Italy- Venice, Rome, The Vatican City

Italy to me was – Seeing the joy of locals serving customers food with a smile; The Italians singing while taking the gondola ride; smelling the Italian food while walking in the streets; deciding on which wine would go best with my meal; seeing old buildings with red tiled roofs; experiencing the turquoise water; walking along the streets with a gelato in my hand; exploring the famous fountains and ancient ruins. How can any holiday go wrong with all this!

Italy has many places which we wanted to visit like Tuscany, Sicily, Florence, Milan, Pisa, Pompeii, Naples and many more but then when you haven’t visited Rome and Venice itself unfortunately you have to push the others aside. 

After visiting Italy there is only one thing I feel- I’m not done with Italy, I will return and explore the rest of my list as well. 

TIME TO VISIT

We had chosen October to visit Italy and decided to spend 4 days here. It’s said the best time to visit Italy is from April to June and mid-September to October. This is best time as there are cheaper fares, less tourist and a perfectly comfortable weather. July to August is when the tourist is said to be at its peak as a result the prices are also high. 

The main thing to consider is which parts of Italy you plan to visit. Rome is said to be best visited during the winter season. Tuscan hills, Venice canals and Naples beaches is best enjoyed during the summer. 

It’s another destination which I personally feel can be enjoyed anytime of the year. Based on personal choices ad budget the holiday should be planned.

VENICE 

When you have a romantic person in your life visiting Venice with him was a given. The magical floating city felt like a romantic movie I’m featured in. I was all smiles walking along the narrow streets. Who would have known the ordinal swampy lagoons which initially had refugees then fisherman and later the richest trading would turn into this romantic place. Here in between the narrow lanes, twisted canals is actually a breathing city of love. Where is the time to be bored in the most romantic place!

TRAVELING AROUND VENICE

To reach Venice we had chosen the overnight train from Vienna. We had booked the tickets online, the journey was 10 hours and a very stressful one. We had read about robbery and taking of passports which made the trip very tedious. Personally we didn’t experience anything bad. 

From our hotel we had taken the bus to Venice. The buses were in an interval of 10 mins. You can either purchase a single-fare ticket, Tourist tickets (1,2,3 and 7 days), Tourist Travel Card, Venice Connected tourist pass or extended stay. The tickets work as the name suggest. You can either buy the tickets on the self-service ticket machines or in the stations. 

Once in Venice according to me it’s best explored on foot. I would recommend taking the map from the hotel or at a tourist offices and enjoy it on foot. They do charge for the maps but most hotels do provide one for free on request. 

Another option given its surrounded by water is the ACTV Water Transport. There are said to be 159 types of vaporettos (also known as water taxis and water buses) which are in the form of motorboats, ferry ships or motor vessels. There are said to be 120 floating stations and 30 well connected lines. The Lagoon lines will help you connect to external islands like Murano, Burton, Torcello, Sant’Erasmo and S.Servolo. There are also City Centre Lines which leave from Tronchetto, from Piazzale Roma and go as far as Lido Di Venezia. You have to buy single tickets (price includes 150cm luggage) which can be used for 75 minute and you can change vaporetto lines during this time. There are also 1,2,3 and 7 days and rolling Venice card to choose from.  After boarding you do need to validate the tickets or else you will be fined heavily. There are also Hop-on Hop off boats but we never used this. 

Then there is also the famous gondola rides with the maximum capacity of 6 passages. The rates are slightly higher at night. When in Venice I personally feel gondola ride is a must. There is also Traghetto which a public gondola crossing the Grand Canal. You will have to walk along the Grand Canal to find the boarding places. If you do not wish to spend a lot and still want the gondola feeling then Traghetto ride will be a good option. 

WHERE WE STAYED IN VENICE

We had stayed at Hotel Ambasciatori Mestre for 2 nights room only option. The main reason we had chosen this hotel was because it was close to public transport. We had early morning trains to and from Venice and this hotel was walkable distance to Mestre station. The bus stop to Venice centre was also opposite the hotel.

