Italy was the country we spent the most time in whilst on our 5 weekEuropean Adventure. It was a dazzling gelato, pizza and expensive coffee filled adventure! We made mistakes, we made discoveries, all with a skip in our step and constant awe on our faces. With wonders like Vatican City, The Colosseum, leaning tower of Pisa and endless amount of churches, we got to indulge in some of the greatest history, art and architecture this world has to offer. I'd like to share some of our tips on how to experience this country wholesomely and positively!
Things You Should Know When Travelling To Italy
Individual pizza slices everywhere!
Higher prices for toilets
Service / Sit Down fee if you sit at a Restaurant. They also charge for takeaway cups.
Standing areas in cafes - swig and go.
First few times watching this phenomena I felt sickly insulted. How can you not just take 1 minute to enjoy one of life's most simple pleasures! But, this is how they do it and as they say, when in Venice...
Don't order coffee after 12am, It is untraditional
Order at one counter, pay at another counter, collect at another or the first counter.
Our tour guide the previous day said Caffe Gilli was the best in the city! So only having 24 hours here, we may as well give it a whirl. We walked in, breathing in the swirling clouds of caffeine and frothy milk. Making our way to the first counter, we placed our order. The man printed and gave us a ticket, which we tried to exchange with money, but he refused. Confused, he referred us to the smiling service lady at the counter behind us. Right, we'll give her the money i guess... 'Hello, what was your order?' Wait... If we have to repeat the order, why did we.... sigh never mind... 'A mocha and a cappuccino please'
Finally a mocha! I smiled to Curtis. It's all I'd wanted all trip and I was craving hard this morning! The lady at the counter seemed to finally understand what I wanted and with a chirpy smile repeated the order back and printed our receipt. We made our way back over to the first counter, next to the bench full of swigging fancy Italians. As I double checked the receipt and my heart sank, our handsome bearded barista placed our coffees down. 'oh...'
'Is everything ok miss?'
'Umm yes yes ok, grazie!'
That's not what I ordered.... Printed on my receipt was 'Macchiato'. I was now the not-so proud owner of surely the worlds smallest cup of coffee. I quickly learnt exactly what a macchiato was and probably why the lady at the register thought she had done so well in understanding our funny aussie accents. The Guinness World Records of tiniest coffee had cost me a world record of around 6 Euros and within 2 sips it was gone. I swear, my thumb was bigger than this 'coffee' (refer to photographic evidence on the right). All I was left with was bad breathe and feeling very jipped and thirsty.
But! When in... Florence!
Gelato picking: Quality over Quantity.
Gelato places will try and draw you in with their extraordinary rainbow mountains of gelato. But beware. The higher the mound, the lesser quality. This gelato is made by the tonne in large cheap factories. Go instead, for the authentic joints with real hand made gelato, in lower 'realistic' tubs. Selling for its quality, not for it's looks.