Located in Southern Europe, Italy is a charming peninsula protruding into the Mediterranean Sea, northeast of Tunisia. When travelling, it’s imperative to understand that you are not on home ground – always be respectful of local customs and practices.
WEATHER AND CLOTHING
Generally, the weather in Italy is sweltering in the peak of summer, during the month of July and August. If you are visiting during this time, I would highly recommend that you wear light clothing. Don’t forget your sunglasses, wide-brim hat and sunblock! Occasional afternoon thunderstorms are to be expected, especially in Rome and inland cities, so you may want to consider bringing an umbrella or a raincoat. Don’t let the unexpected weather patterns dampen your visit. Many churches and religious sites such as the St. Peter’s and the Vatican Museums in Rome and at the Basilica di San Marco in Venice institute dress standards (covered shoulders and knees) so it is important to dress appropriately when visiting.
Pickpockets are rampant in Italy, especially in crowded tourist areas. You’d be wise to protect yourself against sneaky pickpockets and wallet-snatchers. You may want to consider wearing a hidden money belt or a concealed necklace pouch to hold your valuables. If you have to carry a purse, make sure that it is attached to your body and tuck it tightly between your body and arm! A word of caution: “gypsy”
children are everywhere in Rome, and they are extremely skilled pickpockets that strike when you least expect it. Always keep a watchful eye and you might save yourself the hassle and pain of losing your valuables in a foreign land!
It is well-known that long distance and international calls made in hotels are extremely pricey! You’d do well to make these calls from public phones, using telephone cards – for general information in English, dial 176. To place international telephone calls via the operator assisted service, dial 170. It would be useful to keep in mind: the country code for Italy is 39. You can also consider purchasing new SIM cards from local telecommunications shops, which can provide great value for money, with the added convenience of making calls wherever you are.
If you are in need of additional information, I’d recommend you to have a look at Tourism Italy’s website, they have a wealth of useful information for travelers to this lovely country. In the unlikely event that you run out of things to do here, hop on a quick flight to Amsterdam and explore the liberal and bohemian city in The Netherlands!
Pack well and have a safe and enjoyable trip to Italy!