We had arrived early and had requested for an early check in. We were charged for the same but weren’t too happy with the politeness of the front desk staff. The rooms were clean and spacious but we did find it little outdated. Overall we weren’t that fussed as we only needed the room for a good night sleep, which it did. 

THINGS TO DO IN VENICE

RIALTO BRIDGE

This is the oldest bridge, dating back to 1173 of the four bridges in the Grand Canal. It connects San Marco and San Polo and one of the main attraction for tourist. It’s nice to stand on the bridge and feel the start to what you will witness during your time here. The crowd on the bridge itself can be a real disappointment, everyone is so busy taking photos it’s hard to get a moment on the bridge to enjoy the scenery. The bridge is surrounded by plenty of shops and restaurants. And you also get to witness the gondolas. It doesn’t matter if you are into architecture or a hopeless romantic you will definitely love it. 

ST.MARK’S SQUARE/ PIAZZA SAN MARCO

The historic square is known as one of the finest squares and a popular one too. The places is filled with arches, statues, shops, restaurant and amazing architecture. There are stunning views throughout your walk, a paradise for photographers. The place always feels alive and the singing of the Italians makes you truly enjoy the moment. Since most of the places are around this area, it’s an important place. We were not staying nearby so we only enjoyed it during the day, would recommend the night visit as well.

ST. MARK’S CLOCKTOWER

To the north of St. Mark’s square you will see the tower with the clock. Both the tower and clock is said to date back to the 15th century. The clock was placed so it’s visible from the water of the lagoon for everyone to see the glory and wealth of Venice. You need to pre book to visit the place. We didn’t take the tour but enjoyed it from out. The tower has a beautiful glimpse of Venetian architecture. Do wait for the hourly ring, its loud and well worth the wait.  

ST. MARKS’ BASILICA

A beautiful example of Italy-Byzantine architecture which has been there since 1807.  I was very much intrigued by the details on the exterior, mainly the Gothic ornamental roofline. In the centre of the gable you can see the apostle of St. Marks with angels. Beneath you can see the gold winged lion, said to be the symbol of the saint and of Venice. 

Then there is also the gold ground mosaics which also cover the upper areas of the interior. The interior is based on Greek cross along with marble floors. Each dome has a story to be told. 

Every details in St. Mark’s Basilica upon seeing closely has a beauty which needs to be admired and appreciated. 

ST MARK’S CAMPANILE

This is the bell tower of St. Mark’s Basilica which was reconstructed in 1912. It’s a tallest structure in Venice at an height of 323ft. The initial intentions of building it was to act as a watchtower to protect the city from approaching ships. 

The whole city from the top is well worth the visit. It’s beautiful from every end of the tower, 360 degree views of the city. There is an entry fee and it does get crowded here. But I feel the visit is well worth it, it’s nice to witness Venice equally pretty from top. 

PROCURATIE AND ALA NAPOLEONICA

This is basically the three buildings along the perimeter of Saint Mark’s square. From down it’s just a busy area and always crowded but one which can be appreciated more when viewed from above. The huge arches has helped its visitors relax under the shade and enjoy the beauty of the place. 

COLUMNS OF SAN MARCO AND SAN TODARO

Two columns which you can’t miss while walking along St Mark’s Square- Column of the Lion and Column of San Todaro. There is a story that if you stand in between the two columns you will have bad luck, maybe take the photo from a distance. There is also said to have been a third column, unfortunately this was close to the square and sank and is still not found. 

GRAND CANAL

This is the major water-traffic corridors in the city. One end leads to the lagoons and other to the basin of San Marco. The main beauty of Venice according to me.

Visiting Venice and not enjoying a Gondola ride to enjoy the grand canals is wrong in so many ways. We first explored Venice on foot and then took the ride.

