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Leggi qui cosa fare a Innsbruck coi bambini…. Manuela Rosellini Tempo necessario: Family Hotel Vedi tutti. Viaggi Innsbruck. Montagna Estate. Per quel suo essere dinamica e al tempo stesso quasi assopita, cullata dolcemente dalle montagne che la avvolgono,. Idee Weekend. Eventi Innsbruck. La Capitale delle Alpi, Innsbruck, si veste a festa e. Viaggi Val di Fassa. Hotel da favola. Offerte in vetrina.

Tante idee per festeggiare il Carnevale con i bambini. This meal often leaves non-Italians desiring eggs, bacon, or traditional dishes of a breakfast from western English-speaking culture. The accommodations themselves are of good quality, with fresh flowers decorating the room and a cocktail welcoming guests upon their arrival.

In Italy, a Bed and Breakfast could be viewed as a guest room located in a private home, as well as inside a working villa or an apartment. The religious grounds have long histories of serving as hostels for traveling pilgrims or knights searching for a bed for the evening. The tradition continues in many monasteries and convents across the Christian world, especially in Italy, with the historic edifices offering inexpensive options for tourists or glamorous stays on refurbished grounds now housing elegant accommodations.

Staying at a working monastery or convent can shape your experience through exposing you to the same type of rules and regulations to which monks and nuns are subjected. The doors to the grounds are locked at a certain hour, instating a curfew. Separate sleeping quarters are imposed on men and women regardless of their marital status.

The grounds are safe, quiet, and offer a distinctive understanding of monastic life that has remains unchanged for centuries. The words are interchangeable in Italy, with some accommodations using one, the other, or both when advertising to visitors. The star system in Italy can vary more wildly than what you may be accustomed to while traveling. The amenities a hotel has differs not only between stars but between cities, towns, and villages. Options like elevators, air conditioning, and gyms depend upon the age of the building, with more lavish amenities common in larger cities such as Rome, Venice, or Florence.

Swimming pools are common at hotels in the countryside where space is not an issue. The star rating is not as standard as would suggest from other countries. Their rating could be due to a lack of Western-English style amenities, such as an elevator or American breakfast. There are different ways to appreciate the villas and palaces of Italy. Many former aristocratic mansions or estates have been renovated and revitalized as private accommodations.

While some villas provide unique rental opportunities, similar to renting an apartment or vacation home, others fit into the category of hotel. The most common place utilizing former palaces as hotels is in Venice, where images of the Republic continue to decorate the elegant halls and grand lobby, leading to enchanting rooms overlooking the quiet canals. A region popular with tourists for renting private villas is Tuscany, providing a base to make day-trips into the surrounding countryside to visit the medieval villages. Staying in a castle is also an option when visiting Italy.

The accommodation is also considered a hotel but offers a unique perspective on the ways in which Italy has transformed its history for contemporary use while simultaneously representing its heritage. The types of castles range from 14th-century masonry reminiscent of a storybook overlooking a small town to 11th-century strongholds in the countryside in view of lush vineyards. The architectural style and age of the castles depend on the region in which the edifices are located, providing fabulous insight into the different families that shaped the various regions of Italy, promoting the distinct cultures connected more to the former city-states than to the country as a whole.

What was once considered a rustic alternative to hostels or luxury hotels has become a luxury excursion in its own right across the world. A variety of campsite around Italy provides shuttles to the nearest city throughout the day for visitors to tour monuments and culture while still reveling in nature and comfort. Glamping is gaining in popularity due to its ability to combing discovery and seclusion, comfort, and nature with accommodations ranging from elegant tents to gorgeous bungalows, quiet lodges to fascinating caves, and even treehouses and yurts.

The accommodations in Italy can add to the allure and luster of one of the most visited countries in the world. Trulli Hotels — Masseria Torricella is a trullo on the outskirts of the town of Alberobello and is surrounded by clay, olive, and prickly pear, providing an eco-friendly luxury experience with a heated pool, hot tub, and cycling paths crisscrossing the landscape. A trullo is a unique architectural design in the Puglia region. The whitewashed walls and conical roofs resemble a fairytale dwelling. The distinctive shape helped locals of the southern region keep their homes cool in against the summer heat and warm in the dry winters.

A number of the antique homes have been modernized over the years and turned into vacation apartments or boutique hotels. The rooms offer a private bath, and a stunning experience found only in Puglia and Southern Italy. Sassi Hotels — Sextantio Le Grotte della Civita has 18 lavish rooms in the oldest area of the cave dwellings to feature a composition of traditional design made with local materials, along with minimalist contemporary touches. The sassi zone of Matera refers to the caves dwellings in the region located in Southern Italy. Locals dug homes and churches out of the soft tufa stone and utilized the subterranean dwellings for centuries until as recently as the s.

A number of the cave-homes have been refurbished and modernized with designer touches and contemporary luxuries. The wild ambiance touches on the history of the city and the Basilicata region while providing guests the unforgettable chance to reinterpret their ideas of authentic Italian tradition.

