Now that I have been here for three weeks I’ve learned valuable little things that might be helpful to you when you come to Italy, hopefully you find these useful!
- I didn’t see any pickpockets just annoying “helpers”.
I was terrified of the pickpockets, most of my friends told me about how they didn’t even feel when their money was taken, so I was extremely worried, but I never encountered a situation of the sort.
If you are aware of your surroundings and don’t act completely touristy don’t bee too paranoid. Not even in Rome did I encounter a single suspicious individual, I am sure that it helped that I had a purse where no foreign hand could ever enter! So make sure that you have a purse with a zipper, if you are carrying a backpack don’t wear them on your chest, it looks very touristy and you will probably get targeted more.
This is going to sound very peculiar but if you know a language besides English, use that language. Some Italians do not like people from the United States and if you speak English or say you are from United States they look at you pretty weird, towards the middle of the program I just told everyone that I am from Mexico, which is true, but I identify myself from the United States so it was strange.
You are going to be learning Italian, use it! They appreciate when you speak their language!
Although I did not encounter any pickpockets I did cross paths with many “helpers”. These are the men (the majority of the time) that are hanging out on the train station and if they see you are looking around or have a big, or multiple suitcases, they will try to “help” you. If you accept their help they will ask for a tip, and if you do not give them money they will get angry.
Also beware of the people that are hanging out infront or next to the ticket machines, if they see you are taking forever or seem confused they will also try to help you and make you tip them.
- Common etiquette
Do not feel awkward if you are sitting on a bench alone and out of a sudden a person sits next to you without asking, I have encountered this many times, I guess is just how they do things in Italy.
If you are entering a store, whether you are buying items or not, say “Salve!” or “Ciao!” or “buona sera/giorno” is just polite to acknowledge their presence!
- The way of dress
I was told that in Italy they don’t wear flip flops and are always “on point” with their way of dress, I found this to be a bit of an exaggeration. In Rimini is very hot and is also a beach town so take your shorts and your sandals, but do wear casual nice fitting clothes. When you go to Venice or Rome is also the same, if it is really hot take a nice flowy dress or skirt or thin pants, don’t worry much about the elegance is not really a big deal. People might say this to make you a less likely target from pickpockets but even Italians don’t go over the top with their fashion, so do not exaggerate your clothing style.
- The male haze
So men here are very foward. One day we were walking around innocently and out of a sudden a dude on a bike stopped and said “ciao bella!” and then he hissed like a cat! Lol
We also had men flicked their tongue at us and look us up and down (well mostly to our friend Monica), well just an array of “compliments”. The difference between Italian males and United State males (at least the ones we encountered) is that if you tell them to please leave you alone or straight out ignore them, they will leave, they might insist a little, but they will leave you alone.
Hold your liquor. I know is a different country and everything is super cool but is not hip to be drunk and falling over and making your classmates or friends help you out and ruin their night. You are also exposing yourself to get disrespected and robbed so please have some common sense.
Finally, I would like to recommend a delicious gelato joint! It is called Romana and it is located in front of the surgeon’s house in Rimini!
Hopefully you found this useful! If you have any questions do not hesitate to comment or email me!