During your ride you get to witness more than 170 buildings which are dating back to the 13th and 18th century. There are said to be many Venetian-Byzantine styled, Venetian Gothic architecture, Renaissance architecture, Venetian Baroque, Neoclassical architecture and Modern Era. Enjoying all this along the narrow lanes and the traditional Italian singing makes you not leave the place more. 

DOGE’S PALACE

The Doge’s Palace is facing the grand canal on St. Mark’s Square. Built in the 14th century and Venetian Gothic styled. There is an entry fee and depending on what you choose from you pay. We found the entry fee little expensive and decided to not see it from inside. 

BRIDGE OF SIGHS

An interesting enclosed white bridge which is made from limestones. The bridge has windows with stone bars and is said to connect the New Prison to the interrogation rooms in the Doge’s Palace. We saw this place both during our walk and our gondola ride. 

BASILICA S.MARIA GLORIOSA DEI FRARI

Also known as Frari, is in the heart of San Polo and one largest Gothic Venetian church in the city.  Church is dedicated to the Assumption of Mary. Don’t miss out the Titian painting of the Assumption of the Virgin above the altar. An impressive exterior made from bricks gets you thinking especially when you start looking closely at the details on the doors and windows. There is an entry fees but I would definitely recommend visiting it. 

CHURCH OF SAN MOISE

This Baroque styled Roman Catholic Church was built in 8th century. Upon looking at the exterior you can see many sculptures, where a lot of care is taken by the architect in making them. This doesn’t have an entry fee hence I would recommend seeing it from inside as well. 

MURANO- GLASS MUSUEUM

We wanted to experience the Venetian glass art hence we decided to visit Murano. Murano was Europe’s elite glass makers in the 15th and 16th centuries. They are known for their many innovations and refinements in glass making. We visited a glass museum to enjoy few of the glass making. 

Compared to Venice we found this place less crowded, enjoyed the quaint and tranquility. Everything was so bright, peaceful and colourful. We also had a friendly chat with the locals. Visited this in the morning before the crowd arrived and thoroughly enjoyed the place. 

OUR ITINERARY IN VENICE 

Use the map below as a guidelines to help while exploring Venice on foot.

Map courtesy Venice Toursim

Day 1

  • From Venice Mestre station we walked (950m) to Hotel Ambasciatori Venezia Mestre.
  • Took the 4L bus from opposite hotel to Venezia station.
  • Walked via Fondamenta Rio Marin to Basilica S.Maria Gloriosa dei Frari (800m)

  • Walked to Via Riva del Vin to Rialto Bridge (point 8 on map, roughly 900m)

  • Walked to Piazza San Marco (point 1 on map, roughly 550m)
  • Walked to St. Mark’s Basilica ( point 13 on map, roughly 110m)
  • Walked to St. Mark’s Campanile (130m)
  • You can also see Procuratie and Ala Napoleonica
  • Walked to St. Mark’s Clocktower (70m)
  • Walked to Column of San Marco & San Todora (190m)


  • Walked to Doge’s Palace (50m)
  • Walked to Bridge of Sighs (110m)
  • Walked Via P.Xa San Marco and Salizada S.Moise to Church of San Moise (300m)
  • Walked back along the streets towards the bus terminal. 
  • Took bus no.15 to Corso Del Popolo Torino and walked (70m) to our hotel.

Day 2

  • Took Bus no. 15 to Galilei Darsena. Then took the boat ride to Murano Colonna.
  • Walked and explore Murano.
  • Took the boat ride back to St. Mark’s square. 
  • Enjoyed the gondola ride.
  • Walked along the streets towards the bus terminal
  • Took bus no.15 to Corso Del Popolo Torino and walked (70m) to our hotel.

ROME

Rome- the capital city of Italy for some reason topped on our trip. Was it the transcendent history, the dazzling ruins, the architecture, the lively alleyways, the vibrant culture and surprise in every avenue or the colourful buildings! I was in love with this magnificent city. It showed us everything we read and more. 