Tents are suspended from the trees at more than 20 feet above the forest floor, allowing couples, families, and individuals to feel as though they are nesting with the birds. The grounds also provide local food, a collection of nature trails, and captivating adventures for family fun activities. The hotel also hosts The World of Leonardo da Vinci Museum, a gallery dedicated to models, machines, and works of the artist and inventor. One such resort is Sagna Rotonda, which was a small mountain village in Piedmont.

The eco-friendly estate is powered by renewable resources and low-energy light bulbs. Wide windows and marvelous vistas offer views to the Valle Maira, which remains little known to visitors outside of Italy, providing a perfect escape into nature or an extravagant romance in view of the mountains. The restaurant carries a chocolate-themed menu, and three floors of the hotel are dedicated to different types of sweets with Milk Chocolate, Gianduja—a popular sweet spread with chocolate and hazelnut, and Dark Chocolate floors.

The Etruscan motif emanates from the heritage frescoes decorating the rooms of a particular floor, combining the ancient history of the Umbria region with the contemporary culture of Perugia through its chocolate delights. There is also a panoramic terrace offering views of the Umbrian plains and hills leading to Assisi, with a swimming pool filled with crisp, cool water, as opposed to thick, creamy chocolate. The sustainable lodging is only offered in winter with three authentic igloos carved from snow and ice.

Fans of winter sports have options such as skiing, snowboarding, or glacial hikes in the winter. In the summer, although the igloos are not available, the landscape provides exceptional scenic hiking and boating on the glacial lake. Exceptional Charm — The overlooked region of Marche houses a quaint bed and breakfast known for its unique rooms located inside remodeled wooden barrels.

The eco-friendly establishment is situated on family-owned farmland, which grows its own organic food used in the meals prepared for guests. The windows overlook the terrace for views of the enchanting landscape of the region known for its rugged mountains, lush forests, and stretches of glistening beach. The tranquil accommodation is located near the church of Santo Stefano and the sandy shores of San Benedetto del Tronto, an active fishing port on the Adriatic coast. A Hidden Tower — Torre Prendiparte is one of the last remaining 12th-century towers in the city of Bologna, the capital of the Emilia-Romagna region.

Over towers once created the lavish skyline of the city, and served as fortresses or refuge for the noble families who funded their assembly. The tower has been fully restored with all 12 stories open to visitors, with a single room adorning the top floor. The tower stands nearly feet tall and provides a breathtaking view of the city known for its captivating cuisine.

The stairwell wraps around the walls leading upwards for a dizzying climb, reflecting the impregnable stronghold built to protect and defend the Prendiparte family in the Middle Ages. However, the 16th-century Roman palazzo Residenza Napoleone III captures the imagination of guests with remarkable 16th-century luxury. The boutique hotel known as Palazzo Ruspoli has hosted many distinguished guests since its creation in the mids and served as the home of Napoleon III in the s.

Guests immediately feel the wealth of the former nobility upon entering the grounds decorated with massive wooden doors and a stunning marble staircase. The Napoleon Suite is decorated with antique furnishings, giant oil paintings, parquet floors, hand-stenciled walls, and original 16th-century tapestries. There is also an exquisite marble bathroom that feels like a palace onto itself. An Eco-Friendly Bonus — A yurt is not something visitors to Italy, nor Italians, would associate with the traditions of the country.

Yet the accommodation connected to the heritage of Central Asia, most notably Mongolia and Turkey, have made a big impact on the luxury camping industry of Italy. Maremma, a province of Southern Tuscany, hosts a unique bed and breakfast situated on acres in the heart of the hills near a selection of traditional medieval villages. Goats, sheep, horses, and cows graze on the grass allowing guests to experience farm life and organic produce grown on the property.

Guests of the yurt can explore Tuscany, lounge on the secluded beaches of Maremma, or partake in the daily activities of the farm to learn more about the agricultural history the region. There are also plenty of medieval towns and hot springs to visit, representing greater Tuscany and the unique properties of the particular province.

Naples La Ciliegina La Ciliegina is positioned to provide a true oasis in the heart of Naples through beauty and tranquility. With panoramic views of Naples, the hotel overlooks Piazza Municipio and is just a few minutes walking distance from the main harbor and many of the iconic landmarks. La Ciliegina has been completely redesigned by a team of master architects to accentuate the modern touch points while preserving the historic essence of the hotel.

With only 14 guest rooms, La Ciliegina is truly a gem in the heart of Naples. Legend has it that the friar often visited this property to admire the beautiful grounds and ponder the wonders of life beneath the olive trees. With the spirit of love in the air, celebrate the romance of the star crossed lovers.

Stand on your private balcony as Juliet would, and gaze at the breathtaking views of Verona. Guests can expect a warm welcome to the Salento peninsula at Palazzo Virgilio Hotel Brindisi, a stylish hotel that celebrates the rich culture and artistic history of Brindisi and neighboring Puglia. The contemporary rooms have beautiful hardwood floors, fresh linens, and comfortable beds--creating a comfortable and welcoming atmosphere.

