Italy: Practical notes from my travels

Today I’d like to share with you some practical notes from my travels in Italy.

Accommodation

We stayed on a campsite and rented a summer chalet. The chalet was very comfortable, clean and nicely presented. The staff members were very nice, but if you wanted something on time and right now, you still needed to wait. For example, one day the Internet stopped working and they were very relaxed about it and said they would call the technician the next day (if the problem still persists). On the other hand, we’re on holiday, right? Do we need to hurry somewhere?

Trains & bikes

The trains were very reliable while we travelled around in Italy (late only once) and the prices were relatively fine. I found it very convenient that you could buy tickets from the ticket machines available at the train stations. The trains were modern and quite a few Italians commuted by them!

Bikes are everywhere in Italy and I loved it! I was especially fond of those old-fashioned bikes which were rusty & simple (e.g. without brakes). You can meet bike riders cycling beautifully and those who at a super fast pace cut your way (I guess all styles & manners allowed!).

Food

Oh, Italian food, I think we could write poems about it. The taste, the quality, the look… OMG, it’s scrumptious. I enjoyed shopping in Italy, even though my Italian is limited to a few greetings, I would still go and buy fresh products from the local deli, bakery or grocery store. The smiling shop assistants would always make the effort to understand me and were very nice, so the whole shopping experience was fantastic. BTW, do you know that there are no supermarkets (e.g. big chains) in Italy, the slow food movement is doing a very good job there. I’m very impressed!

Prices

Prices are not always fixed, you can literally pay a different price every day. It may annoy you, but if the price is going down then it may not be too bad at all. Seriously speaking, I found that some items were so over-priced but, on the other hand, others were very under-priced. Be prepared to be often surprised when it comes to prices.

Final tip

The smaller the town the better. We stayed in a small sea-side town and we really enjoyed it. No crowds, super fresh food, lots of personal contact with the locals, slow-life experience.

If you’ve travelled to Italy before, let me know in the comments what practical tips you can share.

Kinga Macalla

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