So, you’re going to Italy …

  • Hello, everyone. Celi asked me for some helpful tips for her upcoming holiday and I was very happy to oblige. I’ve since learned from a very reliable little bird that MILAN is the destination for our friend. With that tweet in mind, I’ve included not just travel details for Italy but also some transportation info specific to Milan, as well as a bit more for Rome —  just in case that bird proves to be not so reliable after all. Andiamo …

Florence view

The City of Florence, as seen from the Piazzale de Michelangelo

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Generally …

At one time, tour books were a necessity. Today, with smartphones, we can access information no matter where we are — so long as there’s WiFi. Either make sure your accommodations supply free WiFi or find the nearest McDonald’s or WiFi café. (You may wish to purchase and download a maps app to your tablet/smartphone so that you can download maps for those times when you’re without internet and there’s not a McDonald’s in sight.)  When in a new or unfamiliar city, I use Trip Advisor to find restaurants and places of interest but the site can also be used to book tickets, make hotel reservations, and the like. Many use The Lonely Planet in much the same way and there are any number of sites offering the same services. 

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florences-cathedral2

The Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore of Florence, “Il Duomo”

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When traveling, today there are a number of choices for accommodations and many sites to help you find a hotel room or flat. I’ve used Hotels.com and Booking.com for hotel rooms and VRBO to rent flats. I know friends have used Airbnb without complaint.  The type of lodging you get really depends upon what you want. Hotels have all of the amenities and, unlike here in the States, will provide a full breakfast every morning. A flat has fewer amenities but will give you more privacy and very often much more space. The earlier you go about securing a flat, the more amenities you’ll find — i.e., in-flat laundry facilities, free WiFi, terrace, choice locations, etc. If renting a flat, be sure to look at the entire listing. Very often, additional charges will be required for items like city taxes, extra towels, and cleaning services — either daily or once your stay ends.

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bologna-produce-markets

The Quadrilatero, Bologna’s food market

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Once you’ve arrived and settled into your room, take a walk to get to know your neighborhood. Look for a good trattoria that you can return for lunch or an afternoon espresso. By the way, if you sit at a table at one of these cafés, you’ll be expected to pay more than you would if you stand at the counter.  If I need a rest or want to people watch, I’ll take a seat. If all I need is a shot of caffeine, I’ll spend a few minutes at the counter. Speaking of espresso, in Italy it is customary to enjoy cappuccino until noonevery day. After 12:00, it’s espresso all the way, although an after dinner caffè is perfectly acceptable. By the way, the same “table fee” often holds true for taking a seat at a gelateria. Speaking of which, avoid a place where the banana gelato is very yellow or the pistachio is really green. This could be an indication that the gelato has been colored and is not all natural. A look at the Trip Advisor website will point you to a great place for gelato.

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prosciutteria

A Prosciutteria

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If you’re lucky, you’ll come upon a market in your neighborhood. You’re sure to be tempted by the fresh fruit and vegetables. DO NOT TOUCH!!!! It is very frowned upon for customers to handle any of the edible items. A clerk, very often wearing latex gloves, will come to your aid and either select something for you or grab whatever you want. If you’re even more lucky, in the area there will be a salumeria (for salami) or prosciutteria (for prosciutto). Very often they’ll also have fresh bread and a selection of cheeses for sale, too. Soon you’ll return to your room with breakfast and lunch for the following day — or one heckuva late night snack.

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Getting around …

One thing to remember: no matter how you’re getting around, remain alert with an eye on your belongings. When traveling alone, falling asleep on a train with your bag next to you is an invitation for trouble. The same advice applies no matter where you travel, be it stateside or abroad.

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the-fabriano-train-station

Departing the Fabriano station

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Train travel …

A few things to consider  

    1. Really no need for rail passes if traveling solely in Italy. Seat reservations are very often required with a fee associated, with or without a rail pass. Obviously, a rail pass is the less economical choice.  
    2. You can purchase tickets online or at terminals in the stations. A credit card with PIN is required. Unless traveling on a major holiday, no need for advance purchase. However, some fares may be cheaper when booked in advance.
    3. Three sites to buy tix online
      1. ItaliaRail.com  Easy to use and may even be a little cheaper if more than 1 person is traveling.  ONLY FOR TRAVEL IN ITALY.
      2. Trenitalia.com Not as foreigner-friendly as is ItaliaRail, with some clunky translations. Does not show Italo trains.
      3. Loco2.com UK-based company that sells tix throughout western Europe, not just Italy.
    4. For an overview of train travel in Italy, go to: http://www.thecrowdedplanet.com/simple-guide-italian-trains/
    5.  For a much more complete look at train travel in Italy, go to: http://www.seat61.com/Italy-trains.htm#What are Italian trains like

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in-case-bus-travel-is-not-for-you

In case bus travel is not for you.

