Things to Avoid in Italy

crowdWhen you travel to Italy, much of your planning revolves around what you want to see and do, but just as important are plans about what you don’t want to deal with. There are so many beautiful things to immerse yourself in Italian cities and the countryside, you certainly don’t want to waste time or money in areas that are a waste or that might be potentially dangerous.

Unfortunately, every city and town on Earth has a dishonest citizen or two, but in cities that draw so many (unaware) foreign visitors, thieves and pickpockets can become a serious problem. In Italy, crowded situations make your pockets easy prey for those with nimble fingers and some groups are even better organized in order to take anything of value on your person.

To avoid pickpockets, travel with at least one other person as there is safety in numbers and do not carry your money and valuables in a bag that is easily snatched or in your pocket. Use a pouch that you can hide under a jacket or, better, your shirt. If you do carry a wallet or billfold, put it in a bag with a zipper and keep the bag tucked under your arm. A dangling bag can be reached into or simply snatched away in a heartbeat.
Over-Americanized Restaurants
Visiting Italy means you’ll be experiencing some of the finest cuisine in the entire world, but only if you visit the authentic restaurants. Many tourist restaurants offer you the same fare you might find in inexpensive restaurants back home – right down to chicken tenders and French fries. Make it a point to ask locals for recommendations or to wander away from the restaurants close to the more popular tourist attractions for a true taste of Italy.

Factories and Showrooms
If you have a love for blown glass and figures, by all means visit a factory or studio to see how the treasures are made. But be wary of the tour guide or the walking plan that takes you through factory after factory. Tour guides are often paid a bonus to bring their tour groups through the factories in hopes that the visitors will buy something in the showroom that is found at the exit of each. While you can see wonderful things in these factories, you can also spend a great deal of valuable time being led through one after another.