10 Things To Know When Traveling In Italy

Traveling to another country is always exciting! Not only do you get to taste the region’s food, have fun at their festivals and meet the local people, but you also get to learn more about the culture. Cultures across Europe can differ greatly, particularly from the culture in the United States. Every country speaks its own language and fosters its own traditions that date back centuries. This is especially true of the beautiful ancient country of Italy.

One of the most impressive cultural centers of Europe, Italy was the birthplace of the Renaissance and some of the world’s most loved food. Millions of people visit the country every year, exploring its wonderful cities, towns, and villages. So to prepare you, here’s ten things you should know before you go:

1. BE PREPARED TO SPEND TIME TALKING ABOUT AND EATING FOOD

Be prepared to spend time talking about and eating foodFood is in the make up of Italians. Not only do they love to cook and eat it, more than most people, they also love to talk about it. In Italy, it is certainly more about the quality of the food than it is about the quantity; they value flavor and home-cooked traditions. In Italy they make time to cook a meal and there is no excuse for not spending time enjoying it. Meals, even in the middle of the day, can last hours and include neighbors and friends for a truly special experience. Enjoy this magical foodie culture by eating with locals or in local restaurants.

2. GET READY TO EXPRESS YOUR EMOTIONS

Visitors who can’t speak the language often think that Italians argue all the time. They always appear to be so expressive and loud. However, their gestures and actions are often not what you think. Most Italians love to talk about their emotions, and so the conversation is most likely a way of resolving an issue – talking it out – rather than arguing about it. Very therapeutic!

3. FOOD IS FRESH AND USUALLY LOCAL

Food is fresh and usually localMost large grocers and almost all of the local stores you will come across in Italy will sell mostly fresh, local produce. Not only will it be organic and high-quality, but it will also be affordable. While you can find some processed food, it is not common in the Italian diet in the way that it is in the US. Expect to find fresh fruit and vegetables that are in season alongside local butchers and bakeries.

4. EXPECT TO HEAR THE TRUTH

Italians prefer not to hide their feelings. In the same way that they prefer to talk about a problem they also prefer to express how they feel about people, good or bad, to their face. This is a great thing on some levels as it means they rarely talk about people behind their back, but it can also mean hearing the truth (even when you don’t want to). Most often visitors will hear that they should be eating more, especially the slim visitors!

5. DON’T RUSH

Don't rushItalians rarely rush. They live a slow, relaxed lifestyle that really does make them happier. There is no rushing to get to work or rushing to serve people when they are at work. Expect to wait longer, but expect the people you meet to be extremely happy! What would you rather?

6. YOU CAN SPOT THEIR IMPECCABLE DRESS SENSE

Italy has always exported some of the world’s greatest fashions – with a clear edge over the rest of the world. As you explore the country’s stunning cities and even smaller towns you will notice that style is a very important part of life. Most Italians will always make an impressive effort to look great. If you want a piece of the action head to the shopping capitals of Milan and Rome, where you can find all of Italy’s most famous designers on offer.

7. YOU WILL OFTEN SEE ROMANCE BLOOMING

You will often see romance bloomingNot only is Italy a romantic country for visitors, with its ancient buildings, cobbled streets and exceptional food, Italy is also inherently romantic. Most Italians value courting and spend time and effort wining and dining “the one” for months. For ancient romance visit Verona, the setting for Shakespeare’s timeless play Romeo and Juliet.

8. YOU MAY FEEL A LITTLE CLAUSTROPHOBIC

Italians are very affectionate and do not worry as much as Americans about personal space. Not only this, but their cities are more compact, with winding alleys and petite plazas that are the places of parties and restaurants. Expect to touch a few people a day and don’t expect to hear a “sorry”; it’s not worth it as it happens all the time. Don’t even worry about it!

9. YOU CAN’T LEAVE WITHOUT AN APERITIVO

You can't leave without an aperitivoNo other country in Europe truly celebrates the aperitivo (the afternoon drink and snack) like Italy does. Try to get into a place at around 6pm to take full advantage of the evening buffet and be ready for a late night dinner, Italian style.

