Italy Survival Guide

I ended up doing several posts on Italy and entered tips here and there, but I wanted to compile them into one post so it is easier for my readers to find. I also think I will do a survival guide every 1st of the month on a random country! Oh yeah, feel free to comment on any add in tips you would like to share.

TIPS:

  • Some places charge for the bathroom so carry spare change (euros).
  • Carry toilet paper or tissue with you in case the toilets are out.
  • Travel sized hand sanitizer or antibacterial wipes are always useful.
  • Counterfeit bags are everywhere in Italy and we were told tourists can get into trouble for purchasing them. Buyer beware!
  • To purchase real leather, buy from well known stores. Don’t know of any, ask your hotel, or a trusted guide. The only true way to tell if leather is real is to look at both sides. One side will be leather the other will be suede. If it is not, it is fake.
  • An empty water bottle can be filled up in some of the fountains around Rome.
  • Bring clothes that cover your shoulders and knees to gain entry into Vatican or churches.
  • Try the house wines. Do not know what type they were, but some of the best wines we have ever had.
  • Eat gelato. Daily.
  • Be prepared to gain weight. Italian food is amazing and it is hard to not lose control. That said, you will definitely work some of it off with the amount of walking you will do sight seeing.

LEARNING ITALIAN:
Although we did not have much trouble getting around Italy using English. Try learning a small amount of Italian before you go for your convenience.

Fodor’s Travel site has an audio of each of the phrases so you can hear how they are pronounced.
Basic Italian Phrases

If you need to know specific words or sayings before you go, try entering them into Google Translator.
Google Translator

Learning how to say some numbers in Italian helps, especially when purchasing something.
Counting in Italian

 

Translated Sign - Photo by Jen Jess

Translated Sign – Photo by Jen Jess

TRANSLATOR APPS:
One thing to keep in mind when choosing a translator is being able to use it when your phone/tablet is not connected to WiFi or data. There will be times when traveling you will not have a connection when you will need a translator the most. I have attached information on apps for translators on different mobile devices and tablets. Make sure to play with the app before your trip, preferably in airplane mode which causes your phone to not have a connection. This way you will be familiar with the app before your travels and if there are any issues with it you can download another app before you leave.

Android:
Jibbigo Translator for Android can be used offline and it is free.
Google Translator can work offline and it is free.

Apple:
Jibbigo Translator for Apple can be used offline and it is free.
Fast-Talk by Lonely Planet Translator for Apple app can be used offline and it is free.

BlackBerry:
I am unsure if the Navita Translator for BlackBerry works offline, however, it is free.
This version of the BlackBerry English-Italian Translator can work offline without ads and it is $1.99.

Windows:
Bing Translator for Windows can work offline and it is free.

 

Convert to Euros - Photo by Jen Jess

Convert to Euros – Photo by Jen Jess

CURRENCY CONVERTER APPS:
Another helpful tool to use while traveling is an offline currency converter. This way when you are shopping or eating at a restaurant and do not have a connection to WiFi or data, you can quickly and easily know how much you are spending. As with the translator apps, make sure to play with the app before your trip, preferably in airplane mode which causes your phone to not have a connection. This way you will be familiar with the app before your travels and if there are any issues with it you can download another app before you leave.

Android:
Easy Currency Converter can be used offline and is free.

Apple:
This version of XE Currency – with ads can be used offline and is free with ads.

BlackBerry:
XE Currency for BlackBerry can be used offline and is free.

Windows:
Currency Converter for Windows can be used offline and is free.
Note – I am a beginner blogger and am NOT receiving any compensation/commission from any of the links above. I personally find these links/apps to be helpful and useful during travel.

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