TRAVELING AROUND ROME

We were traveling to Rome from Venice. Within Italy the two companies operating are Treltalia (state run) and Italo (privately operated). It will take roughly 4 hours to travel from Venice to Rome.

We had booked the tickets at the counter and had a very comfortable trip. We did book our tickets two days in advance that way we could reserve our seats well in advance. There are plenty of offers usually running so suggest to check before booking. 

Within Rome we mostly used the metro and to few places bus. Most of city’s main attraction can be easily reached in the metro. Rome has three main lines and we didn’t experience much crowd. The main lines we used were the Line A (Orange) and Line B (Blue). There are one-way tickets (lasts for 75 mins), Day Pass, 3 Day Tourist Pass, Week Pass and other travel cards. The tickets can be bought at vending machines, convenience stores or new agents. The metro system is easy to use and convenient mode of travel. 

Renting a scooter or using Hop on Hop off buses can also be an alternative. We didn’t use either of this. There were however plenty of hop on hop off buses which we saw during our travel. There are also taxi services to avail to, again we didn’t use this. 

WHERE WE STAYED IN ROME

We were staying in Rome for 2 nights. We had decided to stay in two separate hotels to make the most of our two days here.

For the first night we had chosen Mercure Roma Piazza Bologna room only option. The reason we choose this hotel was mainly because of the budget and the access to public transport (roughly 50m to Bologna train station). It was also very close to most of the tourist attractions. There were also many shops, restaurants and cafes nearby. The rooms were very spacious and clean. The staff were friendly, polite and approachable. On the second day we had requested for our baggage to be stored which they happily allowed. Our main purpose of choosing this hotel was right and we wouldn’t mind staying here again if we visited Rome.

For our last night we decide to stay in Hilton Garden Inn Rome Airport Hotel. Our main reason for choosing this hotel was we had a very early morning flight and we needed a good night’s sleep. They also provide airport shuttle services another reason for choosing it. We checked in really late and left early morning so all we really needed was a clean room and a comfortable bed, both were great here. We neither used the restaurants nor the breakfast option so not sure how it faired. Overall a good place to book for a night’s rest. 

THINGS TO DO IN ROME

COLOSSEUM

The largest and still standing amphitheatre in the world which was completed in AD80. Built from travertine limestone, tuff (volcanic rock) and brick-faced concrete. During its early days it was said to hold up to 80,000 spectators. It was used for various events like gladiatorial contests, animal hunts, dramas on Roman mythology and many more. It got ruined due to earthquakes and stone-robbers. There is a museum in the upper floor being built and some of the floors are being rebuilt. 

Being one of the seven wonders of the world makes it a  popular place of visits for tourists.

It’s best to see it with a tour guide but we choose to use the audio tour and understand the place a little better. As you walk along in your mind you can visualise glimpses of  gladiator. There is something even now very lively about the place.

The place is always crowded, the wait time is long but in the end we did feel it was worth it. Finding a decent spot to capture the colosseum without people is next to impossible. We visited late afternoon and did experience crowd but overall the experience wasn’t that bad. We did wish we could visit it first thing when it opened. The reason we choose that time is because we wanted to see it in the evening as well with the lights. 

ROMAN FORUM

Walking along the ruins of some of the important ancient government buildings were hard to explain. It made us in a way go back to the days when it had important events like elections, public speeches, criminal trials, gladiator matches or simply a place for celebration. 

This is one place which would be fun with a guide if you wanted to know the history of the place. There are a number of monuments which have a very interesting history. As you walk along you will come across the Temple of Saturn, Temple of Vespasian and Titus, The Arch of Septimius Severus, two triumphal arches and many more. 

There are no entry fees for this, walking along you do tend to lose track of the time but its well worth it. 

PALATINE HILL

The centre is part of the Seven Hills of Rome. We got an awesome view of the Colosseum from Palatine Hill. There is a legend that Hercules’ defeat of Cacus happened here after the monster had stolen some cattle. There is actually a lot to see here and would definitely be interesting with a tour guide.  