Each room comes equipped with modern amenities that make traveling more convenient. The friendly and knowledgeable staff will be happy to recommend the best beaches, museums, and markets that Southern Italy has to offer. The resort is located a few kilometers from Rome and is easily accessible from the Fiumicino and Ciampino international airports. The property is a historically significant site, in B. The rich history blended with the creatively restored rooms create an ambiance guests will not forget.

The hotel prides itself on providing guest with outstanding service and unique touches of luxury. Sit in a candle lit dining room surrounded by fragrant gardens as you indulge in an artistic meal prepared by the talented in-house chef. Enjoy a peaceful escape at the charming and historical Parco Delle Nazioni. Situated in the heart of Venice just steps away from the iconic Rialto Bridge, Ca' Leon d'Oro offers travelers a hidden gem that is often overlooked. Family owned and operated since , Hotel Europa provides the wholesome touch of Italian hospitality.

Located in the quaint town of Sorico on the northern tip of Lake Como, Hotel Europa offers some of the most scenic views of the Italian Alps and access to outdoor activities in northern Italy. Whether guests are looking to enjoy a day at the lake or take a bike ride along the Alps, Hotel Europa is a gem in Lake Como region. Located in Lecce, a beautiful town in the region of Puglia, rests 8PiuHotel. Offering a comfortable blend of modern art and technology complemented by traditional Italian hospitality. The hotel also offers on premise, the famous Negroamaro Restaurant, where local Italian chefs present lucky guests with the fine tastes of hand selected, seasonal southern Italian ingredients.

El Mosaico del Sol prides itself on providing superb service and heart warming hospitality, creating an unforgettable experience for guests. The hotel will meet your every need, as they pride themselves on their superior service, luxurious rooms, personal shoppers and private city tours.

Surrounded by several artisan shops, delicious restaurants, and historic homes, is Hotel Rosary Garden which provides guests with a heartwarming welcome to Florence. Take a stroll along the river to the center of the city or sit in the square, basking in the sun. Should you require a visa for either of these reasons, you can apply for one at the nearest Italian consulate: Traveling through Italy is harder than people think.

When visiting a country known for ancient Roman relics, Renaissance art, romantic canals, you could easily get stuck in the tourist route consisting of Rome, Florence, and Venice. This is by no means a bad experience of Italy, but the country is so much more than these three popular destinations. Each region has its own customs and cuisine, cultural history and flair. Traditions, flavors, and even rivalries become more intricate on the micro-level, looking beyond the country as a whole and the united regions to find distinctive provinces and proud communes. The longer you plan on staying in Italy, the better you can experience the true nature of a culture defined by the history of their towns as opposed to the past of the region.

Traveling through Italy walks you through a larger-than-life course in European history exceeding the Roman Empire, showcasing the Middle Ages, and connecting Byzantium with the Renaissance, the Baroque with ancient Greek settlers. Step beyond the surprise of learning there is more to Italy than Rome, Florence, and Venice. These three cities have gained a remarkable reputation over the centuries as grand tourist destinations for a reason, however, beyond the obvious lies the illustrious. Planning a trip to Italy can be overwhelming. You could spend years traveling through the different regions and still not have enough.

It is one of the reasons Italy is such a popular destination for tourists year-round from all around the world. Some visitors choose to return to Rome each year or spend their October in a villa in Tuscany on their anniversary. The following list is a compilation of the regions of Italy with a number of well-known and lesser-known cities, towns, and villages to explore during your first time or th time visiting Italy.

Italy has long been a destination for travelers across the globe, whether pilgrims eager to visit St. The image of fashionable locals, famous artwork, and pristine coastline draws visitors with the promise of lavish excursions and relaxing getaways. Italy has more diverse landscape than people realize. The dry climate of Southern Italy has caused serious droughts, keeping farmers in the rural region of Calabria from irrigating their fields, while in the north, floods have caused evacuations in the Liguria and Piedmont regions during heavy autumn rains.

It is important to keep destination and time of year in mind when traveling to any country, accounting for the intensity of weather conditions and the possibility of emergencies. Italy has a westernized culture emphasizing the importance of health facilities, vaccines, and medicines in large cities and villages across the country. The Center for Disease Control, along with the U. Department of State does not suggest any inoculations beyond the routine vaccinations recommended before leaving your country of residence.


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These include:. The suggested vaccines for Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B are meant as precautions, especially if you might come in contact with contaminated food or water while in small towns or rural villages. You should discuss any vaccination with your doctor based on your destination and the amount of time you will travel. If you do not have a personal doctor, you could visit a travel clinic. You can find the nearest your travel clinic by visiting Passport Health. The Euro was established as an official unit of currency in Italy on January 1, It officially replaced the lira as legal tender on February 28, The move benefitted travelers across the European Union and travelers wishing to explore a variety of countries by not having to exchange different monetary units between countries, simplifying travel, transfers, and banking in the region.

ATMs are prevalent across Italy. Restaurants, hotels, and shops in large cities or tourist areas often accept major credit cards. Small shops, hotels, and restaurants located in villages or towns outside of major tourist destinations may only accept cash.