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Bus Travel …

If your holiday is going to be spent in one city or town, trains will get you there and back again but they aren’t much good for touring the area. This is where buses come in. There are far too many options to describe here but this website will give you information on bus & transportation web links throughout Italy and Europe.  http://www.busstation.net/index.phpeurope/westerneurope/italy/

Local Buses …

I’ve little experience with them, preferring to walk or use the Metro to get around. For example, this link will supply Rome-related bus info:  https://www.rometoolkit.com/transport/rome_bus.htm,  

and this link will give you Milan-related public transit-related info: https://www.tripadvisor.com/Travel-g187849-s303/Milan:Italy:Public.Transportation.html 

Similar sites exist for just about every city you’ll visit.

Metro …    

A number of Italian cities have subways, “Metro”. Use this link to find the Metro maps for Catania, Genoa, Milan, Naples, Perugia, Rome, and Turin. http://mapa-metro.com/en/Italy/  You’ll find the Metro to be a clean, safe way to get around the city. 

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romes-iconic-colosseum-1

Rome’s iconic Colosseum 1

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Dining …

  Perhaps the greatest of all of Italy’s tourist attractions is the food. Mamma mia! Absent a Zia Pina to cook and cater to your every whim, there are a number of ways to find a good meal. A website like Trip Advisor will list the area’s restaurants and rate them based upon its users’ rankings. I’ve never been steered wrong by them. Ask the hotel concierge or a staff member for suggestions. The owner/manager of the flats I’ve rented will often leave a “Welcome” sheet or book that gives you the “lay of the land” that will include restaurants. Lastly, while walking around, make note of places full of locals for lunch. I’ve enjoyed some wonderful meals based on these non-verbal “recommendations”. Try to avoid the cafés that line the popular piazze and monuments. No matter how good the food, it tends to be over-priced. Still, they are great for people watching and you are on holiday. A caffè and biscotti won’t break the bank and the view is always fascinating. That pretty much holds true for restaurants, too. Places nearest tourist points of interest tend to be higher priced than those located a few blocks away without any difference in the quality served. In Venice, for example, dining near the Grand Canal or Piazza San Marco will cost significantly higher than restaurants located a little off the tourist-beaten path. Best to refer to the tour book/sites or a kindly local for help with the decision.

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When dining in Italy, remember it is highly recommended that you avoid using grated cheese with seafood pasta. In fact, the wait staff probably won’t even bring it to the table unless you ask. I don’t suggest asking. (This is not a silly custom. It is believed that many types of seafood are so delicately flavored that grated cheese will simply overpower them.)  Don’t be shy. If you have a question about an item on the menu, just ask. I’ve yet to find a wait person in Italy that wasn’t helpful or in any way rude. The biggest bargain on any menu in Italy is the wine. Unlike here, there is very little mark-up for a bottle purchased in a restaurant as opposed to a store. (Speaking of wine, it is readily available in any number of stores throughout Italy. While you’re on the walk I spoke of earlier, I bet there will be a shop of some sort selling wine — maybe even a tasting or two — within a short distance of your rooms.) The wait staff in Europe’s restaurants and cafés are all paid a living wage unlike here. This means that although tips are appreciated, the staff is not dependent upon them to earn a living. Having worked in a bar, I can’t leave a table without giving the wait person something, usually about 5% of the bill, although I have left as much as 10% for truly exceptional service, heavy emphasis on “exceptional”.

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romes-trevi-fountain-2

Don’t forget to toss a coin or 3 into Rome’s Trevi Fountain.

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Most importantly, have fun wherever you go, whatever you do. My nephew and I dined at Costanza’s in Rome one evening. Why? With both of us being “Seinfeld” fans, how could we possibly pass it up? Similarly, when in Bologna, I make a point of stopping for a caffè somewhere along the Via Zamboni. Life-long hockey fans will understand.

