Sunday, April 5, 2009

Travel Guide and Founder Of My Far and Away Itineraries, Julie Gilley, Shares Expert Advice On"How To Be More Italian On Your Next Trip To Italy."

Have you always wanted to take a trip to Italy, but wanted help in planning and finding the best locations, hotels, etc. for your trip? Well, Meet Julie Gilley, Founder and Travel Guide of, My Far and Away Itineraries.

Julie is well versed in Italian travels and culture, she goes above and beyond to find the most interesting locations and details to ensure her clients experience the Italian trip of a lifetime, "As your host, I commit to planning every detail for you so that you may have the most worry-free vacation experience while focusing on the things that really matter, la dolce vita...the sweet life!”

Julie shares her tips and knowledge on "How To" be a little bit more Italian on your next trip to Italy. Its a great list!


When I journey into someone else’s country, I want to fit in. I want to experience life as it is for the locals of that region of the world. One of the ways this can be achieved is by adopting some of the characteristics, traits, and habits of the Italian culture every time I visit Italy. Here are a few you can try:

 Dress the part. Ditch the Nike’s, Bermuda shorts and fanny packs. Italians are fashion conscience. Yes, you will need to be comfortable touring the sites, but do it in style.

Guys: wear jeans or slacks, button-down shirts and a jacket
Girls: black is smack! And, so are pointed-toe, stiletto-healed shoes (OK, not so great for walking on cobblestone roads, but you get the idea!)

 Relax. Slow down and enjoy la dolce vita—the sweet life. Americans are all about instant gratification. We want quick service, fast food, and prompt response. Try it the Italian way: enjoy a 2-hour lunch; stroll through a piazza; sip wine in a local café. Relaxing will allow you to see and experience more of the local flavor—truly making life a little sweeter!

 Learn the language. A few simple key words or phrases spoken in the native tongue will go a long way in communicating with an Italian. Buon giorno (good morning), grazie (thank you) and per favore (please) are a good start. Don’t be afraid to try it—Italians are very gracious and forgiving if you botch it up!

 Plan for later meals. Americans tend to be programmed when it comes to eating: lunch at noon; dinner at six. Italians eat later. If you show up for dinner between 6:00 and 7:00, you may find the restaurant closed, or you’ll be eating by yourself (which screams “tourist”). If you can wait to eat later, 8:30-9:00 PM, your dining experience will be more exciting. The locals are out, there is a buzz in the dining room, and you will have more fun.

 Eat the local cuisine. Avoid the urge to order pepperoni pizza, stop in a nearby McDonalds (if there even is one nearby), or order your favorite addiction, Diet Coke. There are so many fabulously delicious Italian dishes that it makes my mouth water just writing about it!

Order an antipasti (appetizer) along with a glass of Prosecco (Italian champagne); order a primi (first course); order a secondi (entrée) together with a nice bottle of red wine (or carafe of vino della casa, house wine); order dolce (dessert). Then, top it all off with a glass of Vin Santo (sweet wine) or café (espresso).

Buon appetito!

 Follow the rules of the road. Driving in Italy is stressful, even for the best of us. On the freeways, drive in the right lane, using the left lane for passing only. When passing, turn your blinker on to indicate you want back in the right lane—this lets the drivers approaching from behind know that you intend to get out of their way. Have your money or credit cards ready when approaching a tollbooth. Following a few simple rules will bring about fewer honks, headlight flashes and nasty hand gestures.

Julie Gilley
Italy Travel Planner and Tour Guide


Franco Bianchi said...

Julie's list sounds very similar to the e-book people are passing around on the Internet. I think the e-book is called "10 Things You Should Know Before Traveling in Italy." I've heard it's great and free too!

Here's the link my friend sent me if anyone is interested:

fserra said...

Those are all suggestions I give to my foreign friends when they come over. Great advices! :)