ARCH OF CONSTANTINE

This is dedicated to the Constantine the Great. It’s beautifully placed between the Colosseum and the Palatine Hill. It’s the largest Roman Triumphal Arch at a height of 69ft. Since it’s near the Colosseum it’s always packed with tourists. Inspite of being commemorated back in 315AD it’s still well preserved. 

PANTHEON

A former Roman and now Catholic Church. Built in 125 AD in a cylindrical with eight large Corninthian column and a central opening of 142ft tall called the Oculus. One of the most impressive feature is the oculus, eye of the dome. It’s 8.2 m across and has sunlight streaming through it. The dome is a real jaw-dropper, built with materials which helped it preserve in all this years.

The whole place the craftsmanship is outstanding. It’s a visual treat to the eyes, so striking, massive, well preserved and standing for over two thousand years. There are audio guides available inside for those who are interested in knowing more details.  Entrance is free but the long queue might put you off. I would highly recommend waiting in line as you won’t be disappointed in what you see. 

FOUNTAIN OF THE PANTHEON

Right in front of the Pantheon you can see the marble sculpted fountain. There is a basin made of stone and a Macuteo obelisk in the centre. The base is decorated with dolphins. It’s said that the original is found in the museum of Rome and this is a replica. Because of the popularity of the Pantheon the fountain is always packed with tourists. 

TREVI FOUNTAIN

The popular and busiest fountain in Rome. It’s located in Trevi district standing at a height of 86ft and 161.3ft wide. Getting a decent photo without people is next to impossible here. Largest Baroque fountain in the city and the most popular one in the world. If you look closely at the fountain you can see the Ocean in the centre with water spilling from her urn and a snake drinking from it. The name actually mean intersection of three streets. We saw it during the day but I would also recommend seeing it at night with the lights on. 

It’s known for coin throwing, using right hand over the left shoulder. Legend says a coin means you will return to Rome, two would grant you love and three would mean marriage to an Italian. 

PIAZZA NAVONA

Built in 1st century AD, an open space which was where the ancient Romans went to watch the games. A walk along you will see many Baroque Roman architecture along with many important sculpture creations. You will also come across a number of fountains, each uniquely constructed with a history of its own. If you do get tired then there are plenty of restaurants along the way where you and sit and enjoy a delicious Italian meal. 

FIUMI FOUNTAIN

Walking along Piazza Navona you will come also across Fiume Fountain. The base of the basin has a rock which is supporting the four river gods.There is also an Egyptian emblem which as the emblem of Pamphili family consisting of a dove with an olive twig. There is also the four major rivers namely Nile representing Africa, Danube representing Europe, Ganges representing Asia and Rio de La Plata representing America. Upon seeing closely you will see the intriguing details gone in constructing it. There is a symbols representing each gods. 

The fountain is less crowded and in a more open area surrounded by restaurants. Plenty of places to sit around and enjoy the fountain more. Unfortunately we didn’t get to see it at night, it would look beautiful all lit up. 

PIAZZA DE SPAGNA

A famous square below the Spanish steps. Plenty of good restaurants, cafes, ice cream parlour and stores. Given there is so much to do here it’s always packed with tourists. You may not be able to get a picture of just yourself but the place has some beautiful places to capture memories. I do feel you need to at some point ignore the crowd and look what the place has to really enjoy it. Don’t miss seeing the Column of the Immaculate Conception of Virgin Mary and Fountain of Old Boats. 

SPANISH STEPS

Between Piazza de Spagna and Trinita dei Monti church you get to climb the popular Spanish steps. There are 135 steps and most of the time it’s usually crowded. You can sit on the steps after a busy day, enjoy people watching, cast a striking pose or simple climb and get the scenic views. Upon reaching the top you can see the sculptures of horses and riders. I would recommend climbing as you do get great panoramic view. Ignore the crowd and simply enjoy what the place has to offer and you won’t be disappointed. 