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Local businesses, from hotels to restaurants, will quote their prices in euros. The exchange rate from dollar to euro can fluctuate daily. Money exchange is easy across Italy. It can be done at kiosks located in any international airport or the bureau du change prevalent near the tourist areas of major cities. Rates can vary between the kiosks dependent upon the location in town versus the airport.

British pounds and American dollars are the easiest currencies to exchange. You can also exchange currency in a bank if you have your passport. They are replaced if stolen and provide an extra source of money if bank computers, ATMs or credit cards malfunction. Italians are not known for tipping. Many members of the service industry enjoy visitors from the US due to the tipping culture, however tipping is not necessary when eating at a cafe, taking a taxi, or enjoying an espresso at a traditional bar. If you do feel the need to tip but are not sure how much to give each time, you can use the following as a rough guide to how and when to tip:.

Most people round up to the nearest euro if they felt the ride had a measure of quality,. If you take drinks at the table, the bartender appreciates a small gratuity. Horror stories while traveling has become ubiquitous in the travel industry, almost as common as the stories people share about their love affairs with a charming villa in Tuscany or a hidden gem on the Adriatic Coast. All-encompassing generalizations can leave a negative stamp on the growth of the tourism industry across Italy. The country is a safe destination for travelers from around the world but does have instances of petty theft centered on heavy tourist destinations.

Crime rates in the United States rank above those in Italy, accounting for more violent crimes occurring annually. Keep your valuables hidden or in a safe place on your body while in large crowds to avoid theft. If using a money belt or travel satchel, use one made to hide under a shirt, jacket, or in the inseam of the pants, as opposed to protruding around your waist.

Pickpockets are notorious in Rome around the railway hub of Termini, along with the crowded tourist centers of the Colosseum, Piazza di Spagna, and the popular nightspots in the Trastevere neighborhood. Always make sure purses and backpacks are zipped tight before entering a crowd. Hold tight to any loose bags, including backpacks, as persistent thieves may try to cut holes in the bottom of a pack or purse to let the valuables fall out on their own, with the perpetrator trailing behind to collect any spoils. If you choose to wear a purse or backpack, or are carrying a bag from a day of shopping, keep the item close to you when walking through a popular tourist area.

In the same regard, you should keep a constant eye on active groups of gypsies who frequent tourist stops. Women and children work in tandem on unsuspecting tourists using a common scam. While the person attempts to catch the high-flying doll, the gypsy and her accomplices loot the victim. They compliment a woman on her looks before handing her a gorgeous flower.

The vendor then hounds the boyfriend or husband to pay for the rose. If the boyfriend or husband does not pay, the vendor will force the woman to return the rose, making everyone look bad in the process. Visit your doctor to receive any prescription drugs used consistently before departing for your trip. Health care is readily available across the country with standards varying by the size of the city and location, with Southern Italy often seen as more disadvantaged.

Pharmacists offer a range of valuable advice and over-the-counter medication good for minor illnesses. Pharmacists can also offer advice on seeking more specialized help from doctors or a hospital in the area. Pharmacies keep the same hours as regular shops in Italy, including closing its doors on Sundays. If for any reason you need an ambulance, the number for general emergencies across Italy is Pronto Soccorso is the emergency section of the hospital, which also offers immediate dental treatment when necessary. Food and water standards in Italy are similar to those in the United States, and therefore it is not necessary to take food or water precautions when traveling, beyond any precautions you would take at home.

Ancient springs continue to feed cities and towns across the country, allowing for crisp, clean, and refreshing water springing from Nasoni, free fountains. Whether worried about your gluten-free diet or suffering from an autoimmune disorder that affects the way you can digest wheat, Italy is the perfect destination for those who still want to indulge in the delights of Italian cuisine. The Italian government learned that one percent of its citizens suffer from celiac disease.

Regulation has ensured the majority of restaurants across the country have gluten-free options, including pizza and pasta. Even when ordering a gluten-free option, it is important to confirm the pans, floured surfaces, and doughs were not cross contaminated. There are gluten-free restaurant guides to Italy available, which helps someone otherwise unable to partake in the more than varieties of pasta in Italy learn about Italian culture through the cuisine. The app is offered in Italian or English.

When traveling through Italy, you should expect Western-style toilets in accommodations across large cities, small towns, and even in secluded villages. This also applies to campsites, lodges, national parks, and refurbished historic buildings such as monasteries or castles. The unique properties of ancient villages hidden in the mountains and structures hundreds of years old can mean the pipes might not be thick enough or new enough to allow for flushing toilet paper. In these instances, a note is often left inside the bathroom, visible to remind you not to flush the paper.


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  • A small trashcan will also be set beside the toilet as the place to deposit the paper after use. Outside of department stores, trains stations, and museum galleries, there will be few opportunities in Italy to use public restrooms. If a public restroom is available for use somewhere in town, it is often contingent upon payment of between. Visa and immigration requirements for Italy are the same as for other members of the European Union. Travelers hoping to stay longer than 90 days in Italy must apply for a permesso di soggiorno, a permit to stay.

