Tips Culture and difference marks Italy as a country with a great deal of contrast to US, UK, CA and AU cultures. When in Rome it always helps if we try to do as the Romans!!
Language: Italian is a tricky language but here is the biggest tip. Never say Ciao unless you know the person WELL.
Always, always say ”Buongiorno “ or “Arrivederci“ rather than ciao. Ciao is extremely informal – for friends and children.
Article: Why You Shouldn’t Say “Ciao” in Italy (italylogue.com)
Tipping: Tipping in Italy is really essential. Wages are very low in Italy so all tour personnel and waiters rely on even a modest tip to help them make even a basic wage … especially on weekends, Xmas, when the national side are playing football or Easter. Working on the weekend in Italy is a sacrifice of treasured family time. We at PGT always give our tourists something extra whether it be insight, a photo detour or simply our level of dedication. Make it discreet and in the palm of aa handshake because Italy is also a fairly competitive and jealous culture at times – between workers mainly.
Shopping: shops close on Sundays (lunchtimes too) and if you need batteries for yr camera it can take valuable time out of the tour as the only place that sells batteries is the supermarket… and they close at noon for 2 or 3 hours – so do try to be prepared. In artesan industry it is not generally a good thing to try for a discount!
Cash: Always have enough to cover – as swipe machines and cash machines are not always serviceable when you need… no matter where you are, money belts are a great idea.
Driving: Country roads speed is normally 70km – Autostrada can be 120-140km!! Many (not all) Italian drivers are quite impatient and even tail gate.
Pedestrian Crossings: Even if you have right of way- Take care and let drivers completely stop before crossing. Do not take risks.
It identity: Most island ‘Italians’ consider themselves not from Italy