 

10. FORGET ABOUT ICE

It may be common to include ice in almost every drink in the US, but this is simply not the Italian way. Ice isn’t always served in cold drinks, and if you do want some you will probably only get one or two cubes, not a whole glassful… It’s just the way it is! Think of the positives, you are certainly getting more of the drink you ordered – the Italian way!

ENJOYING ITALIAN CULTURE AND TRADITIONS

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Use our helpful list of 10 Things to Know When Traveling in Italy to get a better understanding of what to expect during your next vacation. Blend in, and get local insider info about the best off-the-beaten path attractions, restaurants, and hidden gems, when you show respect and understanding to Italian customs and traditions.

(This post provided by Auto Europe)

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Visiting the Lakes? Here are the Walking Routes with the Best Pubs

Lake District

When you think of the Lake District, you probably think of long walks, huge lakes, epic views and a nice cold pint at the end of a long walk. But with so much choice, it can be overwhelming deciding which walks to go on.

To help guide you, the Lake District hotel, Craig Manor have mapped out the best walking routes featuring beer gardens for the ultimate pint pick-me-up.

Craig Manor, Bowness-On-Windermere

 Craig Manor itself offers the perfect start to any Lake District holiday. Situated in Bowness, there is a 4.5-mile circular walk around Bowness-on-Windermere that explores the countryside nearby and visits some great photo hotspots. If you want to extend the walk there is the option to, or circle back for a spot of lunch and a pint in the gardens at Craig Manor.

This walk is nice and flat so is suitable for all, although as with all the walks we would advise wearing sturdy boots!

The Bridge, Buttermere

 One of the lesser known but possibly most beautiful lakes in the Lake District, is Buttermere.

This beautiful lake is on the smaller side so offers a walk right around its edge and you could even spot some highland cows. In April to June the far side of the lake is closed for nesting Sandpipers, but half of the walk is still open.

Head to The Bridge for a delicious pub lunch or a drink in the Beer Garden – and rumour has it they do a good Sunday lunch too!

The Crown Inn, Pooley Bridge

 Next, Pooley Bridge offers another lakeside walk and this one is for the more advanced walker. At 6.5 miles it will take approximately 3 hours to walk and does have some rougher terrain.

However, with views over the water and a visit to Aira Force it is well worth the effort. And starting and finishing at The Crown Inn, we’re certain you’ll find a way to rest up after the walk.

Lake District

The Britannia Inn, Elterwater

 For a central location, rustic dining and amazing views, head to Elterwater for a pub lunch in The Britannia Inn before heading out on your walk. This walk is a great option for those wanting a longer walk (this will take at least two hours) but without the harder going terrain.

Start from the Inn and head along passed Elter Water where the views are amazing. Head through Crag Head and over Skelwith Bridge, another beautiful spot.

You’ll head back in a circle through Little Langdale before returning to the Inn.

The Outgate Inn, Ambleside

 Our final Pub Garden recommendation is the Outgate Inn in Ambleside. This four-and-a-half-mile walk offers mixed terrain but will be suitable for most walkers.

It circles around Blelham Tarn and then round passed Wray Castle which is a great place to visit for all the family. Return to the Outgate Inn for a well-deserved break.

Feeling inspired? Check out Craig Manor’s beer garden map of the Lake District.

Lake District

Plan The Perfect German Road Trip

Munich – the city known for Germany’s traditional Bavarian culture, as well as its new and spirited population, who have filled the old city with modern technologies and exciting new cultures. Spend some time getting to know Germany’s great city, exploring the bustling beer halls, historic buildings, and enthralling museums.

When you have had your fill of Munich’s exceptional sights, why not explore the surrounding region by jumping in a rental car and going on some adventurous Munich day trips. By driving through the brilliant Bavarian countryside not only do you get to experience some of the German towns, villages, memorials, and castles that many travelers don’t get to see when they visit Munich, but you also get to explore the locations in your own time – taking as little or as long as you want.