I have been fortunate enough to have toured Italy on several occasions. On one such trip, in the spring of 2012, my Zia Lea accompanied me. It was by far my favorite time spent with her. Lasting 2 weeks, we managed to see Venice, Florence, and Rome. Not only did we see ALL of the sights, we also survived swarming pigeons, a transit strike, walked — unwittingly — in a pro-labor march, and I laughed as some gossiping women went slack-jawed when Zia spoke to them in Italian. Oh! I almost forgot. Zia met and shook hands with the Pope. Now, that is a memory I’ll never forget! Members of the Fellowship can read all about it in a two-part post that I shared back in 2012. Here’s Part 1 and here’s Part 2.

Now that you know where I live on WordPress, don’t be a stranger. I’ll be more than happy to assist you in any way that I can should you find yourself planning a trip to “the Old Country”. If yours is to be a secret get-away, don’t tell any birds!

chg john

John blogs here at the Bartolini Kitchens.  

90 Comments on “So, you’re going to Italy …

  1. Fabulous! It took me right back to my trip to Italy in the 1990s. Thanks very much! And I guessed Milan when Celi gave us hints 2 posts, so I’m quite pleased with myself.

    • Thanks, Allison. I’ve never made it to Milan but hope springs eternal. Maybe next time I get to Italy. Fingers crossed …

    • Thanks, Nadia. I so enjoy visiting Italy that his post was a breeze to write. It also made me want to hop on a plane and get back there. If only it was so easy, eh?

  2. Thank you for a very useful article: it will be filed hoping that I will soon make it back to what for over two decades was always our first stop in from Australia and my daughters’ second favourite ‘home away from home’ from age four to being ‘grown up’. Some matters may have changed 🙂 ! Am so wonderfully happy for Celi: the moment she spoke about slimming diets and art et al that had to be it and a warm conversation she had with a blogfriend sealed the deal in my mind. Thank you . . . I know you are looking forwards to your next time: hope you did not forget that coin > Trevi!!

    • Thanks, Eha. I’m not at all superstitious but every time I’m in Rome, I’ve made a point of visiting and paying the fountain. Each of the last few times, I thought would be my last. Yet, a couple years later, I’m tossing more coins into Trevi. I cannot imagine going back to Rome again but, at this point, I won’t say never. Coins tossed in the Trevi Fountain are apparently very powerful. Who am I to resist? 🙂

  3. Wuaooo John 😆you have been very good in the description of every detail!!! You notice that you know us and you love Italy🌼I’m grateful for that. Have a good week, bye🌻

    • Grazi mille, Marilena. Oh, yes, I do love traveling in Italy. If I ever win the lottery, you all will tire of seeing so much of me. Italy is my favorite holiday destination. You, too, have a great week.

    • Thank you, Charlotte. Your mention of the salumeria near your home in Milan reminded me to add the place to my post. Between that and the prosciutteria, I really was in heaven!

  4. Grazie tanto, John, and if I ever make it back to my favourite city of all time, Firenze, I’ll be sure to use all those links to help me in my journey. I hope Miss C has an outstanding time in Milan and doesn’t spend too much on fabulous leather boots and bags….

    • I am so with you, Kate. I absolutely love Firenze. When there, I daydream of how nice it would be to pass through the Piazza della Signoria on my way to and from work every day. Can you imagine? I was last there 2 years ago and my family has mentioned meeting me there if and when I return to Italy. All the more reason to go .. 🙂

  5. John as usual, a great and timely blog. My all time favourite is Rome. I wandered the streets for hours. Ah, La Dolce Vita!
    Diana

    • La Dolce Vita is right, Diana. I, too, spend hours just walking around when I’m in Rome. Today, I’ll stop at this church, tomorrow that one. It’s a wonderful place to spend a holiday.

  6. When two off us travelled Italy (back in 1994) we used ItaliaRail and it got us all the way from Naples to Lecco on the Swiss border, we used the bus once from Florence to Sienna on a day trip and our bus driver had a heart attack at the wheel, just managing to stop the bus in time on a lonely, windy Tuscany road. We were rescued by local Police who supplied us with blankets and bottled water, but most amazingly when we eventually disembarked replacement bus we were refunded 1/2 of our return ticket! More Lira had to spend in Florence 🙂 Aaah, I need to get back to Italy … sigh. Laura

    • Wow, Laura! That sounds frightening! I’m glad that no one (apparently) were injured and hope the driver fully recovered. Yes, save the lira for Florence, although now it’s all about the Euro. I do miss lira, though. I felt like a millionaire walking around with 100,000 lira notes in my pocket. 🙂

  7. Thank you for the tour. I don’t travel, but this made me very interested in Italy. Beautiful city, great food and it looks like a fantastic place to go.