    The residence permit pertains to any person of non-European Union citizenship wishing to stay longer in Italy to study, work, or relocate. Before arriving in Italy, you must have proof of onward or return travel within 90 days of your arrival readily available for immigration officers to view. The electricity in Italy adheres to the European standards of frequency and voltage, ranging from V to V with a frequency of 50Hz. Thus, converters for other European countries will work while in Italy. Wall outlets accommodate plugs with two or three round pins.

    You will not be able to charge your accessories while in Italy without a converter or adapter due to the different plug shape of European sockets, along with the possibility of electrical fire or damage. Voltage can also make a difference when deciding to use an adapter versus a converter. Adapters do not convert electricity but allow a dual-voltage appliance to access electricity through the socket. You should always check the device to ensure it can withstand the difference in voltage. Common dual voltage devices are iPhone chargers, laptops, iPads, and cameras. A stamp on the power label will say if the device is single or double voltage.

    If the device is single voltage V or V , a converter is recommended to keep the device from damage. Examples of a single electric product are:. The alternative measurements used in most countries around the world uses the base unit uses meters, liters, and grams as the base units of distance, volume, and weight.

    The system applies the idea that units get larger or smaller by units of The basic conversions between the metric system and the USCS are:. Being a member of the EU also ensures that Italy must meet international standards of hygiene and cleanliness, making it one of the safest countries in the world to visit.

    There is little risk of major disease, the water is safe to drink, food cooking and preparation standards are extremely high, and all hygiene facilities are modern and well-kept. Should an accident occur, Italian hospitals and the healthcare system are excellent: While much has been written about the pushiness of Italian men, this trait is essentially benign. Some single women suggest wearing a false wedding ring to discourage advances, but this is generally considered overkill: The incidence of violent crime is much lower in Italy than in the US, and major city centers are almost always well-lit and patrolled by local law enforcement.

    As with any travel experience, it is wise to employ some basic discretion in your everyday practices. Keep your passport separate from your cash and credit cards your hotel is almost always the best place to keep it , travel in groups, keep to well-lit streets and intersections, and try not to appear obviously lost or disoriented.

    The overwhelming majority of Italians are friendly, engaging people who will help you if asked, so never be afraid to ask for assistance if you need it. Like most of Western Europe, the official currency in Italy is the euro. Changing money is very easy, although you generally get the best exchange rates if you withdraw cash from an ATM rather than exchanging bills at a currency exchange.

    Many American banks have sister banks in Europe, allowing you to use their ATMs without incurring a fee. For most of its history, the euro has been more valuable than the dollar, so keep that in mind when making your purchases. If you do want to add a tip for exceptional service, you can always leave a small amount of cash on the table. Italy is a modern nation with contemporary sensibilities, but it is also a country with a strong conservative past.

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    Shorts are more common now than they were even fifteen years ago, but everyday fashion is, generally speaking, slightly more formal in Italy than it is in the States. The most important considerations when it comes to Italian etiquette relate to churches and other places of worship: Finally, while most Italians — particularly in the service sector — can speak English reasonably well, every Italian appreciates an effort to try to converse with them in their own language.

    Italy remains rather formal in its etiquette, at least compared to other western countries, such as the United States, Canada, and members of the United Kingdom, Australia, or New Zealand. Casual greetings are enthusiastic but retain a sense of formality in the way familiar friends or business partners or strangers shake hands while making direct eye contact and a small smile. After a relationship develops, friends will kiss both cheeks, starting with the left. Men also add a pat on the back as a formality. However, Italians will not refer to one another by their first name until invited.

    First impressions are important in Italy and can shape the entire relationship between people, making propriety and respect important. Punctuality is not considered an important part of etiquette in Italy, with friends or acquaintances arriving between 15 and 30 minutes later than the specified time.

    When invited to a home, guests bring gift-wrapped chocolates or wine, preferring to spend more for a smaller amount with better quality than for a larger amount of a less delicious product. Traveling to another country can be an enriching experience that teaches you about other cultures, spectacular history, and fascinating contemporary lifestyle, or it could lead to awkward glances, anxiety, and unfortunate misunderstandings if not adhering to simple social norms of Italy. While traveling Italy, it is important to use common sense in terms of what is considered respectful and what might be taken as rude.

    As a member of the European Union, many of the traditions and cultural conventions of Italy adhere to the standards you might be familiar with if living in an English-speaking westernized country such as the United States or Canada. However, there are still certain aspects of the Italian tradition that might be considered strange or overlooked.

    Italians do not walk while eating or drinking. Italians stop for their meals, even when in a rush, to enjoy a small pleasure during their busy day. An exception to the rule is for children who are often seen with a breadstick or piece of pizza while wandering the city at any time of day. Dinner is eaten later in Italy than what you may be accustomed to back home. Most traditional restaurants in Italy do not open until 7 pm, with many Italians not sitting down for dinner until 7: The best way to keep the hunger pains at bay is to partake in an aperitivo, a type of Italian happy hour, when small snacks, such as sandwiches, olives, or cheeses, accompany your cocktail order.

