While traveling in Italy, I quickly learned that there were many things different than from the U.S. I immediately realized that there were things that I took for granted but also many things that I wished I had in the U.S. Throughout, the different cities we visited things that I was most surprised about did not change in one city from the next. I learned that the norms that were completely different than from the U.S. which I expected but didn't realize how big the differences would be. Here, I write about all the things that surprised me about traveling through Italy.
1. The food quality is better than the U.S.
They have higher food restrictions for the food they serve. Italy serves a lot of fresh produce and has a lot of markets for people to buy fresh produce.
2. You have to pay for water
We have taken this for granted in the US. You want to save money, you order water. You have been dying in the heat and desperately need a drink, you want some water. You won't be drinking unless you pay their outrageous price for it.
3. You will be paying to use the restroom
Make sure you have some pocket change with you at all times or you will not be able to do anything! This includes basic tasks like using the restroom.
4. You don't have to tip your server
In Italy, they are given good wages so they aren't relying on tips. Many tips are included in the service charge. Many people tip as courteous for good service but it is not required.
5. There are pick-pocketers everywhere
They will do anything to have you distracted to pick your pockets. In Italy, you have to be aware of all your surroundings. At any moment, your stuff or money could be stolen in a blink of an eye.
6. You won't eat pasta every meal
I think when people think of Italy they think of pasta. I thought that I would be eating pasta every meal. That was not the case though. I tried many different types of food through each city I visited in Italy.
7. There is SO MUCH traffic
You need to get to your dinner reservation at 6 but you end up showing 45 minutes late because there is no organization in the street. There are mopeds weaving in and out of cars as people are trying to walk through the streets. You will be moving an inch a minute.
8. You will eat more cheese than you ever had
You will eat so much cheese in every meal. Whether you order the cheese plate for an appetizer or you eat a Caprese salad for lunch. Cheese is sprinkled on almost every dish you'll eat in Italy. So your cheese intake will be highly increased in Italy.
9. You will fall in love with expressos
Every corner is a coffee shop. Most people in America would want to drink coffee but everyone in Italy drink expresso to boost their energy for the day. It is was normal for tourist and locals to be stopping at coffee shops every day.
10. Touristy places are way more crowded than they seem
On Instagram, you see the clearest pictures of travel bloggers in front of the Coliseum without people in the background. Those bloggers must have stood in position for 3 hours because there are people constantly around you inches away from you.