Things to try to avoid in Italy to fit in

Italy is one of the most popular countries for holidays in the whole of Europe, and it welcomes millions of tourists every year. If you want to fit in with the locals during your visit, here are a few useful tips for things that you may want to avoid.

Ordering a cappuccino at the wrong time
One of the classic mistakes to make when visiting Italy is to order a cappuccino at the wrong time of day. You may not think it matters when you have a cappuccino, but in Italy it certainly does.

In Italy, a cappuccino is a morning drink, and that means you should order yours before 11 am and definitely not after having a meal. After that, stick to espressos like the locals.

Putting Parmesan on the wrong pasta
Everyone likes a bit of Parmesan on their pasta – but in Italy, you have to be careful which pasta dishes you use it on.

In Italy, it is more or less a food crime to sprinkle Parmesan over your seafood pasta. Apparently, the two just don’t mix. Does this mean you cannot do it? Of course not, but just be prepared for the funny looks.

Handling items in shops
Italy is a fantastic place for shopping. If you are looking for designer goods, for example, you can head to Via della Spiga or Via Montenapoleone in Milan, or Via Condotti in Rome for some of the best fashion shopping in the world.

But whether you are buying designer clothes in a boutique store or food in a market, there is one rule that you should follow: keep your hands off.

Touching items as you shop is simply not done in Italy. So rather than risk offending the store owner, always ask them for assistance rather than handling the items yourself.

Dressing inappropriately
The Italians have a reputation for being well dressed, and you will probably notice this during your holiday wherever you go. This doesn’t mean that you have to dress well all the time, but if you go out for a meal or to a show, it is a good idea to put some effort into what you wear.

This becomes even more important if you plan to visit any religious buildings during your holiday. You are likely to be denied entry if you are wearing shorts or anything too revealing, so make sure you dress conservatively.

Eating dinner too early
Dinner is later in Italy than in the UK. If you head out to a restaurant before 7 pm, you are likely to find it closed. If you are planning to eat out, try to arrive between 8 pm and 9 pm, which is a more common time for Italians to head out for their meals.

Rushing your meal
Finally, when eating out in Italy, remember that meals are a time to sit, talk, relax, and take it slowly. You will never be rushed in a restaurant, and the waiters will typically leave you alone until you ask for the bill. So enjoy the pleasure of eating great food in a lovely restaurant, and take your time.

Act like the locals
These are a few ways that you can avoid making common errors to help you act more like a local during your time in Italy. Keep them in mind when you visit on your holiday, and make sure you blend in.

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