Cities in Italy
Cheap Flights to Italy with Vayama starting at $ 503
Italy probably has the most distinctive coastline in the whole of Europe. There is it poised and ready, waiting for its moment. And Italy has had so many great moments.
Italy is a country full of amazing landscapes, glittering lakes, spectacular architecture and history around every corner. Italy has spawned some of the world’s most glamorous film stars like Sophia Loren and Gina Lollobrigida, plus its national dishes of pizza and pasta are served up worldwide in a variety of guises.
Lying at the core of the Roman Empire, Italy has endured many ups and downs over the centuries from warring tribes to the birth of the Roman dynasty which heralded a new age in road building, architecture, sanitation and many other things that we take for granted today.
Many of the fabulous buildings of Italy still stand, some of them in the great capital of Rome, the stunning city of Florence and the majestic Milan with a Gothic Duomo that is the largest of its kind in the world.
Milan in the Lombardy region of Italy is probably better known for its shopping and designer brands as it was where Armani, Prada and Gucci first made their names. It is also the centre of the economy of Italy.
Yet dig deeper and you will find treasures such as one of Italy’s greatest Renaissance artists, Leonardo da Vinci and his painting of the Last Supper, and La Scala opera house, whose plainness on the outside belies its luxurious interior.
The watery wonder of Venice in northern Italy is unique in atmosphere and landscape. There might be Little Italy versions all over the rest of Europe but nothing compares to the real thing. This is Italy at its most serene.
Further north in Italy, almost on the border with Austria, are the Dolomites which form part of the Alps. Ski-ing is the main activity here in this part of Italy with stunning frozen waterfalls and traditional villages where locals make toys and wood carvings all adding to the magic.
The two main islands of Italy - Sicily and Sardinia - offer their own magic. The smouldering volcano that is Stromboli is just off the coast of Sicily and is the only volcano that is permanently active. If you are considering climbing the 902m to the summit, you must hire a guide.
You get a more tropical clime in Sardinia as it is closer to Africa than Italy. The best time to visit this island of Italy is in the spring when wildflowers cover the landscape in vibrant colours and the sharp pecorino cheese of Italy is available.
Italy is one of those places that you will want to return to again and again because it offers so much to the visitor. Book your flights with Vayama today!
Italian Etiquette Tips
Making a good impression and building strong relationships are very important to Italians, so impress the people in Italy by learning a little about Italian customs and etiquette. Below are some more Italian etiquette tips to take with you on your trip to Italy.
1. Dress Attire
- DO dress formally when invited to business and social gatherings. Ties and suits are acceptable for men, while a simple but elegant dress with accessories is suitable for women.
- DON'T wear shorts or tank tops at church.
2. Table Manners
- DON'T leave the table during dinner. It's considered rude.
- DO keep your hands above the table, even when you are finished eating.
- DO place your fork and knife on the right side of the plate to indicate to your server that you are done eating.
- DO insist repeatedly that you don't want more food once you are full. Otherwise, you will be offered more.
- DO keep your wine glass relatively full if you do not wish to drink anymore, otherwise your glasses will be topped off if it looks only half full. Do not refuse when you are offered a top off.
- DON'T eat with your fingers. Use a fork and knife, even for food that you may normally eat with your hands, such as a piece of bread.
- DO tip if the service is good. In Italy, a service charge is usually included in the restaurant bill. Most restaurants also include a cover charge (coperto) added to the bill. However, restaurant employees don't make much money, so tipping is a nice thing to do if you enjoyed the service. Tipping porters and taxi drivers is also often appreciated.
4. Gift Giving and Accepting Gifts
- DO give gifts such as chocolate or flowers, but gift-wrap them, and not in black and gold. Those colors are reserved for funerals.
- DON'T give chrysanthemums or roses, unless you know the meaning behind them. Chrysanthemums are for funerals and roses indicate romance.
5. Body Gestures
- DON'T point with your index finger and pinky finger at the same time. It is called “la corna” and it is considered extremely vulgar in Italy.
- DO shake hands upon meeting someone
- DO use titles and surnames unless you have been invited to use first names. Use "Signore" for "Mister" and "Signora" for "Mrs." along with the surname, unless they have a specific title such as Doctor.
- DON'T pull away or get offended if an Italian associate wishes to hug you. Embrace him or her in return!
7. Visitors Etiquette
- DO give your host a nice gift.
- DON'T decline an invitation to go to dinner. It is considered rude, unless there are extreme circumstances that prevent you from being able to attend.
8. Business Meeting
- DON'T be late to business engagements. Punctuality is not a priority, but as a guest to Italy, you will make a far better impression if you are on time.
- DO check the hours for the business you are working with ahead of time. Many businesses close for the entire month of August, and office hours can vary on the weekends. However, office hours will usually be 8:30 AM to 12:30 PM and 3:30 PM to 6:30 PM Monday through Friday, with morning hours on Saturdays.
- DO dress semi-formally for business meetings. Your attire should be immaculate and clean, without scuffs, rips, or stains. Dark suits are most common for men, with expensive ties, cuff links, and watches. Women should dress stylishly with make-up and jewelry. Perfume and cologne is also acceptable.
- DON'T discuss politics, religion, the Mafia, or family with business associates.
- DON'T offer a gift in a business meeting until one has been given to you.
By following basic Italian etiquette you are much more likely to make a strong impression while on your trip to Italy. Since Italians put a lot of value into interpersonal relationships, this is very important, especially in business. Enjoy your trip to Italy!
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