    Friends, families, and couples meet between 5 and 7 pm to chat about their day before heading home or to a restaurant for dinner. Do not use your fingers when eating, and use a fork instead to pick up pieces of fruit and a knife to pick pieces of cheese is polite and considered more sanitary. It is rude to refuse a glass of wine. Rather, if you do not want anymore or do not wish to imbibe at all, you can leave your glass relatively full.

    La Passeggiata is one of the few traditions to permeate the culture across the entirety of Italy. The simple act of walking through town becomes an art form when couples, families, and friends arrive on the boulevards to see and be seen. Locals window shop while walking up and down the street before bumping into friends and acquaintances. In smaller cities and towns, the passeggiata can be the social event of the weekend as people represent the personification of fare la bella figura, cutting a beautiful figure. Via del Corso in Rome provides an elegant panorama of the luxury boutique shops and window-shopping pedestrians.

    The narrow lanes of Florence lead locals to the public square of Piazza della Repubblica. Locals of Siena return to their medieval streets after the crowds of daily tourists retreat, winding around the shell shape of the main square Il Campo. Italians are known for their passion, whether in business, love or with personal interests. Their enthusiasm spreads to their communication, leading to wordy, eloquent, and emotional illustrations accentuated by facial expression and hand gestures. While traveling Italy, you should be aware of your hand movements so as not to offend those around you and better understand a heated situation.

    Clenching your middle and ring fingers against your thumb, while extending your index and pinky is known as The Horns. When made with both hands, this gesture is used to ward off curses or bad luck. However, the gesture is also an insult, used to accuse someone of being a cuckold. A gesture often made when imitating Italian hand gestures shows the thumb and fingertips brought together upright, while simultaneously waving the hand up and down. A classic gesture involves the hands loosely in front of the body, shaking from the wrists.

    The movement means that you have had enough or give me a break, reflected in an attempt to imitate testicles exploding. Coffee has its own culture in Italy, and with that culture comes its own rules. Coffee in each region mirrors the predominant heritage, personifying distinctive features of a city or region. There are eight common types of coffee in Italy:. You can also order a Latte macchiato, which rotates the ratios of milk to espresso. It is milkier than a macchiato. However, the coffee substitute is caffeine free and often considered an alternative for children or those looking for decaf.

    It is often enjoyed with the bright citrus of a fresh orange peel. The time of day has a heavy influence on the type of drinks Italian will order. This type of drink is not common for Italians to order, however visiting the local barista multiple times a day for coffee breaks is normal behavior for most Italians. Each region of Italy boasts its own special flavors of coffee, adhering to the local palates shaped by the cuisine and cultural history over the centuries. In the late 17th century Vienna exiled the occupying Ottomans with the help of the Venetian Republic.

    The retreating army abandoned approximately bags of coffee, beginning the coffee drinking tradition in Austro-Hungarian Empire and Italy, most notably Venice. Coffee in Venice continues to in the traditions of its heritage with well-rounded aromatics of a Middle Eastern and Central Asian vanilla fragrance. Milan coffee is light, delicate, and fine, connoting the high-speed pragmatism of the industrial city. The fast-paced urbanites drink their espresso quickly before heading to the office. The regions of Piedmont and Liguria produce sweet and delicate coffee shaped by the world wards, turning coffee into a small luxury in which to indulge.

    Neapolitans prefer their coffee intense and dark, with Neapolitan espresso becoming the worldwide embodiment of Italian coffee standards in style and quality. The nomenclature of coffee changes between cities as well, with the city of Trieste claiming the most creative terms for its most popular beverage. The official language of Italy is Italian. However, there exist many different dialects dependent upon the region.

    Groups along the northern border of France speak with an accent heavily influenced by a history of French occupation, along with the fluidity of the border connecting republics to the French monarchy. German is also spoken with prevalence in the mountains along the Swiss and Austrian borders due to deep border connection with former German-speaking monarchies and the occupation of eastern Italy by the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Beyond language, Italians remain loyal more to their hometowns than to their country, with ancient feuds continuing to draw families together or wedge them apart.

    Italy is accessible through various modes of transportation, with the major cities reachable by train and small towns accessible by car or bus. The way you travel across Italy will offer different experiences through the various perspectives spanning train tracks, country roads, and vast coastline. The view can also change dramatically between driving a car, having a private chauffeur, or riding like an Italian on a Vespa.

    The train system in Italy is the most popular way to travel around Italy. The national company is Trenitalia, which runs most services, with the private company Italo offering high-speed trains between Turin in the north and Salerno in the south, along with Venice to Naples, or Brescia to Naples. All three services top in Bologna, Florence, and Rome before reaching their final destinations.

    It is important to make reservations on high-speed trains, especially when traveling during peak season. Like with airline travel, the earlier you book a train ticket through Trenitalia or Italo, the more variety you will have and the greater the savings. Many trains also offer 1st- and 2nd- class seating, with the regular sections reaching prices half as expensive as the luxury compartments.