    • You’re very welcome, Ramona. If ever you are able to get away, Italy would make a great destination. I really do love any time that I can spend there. I’m sure that you would, too. 🙂

  8. Brilliant post John. Some really fantastic advice and I’ll have to print this out for the day Big Man and I finally get our act together and do a driving holiday to Italy. I know I’ll be back in Rome one day as I always throw a few coins in the fountain, as I did last time…so it will happen!

    • Oh, to be seated in the back seat of your car as you drive about. Now that would be fun! I always toss a few coins, Tanya, but the last few times, I was convinced I wouldn’t return. Yet, a couple years later, I’m tossing more coins into the darn thing. Last time, Zia Pina and I tossed them together. It would be wonderful to get back to Rome with her again. 🙂

  9. Mille Grazie, Chicago John (my dear old Toddlin’ Town for fifteen years long ago). I enjoyed reading your tips for a trip in Italy & hope to go there again one day. It is just weird that I have been to Genoa & Portofino, and to Naples & Sicily. Some fine day I hope to see the Main Part–the Mid Section of that beautiful & divine country. I’ll save this post to guide me. Buonjiorno! & Ciao!

    • Prego! Isn’t that interesting. I’ve never been further north than Bologna — and that’s because I fly into there on my way to visit my family in the Rep of San Marino. I’ve been to the Big 3 (Rome, Venice, and Florence); driven along the west coast and around Sicily, and spent some time in Marche. I hope to get back to Italy for another family visit and this time, go north. Cinque Terra is on my bucket list. Fingers crossed. Buonjiorno!

  10. How cool! My husband and I are going to Rome in March, so this post and all your suggestions will come very handy. Thanks for sharing and Bon Voyage to Celi 🙂

    • I am so jealous, Giovanna! You are in for a real treat! I cannot wait to hear all about your trip, just as I’m eager to hear Celi’s impressions of Milan. In case we don’t “talk” beforehand, have a wonderful trip. Buon viaggio!

    • Deb, I sincerely hope that you can make it to Italy one day. I’m an antiquities buff and am in heaven walking around Rome. And then there’s a food. Wow! Yes, I do hope you get to experience Italy.

  11. What a delightful post! FD and I are just a couple of pokey Okies from the midwest US, but we have hopes of doing a lot of travel abroad one day. You have really done a fine job with essential information regarding various areas of Italy, and provided us with lots of great travel tips. It looks like we need to bring our appetites and good walking shoes to Italy!! 😀

    • Thank you. That’s one thing I love about Italy. I really do eat whatever I want and as often as I want. In fact, my last trip, I instituted my “Pasta a Day” diet, and literally enjoyed at least one dish of pasta daily. I didn’t gain an ounce during that trip. Of course, I walked everywhere and that’s the key. I cannot imagine going to, say, Rome and not trying to see as much as possible — and I’ve been there a half-dozen times. That same visit, although I didn’t realize it, I had a stress fracture in my heel. Didn’t slow me down one bit! 😀

  12. Great tips! Particularly the one about Rail Pass — good to know. And I do like to people watch so I’d probably take a table at a café! Super post — thanks.

    • Thanks, John. Yes, I’ve purchased Rail Passes in the past but never when I’ve remained in Italy. Train travel is such an easy and economical way to get around the peninsula. Last spring, I criss-crossed the peninsula twice and had no problem doing so. I wish our rail system could compare — in a positive way. 🙂

  13. Great post John, thank you for all the good tips. I love Italy and hope to return soon. In 2014 my husband and I spent Thanksgiving week in Rome . It was wonderful.

    • Thank you, Gerlinde. What a great way to celebrate Thanksgiving! I’ve dreamt of spending Christmas in Firenze. Heck! I day dream of spending any time there. I love it!

  14. My travel days are over but it’s always nice to travel by armchair. You have some excellent tips here for those that do get to still wander about the world. Great travelog.