BARCACCIA FOUNTAIN

This fountain is located in the busy area at the foot of Spanish Steps. The fountain was completed in 1629. A very interesting design of a half-sunken ship with water flowing from either side into a small basin. Legend says in 1598 as the River Tiber flooded a small boat was carried in Piazza di Spagna. Compared to the other fountains this seems simple, you will end up seeing it given its location. 

ALTAR OF THE FATHERLAND

Built in honour of Victor Emmanuel II, the first king of a unified Italy. A Neoclassical architecture with eclectic influences. It was completed in 1935 and is standing at a height of 266ft.Upon seeing closely you can see the Corinthian columns, fountains, two statues of Victoria riding on quadrigas and of course the sculpture of Victor Emmanuel II. There is no entry fees but the wait time to get in can be a while. 

THE VATICAN CITY

Being in Rome and not visiting Vatican City just didn’t feel right. We had to see the home to the Pope and check out the amazing things the place had to offer. Unfortunately we only had half a day to spare here hence we could only see two places. 

THINGS TO DO IN THE VATICAN CITY

ST. PETER’S BASILICA 

A UNESCO World Heritage Site church which is built in the Renaissance and Baroque style. Its dome is the most prominent building in this Vatican City’s skyline. 

The Maderno’s facade is 376 ft wide built from travertine stone and has giant Corinthian columns. On top you can see the twelve Apostles. 

Outside the basilica there is also the two statues along with many other. The prominent one is of St. Paul.

The Dome of St. Peter’s Basilica is said to be at a height of 448 ft from the floor and is the tallest dome in the world. Upon seeing closely you can also see the writings. 

The alter with Bernini’s baldacchino is the largest (98ft tall) bronze piece in the world. Right under the dome sits the alter which had four twisted columns decorated with olive leaves and bees. 


Another beautiful piece is the Cattedra Petri. The bronze throne along with the old wooden throne is sitting in the end of the basilica. 


Throughout the basilica you will also see many sculptures decorated like the angel. Many part of the basilica have mosaic decorations.

There is also the Dove of Peace showing the different coloured marble. You get to witness many of the carved altar each with details and persistence given to the carving. 

This is one place I would highly recommend, it leaves a lasting image in the mind.  I personally walked around the whole place in complete awe with the beauty of the place. 

SAINT PETER’S SQUARE

Right in front of St Peter’s Basilica you get to enjoy this large plaza. It was believed in the past it was built to accommodate as many people as possible. 

In the centre you see the granite finished ancient Egyptian obelisk. There is a lot of history involved and it has been moved many times. If you see the top there is Chigi arms which is added on the top in honour of Alexander VII. 

There are various radiating lines to relive the sea of setts. You can see an amazing view of this from the top of the dome. 

There are two fountains in the square one of Bernnini’s and the other of Moderno.

The place is wrapped on both sides with the colonnade wrap. It gives a feeling of being protected in the surrounding. On top you can see the 140 saints, the craftsmanship is magnificent. 

A very busy, lively and vibrant square but the architecture is stunning. I would highly recommend visiting the place. For those who want to take back a memory from the place there are plenty of souvenir shops around. 

Should you have the time there is also the Sistine Chapal, Vatican Museums, Castel Sant’Angelo, Gardens of Vatican City, Apostolic Palace, The Pieta and the Last Judgment to see. Since we had chosen to stay only for half the day we didn’t choose to see these. 

OUR ITINERARY IN ROME

The map below can be used as a guide if you choose to walk to a destination.

Map courtesy Mercure Hotel

The metro map map below can also be used while planning metro journeys.

Map courtesy Metro and City Railway Rome

Day 3

  • From Venice Mestre we took the train to Rome Tiburtina. We then walked (1.1km) to Hotel Mercure Roma Pizza Bologna
  • We walked to Bologna station (50m) and took the metro to Barberini. Walked (650m) to Trevi Fountain.
  • We then walked to Spanish Steps (650m). During our time here we also saw the Barcaccia Fountain. We also walked around Piazza De Spagne
  • From Spanish Steps we walked (200m) to Colosseum.  

