There are some features that make Italy very different from other European nations. Once you arrive in Italy, in fact, you will soon realize that it is a country completely different from the others. 

Starting with transport: in Italy, bus and train strikes are very frequent. Luckily these are usually announced at least the day before, so just ask or search on the internet to stay up to date. In Italy, moreover, especially in the South, the Uber service is not very used so you will have to make do by taking taxis that are very expensive.

When you buy an item you can pay by card, but this is not always true in Italy. Small totals such as a couple of euros are usually paid in cash, and many retailers (especially in souvenir shops) do not accept credit card payments. This means that you will absolutely have to turn with a little cash, but we do not recommend changing them in the appropriate shops. Rather, use ATMs! In Italy there are many, and the currency exchange is always cheaper than in other places (especially the airport).

However, many of the cards known internationally are not used in Italy. This is the case with American Express, Diners Club and so on: make sure you always have a Visa or Mastercard with you. You can also buy a prepaid and recharge it in your home country before leaving for Italy!

When you are in Italy for a period of more than 7 days and therefore in the case of a long stays, we strongly recommend to buy an Italian SIM and link to it an offer. Many operators offer unlimited GB for the internet and a substantial number of minutes to call or send SMS, and it is the most convenient way to keep in touch.

Another feature present in Italy is definitely the absence of free bathrooms: public toilets are few, and often those found are very dirty, broken or even never completed. Unfortunately, many bars do not allow you to use the bathroom without first having consumed, so the general advice is to take advantage of every opportunity: in every museum there are bathrooms, so before you leave pass through there! However, there is also the side of the medal: the water in the fountains (not the monumental ones, but the special columns) is drinkable. So you will save a lot!

As for the opening hours, while it is true that Italian restaurants and entertainment venues are open until late, unfortunately this does not apply to afternoon hours: often, from 14 to 16, many places are closed for an afternoon break. This happens especially in the less touristy cities, while in the more crowded ones the classic "full time" timetable is in force.

You have to pay attention also to the closing days, because in Italy Monday is a critical day for different activities: Alcuini museums choose it as a day of rest after a weekend full of work, but not only! Monday is chosen as a day of rest even by pizzerias and restaurants, and often some centers become ghost towns!