    • Thank you so much. I’ve never been to Milan so I’ll be joining you in an armchair and avidly read of Celi’s travels. 🙂

    • I so hope that you both can find a way to get to Italy one day. Nothing I say can equal the sensation of walking down the Via Sacra in the Forum, past the ruins of the Temple of Saturn, walking up the stairs to the massive bronze doors to the Roman Senate., or walking around the Temple of the Vestal Virgins. You’re quite literally following the footsteps of some of history’s giants. There are few places on earth like it. 🙂

      • I know~ I would LOVE to walk in the footsteps of the ancients! I would also like to go to Turkey the beginning of civilization. What a dream! Thank you so much for sharing!

        • When you make it to Turkey, be sure to visit Ephesus (St. Paul’s Letters to the Ephesians). It is an incredible sight and it’s amphitheater still has fantastic acoustics. On the town’s outskirts is where the Temple of Artemis once stood, although nothing of it remains today. It is truly an amazing place.

  15. Wonderful, wonderful post and tips, John. I remember a similar “rule” about cafe tables in France. But there are many tips here that I will reference if, fingers crossed, I get back to Italy. I’ve only been to Rome so far and have a friend who lives outside Cortona, so the country is high on my list. Thanks for this great post and your wonderful pictures. 🙂

    • Thanks, Betsy. I’m glad you found this useful. Yes, do get back to Italy if you get the chance. It is one place that is definitely worth a 2nd, or third, visit.

  16. Oh, what a surprise. I never thought you would give a guest post at Celi’s. Nice, nice, nice… so well done. What a special Cicerone you are, John… 🙂 – Brings up so nice memories from the past from long time ago – Florence, Bologna, Rome, Venice, Naples, Sicily and on and on… I loved Italy so very much once.
    Thank you so much for sharing your experience and knowledge!
    And to Celi: Just enjoy! – I bet this trip brings you close to lots of your very own memories, too!

    • You just never know where I’m going to pop up, Irmi 🙂
      I do love Italy, Irmi, making it easy to write a post like this. I really do hope I can get back there again. Maybe w could meet for a caffè along the Grand Canal?

  17. Great tips, John. I’m sure Celi will find them helpful. I wish travel was something I could do, Italy would be very high on the list. My father was there during World War II and wished he could go back and see the country when in a better state. He also met the Pope along with several other soldiers when he was in Rome. He said there were many things he would have enjoyed seeing and I’m sure it would’ve been something he would have treasured. I would like to see some of the places he talked about. Lovely photos too.

    • That’s one of the joys in returning to place that you once visited, discovery the changes time has wrought and those things that are exactly as remembered. Sorry that you’re unable to travel there. It is quite an experience to visit places that a parent once described. I had the opportunity to visit the village, one-room school, and farm that Dad had described to us countless times. I could almost feel him with me, repeating the tales, as I walked around.
      Thanks for your kind words and for sharing a bit of your father with us. Have a great weekend!

  18. John! You don’t know how surprised I was to see your WP banner at the top of Celi’s page when I clicked on her post! What a wonderful tour guide for our friend Celi while she’s in Milan. Actually it’s a wonderful guide for anyone! Mama Mia! xo

    • You just never know where I’m going to pop up, Katheryn. Best to keep you all guessing. 🙂
      Thanks for the kind words. Writing about Italy is a dream assignment. It gives me an opportunity to go back through the photos and reminisce about some truly wonderful holidays and visits with my family. I’m trying to figure out a way to get back there. Fingers crossed …

  19. what a “delicious” post, John. Back the times when I lived in Germany I would go to Italy hundrets of times, actually I am more home sick to Italy than to Germany. The last few recent trips to Italyl I travelled by train. Viva dolce vita, Italy.

    • I am so glad that you enjoyed the post! How I envy the Europeans. No matter where you call home, the rest of Europe is but a relatively short train ride away. I watch with envy the travels of my cousins, who always see to be in another country. Living in Germany and traveling to Italy, it seems to me that you had the best of both worlds. 🙂

  20. Buona Sera John! I miss my trips to Italy and just looking at your photo at the market made me feel like we are right there with you.

    • Buongiorno, BAM!! Yes, that photo is one of my favorites. It’s such a narrow street but the produce is unbelievable and there are a few seafood shops on the other side. If I could find a seat, I’d be more than happy to sit and people watch for hours. Have a great weekend!

  21. credo che segnalerò questo post a qualche ufficio del turismo, ti daranno senz’altro qualche onorificenza speciale!
    John, sei straordinario!!!!!!!!
    Annalisa

  22. You’ve sold me! I’m going to be checking for online seat sales.

    But if I don’t make it there this year, your post and photos were a fabulous virtual vacation in the meantime.