Get planning with our Munich day trip guide as you follow Neuschwanstein Castle tours from Munich:


MUNICH

Munich Downtown

Start your journey in the thriving city – with its lush green city parks and regular festivals, there’s always something to do in Munich. Lined with buildings that are centuries old, Munich is ideal for history buffs who love tasty beer and delicious local food. What’s more, the large cosmopolitan city is also a modern mecca with a world-famous nightlife and plenty of modern art galleries to explore, as well as a connection to its surrounding Alpine landscape. Try to visit the city around its most famous festival, Oktoberfest, the beer-toasting super festival that consumes that city and fills it with fun and games! (Honestly, everyday is Oktoberfest in Munich – head to Marienplatz in the centre of Munich and grab a beer or 2 and a sausage).

DACHAU CONCENTRATION CAMP MEMORIAL SITE

Dachau Concentration Camp

The concentration camp at Dachau was Nazi Germany’s first ever concentration camp. The prison held over 200,000 people during its 12 years, but since 1965 the site has been a memorial to the devastation of that era and the lives that were lost. Dachau is located close to the city and 30-minute long or two-and-a-half-hour long walking tours are available as well as audio guides. (It’s not an easy tour but well worthwhile).

LANDSHUT

Landshut Day Trip

The picture-perfect town of Landshut is bright and beautiful – with stunning multi-colored houses and a very famous castle, which hosts the Royal Wedding Festival every four years to celebrate the companionship of Bavaria and Poland. Discover the town’s differing architecture, from the Middle Ages to Renaissance-Baroque, as well as Bavarian beer halls, delicious local restaurants, and Trauznitz Castle, which dates back to 1204.

HERRENCHIEMSEE NEW PALACE

Herrenchiemsee New Palace

This impressive palace was the incredible vision of King Ludwig – precisely his idea to build an exact replica of Versailles Palace in Paris. The stunning complex of royal buildings is located on an island in the region’s large lake – the Chiemsee. Explore the majestic interior of this fairytale palace, which features marquetry floors, carved panels, stucco marble, and ceiling frescoes. (King Ludwig is also responsible for the ultra famous Neuschwanstein Castle- below).

WENDELSTEIN MOUNTAIN

Wendelstein Mountain

Wendelstein Mountain is probably one of the easiest access points for exploring the Alps in Bavaria. Drive to the base of the mountain, before taking the cable car or train to reach the 6,000-foot summit. Revel in the spectacular Alpine views from the top, where you can also enjoy a warming coffee or hot chocolate in a delightful cabin restaurant or cafe. If you are more of an adventurer take the hiking trails to the top – although you might want to allow more time for this option.

LANDSBERG AM LECH

Landsberg am Lech

Just half-an-hour from Munich, Landsberg am Lech is yet another shining example of a stunning and traditional Bavarian city. On a first glance Landsberg am Lech looks as though it hasn’t changed at all since its creation, with buildings dating back to the Medieval period – including the impressive Mother’s Tower and the Schmalzturm Tower. Visitors can trace the ancient lines of the city by walking the old city walls or learning more about its intriguing history at the Herkomer Museum.

NEUSCHWANSTEIN CASTLE

Neuschwanstein Castle Road Trip

The absolutely mesmerizing Neuschwanstein Castle is the moment that those fairytale dreams truly become a reality. The breathtaking 19th century palace is something to behold – and is known for being the real life inspiration for Disney’s fairytale classic “Sleeping Beauty”. Originally built for Ludwig II of Bavaria, the castle has been open to visitors since his death and offers its guests unique views across the Bavaria landscape. Be sure to spend some time exploring the beautifully landscaped gardens here, too. (Allow most of a day for your visit. The parking lot is busy and a 10 minute walk from the base of the mountain. You can walk up to the castle (minimum 30 minutes) or pay to ride in a horse drawn wagon. You’ll also wait and pay an admission to get inside the castle).

Travel Freely and At Your Own Pace

When you are looking to experience the best Germany has to offer, you’ll need a reliable means of transportation. Book an affordable car rental in Munich and you’ll have access to endless touristic opportunities and sites! Compare rates, shop names you recognize and find the best deal. Save time and money with my link to Auto Europe.