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.

Why You Shouldn’t Say “Ciao” in Italy (

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…

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.

Sicilian identity:  Most island ‘Italians’ consider themselves not from Italy


Best safe places to visit in Italy? Is it true that there are lots of gypsy pick-pockets?

I’m planning a trip to Italy, which includes visiting the Vatican… but I was wondering whether that is possible since the Vatican is a country by itself, I heard. Also, which cities in Italy are safe to visit without the existence of gypsy pick-pockets? I never heard about these gypsies till I heard about it from an ex-colleague who went to Italy (although he wouldn’t tell me about his trip in detail).
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It’s not necessary you put yr money under yr vests but it’s true that’s better you don’t keep it in a normal handbag because the possibility to be robbed is rather high in any city of Italy (but I’ve been just one time victim of a pick-pocket and it was in NYC…). Cities as Naples and others in the south of Italy have their worst name here in Italy but all the towns are as safe as well they aren’t. Here in Italy we are usually keeping money and documents in a satchel with a strap weared as a belt (money stays safe on our belly…) but most important is we don’t carry too much cash with us. We are using (I believe the same is by you) credit cards and mostly of the American cards are welcome here by us. Don’t wear costly garments,expensive watches or jewels; however it’s enough the common sense to avoid any problem.As to yr other question don’t worry since it’s true that the Vatican is a country by itself but there is no border with Italian territory (Rome) and you can cross the line all the times you want without anybody saying you anything.
Come to Italy quietly and enjoy our country.Here we have no highlights,all the territory is amazing and worthy with a visit.
I’m sure that you’ll be “sadboy” just the day you’ll be returning yr home.

Hi,,,, just be aware of the pick pockets and they are not all gypsies…. they work in groups of 2 or more,,,and your wallet purse, phone, camera,, is all subject to get taken….just be aware of what is going on around you… and dont let people bump into you….

good luck

We went with a group and the group leader kept telling us over and over again about guarding our purses and wallets from the pick-pockets, so it must be a problem. We had demonstrations about how to carry our money and valuables. We were told to use a fanny pack or a small satchel with a strap and put it around our waist under our clothes. The fanny pack buckles around the waist and the satchel goes over your shoulder and around the chest. Both are to go under the clothes with your shirt tucked into your pants and wearing a belt. Most of the people did this and we did not have any problems. Either we did not see any pick-pockets or they were unsuccessful because none of my group lost anything. It was very diffucult to get your money out to pay for things, you practically had to undress, but I guess that is the price you pay for safety.

melissa r
I was there last month alone…no problems. Hotel domus was very clean and affordable..vatica city take a bus or metro……Tons of beggars there. Just put your money in a money belt, youll be fine……more specific questions, feel free to email me…

Ken B
Why blame the gypsies

There may be a lot of pick pockets, but hardly any will be Roma(Gypsy, as you so ignorantly refer to us as). We have no more criminals than your own bloody race. For your information, we(Roma) generally avoid you people, as gadje(non-Roma) are marime(dirty/unclean/evil).

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