    Consider the different types of train services before booking the trains. InterCity services are faster and can also travel to destinations outside of Italy on EuroCity lines. Italy has an extensive network of motorways, state-funded highways, and local streets making exploration by car easy, with even the most remote village accessible. Cars drive on the right side of the road, consistent with the United States and Canada.

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    When on the highway, drivers are allowed to overtake other cars on the left. You must always drive with your headlights on, day or night, when outside of cities, most notably on country roads. Unless otherwise indicated, the speed limits in Italy are:. Traveling by bus can be an easy, efficient, and cheaper way to access the smaller towns and villages in the secluded areas of Italy not connected to the main cities by rail. Buses connect the vast streets of Rome, along with the InterCity bus companies reaching smaller towns such as Assisi in Umbria or Alberobello in Puglia.

    Bus companies sell their tickets through agencies in large cities, online, or at the station when traveling to different areas of Italy. In small towns, villages, and cities local buses sell tickets in bars or directly on the bus. Advanced booking is often not required but is advisable during high season, especially for long-haul trips or when trying to travel on a Sunday to a destination unreachable by train. Traveling by a private chauffeur through Italy makes exploring easy and the small towns around each region accessible. Transferring or touring with a private chauffeur allows you to relax and enjoy the scenery Italy without the worries of navigation or paying attention to the rules of the road in a different country.

    The train offers fast, frequent, and cheap travel across the country, and remains the most popular form of travel for Italians and visitors. Private transports between distant cities can be expensive and do not always reach their destination faster than the high-speed trains.

    The best way to appreciate the comforts and luxuries of a private transfer is to experience each individual region. For example, if staying in Italy and wanting to explore the famous medieval towns unconnected by the railways, a private chauffeur provides a perfect, stress-free alternative to renting a car, along with the freedom of staying or going at your preferred time as opposed to the time set by a tour company or bus schedule. Some of the best places to enjoy the services of a private chauffeur are:. There is no shortage of festivals to celebrate in Italy no matter the season or month of the year.

    Attending one or more festivals when visiting Italy can turn a great vacation into a memory your family and friends will want to hear over and over again. It is important to note that national holidays in Italy are public holidays, which means many workers have the day off, including workers in tourism and transportation. The following list offers a comprehensive calendar of the major festivals and celebrations across Italy. The list includes a selection of national holidays--when banks, businesses, and major attractions close -- legal holidays, and regional events or festivals, which provide a better experience during your travels, including the possibility in celebrating like a local.

    December 31st to January 1st — The passion and style Italians bring to the fashion world carry into their celebrations of the New Year. Festive ambiance erupts in the cities, towns, and villages from the tip of Sicily to the top of the Italian Alps. The meal is less family oriented than on Christmas but remains a large part of the holiday, complete with certain dishes popular for their commitment to tradition and symbolism.

    Pork ushers in a new year with a commitment to the richness of life. Lentils symbolize money, with each bean representing a coin to bring wealth and prosperity in the coming year. Grapes, a delicious crop harvested late summer and early autumn, embodies frugalness, so Italians who gain their fortune in the next year will spend their money wisely.

    The custom has ancient roots, deriving from the belief that only a prudent person could have saved a portion of their grape harvest for a celebration of the new year. Cities, towns, and villages fill with an uproar of excited locals eager to spend their time on amidst the community, with bonfires and light displays filling main piazzas. Fireworks displays fill the sky at midnight for a celebratory exhibition.

    The farther south you travel in Italy, the grander the fireworks display. Naples provides the largest spectacle in Italy. Larger cities, such as Naples, Bologna, Palermo, Rome, and Milan turn the evening into an outdoor festival, often using pop and rock bands to emphasize the jovial atmosphere. Southern Italians throw their old crockery out the window at midnight. The custom has transitioned to many locals crashing pots and pans together from their front door to frighten away spirits in the new year.

    Pay attention to the first person who helps you celebrate after midnight. Custom dictates that someone older or of the opposite sex brings signs of long life or luck in love, respectively.

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    The party carries on early into the morning. Many Italians choose to stay in the main squares or venture to a perfect viewpoint at which to watch the sunrise. New Years Day, also known as Capodanno, is quiet in the morning.

    Adults sleep late, resting after a long night of festivities. Trains and buses run on a holiday schedule on December 31st and January 1st. The methods of transportation still run between cities but travel few and far between their normal consistent times. This leads to an overcrowding of train cars and sold out buses. It is better to stay in your location until after the celebration. If you must travel over the New Year, book all your transportation ahead of time; this includes taxis or private transfers, as many people working in local transport also choose to take a break during national holidays.

    Epiphany Epifania — January 6th — The iconic image of Christmas in the English-speaking western world depicts a child running down the stairs to find presents Santa left in the night, with elegant wrapping glinting beneath a lush tree. Italian children receive their Christmas gifts on the Feast of the Epiphany. While Italy does have a character similar to Santa Clause, who visits on Christmas, it is La Befana from whom the children wait for a visit. La Befana is a witch who travels around Italy on a broomstick on the eve of January 5th, bringing presents to the good girls and boys of the country and lumps of coal to those who have been naughty.

