"So, What Advice About Italy
Would You Like to Have?"


When are their shops open? Do most places take credit cards? You probably want to get advice about Italy in general, and be prepared for the Italian ways. We'll give you advice you need to know about the Italian language, the currency, opening hours and more. Discover all these practical and helpful tips that we've learned about Italy over the years!





The wonderful town of Malcesine





So...Are you ready for Advice About Italy to be revealed?


Language

In the North of Italy, many of the locals speak German which is great if you know it - you can easily get by. You'll find that they also speak English in some touristy areas, but we've found that outside of these areas, there aren't many who speak English. So that's why we've put together a few survival phrases that will allow you to get by. And do use them, because the Italians love it when tourists try to speak their language (even if they speak English), they really appreciate the effort no matter how silly you might sound. And it really is a beautiful language...click here to see some helpful Italian phrases and how each is pronounced.


Evening scene at Lake Garda




Money

The Italian currency used to be in Lira, but it's now in Euros, which makes it a lot easier to convert. One important thing to note here is that some places around Lake Garda won't take credit cards - this is something we've noticed on our trips out. Make sure you've got cash with you wherever you go, and if you're nervous about carrying cash around, then take a money belt. We don't like to carry lots of cash around, we use the cash machines you can find in most towns when we need more or keep some cash in the safe where we are staying. Speaking of carrying cash and being a tourist, here is a little tip for the Ladies: If you're carrying a handbag, please PLEASE make sure that you wear it securely on your shoulder with the strap angled across your body. Handbag snatching is more common in the South of Italy, but it does happen in the North a bit too - most often by youngsters on scooters - so don't walk too close to the side of the road if you want to be extra careful.


Church high up in the hills above the Lake

Opening Times

These are the general opening times and may vary slightly from place-to-place.

Shops generally are open from Monday to Saturday 9:00am to 12:30pm. They then close for about 3 hours for their Siestas (traditional afternoon rest) and open again from 3:30pm to 7:30pm. Some shops are closed on Monday mornings. We have found that in very touristy areas, the shops will stay open during Siesta times and on Sundays, and during high season many shops will stay open very late, sometimes until 10 or 11 pm!

Banks are open Monday to Friday from 8:30am to 1:30pm. They then open again about an hour in the afternoon from 2:30pm to 3:30pm. If you just want to withdraw cash, don't worry, because most banks have a 24 hour cashpoint.

Post Offices are open from 9:00am to 2:00pm, but you can also buy stamps in the tobacco shops.

Churches are open every day from 8:00 or 9:00am to 12:00pm and again from 3pm to 7pm. The exception is during mass. Some are also closed Sunday afternoons. Please make sure you dress respectively and that your
shoulders are covered.

Restaurants vary quite a bit in their opening times. Many just serve lunch and dinner and are open from noon to about 2pm, then re-open for dinner at about 6 or 7pm to 10 or 11pm. Keep in mind that the Italians eat quite late traditionally, so if you go at 7pm you may be the only ones there! Click here to see more info about restaurants


Electricity

The voltage for the plugs in Italy is 220-230V, with a frequency of 50Hz. The plugs are two round pins (European), although some are still the Italian plug of three round pins in a row. Take an international adaptor to be on the safe side. Something that we've noticed is that they don't provide kettles in the hotel rooms, so take one with you, with an adaptor, for hot drinks. Last year, we found our mini kettle especially useful for boiling water to make up formula milk for our 5 month old daughter!



Italy has many romantic places!



Romance

Looking for a special place to take your partner? Italy is known for it's Romance. It's reflected in the Art, the beautiful scenery and settings, and in the rich Italian language. My husband proposed to me there so it holds special meaning for us. Find out which spots around Lake Garda we find the most romantic.





Click here to go from advice about Italy to the home page

Beautiful hotels!

Amazing Hotels!

Stunning Villas!

Stunning Villas!

A Holiday to Remember?

A Holiday to Remember?

Which Spectacular Town?

Which Spectacular Town?

Breathtaking Excursions!

Breathtaking Excursions!

Unique Entertainment!

Unique Entertainment!

Great Golf!

Great Golf!

Desirable Property!

Desirable Property!

Fantastic Camping!

Fantastic Camping!




"Hi. Just a quick word of thanks for the site, which was a marvellous resource in planning my trip to Malcesine. The ferry timetables were useful for planning trips around the Lake (I went to Riva and Limone) and the breadth of information available is fantastic. Thank you."

P.D. from the U.K.



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