don’t worry.  HOW TO COMMUNICATE IN ITALY?

4) First time in Italy? SHOP HOURS

The shops are generally open Monday to Saturday from 9.30 to 12.30 and 15.30 to 19.30, but shopping centers, malls and large stores often do the continuous hours until 21.00 and sometimes until 22.00. In big cities it is also normal to find shops open on Sundays. SHOPPING IN ITALY?

5) First time in Italy? WATER IN ITALY

Drinking water from hotel taps or fountains in cities? Generally the water is drinkable, so I always advise you to take an empty bottle of water for when you are thirsty walking in the historical centers.

6) First time in Italy? SAFETY

Security in Italy? Attention on public transport, especially on crowded buses/trains. It happens much more often than you can imagine and, yes, we have in Italy wallet and purse theft. The more touristic the city is the better should be your attention: Rome and Naples are the ones where you have the highest number of robberies, so double your attention! Is Italy safe?

7) First time in Italy? BEST TIME TO TRAVEL

When travel to Italy? Any period is wonderful to travel in Italy, but we can individualize the best periods according to the type of tourism that interests you. Let’s go to them: WHAT IS THE CLIMATE IN ITALY?

Artistic visits – cultural, enogastronomic, entertainment trips: spring and autumn; “white” tourism, the ski season usually goes from December to March, while “sun and sea” tourism takes place from June to September; to get to know southern Italy and the islands of Sardinia and Sicily, the best period is from April/September when nature is at its best.

8) First time in Italy? TRANSPORT

What transport to use to move around? The best way to get around the cities is by train/bus or on foot, if your hotel is central. Most of the tourist attractions are always concentrated in the historical centers, so you can often get to know them with a good walk. How to get around in Italian cities! Which transport to use to get around Italy?

It depends on what kind of tour you want to do. If you have a few days and you must visit mainly the classic tourist cities, the best type of transport is the high speed train, if you have more days and you want to know internal areas (lakes, coasts, southern Italy), I advise you a rented car: these areas can be visited easily only with this type of transport. How to get around in Italy?

Driving in Italy?

You must have your International Driver’s License in hand, which must be done before departure. Look for your citys Traffic Department and get informed how to issue yours! Attention with the ZTL “Zona a Traffico Limitato” (Limited Traffic Zone) which is an area inside some cities (mainly cities with important historical centers), where traffic is only allowed to residents, means of public transport and authorized vehicles.

Therefore you should always park your car outside this area to avoid heavy fines! I always suggest you to use the car only for commuting from one city to another and, then, leave your car at the hotel, going to the historical centers with public transportation or by taxi, consider walking too. It will be much less stressful! Tips for car itineraries in Italy?

9) First time for Italy? FOOD

I finish this post reminding you that each Italian region is special for one type of food or wine, so if you want to know Italy in one of its strongest points, I advise that during the trip you always stop for lunch or dinner and order the typical dish of that region, for sure it will be a unique way to get to know that country and for sure you will not regret! TIPS ON WHERE TO EAT IN ITALY?

Important Tip

Always remember to ask for the menu so as not to have unpleasant surprises, but I advise you mainly to run away from restaurants located in tourist areas, sometimes walking 500 meters you may find small restaurants that will surprise you and a very important thing, the fuller you find the restaurant, the greater the possibility of eating well, run away from empty restaurants or from restaurants where a person stands in front calling you in, because if the food was good, believe me, no one would call you in!

10) First time for Italy? ACCOMMODATION

I understand that choosing a hotel “in the dark” is not easy, so don’t hesitate to chat with those who have already travelled to Italy, search the internet and check out booking sites like Booking.com! There you can check reviews from different customers in different cities and choose without fear of being happy! Guys, of course we should remember that we are different from each other and, suddenly, a hotel that pleased “that one” may not please “that one”! Read on our blog section about Lodging in Italy!

To choose a hotel efficiently, look for a hotel outside the center (in the center they are more expensive), but close to “key” places, such as train and subway stations. Friendly readers, don’t be fooled by the amount of “stars” in a hotel. It’s quite common for a three-star hotel to take a bath in a luxury hotel, for example! Do your search with an open mind and remember that you will probably spend little time there, since you will want to enjoy your days walking around, O.K.?!

Important Tip

Another important point is to organize your spending! Include in your budget ALL amounts, even if approximate, of how much you will spend per day, how much you will spend on monuments, in the hotel, restaurant, with public transportation, etc. To get an idea, read this Special Post: How much would I spend on a trip in Italy?


Well, I’ve finished my list of practical advice and I hope I’ve helped you with your questions. After all, it’s not so complicated travelling to Italy.

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Best regards from Italy

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