Wearing shorts when visiting a church

Italian cathedrals and churches are a must-see given their priceless art and historic appeal. Yet you’ll find most have signs prohibiting shorts.

Hey, Catholics are sticklers; plus, Europeans don’t typically wear shorts — at least not as frequently as Americans. Bare shoulders may also halt passage, but sweaters or scarves should solve that.

Don’t order a latte

Let’s see… what do you want? a coffee? or milk? Latte means milk, so if you order a latte, you’ll get a glass of milk. On the other hand, if you want a coffee, ask for an espresso, cappuccino… Try to remember that.

Eating pizza and pasta incorrectly

Every culture has established a decorum around dining, including Italians. Pasta isn’t cut up or twirled with a spoon. Pizza is eaten with a knife and fork. Oh, and avoid asking for extra cheese or sauce—it’s some kind of faux pas back home.

Trusting GPS

GPS is helpful, but don’t leave it solely to satellites. It’s common in Italy for several towns or villages — in different regions — to have the same name. Therefore, you may want to dust off those topography skills and peruse the local map.

Don’t eat in the Tourist Spots

This is a pretty standard rule of thumb to follow for most countries if you’re looking for authentic food, and Italy is definitely no different.

If you’re visiting a tourist attraction and you want to have some authentic Italian lunch, take some time to go a bit further from the area and you’ll get to enjoy some real Italian food.

Skip the cards, stick with cash

Having cash with you is the easiest method of payment in Italy. Most places don’t accept card payments for a bill under €10 and credit cards are not widely accepted, so it’s always best to carry cash. Oh, and gents, to avoid easy thefts put your wallet anywhere — except your back left pocket.

Don’t forget to drive carefully

In Italy, there are limited traffic zones. You’ll need a permit to go through them and they don’t give them to tourists. The ‘Centro Storico’ is usually a limited traffic area.

There are no barriers, however, so if you cross over the limits a camera will take a picture of your license plate and you’ll get a hefty fine… even if your car is rented.