Who doesn't want to visit Italy at least once in his or her life? This historic destination, full of stories from ancient times, provides a beautiful culture worth experiencing. But as beautiful as it may seem, the Italian culture also provides a list of unique quirks that a foreigner may want to get an understanding of to better appreciate the time spent in the country.
Here is my list of slightly humorous and interesting ways of preparing for a trip to Italy:
Buy stretchy Clothes:
It's a gelato-filled world in Italy. You may not even realize it if traveling in the summer, but that afternoon gelato and that post-dinner gelato start to add up. Combined with a pleasant level of red wine and pasta and you have the perfect combination for weight gain. Don't come home in pants that are too tight; bring some stretchy clothes instead!
Learn the Italian for, “I'm married” or “I have a boyfriend”
Women, the Italian men are known to be romantic and open with affection. Even if you aren't taken, try to learn the Italian words for “I'm married” or “I have a boyfriend” before going. It won't help for the cat-calling out the car windows, of course.
Throw out those white tennis shoes
If you needed an excuse to buy some trendy new shoes, a trip to Italy is the perfect time. You won't dare catch an Italian in a pair of shoes that look like you just got done running a mile. Look for some classier comfort shoes that will impress instead of disgust your hosts.
Kiss your friends on the cheek
Americans, especially, might have a hard time with this, but the Italians love to greet by kissing the cheek. The first few times is always an awkward transition, so why not prepare in advance? When saying bye to your friends, give them a peck on the cheek instead of a hug. Who knows... it might become a normal thing.
Open an art book
To travel to Italy and not have an appreciation for art is like missing out on a third of what makes the country so spectacular, especially Florence. The caliber of art and artists that have come and gone throughout the years in this land is awe-inspiring, so crack open a book or two and study up!
Practice race car driver skills
While I prefer and recommend train travel for getting around Italy, one can easily rent a car. However, just be aware that driving is a very different beast in this country thanks to narrow cobblestone streets, a plethora of mopeds and risky driving tactics.
Cut in line
I don't think Italians know what a line is. I was taught in grade school to honor the formation of a line, so getting to Italy and having that foundation crushed at the airport, at the post office and everywhere else, is a shock to the system. Don't be afraid to think of yourself when it comes to the Italian line system.
Work on your mime skills
This reason can help you in two ways. First off, it helps when you can't communicate with each other to have some great gestures to better explain yourself. Secondly, the Italian people speak with their hands, so by working on your gestures, you are only enhancing your chances of fitting in with the locals.
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