    • Thanks, Ruth. I do hope you can get to Italy for a holiday. I guarantee you an unforgettable experience.
      You may find it more reasonable to get there than you might expect. Last spring, I flew out of Chicago’s O’Hare airport but my nephew flew out of Toronto. His flight was considerably cheaper. I live too far from Toronto to make the savings worthwhile, considering the additional train fare and time spent in transit. Still, it may be worth a look. Good luck!

    • Now there’s a thought. I could claim the costs from my (much hoped for) next trip as business expenses. Research, ya know! Perhaps another cookbook, too. That would cover any meals and classes I may attend. Wouldn’t that be something? 😀

  23. Well here we are a stone’s throw from one another, John! I enjoyed your photos and downloaded your suggestions for traveling by train in Italy. Luckily, I have been to Italy a few times but with tour groups and/or another couple. Once, however, when I was single many moons ago, I was in Rome and determined to visit Keats’ and Shelley’s graves. I don’t speak Italian but do speak a tiny whiff of French. That was no help at all. Finally, drawing crosses on graves got me to the Protestant Cemetery outside Rome.
    My husband’s father was born and raised in Carrara. When he emigrated here, he became a stone cutter in Rutland, Vermont, as did his brothers. Later, he became a draftsman here in Chicago, traveling to Saudi Arabia in the 50’s as a trouble shooter.
    I went to your blog just now and see you’ve “gone fishin'”. Your photos are absolutely mouth-watering–particularly the cherry pie. True to my name, I was especially amused to see the picture of the horses–in case we didn’t care to travel by bus!!

    • I’ve never taken a tour while in Italy, although I have travelled with friends and family. I truly enjoy any time that I can spend there. I know just enough Italian to be dangerous but, luckily, that’s not been much of a problem. Mom was born here, her parents immigrated early last century. Dad was born here but raised in Italy. He returned in the mid-30s and paved the way for his siblings who came after WWII. One brother eventually returned to San Marino with his family and they are who I visit when I head across The Pond. I hope to go back next year or the year following, if all goes well. Never have been to Cinque Terra and I think it’s about time I did something about it! 🙂
      Thanks for the visit and for leaving such a nice comment.

  24. Great post, John. There is one piece of advice I’d add: at some bakeries or cafes or restaurants along the freeway (Autogrill), you are supposed to pay first and then give your receipt to the person behind the counter to get your food or beverage. Especially if it is crowded at lunchtime, it can be frustrating to find out you were standing in the wrong line.
    Also, with TripAdvisor and other review sites, it helps to actually read the reviews. I’ve found that sometimes a high score means that the staff is friendly and/or the portions are large, not necessarily that the food is good.

    • Thanks for the tip, Stefan, although I’ve rented a car several times in Italy, I’ve never stopped for anything along the freeway. When I do stop, invariably it’s to see a small village where I find a restaurant, very often recommended by Trip Advisor or a similar service. Yes, you’re so right about the reviews on Trip Advisor — or, for that matter, any site that offers reviews. Still, I prefer to refer to 1 or 2 of these sites rather than judge a place by the menu posted at the door. Like anything, caveat emptor.
      Thaks for following me over her, Stefan. Hope you’re having a great week.

      • We do not always take the time to have lunch at a restaurant, and AutoGrill is actually quite good (as is clear from the hordes of Italians that have lunch there).

  25. Great advice, all. And oh how I wish I was headed there right now! But can you explain to me the reason for the Italians’ love of latex gloves? I’ve never seen anything like it, anywhere. The overflowing trash cans of them in every vegetable/fruit market seem so, well, wasteful…

    • You and me both, Michelle! I so enjoy my time in Italy and welcome any opportunity to visit my family. I’ve not noticed the latex-filled trash cans but do like the idea of restricting customers’ handling fruit and vegetables. I wonder if they change gloves with every customer? You’re right. That would be so wasteful and is more in line with our way of thinking rather than that of a European. In my experience, they are far more advanced when it comes to recycling and conserving resources.

  26. I cannot believe I almost missed this most informative post, will bookmark for the next time we head over to Italy.
    I had to smile as I read about the Italian coffee etiquette, espresso only after twelve; apparently in England, it is absurd to order tea outside of tea time! The looks we got when we wanted tea for breakfast!

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