Southern Italy has it all. There are ancient Medieval towns, peaceful fishermen villages, stretching beaches and swooping mountains. There are even Roman and Greek ruins. We learned about some of the most famous places in southern Italy as children and some of us grew up dreaming of the day we’d visit our grandparents’ homeland. But that doesn’t mean we know it all.
My then-boyfriend/now-husband grew up here in southern Italy and I was still surprised at some of the assumptions I made that were downright wrong!
With that in mind, here are three things I wish I’d known before I traveled to southern Italy.
(c) Leanne (pictured above) of From Australia to Italy
1. It Gets Brrr … Cold
Calabria has this fabulous reputation of being a hot, steamy, tropical getaway for northern Italians and other Europeans. Unfortunately, it’s crap. It gets downright cold here in southern Italy and depending on when and where you visit, you might see a lot of snow.
It’s true. Laura at Ciao Amalfi! recently posted some videos of a thunder snowstorm on the Amalfi Coast and Leanne of From Australia to Italy was recently snowed in near Cosenza (Calabria.)
2. All Restaurants/Trattorie/Pizzerie Were Created Equally
Regardless of what you may have heard, you *can* get a bad meal in southern Italy. I know. I’ve done it. Still, it is surprising to me when I hear people proclaim sweeping generalizations like, “It doesn’t matter where you eat-you are in Italy,” or “You can’t get a bad meal there!”
Trust me. You can.
If you are traveling to southern Italy and don’t want to be victim to an overcooked pizza or tasteless ragu, then search the Internet for recommendations made by locals or consider hiring a travel consultant who can help with the details.
3. Don’t Assume Anything
For example, many restaurants in the US offer free soda refills, in Italy, you will pay full price. Also, don’t assume that just because opening hours are posted on a museum’s website that they are correct, or that the museum is even open. Oh yea, and don’t assume that your hotel will have washcloths. In fact, they probably won’t. Italians don’t use them.
What other things do you wish you’d have known before you visited Italy?
Until next time … Buon Viaggio!
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