Saturday, December 9, 2006

Travelling to Italy

Everywhere you travel in Italy you will find friendly, generous, people ready to help you enjoy your stay. Women may encounter men who whistle at them and call out "ciao bella" but the intentions are not harmful and it is very unlikely that you will be harassed, followed or threatened as, as soon as they see you're not interested you'll hear them calling out to some other girl exactly the same thing.
Keep your eyes on your bags at all times. There is quite a big pickpocket problem in Italy so be especially careful on buses and the metro.
Although some Italians speak some English it's a good idea to know some basic Italian before your trip. Check out my book "Italian for tourists" at www.lulu.com/jolinsdell.
You'll find the food and drink amazing. Each region or even city has it's own specialities that are well worth trying. For the best food and service avoid anywhere with a tourist menu and head off to a local restaurant where Italians go...you'll see.. and taste the difference!
Italy is part of the European Union and as such uses the Euro as it's currency. Coins come in 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 cents plus 1 and 2 euro coins. Paper money comes in quantities of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 euro.
August is a nothing month in Italy as it's when most Italians go on holiday. A lot of shops close during this period and many cities empty. So if you're looking to relax come in August. If you prefer to see Italy as it normally is avoid this month. The best times to come are May/ June or September although Christmas is well worth it too.
For more information about Italy you can do a simple search on any search engine or buy yourself a guidebook like Lonely planet or Let's Go.

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