15 life hacks for studying abroad in Italy
1) Don't touch the produce! They like to pick out the best for you so ask for what you'd like to buy.
2) A bar in Italy is not what Americans think of as a bar, it's more of a cafe. If you want an American-style bar find a pub.
3) There are very few public restrooms, so if you see one take advantage. Most businesses have restrooms but you have to buy something before they allow you to use them.
4) Bars won’t accept big bills, they only accept small bills or exact change.
5) Italy is a cash-based economy, it is rare to use a credit/debit card and if you do it should be for bigger purchases.
6) When most places say they have wifi, there’s a good chance it won’t be like the Starbucks wifi in the States
7) In Italian culture, it is normal to drink during lunch and dinner, but no one really ever gets intoxicated.
8) Aperitivo is when you have cocktails and hors d'oeuvres before dinner, Italians hardly ever have drinks without food to accompany them.
9) Tabacchi’s are like really nice convenience stores that sell bus/train tickets, gum, chocolate, souvenirs, stamps, and you can even reload your SIM card there.
10) Get an Italian SIM card from TIM or Vodafone instead of paying for an international plan.
11) Expect warm showers, but not hot.
12) Dogs are allowed in most businesses, but people aren’t as willing to let you pet them as they are in the States.
13) If you see a running water source in a city or town fill up your water bottle.
14) At restaurants you will most likely have to pay a cover charge or “il coperto” which is a fee for sitting down, water is not free they will ask you for gas or no gas (sparkling), and because of the “il coperto” they don’t expect a tip.
15) Journal, if only a paragraph a day. You will want to remember how you felt in those moments.