So many times that I’ve been to Italy that I even thought I knew all about Italy. However, just recently I realized I knew so little from Italy to the point where ALL of the facts that I’m going to list below shocked me so much! Maybe they will shock you too!
Don’t Walk Off Without The Bill Or Receipt
There’s a reason for this one, The Guardia di Finanza (tax police) may stop you as you leave an establishment and ask you to present your receipt. The shop keeper can be fined €2500 if you can’t demonstrate it.
Taxes are expensive in Italy and some shop keepers try to avoid paying taxes. It is their responsibility to make sure you leave with your receipt.
Cover Bare Shoulders And Knees When Entering A Church
Churches such as St. Peters Basilica in Rome, the Duomo in Florence, and St. Mark’s in Venice have strictly enforced dress codes. Basically no bare shoulders, midriffs, or knees. And while there isn’t a door keeper at every single church in Italy, these are still places of worship and you should be respectful when entering them.
Condom Vending Machines
Just last week I was walking around my little town with my boyfriend and his family. As we passed the farmacia (pharmacy), we suddenly see a condom vending machine. We were all quite shocked as we aren’t used to seeing those things back home (Venezuela). This particular vending machine had quite the selection!
Spotting Artisan Gelato
High-quality, artisan gelato can only be stored for a few days. It’s also a time consuming process to make it, so some shops in Italy are beginning to sell industrial, mass-produced gelato instead of making it using traditional methods. They taste amazing too! Give it a try some time!
Tipping Is Not Required And Can Even Be Considered Offensive
If you ever go to Italy don’t EVER tip anyone. No matter how tempted you are, don’t do it. The first time I went to Italy I tipped the waiter at the restaurant my boyfriend and I were eating at. As we were walking out the waiter basically chased us telling us that there is no need for us to do that there. As time went by, we realized that people can actually get offended by tipping.