There are a handful of tips to insure you don’t run into anything unexpected:
1. ‘Riposo’, equivalent to a Spanish siesta. The length of the break varies from business to business, but usually lasts for around 90 minutes between 1pm and 4pm. Locals use this time to go home, have lunch and relax with their family. To avoid any inconvenience, be aware that shops and restaurants may be closed between these hours, especially in rural areas.
2. Try to speak Italian – The locals are for the most part polite if you try to speak their language, so using simple expressions such as ‘ciao’, ‘grazie’ and ‘prego’ (‘hi’, ‘thank you’ and ‘you’re welcome) will take you a long way.
3. Pickpocketing does happen. Don’t let fear of pickpocketing spoil your holiday, but remain vigilant and keep a close eye on your belongings.
4. Train Travel: Trains in Italy are fast, frequent, and a relatively inexpensive way to travel between cities. Rome’s Termini station is Italy’s hub for rail transport, with connections offered to most major cities. Rail is often the best option, as transport to and from the airport can negate any time you save by flying. There’s also the added bonus that you get to see Rome’s beautiful countryside if you travel by train.