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7 Pitfalls you Need to Avoid in Italy

  1. Never book a room anywhere without asking how many stairs to get to the room.  Most b&b and cheaper hotels do not have elevators. You won’t know your room is on the 4th floor till you arrive – you must ask when booking!
  2. Never sign any anti-drug petition or any petition request – they want your email address to sell it. If you give money it goes in a pocket.
  3. Avoid any trattoria or eating place that is named after the nearest Monument or Church, or if it has a 10 language menu, or if it has pictures of the plates. Guaranteed bad food, bad service but exorbitant cost.
  4. Never joke about the Mafia – that’s akin to talking about bombs when you are in an airport! The Mafia is a murderous, drug running shadow culture that controls people and territory through fear. It’s not a joking matter –  if you see it in action stay clear.
  5. Always use plastic gloves provided when buying fruit or vegetables in supermarkets. In smaller villages, never handle the produce yourself. If you want to be sure of the quality ask to see it before the assistant puts it in the bag. Italians don’t like produce to be prodded and handled by hundreds of people, and they get very snarly if you put your grubby hands on their produce.
  6. Parmesan is a sinful word – ask for Parmigiano for your pasta and remember, NEVER put Parmigiano on any dish that contains seafood.
  7. Don’t do yourself the disservice of going to Italy without researching the regional foods and wines for the regions you are visiting. Then look for them and try them!