    The legend dates back to the Three Wise Men, who stopped at a small shack on the way to the manger to ask for directions. They met an old woman and invited her to join their party. She refused at first, but after seeing the bright light in the sky attempted to follow their path to reach the manger. The woman was lost and never heard from again. Ever since, she travels around on her broomstick on the 11th night of Christmas, bringing gifts to children in the hopes she might one day find the baby for whom she originally set out.

    Cities and towns across Italy celebrate the holiday in their own unique way. A procession forms along the wide avenue leading to Vatican City with participants dressed in medieval costumes. Hundreds of people carry symbolic gifts for the pope before the Bishop of Rome leads morning mass in St. Flag throwers perform in medieval uniforms in Piazza della Signoria, under the shadow of the Palazzo Vecchio.

    Smaller towns celebrate with live nativity scenes, with locals donning the costumes of the historical characters involved. Venice holds an annual regatta, with participants dressing like the fabled witch. One of the most notable festivals takes place in Urbania, in the region of. The Epiphany is a national holiday and therefore disrupts the normal train and bus schedules.

    You can avoid the inconvenience by booking any transportation ahead of time or staying in your respective destination to join in the celebrations with the locals. Flag Day Giornata Nazionale della Bandiera — January 7th — The flag is an important symbol of Italy, representing the unification of what was once separate city-states, proud kingdoms, and also occupied territories under Spanish, French, and Austro-Hungarian sovereignties.

    The Tricolore was originally created as a representation of the Cispadane Republic in the s, which is currently the region of Emilia-Romagna. The red and white represented the French flag, under whose authority the region fell in the 18th century. The colors also have a deeper meaning. Red represents charity, white symbolizes faith, and green embodies hope. A selective part of the Italian Republic celebrates Flag Day with vigor, with the majority of celebrations concentrated in the region of Emilia-Romagna and the cities of Bologna and Reggio Emilia. The most notable ceremony takes place in Rome at 3.

    Large cities around the country organize ceremonies, public initiatives, meetings, and lessons to provide locals and visitors a chance to reflect on the atrocities committed by Nazi Germany, its supports, and its allies, which included the Social Republic of Italy under the administration of Mussolini. The yearly commemoration also allows Italy to shed light on the lesser-known stories of victims and heroes of the Holocaust through different mediums of storytelling.

    Over the years the memorial has brought to the forefront the Foibe, a term symbolically referring to the disappearances or killings of Italian peoples in Yugoslav occupied territories. The annual event also offers insight into the role Italy played during as an ally to Germany, which lasted from to Many people from around Italy travel to the national museum of Risiera San Sabba in Trieste, the only concentration camp located on Italian soil. Nazi Germany managed the camp from to , engaging in the systematic murder of political prisoners and members of the Jewish and LGBT community.

    Milan also has a popular and moving Shoah Memorial providing exhibits and tours in English and Italian, located in the Central Station once used to transfer deportees away from the prying eyes of the city. The festival celebrates an Irish monk who traveled the region handing out wooden sandals to the poor, giving way to a celebration lasting more than a millennium. Craftspeople bring objects carved from wood, keen on demonstrating their mastery of the material for two days.

    Local restaurants serve regional specialties. The vendors showcase grolle, a cup with many spouts used for sharing wine, along with mortars and pestles, ladles, and instruments used to remove cream from milk. The most popular items on display are the wooden sandals known as socques. The fashionable footwear resembles clogs made with wooden soles and a leather top. The tradition of the leatherwork dates back to Roman times. Artisans also exhibit other skills over the two days, such as weaving, wrought ironwork, looming, lacework, and how to properly use wicker. The blossoms connote the spring, with their delicate pink and white buds indicated the warmer weather is not too far behind.

    The folk festival has spread a message of peace, integration, and cooperation between peoples since The highlight of the day celebration culminates with song and dance performances accompanying a parade winding through the streets of the city. The ancient Greek edifices of the Valley of the Temples acts as a backdrop to the special event, with the remains of the seven Doric temples providing an example of the interconnectivity of the world. You can follow the parade through the city and participate in the folk dances taking place along the cobblestone streets and inside the public squares leading to the Temple of Concord, the largest and best-preserved Greek architecture in the ancient city.

    Carnival Carnevale — Exact dates change annually — Carnival is the most famous holiday of February, conjuring images of Venetian masks, grand regattas, elegant banquets, and a constant celebration of debauchery. The true winter festival has pagan roots and was adapted to fit the Catholic rituals and calendar.

    The holiday falls on one day each year, but cities across Italy have elongated the celebration into a festival lasting weeks before Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent. Historically people wanted to indulge in sugar, meat, and fats before restricted by a religious diet for 40 days. Children throw confetti in the streets. This same belief gave way to participants wearing elaborate costumes and participating in masquerade balls in private or public spaces. The festivities gained prominence in the Italy in the 13th century, with visitors traveling from around the world to watch and partake in fabulous costumes, dramatic masks, and captivating ambiance.