  • From Colosseum we walked to Roman Forum.
  • We also explored a part of the Palantine Hill.

  • Next we walked to the Arch of Constantine 
  • From here we walked (400m) to Colosseo metro. We then took the metro to Bologna and walked (350m) to the hotel.

Day 4

  • Checked out from our hotel, leaving the luggage in the hotel.
  • We walked to Bologna station and took the metro to Ottaviano. We decided to walk (1.8km) to Vatican City. You can also take the bus option (no 62 and get off at Ponte Vittotio Emanuele and then take bus 881 from Paola to Cavalleggeri/S. Pietro and walk 750m). 
  • We explored St Peter’s Basilica and St. Peter’s Square here.
  • From Vatican City we walked (700m) to Cavalleggeri/Fornaci bus stop. Took Bus no. 64 and got off at C.so Vittorio Emanuele (Argentina). Walked 400m to with the Pantheon. We also saw the Fountain of the Pantheon here.
  • Then we walked to Piazza Navona (400m)
  • During your walk you will also come across Fiumi Fountain (80m)
  • From Fiumi Fountain we walked (1.6km) to  Altar of the Fatherland. 
  • From Ara Coeli/Piazza Venezia we took bus no.62 and Ravenna Piazza. then walked (160m) to Hotel Mercure Roma Piazza Bologna to pick our bag
  • From Bologna station we took the airport train and walked to our hotel. 

THINGS TO NOTE IN ITALY

  • While visiting the Vatican you are asked to cover your shoulders and legs when entering some of the churches. 
  • Gondola rides in Venice can be expensive. Sharing with other tourists can be one way of cutting cost. It may not be that romantic but definitely equally fun. 
  • Do find out the official prices on the internet for gondola rides in Venice. These are usually set well in advance and it’s better to be prepared to avoid getting cheated. 
  • Take a guide for Colosseum, we choose the audio guide here. Roman Forum is another place where a guided tour would be very handy. 
  • Do try the Gelato, it’s available in most streets and should be definitely tasted before leaving.
  • Do try the pizza, it’s a given in Italy. Would recommend the small stalls in the quiet side streets as compared to the tourist attractions. 
  • Most restaurants are very casual in Italy. They don’t have set opening or closing hours. You might even find closed for several days. 
  • Cappuccino is usually enjoyed for breakfast in Italy.  You will get one of the weird looks if you order it after lunch. Espresso on the other hand can be enjoyed anytime of the day.
  • Wines are inexpensive in Italy and of very good quality. Do make the most of it, you won’t regret it.
  • Tipping is not expected in restaurants. There are usually unusual charges on the bills. Coperto is one such fee which you might find, it means cover charge.
  • You might find some shops are closed between 1 to 4 pm. Many Italians prefer to have lunch with family and spend some time relaxing before returning back to business. 
  • Depending on the ratings of your hotel and the number of people staying there is a City Tax which everyone is charged. This is collected from the hotel you’re staying in. 
  • Venice also charges city tax per person per night depending on your hotel ratings. This is also charged by your hotel and collected either at the end or in the beginning of your stay. 
  • In Rome there is usually unexpected labour strikes where the metro shuts down. Do keep checking the news. We didn’t experience anything.
  • Do remember to validate your tickets before every trip. There is a hefty fine should you forget.
  • We enjoyed most places on foot, hence comfortable shoes is highly recommended. Taxis are usually expensive in Italy. 
  • If you book online there are fast track options. Certain places you might get stuck in line, this way you can avoid it. 
  • Public restrooms are available with a typical charge of 1 to 2 euros. They are clean. 
  • Italians do speak loudly, it doesn’t mean they are fighting. They are very passionate people and mean it in humour to one another.
  • Although Italy in general is very safe we saw many signs warnings about pick pocketers. As a result we took the necessary precautions.