When making plans to travel to another country it is always a good idea to do some research on your destination. Attempts to understand and respect other cultures and their traditions will always be appreciated and make your holiday more enjoyable.
There are many things to consider when you go to Italy. Besides the eating and drinking habits of the Italians, you should also look into dress codes. I am not talking about having to wear designer clothing but more what kind of clothing. If you like to visit churches then you should know that in most churches dress codes and rules are mandatory. If you have bare shoulders or knees, some churches will not let you enter, especially in Rome at St. Peter’s and the Vatican Museums and at the Basilica di San Marco in Venice. If it is to hot outside then just bring something to cover up with you.
Italy is a magnificent country to visit, offering distinct scenery, extraordinary ruins, museums, churches, food and wine. Most people have heard of Rome, Venice, Pisa, Florence and Milan, along with these beautiful cities are the lesser well-known destinations of the Lake District in the North of Italy, Tuscany & Umbria, the Amalfi Coast or the stunning islands of Capri and Sicily.
If you are leaving some of your family members behind and you would like to call them once in a while just to let them know what a good time you’re having, it might be a good idea to or buy a telephone card and use public phones. If you are bringing your mobile with you, you can also buy an Italian pre-paid card + top-up and call your family via the Italian Mobile network. Italy’s country code is 39. Some of you might even bring the laptop along. Skype is one of the easiest ways to call people from all over the world for very little amount and if you call someone on their laptop it is for free.
As with any city, be wary of bag snatchers and pickpockets. Put your money safely in a money belt or a purse on a string around your neck and conceal them under your clothes. There are many ‘gypsy’ children in Rome who are accomplished at picking pockets so be careful.
The weather in Italy in the summer months can be very hot so choose light clothing to take with you. Do not forget your sunglasses, hat and sun cream as it is easy to get sunburn if you are walking around all day sightseeing. Short thunderstorms in the afternoon are frequent in Rome and inland cities, so it might be wise to have an umbrella with you.
Many types of accommodation in Rome are available, from hotels and hostels to bed and breakfasts, apartments and guesthouses. Italy also has a type of accommodation known as Agriturismo, the word is a combination of the words agriculture and tourism in Italian and are farmhouse resorts and particularly suited for families. Meals supplied will usually be prepared from freshly grown produce from the farm. Some farmhouses let you get involved in the working activities such as taking care of the livestock and crops. Regardless of the rustic surroundings, the accommodation is not always basic, many Agriturismo offer a high standard of lodging, and some even have swimming pools.
Whether you are intending to visit a popular Italian city such as Rome, Venice, Milan or Venice or heading to the country, like Tuscany, for a quieter break you will meet the friendly people of Italy and a belissima experience.
Hotels are the most popular type of accommodation in the cities of Italy, like Venice, their ranking is from one to five stars but is slightly different from other countries. Mostly, the accommodation in Venice like a one-star hotel is very basic with a bed in a private room but you will have to share a bathroom and breakfast will not be included. Two-star hotels generally give the option of a private or shared bathroom, will provide a TV and breakfast, but do not expect anything overgenerous. Facilities and services depend entirely on the hotel. Three-star hotels should provide satellite TV, a telephone and a bathroom with bidet. Again, it depends on the hotel; some might have minimal facilities, whilst others will have large airy rooms, tasteful furnishings and a full breakfast. Rooms in four-star hotels should be quite large and include facilities such as a telephone, satellite TV and bathroom. Expect plenty of choice at breakfast and on site facilities such as a bar and free ADSL.
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